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Armonite - Inuit CD (album) cover

INUIT

Armonite

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Between the short medieval opening and closing tracks (less than a minute each one), ARMONITE offers a really delicated music mainly based on two electric violins with soft piano background (yes, there aren't guitars).

The interplay among instruments is very nice, providing (sadly) only a half hour of calm and pleasant melodies. Progressive? Absolutely! Rock? I don't think. I would say that this album is a kind of almost-easy-listening-prog, special to enjoy in relaxing moments, but -despite this fact- music hasn't a low or simple elaboration degree.

I specially like "L'Insetto" and "Agora", but the style is the same at all tracks. So, quality is always present along "Inuit", making this stuff easy to recommend as a very good and different option inside the progressive world.

Report this review (#18510)
Posted Friday, June 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars ****1/2

Armonite is a very interesting nineties Italian group. They have a really unique approach because there are two electric violinists in the line-up. There are not any guitars; the violins create the melodies that are left from the absence of guitars. This makes their music much more original than the music of an average progressive group. Due to the unusual line-up their music is light melodic progressive but it's still very energetic nevertheless. The violins are really great and you don't miss the missing guitar at all. The keyboardist plays mostly electric piano (some really beautiful piano melodies) and it suits the overall sound really nicely and makes the music even more melodic. He also provides some flute solos. This album is so not for people who don't like light melodic progressive with classical influences. Despite the light, not so complex sound, the music can be regarded truly progressive and original. Unfortunately, the band split up right after the release of this debut album.

All tracks in this only album are highly melodic and good. The best tracks are "Amebah", "Eos Aurora" and "Agora", all with very beautiful melodies. I find the music very relaxing and delicate. This is great progressive, more classical than rock. Splendid.

Conclusion: Fantastic melodic progressive.

Report this review (#38793)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Two lead e-violinists!

Violin-lovers listen up! The now defunct one-shot band Armonite was born in 1996 when drummer Gabrielle Rossi met up with two talented violinists (Jacopo Bigi and Giovanni Lanfranchi) to begin a project. They added a keyboardist from a prog-metal act and a bassist from a Dream Theater cover band. If that sounds like a scary prospect I can assure you there is nothing to fear. The band Armonite began writing and playing gigs, finally seeing a CD release on Mellow in December of 1999. I am not certain how long they were together but unfortunately "Inuit" with its mysterious cover art was their only release.

The album has an intro and outro of one minute each which feature strange sound effects and odd female choir vocals, very lovely, and very sadly just a teaser. There are no other vocals in the six main tracks and this is a real shame, because those vocals would add just the depth that this album needs. However, it is still a very worthwhile and unique collection. Unique because there is no guitar on this album and just the brief mentioned vocals. Above all else "Inuit" is an album for lovers of the violin. The typical guitar and vocals are replaced by two accomplished violinists who handle the lead parts of the tracks, the melodies and direction. Drummer Rossi and bassist Andrea Bacchio provide a very solid and yet delicate rhythm section, minimizing heaviness for something a bit classical and elegant here. The other wild card is keyboardist Paolo Fosso who wrote most of the material and also contributes flute. He has thankfully set aside his Dream Theater tribute band skills and opted for spirited elegance as well, playing synth and piano both complimentary and sometimes in direct reaction to what the two violinists are doing around him. I don't want to give the impression this is a snoozy, sluggish affair. The songs are dexterous and light on their feet, often full of energy and edgy rhythmic pursuits. Great drum fills and bass lines flesh out the inventive songwriting. This leaves Lanfranchi and Bigi to do the rest on their electric violins and they are up to the challenge. They are everywhere, from offering beautiful counterpoint to some of Fosso's gorgeous piano twinkling, or adding tension with some frenzied build-up. "Agora" is a favorite, the most classical sounding track with lots of piano, it almost reminds me a bit of Quella Vecchia Locanda which is one of my favorite RPI bands. Overall however the band lacks the same level of dynamics and importance QVL possessed.

A truly lovely outing full of classy energetic numbers, "Inuit" would be so much better with some well-timed, crystal clear soprano Italian vocals to add another color. As it is I still recommend this rare gem for any fan of violin-filled lighter RPI. The 8-page Mellow booklet features a band bio and nice portraits of the group. The sound quality is pretty good, clear, but perhaps could use more oomph on the low end.

Report this review (#259831)
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Twin turb.......make that twin electric violins galore.

To my knowledge, this is the only album this Italian combo ever released. By having two electric violins, they can claim some originality. The music itself is not that special and original although the twin electric violins gives this album it's own identity. The music is mostly easy listening music with some intense violin playing over some pretty laid back drums, bass, tangents and some flute. There is no doubts that the violins is the main instruments here.

The music is bordering to muzak with also a strong hint of fusion. But thankfully, the music is not muzak and they manages to keep the music interesting throughout. This album was the perfect soundtrack for today's sunny saturday after finishing of some outdoors activitities and some housework. Relaxing music which did not tax my brain too much. There are some good melody lines scattered around this album. The overall quality is good, but not particular great. In short; it is one of the many good albums in my collection.

For those into fusion or easy listening prog without to much emphasis on rock, this album will do it for you.

3 stars

Report this review (#493024)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Short-lived Italian act from Pavia, Italy with a unique line-up featuring two electric violin players.Armonite was an idea of drummer Gabriele Rossi, who recruited Giovanni Lanfranchi and Jacopo Bigi in 1996 and completed the line-up with bassist/flutist Andrea Bacchio and keyboardist Paolo Fosso.Several succesful live performances would follow and after a year of hard work Armonite self-released their debut ''Inuit'' in 1999, re-released a year later by Mellow Records.

Things are simple.If you love the sound of violins, refined melodies and calm atmospheres, Armonite is your band.Six instrumentals along with an intro and a short outro of a total running time under 40 minutes is the proposal of this unique Italian group and the style draws influences from Classical Music as well as modern Progressive/Art Rock, delivering them in a very smooth and elaborated way.The approach of the band is trully personal with dominant use of dual violins and sometimes delicate flutes, supported by a solid rhythm section and the careful use of background synths and pianos by Fosso.The musicians are all excellent, no question, but on the other hand the tracks sound extremely similar with little diversity and the album generally shows a lack in dynamics with these five Italians insisting on creating relaxed and dreamy soundscapes with no presence of more energetic parts, though some moments offer a somewhat dramatic twist.

A few years after this work nothing was heard about Armonite and it seems that the band dissolved as silently as it entered the music world.''Inuit'' is an original work of violin-driven instrumental Art Rock with the simple aim to please all fans of melodic, instrumental Rock music.Recommended.

Report this review (#856864)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permalink

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