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IF / IFSOUNDS

Crossover Prog • Italy


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If / Ifsounds biography
IFSOUNDS is an Italian band with its roots in the 1990s, when they were known as IF. Five Italian friends played prog and non-prog covers (Pink Floyd, Queen, The Police) next to some of their own material - mainly at high school parties and small rock festivals. After a pause of 4 years, in 2004, the band rejoined, without former drummer Pietro Chissimo and with a new vocalist Paolo De Santis on vocals. The same year, the album In the Cave was released by the band themselves.

A year later this was followed by If, which contained newly recorded
versions of material written before the turn of the century.
The band got quite a bit of attention with this last release, and one track was nominated for a Kayak Award for easy listening...

Continuing a track of yearly releases, something that's becoming less and less common, the band released yet another album in 2006, The Stairway. Again the album was well received in their home country, and this time two tracks got nominated for Kayak Awards in the category "Progressive Rock".

After this, time had come to finally recruit a new drummer after 3 years of doing without. Luca di Pardo joins the band and can first be heard on the 2008 release Morpho Nestira, playing with Claudio Lapenna, Francesco Bussoli, Paolo de Santis and Dario Lastella. This album shows what skilled and trained musicians can do, and to the even so trained listener it reveals clearly which other bands have influenced IF.

In 2009 IF changed their name to IFSOUNDS. The new line-up sees Lapenna, Lastella, and Bussoli returning, joined by new lead vocalist Elena Ricci and drummer Enzo Bellocchio. The autumn of 2010 see the band proudly releasing their latest work "Apeirophobia."





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IF / IFSOUNDS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IF / IFSOUNDS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
In the Cave
2004
2.50 | 2 ratings
If
2005
3.77 | 4 ratings
The Stairway
2006
3.70 | 10 ratings
Morpho Nestira
2008
3.59 | 16 ratings
Apeirophobia
2010
3.75 | 9 ratings
Red Apple
2012

IF / IFSOUNDS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IF / IFSOUNDS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.05 | 6 ratings
If. . . Sounds
2010

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Unusual Roots
2011

IF / IFSOUNDS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Morpho Nestira by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.70 | 10 ratings

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Morpho Nestira
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Even before making it onto the player this 2008 album makes quite a statement as the artwork is both stunning and enticing. The band is still in existence in 2014, but with a different line-up and name, as they changed from If to Ifsounds in 2009. But listening to this album does make me wonder what I have been missing out on all these years. Formed as long ago as 1993, this Italian act started out as a covers group and the broke up for four years before reforming to record their debut in 2004, and this is their fourth. By the time that this was released they had already won accolades for classical, easy listening and progressive rock so it is safe to say that here is a band that isn't content to easily sit firmly within one genre. They may have tried a bit too hard to be Floydian by using recordings of people talking between the songs, but that aside here is an extremely polished and enjoyable album.

There are times when they almost move into AOR/melodic rock, especially on the bouncy "Poison" where one can imagine guitarist Dario Lastella recording the piece with a huge smile on his face as he is allowed to whack out some distorted rock riffs, but there are plenty of others where the music is far more peaceful and reflective with some beautiful piano and keyboards. It really is a huge melting pot of music, never in the face of the listener, but somehow it is compelling and brings the listener in closer. Mind you, listen to "Naked" and you will think that you are playing a long list song from 'The Wall', but mostly they follow their own path and a mighty interesting trip that is. For more details on this and all of their other releases then visit www.ifsounds.com. If the rest of their output is as good as this then here is a band really worth discovering.

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 Red Apple by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 9 ratings

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Red Apple
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Well, this Italian band some years ago had the name of If, but in 2010 they decided to change it in order to put a more personal and unique touch to their project, so people can now easily recognize them as Ifsounds. With that change of name they also changed their style in some way, producing more mature and interesting music than in their first years, a clear example is their album "Apeirophobia". Now, in 2012 they released a new studio album entitled "Red Apple" in which they confirm their sound and direction. This album features 11 songs with a total time of 61 minutes approximately.

So the alarm sounds and it is "Another Dawn", "it is 6 o´clock in the morning of a Wednesday 7th, November 2012. This is an introductory track, a new album, a new day? and then keyboards enter along with guitars and drums, to be honest, the style reminds me of Parsons' "Sirius". "Red Apple" begins with delicate acoustic guitar and then the other elements are being introduced little by little. Here we can listen to female voice, cool drums and a great keyboard work. The album starts promising!

Let me tell you that the album runs as if it were a single song divided in 11 tracks, they are all connected, you can tell it by the "narrator". "Web Tube Stars" is a cool song, catchy but faster, with nice backing vocals while the front female one does her work. The rock element is more present here, we can notice it with the guitar riffs, though the prog one is also evident in the last minute with the keyboard fiesta. "Messages from the Stars" is a cool instrumental track, that guides us to the atmospheric and experimental sound of Ifsounds, here one can close the eyes and see images, and also feel water, space, vertigo, a lot of things, and when that happens, means that the music was successful with you.

"After" is a sweet kind of lullaby, here with male vocals and a truly soft and relaxing sound, not a ballad, but neither a rock song. After three minutes it changes and introduces guitars and drums in a cool instrumental passage where the emotions increase. A second half of the song begins at minute four when female voice appears, so a new structure is now being built, though the soft sound prevails, but now with a sexy addition of a saxophone.

"They're Almost Here" shows once again their atmospheric and experimental side in the first minute, the kind of futuristic sounds created give a cool slice of our destiny, which is greatly accompanied by Federica's voice. There is a beautiful violin after minute two, it adds cadence, while in the other hand, we can listen to sorrowful sounds. Then all of a sudden we listen to a scream and the song becomes heavier. "New World Order" is one of my favorite tracks, it has a clear jazzy tendency that makes a wonderful contrast with the spoken words from the "President Nicholas Wakeman", here I really love how they managed to blend music and words, two worlds apart made one, so the listener can enjoy both phases and pay attention to them as one body. The voice disappears after three minutes and the music becomes again faster and rockier, great!

"Red Sun Tonight" shares delicacy and softness, one can listen to it and feel ease and relaxed, I like the acoustic guitar work and the female voice in the first half; then, in the second half the music changes, an ambulance can be heard, keyboards have a main role, the sound is more intense and emotional, and one can feel trapped somehow. Great. "Space Refugees" may be the proggiest track here, the instruments play what they want in different places but all in the same one, hope you get me; the bass lines are great, guitars and keys produce a kind of spacey mood, while drums add a jazzy touch. The first part, the instrumental one, might be my favorite from the whole album; later the song changes, vocals appear (main and back) and a softer mood as well, though it only lasts for a minute and a half and then it changes again with a rockier passage, just before the radio host enters.

"The Crossing" is a delicate and beautiful piano based piece, a wonderful contrast with the album, it has nothing to do with the previous songs, but it does fit there. The last song of the album is "Christmas 2012" and though Christmas should be a good time, here we can sense some melancholy and regret, "there once was advanced people who suddenly disappeared", not so far from the real world; though there is still hope. Nice song to finish this excellent album.

It is a solid work from Ifsounds, I like the music and the concept, they really sound as an experimented band now! Truly recommendable, my grade 4 stars, but almost 5!

Enjoy it!

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 Apeirophobia by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.59 | 16 ratings

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Apeirophobia
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Italian band IFSOUNDS have been around a couple of decades now, initially starting out under the moniker If and releasing 4 studio productions under that name. "Morpho Nestira" the most recent of these, a CD that appeared in 2009. Since then a new drummer and vocalist have joined the folds, and this revised version of If decided that a new name was in order at this point. "Apeirophobia" is the first studio production they released as Ifsounds, and was issued by US label Melodic Revolution Records in 2010.

Musically we're dealing with a fairly ambitious outfit, and on this occasion they explore a sound that mainly stays within a framework whose outer boundaries are formed by Pink Floyd and Rush respectively. Relatively gentle excursions sporting symphonic backdrops with additional sounds and textures of a kind inspired by science fiction and space complement dampened guitar riffs and blues-tinged careful soloing David Gilmour style for the former, while the latter sports energetic riff patterns and keyboards with a more dampened and subservient role. The occasional majestic passage with rich and compact guitar and keyboard constructions is also a part of the package, and by and large this band produce pleasant pieces of progressive rock of the accessible variety.

Their new vocalist Elena Ricci is a fine addition to this band. She's got a good and pleasant voice, and while my impression is that she's far from fully developed yet she has the talent and capability to be able to lift a song by her input alone at best. The main example of this on this production to be found in the epic title track that takes up the final slot on this disc, where her voice really makes a grand impression in a sequence sporting more of a jazz-oriented expression. The one where the piano takes the lead, if anyone familiar with this CD should be curious.

The title track an experience worth a paragraph of it's own, clocking in at just under half an hour and exploring a great variety of moods and expressions. Opening as a gentle, warm and rich affair that sounds like a piece of music residing in the exact middle between late 70's Pink Floyd and early 80's Vangelis, a theme later revisited incidentally, and later on visiting shamanistic folk-inspired territories, taking on an expression with closer links to Flamenco, the aforementio0ned jazzy insert also a part of the proceedings alongside a pacier AOR-tinged one and sequences with more of a distinct Floydian feel as well. Great variety, many compelling parts but not at the level that makes this one any more rewarding than your average epic length creation. A good construction with moments of brilliance.

The most intriguing composition as far as I'm concerned is the second to last one actually. A piece very much different from the rest of this production, sporting a careful piano motif supplemented by strings. A warm, rich, sad and distinctly melancholic instrumental, and an impressive one at that. It is difficult to write and perform such pieces in a manner that does make an impression, but this one succeeded quite nicely at that.

If you enjoy late 70's Pink Floyd and bands like aforementioned Rush, Ifsounds latest creation Apeirophobia is a CD you might want to lend an ear too. A nice and pleasant album in general, and if you have an interest in productions of a conceptual nature you'll get those cravings catered fore quite nicely too. Including the use of cinematic lead-ins and lead outs to emphasize the nature of the story told.

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 Apeirophobia by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.59 | 16 ratings

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Apeirophobia
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars If/Ifsounds returns again with a very ambitious album.

I have to admit I am not a member of their fanclub. Neither in spirit or as a card carrying member. But Apeirophobia is doing a good job converting me.

Apeirophobia is a crossover album from Ifsounds where they tries to include a lot of styles into their bedrock as a rock band. The new elements is mostly neo-prog and symphonic prog. But there is some folk rock here. But Ifsounds is basically an Art-Rock band from Italy. Something Elena Ricci's (excellent) special arty vocals underlines. The rest of the musicians also does an excellent job here.

The music here is a mix of hit potential in the song Summer Breeze to the symphonic prog tune Apeirophobia. A twenty-seven minutes epic which includes some Arabic and Spanish folk tunes too. The other songs are more art-rock styled and not in the same league as these two songs mentioned. I suspect they are fillers........ sorry, being a bit cynical here.

I really think Summer Breeze is a superb song. Apeirophobia is great too, but looses it's way during these twenty-seven minutes and peeters out. The rest of the album is good. This album is bordering to being great, but it still lacks that little extra. Maybe I am a bit too harsh here and maybe I will up this up one star later on when given it a couple of more years. But for me, this is a very good album and worth purchasing.

3.66 stars

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 Apeirophobia by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.59 | 16 ratings

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Apeirophobia
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Great album from the new Ifsounds!

Since I knew about this band thanks to Torodd's interview, I've been following them and their music, fortunately, last year (2010) they released a new album entitled "Apeirophobia", an album that also could be considered as the first studio album of Ifsounds, because if we remember, their name was If, but they decided to change it in order to give the band an own style and name that anyone would recognize.

With their two-CD compilation album named "If?Sounds" they composed "Don Quixiote" an unreleased song which actually represented the change of the former If to the new Ifsounds. But now, we can appreciate a full-length album, not only a song.

This release consists of five compositions that together make fifty minutes; the first four are the short ones (under ten minutes) while the last one is a long 28-minute epic, so take a sit, relax and listen to Apeirophobia. It kicks off with "Anima Mundi", and a female voice appears, seconds later guitars, drums, bass and keys appear, but I liked that vocal introduction. Then, Elena Ricci's voice reappears but in a different style. The song is pretty good, I like the keyboard work because it gives a special flavor to the music, also there are some nice guitar riffs here and there, and some nice changes in time and tempo. The track ends with a nice acoustic guitar, charming.

"Summer Breeze" opens with a delicate piano sound, seconds later it ends and some kind of airport announces sound, moments later they fade out. Then an acoustic guitar start playing a soft and gentle melody, vocals appear and that delicate piano returns and creates a nice harmony together. Just before the fourth minute, the song changes, turns heavier and more emotional, it is a pretty good track!

"Last Minutes" has a constant beeping and some steps, like being in a hospital. They disappear and the music begins, it is a rockier piece with cool lyrics, the female voice starts telling a story and male backing vocals appear saying important things. At the second minute there is a change which gives the melody a new mood and atmosphere for some seconds; then the music returns as it began, the steps and beeping return until they fade out.

The shortest track (two minutes) entitled "Aprile" is a wonderful and charming composition. There is a beautiful piano sound all over the song, that is accompanied by some strings, the violin sound is also precious and together produced an adorable piece of music which put some images in my mind, I was actually touched by this song.

Now, on the other hand we have the longest composition, I believe it is their longest song since they were If. "Apeirophobia" is a 27-minute epic which offers an exquisite variety of sounds, textures, colors and feelings, and also it let the listeners know how capable they are to produce challenging music with excellent results.

This song has several passages, first, they give us an instrumental piece with an intriguing atmosphere, one can easily be waiting for the next to happen, but what happens next?, you don't know. Those first four minutes are pretty cool because they create images on you and even you can imagine your own story. Then the vocals appear and the direction of the music changes a little bit, I like the piano of Claudio Lapena, he knows how to use keyboards in the right place and moment. There is a cool guitar solo by Dario Lastella just before minute seven, then the song continues its way.

Until minute eight when it makes a sudden change and an acoustic guitar appears along with some spacey effects reminding me of Riccardo Zappa; that mood continues and then that acoustic guitar becomes more Spanish-like, there are some claps on it also. I am not sure but I think that this passage was taken from the previously mentioned "Don Quixiote" song. When it finishes, a rockier passage begins, the vocals return and the music is quite good and enjoyable, the only thing I don't really like are the robotic vocals.

As you can imagine, all of a sudden another change and a new passage begins, with some kind of African percussion and some sounds simulating a ritual; I like a lot this part because I do imagine that ritual and several things, also, when the addictive bass sound appears I fell like in a dream, motivated and caught in a short but nice dream. But when I woke up, I found myself in a different place with a cool guitar sound and a rockish song.

Those spacey effects return and give a different flavor to the music, actually you can imagine a new place and a new atmosphere, and the vocals help a lot here. But well, minutes later a surprising change with a sad piano appears, this change was not really my favorite, it sounds like a scene of a character bringing memories of the childhood or something like that. The last minutes of the song are very good, with great guitar solos, that wonderful voice and strong musical moments.

I am happy with this album, now I am looking forward to their next release. Take a listen to this album, so far my favorite of Ifsounds. My final grade will be four stars!

Enjoy it!

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 Morpho Nestira by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.70 | 10 ratings

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Morpho Nestira
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by lucacatone

5 stars Morpho Nestira is a concept album from the Italian band "if" (later "ifsounds"). Morpho Nestira is a Brazilian blue butterfly and the concept is about greed and materialism that converted human beings in monsters ("sometimes metamorphoses take other directions?" from the closing number "Oceans of Time") one of the highlights of the album.

Musically this work goes in several directions, but never loses its unity and sounds very coherent despite the huge numbers of genres that the band plays (from hard rock-quasi punk to acoustic, from jazz to prog?). I really enjoyed the instrumental title track divided in two parts: the first is an incredible samba rock led by the work of Luca Di Pardo on drums and Franco Bussoli on bass, while the second is keyboards-led with a wonderful piano solo by Claudio Lapenna.

A real good album I discovered only when I purchased their last work "Apeirophobia" (even if they changed name and line up?). 4,5 stars? rounded up to 5!

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 Apeirophobia by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.59 | 16 ratings

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Apeirophobia
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by lucacatone

5 stars Apeirophobia is a Greek word that means "fear of the infinity" and centres this concept album by Italian band ifsounds. The lyrics by guitarist Dario Lastella are always very deep in researching the psychological implications in the stories that he talks about. There's a song about emigration (Summer Breeze) and one about the last six minutes of a woman in a death row (Last Minutes), but conceptually the highlight of the album is the title track suite. Apeirophobia is an epic 28-minutes-long trip in the history of human consciousness about faith and fears. Musically the album sounds a little like an updated Italian album of the 70s' even if there's a strong floydian influence in it (the opening Anima Mundi and Last Minutes are clear examples of it). The band has a very good cohesion and sound and the new singer Elena Ricci has a powerful yet sometimes slightly imprecise voice. But maybe the main instrument is the Claudio Lapenna's piano that along with Lastella's guitars makes the best sonic textures in ifsounds' songs.

One of the best albums I've listened to in the last years. 5 stars.

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 Apeirophobia by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.59 | 16 ratings

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Apeirophobia
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by David Saez

3 stars First, extraordinary song "Last minutes". I've repeated after listening to the cd. Congratulations to the group.

This album is most shocking than the last. Still influenced by PINK FLOYD, MARILLION, some FLOWER KINGS, but also QUEENSRYCHE a friendly DREAM THEATER, PORCUPINE TREE. It is more modern rock than their previous album "Morpho Nestira"

What is surprising is the vocal work. The singer out of tune. At certain times of Apeirophobia this is quite clear. One thing is to have a voice a little lack of punch that would have been very good to the album, but another thing is the tune. As we say in Spain "Virgencita de mi vida"

In truth, even makes me angry because it detracts from the work of other musicians. Great drums, bass bombastic, powerful guitars (although they sound to Pod, a little plastic), beautiful keyboards, successful production, etc. If you solve this setback we are facing one of the most promising European progressive groups

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 Morpho Nestira by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.70 | 10 ratings

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Morpho Nestira
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by David Saez

3 stars The album closes the time of IF to make way for IFSOUNDS

The compositions are solid, the production is good, very well executed. It reminded me at times to MARILLION sometimes PINK FLOYD even in some parts to FLOWER KINGS or some of RADIOHEAD. Well, good range of music.

In terms of production, there has been excessive compression of the songs during the mastering. The songs more relaxed and dynamic sounds wonderful, but when it should be noted a slap sound ... does not arrive. This can be seen in songs like "10 Years" or "Background Voices" in its more powerful passages are not strong; it'a a low sound. Reminded me the productions of PURE REASON REVOLUTION in his first two cd's (I have not heard the last yet)

Certainly not his strong point is the vocal work, a bit lacking in strength and courage. But instead provides a good interpretation, good mixing and good compositions that penetrate a rock made of good quality.

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 If. . . Sounds by IF / IFSOUNDS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
3.05 | 6 ratings

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If. . . Sounds
If / Ifsounds Crossover Prog

Review by David Saez

2 stars This CD is free to download. That encouraged me to listen and, certainly, confirmed my suspicions. If a band changes its name should not think anything good.

Presumably, in a compilation appears the best of each of the previous works. Certainly do not think that any work for "Morpho Nestira" mingle with the band's earlier work. I say this because the songs of this album have more quality than the others.

For example: The song "You Know" from the album "In the cave" is an R & B with electronics (battery mainly) with very poor quality, with extravagants vocals. On the other hand, the themes of the album "If" have a guitars too much amateurs, sometimes annoying, and a dubious pronunciation of English.

The themes of "The stairway" again suffer from a poor electronic production, although it certainly can see an evolution and a path toward maturity.

Instead, the selection of "Morpho Nestira" is a quantum leap. We found a strong progressive rock band left behind electronic schedules and find their way into the warmth of teamwork.

Songs dynamic, powerful, drinking from sources of PINK FLOYD (especially the track "Naked"which reminds me of "Nobody's Home" in its beginning and its end), GENESIS, IQ.

In short, direct encouragement to purchase the cd "Morpho Nestira" or "Apeirophobia" and applaud IFSOUNDS, and leave to go IF.

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