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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy


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Accordo Dei Contrari biography
Founded in Bologna, Italy in 2001

"Imagine the dynamics of life as depicted through sounds; or the contrasts you see in everyday life, expressed in light and colours. This is what many artists have tried to do in the past, and still try to do today, in their own language. This is what we try to do now, and will try to do tomorrow, in our own language. We just try to capture our daily impressions, no matter whether this is progressive rock or not." (Accordo dei Contrari, from an interview on the Progarchives, February 2011).

Welcome to Accordo dei Contrari's music. The band is actually a unit of four different people, each with his own life, experience and (sometimes opposite) view-points. This is the reason for the name Accordo dei Contrari, which by the band's self-definition, means `Council of the Opposites'.

Accordo dei Contrari was formed in 2001 in Bologna, Italy, conceived as a vehicle for making original instrumental music. For three years they worked as a trio with Cristian Franchi on drums, Giovanni Parmeggiani on keyboards and Alessandro Pedrini on guitar. In 2003 Daniele Piccinini joined the band on bass, but soon Alessandro Pedrini departed. They became a quintet in January 2004 with Daniele Piccinini on bass, Marco Marzo on guitar and Vladimiro Cantaluppi on violin in addition to the remaining Franchi and Parmeggiani. After two years of rehearsals they understood that being a quintet was a simple-minded way of doing things, and in 2006 Vladimiro left the band, making the best choice at the worst time - just one month before recording. Paradoxically, Accordo dei Contrari, born to refuse to work as a quartet, recorded their very first work as a quartet (Cristian Franchi on drums, Giovanni Parmeggiani on keyboards, Daniele Piccinini on bass, Marco Marzo on guitar), and the album `Kinesis' was the result. With two days of live-recording in studio in June 2006, with short overdubs of violin and sax in October-November 2006, `Kinesis', released on AltrOck in 2007, was critically acclaimed and won the Progaward for the best Italian album of progressive rock in 2007.

Since 2007, the band have focused their attention on improvisation, polyrhythms, and on playing together and interacting musically on stage, truly wanting to grow as a living rock group. They performed some gigs during the period of 2008-2009 in Europe (AltrOck festival in Milan, Italy; Progrésiste in Verviers, Belgium; Cheese Prog festival in Strasbourg, Franc...
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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 65 ratings
Kinesis
2007
3.91 | 100 ratings
Kublai
2011
3.82 | 54 ratings
AdC
2014
4.19 | 143 ratings
Violato Intatto
2017
4.18 | 41 ratings
UR-
2021

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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 UR- by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.18 | 41 ratings

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UR-
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "UR-" is the fifth studio album by Accordo dei Contrari and was released in 2021 on the Cuneiform Records label with a confirmed line up featuring Marco Marzo Maracas (guitar), Stefano Radaelli (sax), Cristian Franchi (drums) and Giovanni Parmeggiani (Steinway piano, Fender Rhodes, organ, Minimoog). According to the liner notes, like the previous one, this work was recorded live at Le Dune studio in Riolo Terme, a small town in the province of Ravenna, with the help of some guests such as Alessando Bonetti (violin), Patrizia Urbani (vocals), Sergio Papajanni (bass), Carlo Facondini (electric guitar) and Francesco Guerri (cello). The recording sessions took only a few days (from January 30 to February 2, 2020), with some overdubs in 2020-21. The album conceptually deals with roots and was dedicated by keyboardist and composer Giovanni Parmeggiani to his ancestors and to his son. The particular, colourful artwork was provided by Dario D'Alessandro...

The title of the opener, 'Tergeste', refers to the ancient name of Trieste, a city where Giovanni Parmeggiani often had to commute by train when composing the music for the album. It's a beautiful track that starts by a piano solo ostinato pattern and then goes through many changes in rhythm and mood. In my opinion, this piece might be a perfect score for a spy film set on the Orient Express...

'Così respirano gli incendi del tempo' (Thus they breathe, time's fires) is a long, complex track that blends jazz rock and classical influences and every now and again reminds me of Area and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso while the following 'Più limpida e chiara di ogni impressione vissuta (Parte III)' (More limpid and clearer than any lived impression - Part III) brings an emotional storm with its tense, frenzied passages and calmer parts...

As written in the liner notes, the title of 'UR-' refers to a prefix meaning 'original'. This long, articulated piece begins by a nocturnal piano pattern and the soaring vocals of the guest Patrizia Urbani used as an instrument to to add tension and colours, then the rhythm gradually rises with a martial pace as sax and electric guitar draw disquieting shadows...

'Secolo breve' (The short century) could recall again Area, with its revolutionary rage and frenzied pace. The title refers to The "Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991", a famous book by Eric Hobsbawm, published in 1994, where the author comments on what he sees as the disastrous failures of state socialism, capitalism, and nationalism and offers his sceptical view on the progress of the arts and changes in society in the latter half of the twentieth century...

'Contrari ad ogni accordo' (Opposed to any agreement) ends the album and begins by a calm, dreamy atmosphere with the piano and cello in the fore, then the rhythm section begins to pulse, sweeping away the dreams and introducing a more aggressive, uncompromising mood...

On the whole, an excellent work!

 UR- by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.18 | 41 ratings

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UR-
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI were a band I followed almost from their start enjoying their Jazz flavoured sound. Then came "Violato Intatto" in 2017 and everything changed. This album was on another level, in fact it was my album of the year for 2017. So here we are with the followup "UR-" which is a prefix meaning "original". Still a four piece with keyboards leading the way and we get five guests adding violin, vocals, bass, guitar and cello. Besides keyboards the band consist of drums, sax and guitar. I laugh at the description of the fender rhodes as "heavily overdriven and phased fender rhodes". Oh yes it is! Others have mentioned MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and I did hear that too and we get that violin on the first four tracks. Released on Cuneiform Records with Udi Koomran mastering it this is a feast for the ears. Giovanni the keyboardist and leader says in the liner notes that this album was mostly composed during his frequent travels by train to Trieste and back to Bologna. It conceptually deals with "roots" or ancestors.

So first of all props to the band for creating something powerful like the last album but different. I still prefer that 2017 release by quite a bit but I must also admit that I feel this one is still growing on me after more than a week of listening. Much respect for this one though as I feel it's a top three album for 2021. So much amazing music! The opener "Tergeste" opens with that tension of the relentless piano and it doesn't let up until after 3 1/2 minutes. It turns powerful again around 5 minutes in and the guitar leads the way 6 minutes in. Another calm late before it kicks back in with violin, sax and more. "Thus They Breathe, Time's Fires" opens with outbursts of violin and drums that come and go for a couple of minutes as organ, sax and guitar join in. They amp it up big time at 3 1/2 minutes. Sax solos over top then it's all piano.

"More Limpid And Clearer Than Any Lived Impression(pt. III)" has some good contrasts on it between the lighter and heavier passages. Piano and violin lead the way but sax shows up around 2 1/2 minutes. Growly keyboards late. The title track is awesome with the guest female singer adding vocal melodies to great affect. And at 11 minutes in length the longest song on here. Lots of sax and power on this one and piano early. Guitar late. Nasty keyboards to start "The Short Century" then drums and sax hit us hard. Guitar at 1 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. Electronics after 2 minutes then drums join in along with growly keyboards. Sax too as we get that KING CRIMSON spirit here. Great stuff! "Opposed To Any Agreement" ends it and this starts off so mellow and laid back with piano and sax. Sax is replaced by the cello after 1 1/2 minutes. Cymbals then beats as it turns powerful and the guitar replaces the cello around 3 1/2 minutes. Intense until it settles before 5 minutes.

This doesn't blow me away like the previous album did but man this is one impressive album and this is a band who is a force right now.

 UR- by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.18 | 41 ratings

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UR-
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Italian jazz-rockers set forth a goal of achieving Birds of Fire-like power and ecstatic energy. Result: Mission accomplished. Especially on the first two and last songs.

1. "Tergeste" (9:00) opening three minutes reminds me of FIVE-STOREY ENSEMBLE if Olga & Co. continued their meteoric development that began with RATIONAL DIET. When drums and electric guitars and bass join in, it starts to sound heavier than I've heard before. By the middle of the fifth minute, I'm totally immersed in MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA territory. Love the slow sonic and compositional fade in the eighth minute that leads to an organ drone over which bass, sax, and slowly re-build the complex riffs that the keyboards started in the first three minutes. Perfect execution of a perfect composition--complete with a guitar arpeggio at the very end that comes straight out of MO's Birds of Fire. (20/20)

2. "Così Respirano gli Incendi del Tempo / Thus They Breathe, Time's Fires" (7:45) inspiration is one thing, imitation another, but here we get almost too-close-to-differentiate replication: the song's chords, melodies, dynamics, and even sound engineering of the instruments sound too close to MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA--could be, in fact, lifted from particular songs from 1970s records. Don't get me done: It's masterfully done, with impeccable skill and virtuosity, but I was hoping for/expeciting a little more originality from this band. At least the directional change in the fifth minute takes them into different, more jazzy territory. And then the piano interlude in the sixth minute has a its own originality to it--like a Rachmaninoff étude, but then the Rick Laird-like violin sound joins in... It's gorgeous- -incredible melodies on multiple levels making for a weave of compositional mastery, but? But I don't know what! These are just mind-blowing skills being dispayed in the form of beautiful music! Man! that went by fast! My favorite song on the album! (15/15)

3. "Più Limpida e Chiara di Ogni Impressione Vissuta (Pt. III) / More Limpid and Clearer Than Any Lived Impression (Pt. III)" (4:23) More clean power jazz-rock, this time with a little more Italian/ADC feel to it (until the Rick Laird violin enters to shred). It's the piano and clean whole-band power chord structures that make it ADC--especially that gorgeous piano-guitar-cymbal interlude at the end of the second minute. Sax solo in the third minute reminds me of some early KING CRIMSON, but then dirty organ solo brings us into different territory. Maybe MUSEO ROSENBACH, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, or even OSANNA? (8.7510)

4. "UR-" (10:50) Are they really? Are they really taking us into the hallowed ground of their own countrymates, AREA? or is it BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO they're trying to honor here? Whatever it is, the opening 90 seconds of this are truly captivating--even when they start to feel like their tip-toeing through GOBLIN territory, it's great. Then the sax-and-electric guitar join in to introduce the main melody--sounding like Cervello's CORRADO RUSTICI (who was imitating and inspired by John MeLaughlin) and Corrado's brother, Danilo's band, Osanna's ELIO D'ANNA (who would later team up to form the great NOVA lineup). The odd, repetitive motif that is played out over the next few minutes sounds more like Van Der Graaf Generator or Norway's wonderful SEVEN IMPALE. What great sound! What a wonderful tribute to so much of the best of avant prog and 1970s jazz-oriented Rock Progressivo Italiano! (17.75/20)

5. "Secolo Breve / The Short Century" (4:35) Here we get a complex jazzy rock tune that feels more avant garde and yet follows some standard jazz and rock rules and forms. Again, the talents of these instrumentalists--especially the keyboard player, but even the bass and drums--are on full display here. Not as engaging or "beautiful" as the previous two. (8.75/10)

6. "Contrari ad Ogni Accordo / Opposed to Any Agreement" (5:53) piano and plaintive sax perform a duet that almost sounds like a VINCE GUARALDI jazzed up a little but still maintaining that deep, timeless beauty in its melodies. Violin and then drums and bass join in during the third minute bringing us back to Mahavishnu territory (reminding me that some Mahavihsnu songs often had a very simple foundational chord structure--this while the soloists went bat-ape [&*!#] crazy over the top). Great tune; great work by all, somehow managing to keep that understated Vince Guaraldi essence throughout. (It was the piano, of course!) (9.25/10)

Total Time 42:26

Well, if capturing the magic of Birds of Fire was their goal, then, mission accomplished--only, with modern day production values, they may have surpassed any of Johnny Mac's early 1970s expeditions--especially in terms of sound clarity/quality.

A/five stars; an indisputable masterpiece of progressive rock music. Composition and performance of the VERY highest levels. In my humble opinion, this is the BEST album of 2021.

 Violato Intatto by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.19 | 143 ratings

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Violato Intatto
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Violato intatto", the fourth studio album by Bolognese band Accordo dei Contrari, was released in 2017 on the independent label Altrock with a renewed line up featuring Marco Marzo (electric and acoustic guitar), Stefano Radaelli (sax, bowed zither), Cristian Franchi (drums) and Giovanni Parmeggiani (Fender Rhodes, organ, Minimoog, Arp Odyssey, Mellotron). According to the liner notes, this work was recorded live at Le Dune studio in Riolo Terme, a small town in the province of Ravenna, with the help of some guests such as Alessando Bonetti (violin), Gabriele Di Giulio (tenor sax) and Patrizia Urbani (vocals). The recording sessions took only three days, with some overdubs, and the final result is the expression of a very cohesive collective that reflects the positive atmosphere of the period the band spent together with the aim of "depicting the dynamics or the contrasts you see in everyday life through sounds...".

The excellent opener 'Folia Saxifraga' combines funky, jazz and mysterious Mediterranean atmospheres and every and now could recall Area. It was composed by Giovanni Parmeggiani who, in the liner notes, dedicated it to his band, Accordo dei Contrari. The following 'Monodia' is darker and sprinkled with touches of jazz and psychedelia while 'Blue- S', composed by guitarist Marco Marzo, is a nervous track that every now and again could recall King Crimson.

The nightmarish 'Shamash', begins by a disquieting electronic section, then the rhythm takes off driving you through Middle Eastern deserts ravaged by war. In fact, according to the liner notes, this track is dedicated to the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud and to the victims of terrorism and in my opinion the music is perfect to evoke the present-day landscape of the tormented cities of what was ancient Mesopotamia...

Next comes 'Idios Cosmos', a weird track composed by Stefano Radaelli and led by the notes of the saxophone. The title refers to a view of the world that is developed from personal experience and knowledge and is therefore unique... Then it's the turn of the nocturnal 'E verde è l'ignoto su cui corri' (And green is the unknown on which you run). Despite the Italian title, this piece is sung in English by the guest Patrizia Urbani who evokes dreamy inner worlds and colourful, ethereal landscapes...

'Marienkirche' begins by the sound of the bells of a church in Mollis, Switzerland, recorded on the field in a July morning in 2015. It's a short evocative track, almost an example of "musique concrète", that the composer Giovanni Parmeggiani dedicated to his family. It leads to the interesting experiments of 'Di eccezione in variante' (From exception to variant) and to the mysterious, sparkling 'Usil', a beautiful piece named after the Etruscan god of the sun...

'Eros vs Anteros' was composed by guitarist Marco Marzo and is another excellent piece with strong Mediterranean flavours that could recall Area. The title suggests the contrast between two gods in ancient Greek mythology: Eros, the god of sexual attraction, and Anteros, the god that represented requited love and used to punish those who were not interested in love or not returning other people's love... Then, 'Il violato intatto' (The violated intact) ends the album with a good dose of energy and vibrant contrasts.

On the whole, in my opinion this is an excellent (almost) instrumental work recommended to fans of bands such as Area, D.F.A. or Perigeo.

 Violato Intatto by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.19 | 143 ratings

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Violato Intatto
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by wiz_d_kidd

5 stars I was a one-time listener of Accordo dei Contrari. Literally. I owned one album, Kinesis, which I enjoyed greatly. I sampled others, but none really captured my attention... until now, that is. Violato Intatto seized my attention in a big way. The best way I can describe it is a "guided tour through an ear-candy store". When done poorly (as many less skillful bands do), it results in a mish-mash of unrelated motifs glued together to build a song or an entire album. This album is anything but that. The compositions have thought and purpose. And despite the fact that around each corner lurks many sonically engaging moments, the album presents a consistent feeling and mood throughout. There are wonderful sax and guitar riffs, nicely blended atop repeating foundations that carries each piece forward. The bass and percussion, nicely mic'ed up, present elements of heavy prog. But then there's the guest violin, showing playful, angular Zappa-esque melodies with a nod to RIO. But wait! Female vocals! Beautiful, long drawn-out notes with lovely vibrato and no annoying melisma. And later, there are several passages with an Ozric Tentacles vibe, complete with wobbular synths and Ed Wynn-style noodling on guitar. This album requires multiple listens to fully appreciate it's breadth and depth, and how well everything is coherently presented. I only wish there were more of those lovely vocals and violin!
 Violato Intatto by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.19 | 143 ratings

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Violato Intatto
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Quinino

4 stars Oh, yes, Fa-Bu-Lous ! I'm truly mesmerized by this album, an achievement as I didn't have the chance to experience in a long time.

This relatively young band, though already in its fourth album, achieves with this one a real peak of creativity and innovation. This is an instrumental melting pot of the highest grade, if like me you are a sucker for fusion this one's for you.

Every twenty seconds we can hear a different style and just as you start guessing what the influence might have been the mood changes again and there they go in a new direction. What a ride! Over an hour of constant musical exploration, never dull, never tiresome.

But I guess it's one of those cases - either you love it at first hearing or you'll hate it forever, it's that defying. (If I come back later most certainly will raise to five stars, for now my rating is "Excellent")

 Violato Intatto by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.19 | 143 ratings

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Violato Intatto
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars Album number four for the frenetic and unpredictable Italian fusion band Accordo dei Contrari, and 2017's `Violato Intatto' is their most varied and volatile work to date! To call AdC a jazz-fusion band would be doing them a bit of a disservice, as they travel much further than that by incorporating everything from Rock-in-Opposition/Avant textures, ambient interludes, brief cinematic Post-Rock flirtations and a touch of Canterbury-styled jazzy waftings. The band have taken the potential trouble of the void left by departing bassist Daniele Piccinini by filling it with sax player Stefano Radaelli (as well as bringing in Deus Ex Machina's violinist Alessandro Bonetti to guest), and this new version of the group attack with more fire, bluster and a determination to impress than ever before...and it's resulted in one of the finest progressive music releases of 2017.

Predominantly recorded live in the studio with only the lightest of later overdubs, tightly composed instrumental pieces that blend effortlessly with improvised stretching-out is mostly the order of the day here, and sure enough opener `Folia Saxifraga' twists and turns with plenty of jagged back-and-forth stop-start spasms. Peppered with guest Gabriele di Giulio and Stefano's honking runaway sax, Giovanni Parmeggiani's loopy keyboard runs, Marco Marzo Maracas's tangled guitar grinding and Cristian Franchi's crashing drumming, the group only take a little break for a mysterious electric piano ambient shimmer in the middle. Relentless Hammond organ runs, red-hot electric guitar embers and pumping incessant Soft Machine-like horns cook throughout `Monodia', and `Blue-S' adds some dirty grooving swampy blues.

Check out `Shamash' for an prime example of AdC's versatility and melting-pot of styles and sounds ? opening with reverberating electronic slivers and shuffling distortion, it tears into heavy buoyant riffing, falls away into eastern-flecked ambient reflections before tearing through whirling dervish-like violin thrashes. There's noisy Soft Machine sounds aplenty throughout `Idios Cosmos's twinkling electric piano splintering, rumbling percussion builds and blaring sax blasts delivering lurching heavy grooves, and E Verde è l'Ignoto su cui Corri' moves closer to a band like Italian avant-garders Yugen with guest Patrizia Urbani's spoken vocals weaving in and around the dreamy chiming guitars and icy Mellotron veils. There's an eerie air of King Crimson atmosphere gently pervading here, and the low-key sophistication proves that AdC don't need to be high-energy and rowdy all the time.

That restraint continues into `Marienkirche', where a treated cacophony of faraway tolling bells and electronic drones seep together to form a pristine ambient break. There's more maddening Crimson-like jangling repetitive chimes, carefully slinking drumming and electric piano tip-toes throughout `Di Eccezione in Variante' that come close to the early A.M hours rainy-night teeming drops of Soft Machine's `Five' LP, before it rages into a storm of ferocious guitar wailing and molten Fender Rhodes eruptions. `Usil' is another jazzy and gutsy horn-pumping groover with addictive reprising themes and plentiful soloing, and `Eros vs Anteros' delivers not only acid-rock guitar histrionics and lengthy proto-prog Hammond heavy battering, but the gurgling electronics and mantra-like guitar spirals almost remind of the Ozric Tentacles...and the closing acoustic passage is just the added gravy - ooh yeah! The closing title track `Il Violato Intatto' blends hypnotic electric piano loops over placid drones, hazy washes of guitar distortion and clipping up-tempo drumming. Frantic, infectious and foot-tapping, it's an exciting way to end the album on as great a high as possible.

Don't be put off by the seventy-three minute running time here, as the wide variety of material always keeps the disc fresh, vibrant and exciting through bring a range of emotions - some attack with a fury, some challenge the mind, others craft immersive atmospheres and then there are just blasts of cool energy aiming to be fun. It all amounts to `Violato Intatto' likely being Accordo dei Contrari's true masterwork...until their next album most likely! Instrumental album freaks, jazz/fusion fans and lovers of challenging and off-kilter progressive music, here's very likely your favourite album of 2017.

Five stars.

 Violato Intatto by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.19 | 143 ratings

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Violato Intatto
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars MellotronStorm reviewed this album in November or December, proclaiming it to be his front-runner for Album of the Year, so I knew that I had to give it a serious chance. Despite being initially turned off by the opening song, I'm glad I did. This is definitely one of the most creative and complex albums I've encountered all year--and this with the loss of their former bass player! Well done!

1- "Folia Saxifraga" (4:27) opens with a full-frontal bang right into a fast-paced SEVEN IMPALE-like jam. Sax solo at 2"40 is clearly jazz while the organ and odd-tempo rhythm section beneath gets louder and more insistent. (So Seven Impale-ish!) A little too long in the extension of the repetitive sections and too dissonant from the sax. My bad. (8/10)

2- "Monodia" (6:38) opens with some really cool muted bass organ notes before bursting into a kind of VanDerGraffGenerator/SEVEN IMPALE sound--sax and all. After the long introductory period (almost two minutes) we settle into a off-beat organ-arpeggio-led section over which electric guitar solos. In the fourth minute organ does a little solo, too, before sax takes a turn. It's very cool when multiple horns and organ start playing a gorgeous jazz melody together. Amazing! Now THIS is progressive rock music as it should be! In the fifth minute things scale back to a kind of "Watcher in the Skies" fast-pulsing non-straight-time beat before things amp up with the whole band getting into a weave. Awesome song! One of the album's best! (9.75/10)

3- "Blue-S" (5:43) harkens back to some old blues rock styles and chord progressions from the 1960s--only with the trick of placing it all within an odd time signature--like "Peter Gunn" with a bluesier, off-tempo, more difficult composition. Not my favorite but kudos for creativity. (8.5/10)

4- "Shamash" (8:07) opens with more experimental sounds--this time crazily distorted and fast-echoed, slow decayed electric piano (!) chords. At the two minute mark the sound experiments end and we enter into another complex, odd-timed CRIMSONIAN song with distorted electric guitar and then distorted violin solos above the rhythm section though within the music. There is a lot of BLACK SABBATH/URIAH HEEP-like organ hidden deep within the sounds of these songs. The song shifts and the violin gets let loose--soaring and then returning to the fold, over and over again. This is awesome! Then, at 5:43, everything cuts away and the opening effect returns but modified slightly to comport the single-note play of the guitar. Then there is an odd fade out at 6:18 before the band returns en force with what feels and sounds like a completely different sound (and song!) (9/10)

5- "Idios Cosmos" (6:20) jazzy solo sax playing chromatic scaled arpeggi opens this one before alternating for the first minute with full band entries and exits. Then a spacey, almost MAHAVISHNU or NOVA-like spacey, all-instrument tuning and warming up section ensues. At 2:15 a new structure starts up, again KING CRIMSON is the only band I can compare this sound with as there are smooth elements contrasted with jagged, angular sounds and stylings, perhaps even playing in polyrhythms. The drumming here is really cool--beautiful cymbal sounds. At 4:05 there is yet another cut out, space out, and freak out before the sax begins to peak its head into the mix. It takes a full minute, however, for the space synths to be subdued by the sax. The final half minute is the full band playing together. Interesting. I understand conceptually and technically what they are doing. I'm just not as fond of this for a "repeat/replay" song. (8.5/10)

6- "E verde è l'ignoto su cui corri" (7:15) guitar and organ take turns laying down some nice, delicate arpeggi with some interspersal of light drums and bass (from the organ and guitar) before female vocals enter (singing in English--in a kind of ELAINE DI FALCO way). Against a pretty weave of picked acoustic and electric guitars Patrizia's voice is multi-tracked within the non-standard scale GENESIS-like guitar picking weave. Enter electric piano-sounding organ and we have a gorgeous classic GENESIS-like weave. Truly beautiful in a tributional though entirely original way. And it's extended for a nice length of time--to the end of the song! Wow! Was that unexpected and delightful! Definitely one of my top three songs for this album. (10/10)

7- "Marienkirche" (3:40) heavily treated/sound-manipulated bells, human voices, and percussives--perhaps even a looped treatment of a recording of some German church bells (I know there was a wonderful Marienkirche in München.) But wait! Isn't this the domain of fellow Italian sound engineer Stefano Musso?!?!?! (I love it!) (9/10)

8- "Di eccezione in variante" (7:23) opens with an electric guitar arpeggio played against its own echo before drums and Fender Rhodes and organ join in. At 1:10 the rest of the band gels into a cohesive unit around the separately established melody lines (polyphonic?) of the guitar, organ bass line, and drums. Then, in the third minute, a new way of expressing the weave congeals into a collective weave--all members performing within the same universe. At 3:38 the heavily distorted sax-sounding electric guitar wails into the scene above rhythm section and organ. This goes on for a full minute before things take a turn and then shut down. Empty space is filled by the electric piano starting up its melody line, all by itself, before the rest of the band joins in with a heaviness provided by sax and electric guitar power chords. Again, these are not your typical melody chords, they are chromatic in the typical YUGEN and KING CRIMSON fashion. (9/10)

9- "Usil" (6:38) another wonderfully keyboard-based song of odd tempos which lets the alto sax and baritone sax bass lines create the melody for the first two minutes. Electric piano chords signal an upcoming shift, eased by the disappearance of the sax and bass organ arpeggi. Guitar and electric piano take over the lead weave before dual sax lines and organ re-enter and take it back. At 3:33 there is a settling into a rhythm with some nice electric piano support chords while the alto sax takes off in a true jazz improvisational solo. At 4:30, things cut again while a slow weave of cymbals, spacey sax and guitar play our over a base of steady electric piano arpeggi. (9/10)

10- "Eros vs Anteros" (10:02) opens with a little Latin/Spanish/Santana-like melody riff played repeatedly for the first 30 seconds before a little lull allows the entrance and rise of a low-end Moog-like synth bass line to establish itself in the foreground. Soloing electric guitar wails away during most of this while the flangey bass synth seems to keep drawing my attention. I expect to find some African American bass player from the 1970s credited with this bass synth play. The guitar solo is long and at times unexceptional but gets stronger by the end. At 3:25 things shift dramatically leaving a JC Superstar-like arpeggiated bass line to lead us through a long swirling organ solo. Actually quite an awesome section. This continues till 5:50 when things shift, almost feeling like an intro to a 60s rock song, before the band returns to another variation of the original Latin melody riff. This allows a window for the drummer to show off his creative chops until 7:50. The next section has a kind of "White Rabbit" melody-chord progression to it. The final minute is left to a lone soloing steel-string acoustic guitar. Kind of Ry Cooder-like. Great stuff. Very creative. One of the best prog epics of 2017! (10/10)

11- "Il violato intatto" (7:08) opens with fast-paced electric piano arpeggio repeated over and over while bass pedals, organ and guitar eventually creep into the mix. When the piano eventually shifts its octave and doubles up, the rest of the band fades out and then comes back with a different weave. In the fourth minute an old-sounding synthesizer joins in and plays some subtle soloing over the course of the next minute. Ominous, heavy group play beneath the electric piano fills out ninety seconds of the final two minutes, while solo sax plays alone, against its echoed self, for the final 30 seconds. A top three song for me. (9.5/10)

Five stars; a masterpiece of complex, boundary-pushing progressive rock music--the goal that all progressive rock musicians should strive for.

 Violato Intatto by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.19 | 143 ratings

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Violato Intatto
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I was completely blindsided by this album. I own their first two studio albums and both are solid 4 star albums but "Violato Intatto" takes them to a new level in my opinion. Now I did miss the previous album "AdC" so I need to rectify that but it's like this album was taylor made for me. So powerful with what I thought was outstanding in your face bass lines but was told by Giovanni the keyboardist that he makes the bass sounds with his organ now that the bass player was replaced by a sax man. There's also lots of horns, guitar and some killer drumming. Cool that the DEUS EX MACHINA violinist guests on one track. So much of this album is familiar, reminding me of music I know and love. Without question a top three for me for 2017 and possibly number one. This was recorded live in studio with some overdubs. I didn't mention the mellotron or Fender Rhodes two of my favourite instruments right there. This is simply outstanding from beginning to end, no weak songs even though it's over 73 minutes in length. It's mostly instrumental but for the guest female vocals on track 6.

"Folia Saxifraga" gets us started as it hits the ground running and there's so much going on. Organ to the fore as the drums pound. The sax is back! A powerful first minute then we get this psychedelic calm that's quite spacey. This is better. Drums after 2 minutes then it kicks back in. Dissonant sax after 2 1/2 minutes as the organ and drums create a rhythm.

"Monodia" is a top three song for me. Deep organ sounds vibrate my speakers before it kicks in heavily. The horns give me a SOFT MACHINE/ NUCLEUS vibe for sure. Love how the organ growls away here. The tempo starts to pick up around 2 minutes. I'm just blown away here as the guitar makes some incredible noise. The horn before 4 minutes sounds amazing playing over top. Check out the organ before 5 minutes then the guitar and drums take over. Horns are back quickly though. Powerful stuff then that SOFT MACHINE vibe returns late to end it. Nice.

"Blue-5" opens with organ and guitar as we get some heaviness as the soundscape shakes. A horn comes in over top. Great section after 2 minutes with the organ, drums and horns especially. It settles down some before 3 minutes then a catchy horn led section takes over a minute later that lasts to the end.

"Shamash" features that DEUS EX MACHINA violinist. Experimental sounds to start. I believe that's guitar as the synths create atmosphere. It kicks in heavily just before 2 minutes. So good! That organ is incredible. It does settle back briefly though before 4 1/2 minutes with some interesting violin as the drums crash the scene then it kicks back in again. The violin starts to shred then we get another calm before 6 minutes that is exotic and experimental. This reminds me of Krautrock believe it or not. It kicks back in with violin.

"Idios Cosmos" opens with a horn melody and it will come and go as powerful outbreaks trade off with it. An experimental calm follows then it kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes with honking horns and in your face organ and drums. Love this earth moving organ along with the Fender Rhodes as the horns blast away. A spacey calm before 4 1/2 minutes then it starts to build a minute later with honking horns, organ and drums again.

"E Verde E L'ignoto Su Chi Corri" is a top three for me. Intricate sounds to start with cymbals as well. This reminds me of Sweden here. Drums just before a minute. Guest female vocals before 1 1/2 minutes in this more laid back setting. She's really good. Check out the subtle keys 4 1/2 minutes in and again Sweden comes to mind. What a moving track for me. Mellotron waves continue to roll in to the end.

"Marienkirche" is experimental at first I'm not sure if these are samples or not but they vaguely remind me of a train but the sound is deconstructed it would seem. It fades away anyways as organ and atmosphere take over but soon that opening soundscape is back after 2 minutes to the end. Love that they did something that "out there" on here.

"Di Eccezione In Variante" along with "Shamash" make my top five. Check out the picked guitar melodies along with the keys and atmosphere. Drums after a minute. Soon it's drums and keys only then the guitar starts to echo. Gotta love the electric piano and drums here. It's becoming more powerful then the guitar comes to the fore after 3 minutes. Killer organ too in this amazing section that kicks ass! A calm with keys 5 minutes in before kicking back in heavily once more.

"Ulis" opens with keys and cymbals before it kicks in rather heavily with horns over top. Catchy stuff. A calm arrives but not for long as the organ joins the energetic soundscape as the horns blast away. It settles back again with electric piano, a beat and some innovative horns. So good!

"Eros Vs Anteros" is my final top three track. We get an ethnic vibe to start as horns and an energetic sound lead the way. The keys bring AREA to mind. Nice rhythm section before a minute as the guitar solos over top. Incredible! Checkout the organ after 4 minutes, this sounds amazing. It settles back 6 minutes in with some acoustic guitar and more before kicking back in with horns over top. This section is really repetitive until we get a change 8 minutes in as the organ replaces the horns and rips it up. The horns are back! Suddenly it's acoustic guitar only after 9 minutes to the end.

"Il Violato Intatto" ends the album in style as we get electronics at first as a deep atmosphere rolls in. Sounds start to drone as well. Interesting. Distorted keys and a determined beat take over around 3 minutes. Horns lead before 5 minutes as it stays fairly heavy. There's that distorted organ again. Electronics only before 5 1/2 minutes like the intro but then the drums and horns return. Horns only before 7 minutes.

This has impressed me like little else this year other than the WOBBLER recording. Easily 5 stars and possibly my album of the year.

 Kinesis by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.75 | 65 ratings

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Kinesis
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by berkaal

3 stars The opening tune is exciting, "Lester" is a good song, well crafted, well played, with a hint of Brand X, a full 8/10, the only flaw is the quite amateurish sax solo near the end. But unfortunately the rest of the tracks lack inspiration and they don't have much to say, well played but with little substance. "Meghiste Kinesis" and "O.M." are 6.5/10, while the other three songs are just 6/10. It's a shame, the guys are very good players, with a special mention for the drummer, but their compositional skills are not up to their instrumental prowess, the album could have been much better.
Thanks to alucard for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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