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Eclectic Prog • Italy

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Akt biography
AKT was born 1998 in Bologna/Italy. Four members made up the original line-up, sometimes they were in five, now the band is consisting of Simone Negrini (drums, keyboards), Marco Brucale (guitars) and Alessandro Malandra (bass). Initially they produce single songs then collected in emotionally moulded albums which are available for free on their homepage so far. The band hopes the music will be often downloaded and requested, observed and criticized: 'Music should be made known, spread abroad, communicated, should be free, open and shared in order to be managed and edited as a discovery' as they say.

Since the year 2000 AKT is using computer for processing the music more and more and this indicates an experimental attitude. So their kind of sound can be defined as eclectic, composed with a high complexity and performed with excellent technical skills. The songs are rock music based but there is also a strong electronic colour though provided with a lot of melancholy and sometimes even a special weird touch.

The first full album 'Déntrokirtňs' from 2007 appears as a skillful modern progressive rock debut - seven songs with vocals in Italian and varied keyboard and guitar work. The following EP '' from 2008 is more referenced to King Crimson with an interesting interpretation of 'Vroom' plus one new song as an awesome hint for what can be expected from the band for the further future.

Rivertree (Uwe Zickel)

former members:
- Nicola Fanci / drums
- Emanuele Girotti / keyboards
- Federico Colli / lyrics
- Mr. Mariano / trumpet

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AKT discography

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AKT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.99 | 11 ratings
3.90 | 32 ratings
3.83 | 69 ratings

AKT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AKT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AKT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AKT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 5 ratings
2.61 | 6 ratings

AKT Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 II by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.83 | 69 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I haven't heard from this inventive and unusual Italian band since their wonderfully refreshing album Blemmebeya from 2011--which earned the #9 spot on my Top Albums list for that year. If five years is what it takes to make another masterpiece then I welcome it, for AKT has done it again: it has created a refreshing and masterful collection of songs in their unique and eccentric style and sound. The band has expanded its membership from the trio of Blemmebeya of Simone Negrini (vocals, drums, keyboards), Marco Brucale (vocals and acoustic and classical guitars) and Alessandro Malandra (acoustic and electric basses) to include Elianto Puro on piano, melodica, Mellotron, and Moog, Achille Ottani on electric guitar and banjo, and Paolo Fiandra on vibraphone, xilophone, and flute. There are so many unpredictable twists and turns on this album and yet there is a commonality of sound basics: lots of techno-computer-generated sounds and sequences are interlaced within the music--often with a percussion/timing effect; lots of gorgeous acoustic guitar work and simple yet central and important bass play, and many unexpected and quite dynamic shifts. And, of course, the unusual yet subtly powerful low tone vocals of Marco Brucale (which are actually used somewhat sparingly on this album).

1. "Coincidenze" (5:10) opens with some Avant-RIO sounds weaving together until the familiar almost-whispered deep voice of Marco Brucale enters at the one minute mark. By the end of the second minute we are treated to some pretty awesome full-band sounds with an impressive electric guitar solo. The three minute mark brings a dramatic lull and shift into more abrasive, treated vocals--though the keys and chord structures remain as gorgeous as ever. A weave of shifting arpeggi from multiple instruments provides the foundation for a fretless bass lead with some kind of wooden flute. Awesome song! (9/10)

The end of Song #1 lets you know that this is definitely a concept album as it bleeds straight into song 2., "Stazione" (4:42). The song takes almost two minutes to establish itself as we are familiarized with the train/train station theme with samples and voices before a more ominous full-band song is established. A break at 3:10 leads into a section which presents a kind of sad, upsetting classically-oriented music--that is, at least until 3:55 when all electric hell breaks loose--at full volume--before ending with another radio/PA sample. (8/10) 3. "II" (9:31) is a cinematic instrumental with many shifts in time and texture and the nice foundational use of congas. In a nine and a half minute song it is again unusual and unexpected that there are no vocals save for a heavily distorted vocal over a 40 second span in the last 90 seconds of the song. This song has no real flaws but it is not as engaging or as memorable as the album's other songs. (8/10)

4. "Frenetica dialettica dell'etica" (2:49) opens with a very engaging, friendly Italian feel (the tremolo mandolin?) then shifts down to allow for one of AKT's most delicate and pretty vocals--lead and harmony--spiced up with fuzz solo guitar riffs in between and a "C" part with piano and acoustic instruments weaving together beautifully. Great song! (10/10)

5. "Convoglio" (5:50) opens with some train and glockespiel sounds that make me think back to Supertramp's Crime of the Century's "Rudy" and Steve Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte's "Shadow of the Heirophant." Eventually piano, guitar and simple pulsing bass provide background for Marco's quiet, treated vocal. At 3:35, just after the song had built up to full dynamic strength, it stops and totally shifts gears with fast-picking electric guitar, computer- generated fluttering percussion noises, complex drum, bass and keyboard segments before settling into a rather straightforward ballad-like construct for the final minute. Interesting! And unusual! (9/10)

6. "Scambio" opens with Marco's heavily treated voice singing to us in his whispery low tones before acoustic guitars and then strings, congas, and other acoustic instruments of traditional and classical nature (accordion, woodwinds, mandolin) join in. This is just an absolutely stunningly gorgeous song--and Marco's vocal is central and tantamount to this effect. Too bad I don't know Italian! (10/10)

7. "Binario morto" (6:23) is for me the weakest song on the album in that the vocal sounds strained and pitchy, and the music never really grabs me--it never seems to get itself established--just wanders and meanders aimlessly. (8/10)

8. "Passeggero" (12:30) is a gorgeous pastoral epic that has a kind of modern Sergio Leone movie soundtrack feel to it. Chords and sequences of sensitive arpeggiated melodies from acoustic guitars and harmonica, the odd low register singing of Marco and the odd computer-generated sounds in the sixth minute along make for a brilliant first half--but then in the second half the drums, bass, and lead electric guitar joins in to lend the song their magic and we have the makings of a prog classic. Brilliant electric lead guitar work going from beautifully melodic to emotionally unglued! Awesome! (10/10)

This is the first album of 2016 to have earned "masterpiece" status from me. I am so glad to have new AKT in my life! Wonderful, gorgeous, melodic, sophisticated, and unique progressive rock music for the ages!

 II by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.83 | 69 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Not an easy concept, starting from the album title: why should a band call "II" its third full length album? Effectively the title is more than a joke: II graphically represents a binary (binary and trains are the core of the concept), but II in binary numbers is "3". This could give the listener an idea of the kind of concentration that this album requires.

Not a challenging avant thing, absolutely. Just something intelligent enough to cause thinking, mainly to Italian speaking people as unfortunately the lyrics are in Italian.

Musically speaking the influence of King Crimson is evident, but it's elaborated in a very original way. Personally I hear a connection between this album and the last output from the Argetinian Alejandro Matos. The difference is in the vocal harmonizations and in some very intriguing passages. Probably the difference is caused by the fact that Matos is mainly a singer-songwriter and Akt is a band, so their tracks are more complete and various.

My personal favorite track is the shortest: "Frenetica Dialettica dell'Etica", together with the closing one, "Passeggero" which proceeds through various sections, from a nice acoustic intro through a fantastic interlude at avbout minute 6 which brings back to the main theme of the track.

The vocals can initially cause some perplexity, but they fit very well in the economy of the songs and sometimes reveal unexpected harmonies.

One thing that I strongly suggest to the listener is copying the lyrics from their website and google them. Knowing what the songs are about helps a lot......well, honestly it's not very clear to me what this album is about. This is what I mean by "causing thinking".

The train is waiting on a dead binary...Probably Akt and Matos would like each other, or probably they will hate...doesn't matter. The album is great and usually when the closing track is that good, it leaves the listener wishing to restart. The album can be downloaded from the AKT website. They only ask for the listener's comments in change of 50 minutes of excellent music.

The lyrics are challenging. I'm afraid of writing something completely wrong about them. It will take me more listens to understand them, if I'll ever do. Anyway I strongly suggest listening to this album, and if you haven't heard of AKT before, give an ear also to their previous releases. Blemmebeya was voted one of the best albums of 2012 by Progarchives.

 Blemmebeya by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.90 | 32 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars An album of amazingly diverse sound and styles, from true symphonic RPI structures to world, new age, jazz, folk, psychedelia and many other forms.

1. "Prima Della Fine" (1:13) starts the album off with a recording of a GEORGE CARLIN rant on politics. Amazing! What a way to start an album! YES! A group with some guts! (10/10)

2. "L'assalto" (9:56) gets the music off to a very, very powerful start--great melodies coming from all instruments, weaving in and out of each other's paths in a beautiful and never overwhelming the listener with "too many notes." At 2:30 male vocals enter, causing the tapestry to be less attention getters--for a while. The vocalist timbre and style is remarkably similar to that of Quebec's THE BOX lead singer, JEAN-MARC PISAPIA. This song has so many twists and turns it's like a maze, yet it never loses the listener, each turn is easy and acceptable. (9/10)

3. "TG Egeo" (5:10) is a great song very much in the RPI tradition, sounding a lot like BANCO DEL MUTUO SUCCORSO from the 1970s. Cool Frippertronics at the end. (9/10)

4. "Favonio" (4:55) begins with acoustic guitar and male vocals--first one then harmonized others. Sensitive, kind of like a great JOHN DENVER song. Piano, double bass, and brushed drums join in for the next section before an awesome guitar riff pulls in mellotron, electric bass, and full drum kit. Yes' or Genesis' best 'surprise' moments never topped this one! And then it just gets better with another shift at 3:30 whereupon an electric guitar--with bass mirroring and harmonizing it--plays an amazing solo to the end. (10/10)

5. "Stati D'animo Uniti" (5:50) starts with some ominous, deep bass sounds with flits and splffs of percussion and other distorted instruments and samples creating a heavy, oppressive feel into which an equally dismal feeling vocal enters. The music and 'noises' plod ominously along, until at 2:35 a brief flourish of tango-like Latin music rushes through the room before, then, just as quickly disappearing to allow the vocalist to carry forward his depressing message (in Italian). The upbeat Latin section returns, establishes some lasting footing, then kind of backs off for a very ALLAN HOLDSWORTH-like guitar solo to play. The song ends with the Latin flourish, leaving the listener quite confused but entertained. Those Italians! They're so dramatic! (8/10)

6. "Di Vento" (10:17) again starts off with a feel and sound extremely similar to several of the kind-of-monotone songs on THE BOX's 2009 album D'Aprčs le horla de Maupassant. This similarity continues throughout the song. Musically there are builds and lulls that are quite reminiscent of the wind. A nice song that seems to want to really build and break out, and threatens to do so several times in a "Cinema Show"-like way, but doesn't really do this until the end of the eighth minute. Still, a satisfying climax, dénoument and finale. (9/10)

7. "Mani Aperte" (4:55) starts off with clapping like PAT METHENY's "First Circle" before evolving into an enigmatic, chameleonic song, melding together some amazingly disparate sounds, instruments, and themes in a rather STEVE TIBBETTS kind of way. Even the guitar solo sounds like its straight out of Yr or another of Tibbets' 80s/90s releases. Then--surprise, surprise--at 3:20 an electric guitar slow strum that just brings everybody into pure prog melodic bliss--and which plays out, with male vocals/lyrics at the very end. (9/10)

8. "Zeitgeist" (3:44) is an instrumental that begins with another ominous, yet beautiful and engaging groove with still more odd and unusual sounds coming from stringed and keyed instruments. (9/10)

9. "La Fine" (5:27) begins with a muffled/treated male vocal backed by bass, far-back keyboard chords and very subtle cymbol play. By mid second minute the intensity and volume of still-slow drum work and vocal are increasing. A nice acoustic nylon string guitar solo in the middle carries the mood forward until a glockenspiel and some television sound samples take over for a bit, over which the voice returns in his treated whisper, before the volumes elevate again for the fifth minute. The final thirty seconds is kind of time echoing away. (8/10)

An album of amazingly diverse sound and styles, from true symphonic RPI structures to world, new age, jazz, folk, psychedelia and many other forms. The only negative comment I might have about this album revolve around the lead vocalist's monotonic singing style: it often seems to weigh down the song, even preventing it from developing more dynamic diversity. Still, this is in my opinion nothing less than a masterpiece of progressive rock music. 5 stars.

(As of 9/24/12 Blemmebeya sits at #167 on my list of All-time Favorite Albums.)

 Blemmebeya by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.90 | 32 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Blemmebeya' - Akt (6/10)

As with most things, Italian progressive rock has evolved with time. Although it's doubtful that legends like Premiata Forneria Marconi will ever be topped by the newer acts, it has not stopped bands from marching onward and shaping the distinctive prog sound of their country. There are still certainly bands that hold true to the original sound of the 70's, but Akt is one of the groups that want to put a new modern spin on prog rock. Although comparable vocally to Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Akt brings in a number of different sound to create a rather experimental brand of rock music. Although 'Blemmebeya' cannot be accused of lacking ambition, the music's adventurous stance is handled aimlessly, and puts a hamper on an otherwise excellent recording.

Akt's sound is hard to describe, because they bring many different tastes into their sound. The vocals sound very similar to Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's, but the instrumentation is taken in a different direction. On the spectrum of prog, Akt tends to exchange technical instrumentation for atmosphere; instead of relying on twenty minute epics to get their point across, Akt tightens their ideas into dense songwriting that takes several listens to properly decode. Make no mistake; Akt have not severed their ties to the classic sound of Italian progressive music, but the way they piece together the elements is much different. While much RPI I am familiar with (both new and old) tends to don a theatrical tone to it, the music of Akt stays fairly reserved, even if the music gets complex. Though 'Blemmebeya' is never intense, it isn't ambient either; the flow of ideas is unrelenting, and throughout the course of one song, a listener will often find themselves introduced to a number of different sounds. Akt have arranged these pieces with care and intelligence, and if memorable hooks or melodies had been given the same attention, 'Blemmebeya' would have come out a much more powerfully.

Even after repeated listens, it is still clear that while Akt offers the intelligence of composition and musicianship of a great prog band, they lack the emotional connection I look for. The brooding closer 'La Fine' is as close as the band gets to having something downright 'beautiful' on the album, with instrumentation sifting along as if it were scoring the end credits of some melancholic film. Akt take away its emotional power however by making the vocals so laid-back, blanketed with a somewhat off-putting flange effect. Had Akt performed this music with a greater intensity, 'Blemmebeya' would not be such a difficult record to get into. With the diversity of modern electronic music, acoustic rock and classic prog, Akt comes up with a record that feels like a cup that's been overfilled with ideas, and lacks the passion to make that work.

 frAKTal.two by AKT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.61 | 6 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

3 stars After the incredibly good Blemmebeya, the Italian band AKT releases this short EP, just about 15 minutes in total that's quite different form what they have done up to now. This ED is more jazzy, with some Newage influences, and even with that touch of eclectism coming from their declared love for King Crimson sounds more like the jazzy Windham Hill artists of the 80s. I think to Michael Manring for the very good bass, but also others like Scott Cossu or Alex DeGrassi. The remind to Windham Hill is also a consequence of the fact that the first two tracks are completely acoustic and chill-out.

The three songs in the EP are a sort of little concept, inspired to the sea and the tides, at least this is what the track titles say.

Also this album is downloadable for free from the AKT website so checking it out requires just a few of your time. Personally I like it very much, but I've been a Wyndham Hill follower in the 80s so I can't not like it.

So what to say? AKT confirm to be very Eclectic and I think this EP deserves some attention.

3 solid stars.

 Blemmebeya by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.90 | 32 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars There seems to be a wealth of great prog from Italy these days. This album is an example of that. On this album anyway Akt is a 3-piece and the main instrumentation is guitars, drums and keyboards. There is some guitar synth and other electronics as well. This is a free download on the band's website and apparently the download includes a feature called OpenBlemme whereby one could edit, remix, remove and add parts to the songs. I personally would feel no need to try this out, as I enjoy the album the way it is. This is modern Italian prog which takes influence from the past and mixes it with contemporary influences. Akt are a band not afraid to try things.

The album opens with "Prima Della Fine" which features what sounds like late comedian George Carlin discussing conspiracy theories. Great intro. "L'Assalto" goes straight into some playful symphonic prog featuring great melodies. Nice piano during the very Italian vocal section. The singing is really good in this track, including a little counterpoint. Starting halfway is some excellent staccato organ playing. Somebody speaking in English can be heard before a great synth solo. "TG Egeo" has a prominent upright acoustic bass throughout the whole song. In the middle has backward talking with some nice synth playing.

"Stati D'animo Uniti" opens dark and spacey with cool compressed and phased drums. Repeated sinister organ sets the basis for the song for awhile. Briefly gets folky and festive in the middle before returning to the sinister organ. The folky part comes back again. Toward the end is some great emotional guitar playing. "Di Vento" is the longest song. It starts off sounding post-punk / indie / alternative. The vocals at first are almost rapped. Great melodies in this track. Gets more subdued later with acoustic guitar and piano. Laughter brings us back to the indie/alternative vibe. The upright acoustic bass returns in the middle, along with some lovely flute. Towards the end goes into a Genesis vibe with some hard rocking guitar soloing.

"Mani Aperte" features some rhythmic clapping as a cello or something similar plays in the background. Some Mellotron-like sounds in this track. The majority of this track is a mix of space, symph and folk. Good percussion sounds and electric guitar playing. Vocals at the end. A highlight for sure. "Zeitgeist" is an instrumental which has a nice groove that actually sounds familiar to me. "La Fine" features talk-singing (sometimes echoed) and is the least interesting song musically, if you don't count the intro which has an atmosphere which benefits the rant.

Since this is a free download I would encourage anyone slightly interested in this album to give it a try. Prog isn't dead, it just smells funny and Akt are one of the better smelling groups out there. This is a very modern sounding album and they used a computer to record it. You would think that be a bad thing but the result is a clean and clear sounding album with a nice mix and lots of dynamics. One of the better albums from 2011 I have heard. This gets a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

 Déntrokirtňs by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.99 | 11 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars From the beautiful city of Bologna comes this Italian trio,formed in 1998.Initially Akt functioned as a quartet or even a quintet with additional members on drums,trumpet and keyboards,but since 2000 the three stable members are guitarist Marco Brucale,bassist Alessandro Malandra and keyboardist Simone Negrini.By the same year they started experimenting with computer sounds like sampled drums and effects to lead the trio to the release of their debut ''Dentrokritos'' in 2007,a free downloadable release straight out of the band's official site.

The sound of the band is an eclectic mix of styles, soundscapes and experimental attitudes,exploring and satisfying a variety of musical tastes,like the opener ''Spazzadiluvi'',which starts off as a mellow piano-based piece to develop into a guitar-driven KING CRIMSON-esque explosion and end with electronic effects all the way.''Elicrisio'' follows a more symphonic vein with expressive multi-vocal parts accompanied by sensitive guitars and the varied keyboard work of Negrini,from the Classical-inspired piano parts to the vibraphone sounds at the end to even some hardly detected harpsichord parts,very much in the romantic style of RANDONE.''Waltz Oblio'' is a more of an eclectic affair like a mix of NOTABENE and PAATOS,modern Italian Prog mixed with some Trip-Hop/Electronic sounds and almost narrative singing,featuring numerous changing moods.''Comete'' is a beautiful, dark and spacey instrumental with a hypnotic groove under keys,bass and guitars but also a grand finale,characterized by its electric explosion.With ''Alcune Margherite Di Legno'' the trio returns into its previous style,Modern prog with dominant piano,even with a jazzy edge,psychedelic guitars and also some mellotron,but additionally with sound effects and distorted vocals.''Le Sette Impressioni Del Fauno Scorpione'' is a quite complicated composition with nice breaks and shifting moods,alternating between Psych/Prog and romantic Italian Prog with some great vocals,excellent and often complex guitars and fantastic background keyboards,possibly the best cut of the album.A good band knows the right way to close the album and Akt are definitely a good band.''Abbandonia'' is another soft trippy experience,where a hypnotic guitar is accompanied by spacey synthesizers,creating a dreamy New-Age atmosphere.

A nice entry in the world of progressive music.Modern,versatile prog with touches of the modern technology at moments,but blended in a majestic way.For fans of new discoveries,this one comes strongly recommended.Akt are certainly a band to keep an eye on...3.5 stars.

 Blemmebeya by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.90 | 32 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars That being with no head and a face on his body is a "Blemma". It's one of the figures that were used to fill the blanks of the maps containing unexplored lands, the same as the latin sentence "Hic sunt leones" (here are the lions) put in the middle of Africa.

The album starts with a spacey soundscape and a speaker's voice saying of conspiracy. This short track is "Prima della fine" (Before the End). Just an intro to the first excellent "L'Assalto" (The Assault), a song with odd signatures and in line with the big ones (KC and YES mainly) with a hint of RPI specially in the vocals. This is an album for all the prog tastes: those who like the old-fashioned soundscapes and those who are interested in exploring new lands. Even this track is almost symphonic for the first 5 minutes, then it passes through different moments and this is what makes it an excellent short epic. Also the lyrics are interesting: "We are only a stupid wind in the blades of a windmill which mills us (note that in Italian "mill" and "to mill" are very different words).

"TG" in Italy is an acronym of "TV news" and "Egeo" is the Greek Sea. Initially the sounds are almost middle-eastern, then there's a short reminder to the soundtrack of the national "Tv news". After this quotation the music evolves on dark atmospheres (there's a bit of Fripp here).

"Favonio" is the warm wind that's called Phoen by the German speaking peoples and is typical of the alpine area. Even in Italy "Phon" is the name given to the hairdryers. This song is made of vocals on unusual passages, acoustic guitar and keyboard. In some moments it has a folk flavor but "eclectic" is the right word. The second part of the song makes me think even to Mostly Autumn for its melodic structure.

"Stati D'Animo Uniti" (United States of Mind) opens very spacey and dark. This is one of my favorite landscapes, honestly. If it was for this track only I'd have thought of Akt as an Avant band, but in the middle of the song a short jazz/fusion instrumental chorus arrives, but only for few seconds. As the track title can make you guess, the lyrics are about uniforming the people's minds to think in the same standardized way. Society, mass media and so on, with a clear reference to "the boss" that I interpret as referring to the former Italian chairman Berlusconi. Also the closure of this track is a quote of the TV weather forecasts of the 70s.

Next there's "Di Vento" (Of Wind). This song, specially in the vocals, is similar to an Italian post-punk band that I suggested and was rejected one year ago: the CSI. The lyrics are full of poetry with attention to the sound of each single word other than to their meanings. A very dark track with a joke: "Di Vento" can be spelled "Divento" (I become). This is the longest track of the album and even though the general mood doesn't change, this darkness is carried on by different musical moments. The final guitar riff is excellent (and very Crimsonian with a touch of Pink Floyd).

"Mani Aperte" (Open Hands) is another very interesting track. With the rhythmic part initially based on claps, it quickly turns into dark symphonic prog. Thinking to something similar, just to try describing it, I'd say Canterbury. An excellent instrumental until weird lyrics pop-up close to the end of the song.

"Zeitgeist" (German, not Italian. "Spirit of times") starts instrumental with a 70s sound, then comes "La Fine" (The End) with the vocals over a base of drums, keyboard and bass. The apocalyptic lyrics are very poetic and dramatic. Knowing the language can really help in appreciating this song. The acoustic guitar closes it with a very nice solo. "Each kind of Life will disappear...Each kind of Death will disappear..."

Really an excellent album. I'm reluctant to define it as a masterpiece, but it's not just excellent, it's more. Strongly suggested. Give also a look to the band's website, other than this free download there's a very interesting project behind.

4 deserved stars

 frAKTal.two by AKT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.61 | 6 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A much softer EP!

Since I discovered Akt and their debut album, I have been following their musical career because I was stunned by their quality and originality. "Déntrokirtós" has been one of my favorite Italian albums released in the last five years; while their first EP, entitled "" caught my attention due to the great King Crimson covers they did. Now in this 2011 they released "Blemmebeya", which once again has left me positive impressions; while a second EP with the name of "fractal.two" saw the light but with a different facet, now with soft, delicate and instrumental five-minute pieces.

This EP is really different from their previous efforts. This time the band changed their direction, though their quality is still wonderful, with well-crafted compositions, good melodies and delicious sounds. And I praise them because changing is always a risk, and they dared it, no matter the result. "frATKtal.two" consists of three songs, which make a total time of 16 minutes length.

"I Giorni delle mare (giorno I)" starts delicately with a piano, then acoustic guitar and keyboards appear (the latter making a flute sound), the mood is pretty warm and soft. After a minute and a half there is a one-second stop and the song structure is being rebuilt, the elements are the same but the sounds are a bit different. And after three and a half minutes it returns to its original form, as in the beginning of the track, but here drums are added.

"Quando piove sulle onde" has a wonderful acoustic contrabass sound, some soft percussions, a charming piano and great acoustic guitar. One may think that this progressive rock band has a strong link with jazz. After two minutes the song changes a little bit, creating a darker passage for some seconds, however, as in the first track, here the song also returns to its original form, and finishes like that.

"I Giorni delle mare (giorno III)" finishes this EP. The style is the same as the previous songs: a warm and delicate sound, with piano almost all the time, acoustic guitar, bass and soft percussion. There are moments where the song becomes more emotional, but it never changes drastically. The three songs are good, with their particular style, however, I did not feel attracted by Akt due to its softness, no, it was due to its originality and complexity, so to my ears this EP does not reach the same level as the other Akt works, which is why my final grade will be two stars. You can download it for free through their website, though.

Enjoy it!

 Déntrokirtňs by AKT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.99 | 11 ratings

Akt Eclectic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Imagine that you are an artist who loves King Crimson over any other band, but doesn't want to be a tribute band or either a clone. You will likely reproduce the ambient of your favourite band, the mood will be similar and sometimes there will surely be clear reminds.

If this artist was a Pink Floyd, or ELP or Yes addict the result will likely be a sort of clone, but with KC it's different. The distinctive characteristic of KC is in the compositions more than in the sounds, a reason why Akt succeeded in being original.

This debut album is opened by "Spazzadiluvi" ("Clean up floodings" intended as somebody's name). This track has a lot of KC in the first 4 instrumental minutes dominated by a clean guitar, but when Marco Brucale starts talking it reminds me to an Italian RIO/Avant band, the Quintorigo. He hasn't, or doesn't show the vocal skills of John De Leo but how he talsk and mainly what he says has the same emotional impact for an Italian speaking fart like me. Another reference for the lyrics and the singing is a post-punk Italian band called "Consorzio Suonatori Indipendenti" (I'll sooner or later suggest them for inclusion on PA).

"Elicrisio" is a small vegetable (Helychrisium Italicus) with medical properties. Interesting subject for a prog song. It's less dark than the first track, and has a bit more of RPI. However the singing, and in particular the metrics is very similar to those of the mentioned "CSI".

"Waltz Oblio" has also some of YES, but there's a strong folk influence due to the sampled concertina that makes it more similar in the sound to an Astor Piazzolla's tango than to a waltz. Later it looses the concertina and becomes a relaxing track. If it wasn't for the strange rhythm it could sound as newage. The singing is very interesting, reminding of Banco and sometimes the early Battiato, too. The instrumental part is excellent, lighter than the rest. Good "Frippistic" coda.

"Comete" (Comets) is slow and repetitive for the first two minutes, then it reminds to the darker moments of "All Over Everywhere". Hypnotic piano, lazy percussions and guitar in the back. Let your minds be carried somewhere else by this music.

Acoustic guitar and vocals open "Alcune Margherite di Legno" (Some wooden daisy flowers). The melody is intriguing and the lyrics are evocative. Dreamy and dissonant at the same moment. I think this song is a bit influenced also by "Le Orme", at least in the singing. They show an impressive creative talent and they demonstrate to have a lot of ideas to put inside their songs. If this one is not called an "epic" is only because of its length that's below 10 minutes but it has all the characteristics of an epic.

"Le Sette Impressioni del Fauno" (The seven impressions of the Faun) is of the same kind of the previous one, with several different moments developing in a complex track. The more I listen to the vocals, the more they remind me to "Le Orme", but the music is challenging and intriguing. Again light moments alternate with dissonances which have the effect of catching one's attention. Because of the strict connection with King Crimson labelling this band as "Eclectic Prog" is not wrong, but there's also a lot of RPI.

The conclusive track is "Abbandonia". This title is not easily translatable. The suffix "-ia" may refer to a person's name or to a land. Something like "Land of Abandon". The song is slow and dreamy. Very melodic unlike the rest of the album, this instrumental track reminds to Vangelis.

What to say? It's a pity that the majors seem to be not interested enough in producing and promoting bands of this kind. Four well deserved stars for a very promising debut on which each song has its highlights and each song sounds differently.

Thanks to Rivertree for the artist addition.

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