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Corde Oblique - Respiri CD (album) cover


Corde Oblique


Prog Folk

3.96 | 7 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars On the eve of CORDE OBLIQUE's 5th release, conforming to an implicit biannual schedule, it seems fitting to tie up loose ends, the most glaring among these being an overdue look at their debut album from 2005.

Other than a few interspersed spoken segments, this album does not express any traits dispensed with in subsequent releases. The classical guitar of Riccard Prencipe, the violin of Alfredo Notarloberti, and the cadre of self possessed female vocalists collaborate in a vaguely familiar yet singular Celtic inflected Mediterranean folk rock which passes for both modern and ancient. A subtle sense of foreboding is also imparted, and relatively few pop oriented inflections are extant at this time.

As in most of the catalog, the listener is drawn in immediately with "Intro (Captatio Benevolentiae)", a brief spoke portion rapidly supplanted with a blistering violin solo backed by chasmic percussion. The first part of "My Promise" maintains that energy with wordless vocal chants while the second is perhaps a more typically sweet violin and guitar oriented tune. "Eventi" is the only track sung by male lead, and is one of my favourites with its multitracked half spoken vocals, which bust out later a la FRANCO BATTIATIO. "Waves" features English vocals both sung and spoken and also varies the tempos as consistent throughout the disk. "Ascesi" and "Fantasia Sui Tasti Bianchi" offer welcome variety, the former with its use of clarinet and the latter as largely a solo piano piece by Francesco Villani, and a consummate one at that. "Orme" is notable for sounding like CLANNAD and ARES, but is more effective than either because it represents a facet rather than an an immutable identity. "Dentro's" operatic vocals would be adapted on "Cuma" on the subsequent offering, but they are no less effective here.

The last 3 tracks suffer somewhat from a sense of spent energy, and the 10+ minute length of the closer is misleading as it includes several moments of apparent silence followed by a reprise of "orme". Still, if "Volonta D'Arte" was a mature sophomore effort, "Respiri" demonstrates that Mr Prencipe was more than ready to go solo by 2005 and represents a deep first breath from CORDE OBLIQUE.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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