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Catafalchi Del Cyber - Benediktus Und Vobis Quoque, Catafalcus Est Tu CD (album) cover


Catafalchi Del Cyber


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Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars Wonderful new prog from Italy!

Dense atmosphere, lush mellotron, fat Moog, nice melodies, occasional Crimsonic outbursts-- this album has it all, down to a wheel on the cover you can rotate to change the picture of who is holding up the boombox.

With stated influences and perceived sounds ranging from (chiefly, in my book) King Crimson to David Bowie to Yes to The Cardiacs to Smashing Pumpkins, this band understandably spent a good bit of time being kicked around the different PA sub-genres before settling into a home in Neo.

If I were to try to sum up their sound, it would be a very strong dose of Roversi's atmospheric works in Moongarden (although Bertolini and Ravenoldi are responsible for the composing) alternating with the frenetic energy of King Crimson (particularly in the first two songs). The decent vocals are sung in English and are frankly noncontributory, showing up only occasionally and not adding nor detracting much. The real star here is the keyboards, manned by both Roversi (named L'Imperatore on the album itself, perhaps for contractual reasons?) and Ravenoldi. The first track, E Adesso Facciamo I Soldi, is a fabulous example of lush mellotron underlying some great rhthym work, interspersed by melodic Moog runs and beautiful chords and sequences.

Their bizarre sense of humor (see Torodd's PA interview) doesn't come through in the music as much as it does on the album artwork. The music is earnest, open, and rich for the eclectic nature of its influences. Definitely one to seek out, and one of the best from 2011. Four stars.

PS if you're unfamiliar with it, look up the instrument "theremin," which shows up on the album.

Report this review (#635386)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Catafalchi Del Cyber is a young progressive rock band from Italy who just released their first album last year 2011 named very strange Benediktus Und Vobis Quoque, Catafalcus Est Tu. In the line up is present an important fugure from prog zone from Italy - Cristiano Roversi known for his contribution to bands such as Moongarden, Mangalla Valis and others, he is responsable for keyboards arrangements here. So, I after I purchase for the first time this release I said to myself that this band incorporates to much of everything, here can be heared influences from King Crimson, avant prog moments, atmospheric passges, eclectic most of the time sounds to me and not a trace of neo here. In the end the result is not band, but something is missing in overall sound, little to moder in aproch in places. Anyway the first 3 tracks, E Adesso Facciamo i Soldi almost heavy prog, nice guitar here, Dark Deglutation or Benediktus are the best from the album, good mellotron and good guitars, the voice sung in english almost done nothing for me, Mirco Ravenoldi voice is ok, but far from intrsting. So, this is an ok album in present prog rock scene, but I don't think is quite excellent in manner of composing, is only good and nothing more. Strange cover art for sure like the title of the album.
Report this review (#642990)
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Critical disagreements about which subgenre would be most suited to them meant that Catafalchi Del Cyber (CDC) took their sweet time arriving at ProgArchives; it was a bit like waiting for Godot. CDC, a triumvirate that is in fact a quartet, are natives of the Italian region of Mantua and in fact the RPI team had first dibs on them. But they are a distinctly non- Italian band that seemed to have been kicked into the long grass and forgotten about for the best part of last year until the Neo Team rescued them. Unfortunately, having been removed from public sight for so long their debut album failed to make an impact on the 2011 top albums list.

CDC don't exactly pay homage to the rich musical heritage of their homeland although they do create a unique modern sound that's dominated by the typical Italian spirit of eclecticism. Sources close to the group have described them as anti-prog and they take the Dada movement as their model but their album is no musical representation of abstract art. Although a certain incongruity is the band's main dynamic force there is a surprising conformity to their music; while it's neither chaotic nor formless the band manage to create the illusion of spontaneous self-expression through the judicious use of cut and paste. CDC are arguably more Cafe Crimson than the Cabaret Voltaire. Among the unlikely musical combinations and whorish eclecticism of CDC the Mellotron is the one ever- present. This talismanic instrument quickly, and with no little gusto, emerges as the album's master mage, as on the opening track 'E Adesso Facciamo I Soldi' where it swaggers clumsily with the emancipated discipline of a bovine male lumbering through a crockery store.

CDC, these alumni of the absurd, also acknowledge their Catholic heritage (although musically CDC are catholic with a small 'c') and they have an interest in World War II. Whether they see mystic monks or self-harming sociopaths, the album artwork - Padre Pio holding a ghetto-blaster aloft in his stigmata palms while towering over the scene of a military parade - perhaps points to the band's intention to undermine the foundations of political, social and spiritual slavery. German flags and abstracts of Romish clergy in grotesque parrot-billed masks reinforce the cardboard cutout absurdity of the unreconstructed morons of a fascist regime. The Marinettian flourishes are also evident within the music and 'Benediktus' could be symbolic of the fall of fascism and the end of Papal Rome. It starts off with a sound sample possibly taken from a religious rally and develops into a strange two-part space canticle. The overall effect is like a demoniacal bossa nova of hysterical howls with the Weird Sisters' feline familiars fighting like cat and dog.

The synthesizer effect on 'Dark Deglutation' sounds like a supernatural cocktail of thick curling incense and squirting gyzym, then the Mellotron opens up like the relaxed knees of a pro who's fallen off the reform wagon. For a band that nurses a Dada ambition this track would seem to be propelled by the same impulse of Duchampian heads giving head that are found inside the album's gatefold. The emotional disturbance of this track is contrasted by the beautiful and calm 'Ocean' where a womb of warm wet circles gradually ripple and swell until - boom! - the guitar roars high above the Mellotron deep water like the girdler of Earth emerging from a drug-induced slumber. Worthy of mention is that CDC have gone to the trouble of enlisting help with translations and pronunciation for the English-language vocals; while the lyrics display none of the band's anarchic humour the titles reveal their predilection for neologisms and secret codes.

Whether Catafalchi Del Cyber are anti-prog, Neo-prog, Neo-Dada, or just plain and simply barking, their debut album is what the kestrel-drinking, devil-dug owning bampots in my neck of the woods call a 24-carat belter. The album breathes new life into progressive rock and despite the Dada pretensions it's not an album for culture-vultures. I'm eagerly anticipating the follow-up but because of the drummer's reported juridical difficulties the release of the band's second album will be delayed. CDC waited a while to be added to the database but the shoe is ironically on the other foot now as it's the fans who will have to be patient.

4.5 stars really.

Report this review (#700968)
Posted Friday, March 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars It's been a long time since i've listened to an album that i've found so interesting. Different is the word I suppose. I didn't know until I had my review finished that Cristiano Roversi (MOONGARDEN) plays keyboards, organ and mellotron on this record. And the atmosphere he creates here is incredible to say the least. This is dark, atmospheric and has plenty of depth to the sound. The vocals remind me of Toby Driver when he sings in that reserved manner. The music here lacks the grit and heaviness to be labelled Post Metal as it only hints at it. The Neo-Prog reference though is very misleading in my opinion but hey if that's what it took to get them on the site i'm happy.

"E Adesso Facciamo I Soldi" hits the ground running then settles back when the vocals arrive. Tons of mellotron here. Bass 2 minutes in then it picks up again. Guitar before 5 minutes. "Benediktus" opens with bass as spoken sampled words and cheering come in. Drums too followed by pulsating organ before 2 minutes then synths. It picks up before 4 minutes and the vocals follow as it stays uptempo. "Dark Deglutation" is nice and heavy with so much atmosphere. Mellotron before 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals 3 minutes in. Mellotron is back late. "Ocean" opens with atmosphere then vocals and strummed guitar come in around a minute. A calm with water sounds follows then it builds with bass and lots of atmosphere. A powerful soundscape 7 minutes in.

"Carabinieri" has atmosphere galore with percussion sounds. Piano before 2 minutes. "Metanolo" has a solid base as guitar and vocals come in after 2 1/2 minutes. It picks up then we get atmosphere only before 4 minutes then the drums and guitar return. The guitar is much more aggressive here. Vocals end it. "Recinzioni" is uptempo with solid drumming and lots of depth. Vocals and mellotron 1 1/2 minutes in along with piano and lots of atmosphere. "Ipercomunismo Postalieno" is dark and atmospheric early on. It kicks in before 2 minutes with synths. Powerful stuff.

Thankyou Todd for recommending this band. Hmmm...dark with lots of atmosphere and mellotron. My kind of music.

Report this review (#768323)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars In 2003 a few young Italians witnessed a King Crimson gig, this was their starting point to make progressive music. With the support of the known Italian Cristiano Roversi (Moongarden, Submarine Silence and a project with singer Bernardo Lanzetti in CCLR) the four piece formation Catafalchi Del Cyber released their debut CD entitled Benediktus Und Vobis Quoque Catafalcus Est Tu (8 songs, running time around 41 minutes) in 2011.

What a pity that the singer at some moments sound like "John Wetton who has caught a cold", because instrumentally this band has a lot to offer in the alternating and varied compositions, from dreamy to fluent rhythms and bombastic eruptions. Listening to this album USA formation Holding Pattern comes to my mind, due to the fiery guitar and dynamic music.

Also interesting is the sound of the unsurpassed Mellotron, from celestial violins in Dark Degluation to breathtaking choirs in the awesome and varied final track Ipercomunismo Postaliend III (from spacey and prog to folk), what a joy for the Tron-maniacs!

This band has succeeded to deliver an interesting album (I don't consider this as Neo-Prog as PA has categorised) with lots of own musical ideas, unfortunately the music is not entirely instrumental but the mediocre vocals are not very present.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#2046335)
Posted Saturday, October 20, 2018 | Review Permalink

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