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MACROSCREAM

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Macroscream biography
MACROSCREAM represents the flowering of bassist/vocalist Alessandro Patierno's long-term vision to create a seventies-style progressive rock band. His idea took root in 2001 but it was seven years before the group's line-up was completed with the arrival of drummer Marco Pallotti in 2008. Like their fellow band members, Davide Cirone (keyboards) and Tonino Politano (guitar) have backgrounds in the music schools and academies. However it was violinist Gianpaolo Saracino's involvement in a number of folk music projects that largely shaped the band's musical development. And their style has been further honed through a productive live activity since 2010; last year they supported Italian jazz ensemble IBRIDO HOT SIX at a concert in Rome that also featured guest appearances by Gary Green and Malcolm Mortimore of GENTLE GIANT.

The band's self-produced debut album ''Sisyphus'' (2011) is a mature musical work that combines a strong Italian folk sensibility, courtesy of Saracino's violin arrangements, with a devotion to 1970s symphonic prog. The ambition of the music is matched by English-language lyrics that are derived from philosophy and classical mythology - the album is inspired by Albert Camus' reading of the legendary trickster Sisyphus who was condemned to eternal punishment by the gods. In spite of Patierno's highly distinctive vocals, which often sound at odds with the music, the band generally manages to exploit the opposing but balanced qualities of harshness and sophistication. Sisyphus' travails were dedicated to an eternity of accomplishing nothing but his namesake album has the potential to establish MACROSCREAM as a major new RPI band in the near future.

- seventhsojourn
- picture taken from band's official website

Macroscream official website

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MACROSCREAM discography


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3.68 | 8 ratings
Sisyphus
2012

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MACROSCREAM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sisyphus by MACROSCREAM album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.68 | 8 ratings

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Sisyphus
Macroscream Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Macroscream is a relativly new and young band in prog folk zone formed in 2006 and releasing one album since now in 2012 named Sisyphus. They are from Italy and the music offered has a strong folk aura combined here and there with some symphonic prog passages. The music is centred around Alessandro Patierno bass lines and his voice and on Gianpaolo Saracino violin. Patierno voice is certanly an odd one , but fiting perfectly here, the violin and the proeminent bass goes hand in hand here. Some mellotron and moog appear to give a more vintage sound, nice and very intresting moments. All pieces are ok most of the time with a plus on epic opening track the title track, clocking around 25 min with lots of tempo changes and very solid musicianship and Foolish Pawns. The instrumental sections are the best here, some of them really solid where the violin and bass make the law, remind me in places of Steeleye Span and on certain extent with the most folkier Jethro Tull around Heavy Horses. A good album towards great but not fantastic, 3.5 is best I can give, in the end a nice release.

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 Sisyphus by MACROSCREAM album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.68 | 8 ratings

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Sisyphus
Macroscream Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Sisyphus' - Macroscream (7/10)

Hailing from Greco-Roman myth, the tale of Sisyphus was one that symbolized the futility of man's struggle, presented beautifully through an allegory in which a man was doomed to roll a stone up a hill for eternity, only to have it roll back down as he neared the top. I have heard this story tackled in progressive rock before, with Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright's "Sisyphus" suite on their experimental album "Ummagumma". Macroscream has been a spark in the eye of bassist Alessandro Patierno for several years, but the band has only recently come together to begin their musical journey in earnest. Putting their own musical spin on the tale of "Sisyphus", Macroscream's first album is a success, albeit an uneven one.

If I had tied this myth to music, I imagine my rendition would have been wrought with doom and futile repetition. Although there is little joy in doing the same thing over and over again (with the exception of machines, who seem to love it), Macroscream's tone is quite dainty and cheerful. The band's heavy use of violin helps give their music the atmosphere of a rural festival, often taking the role usually claimed by a lead guitar. Macroscream dabble with a few unconventional sounds- the strings of a piano and trumpet are both given cameos in the closer "To Be White"- but it's the violin that gives Macroscream an identity of their own. Of course, this quirky vibe typical of Italian progressive music is made possible with powerful instrumentation on all fronts. Patierno's bass lines stand out in particular, reminding greatly of Yes' Chris Squire.

The album's title cornerstone is the go-to highlight, and though Macroscream are relatively new on the scene, the composition is thoughtful and well-executed. Their sound is rooted in vintage symphonic prog, although folk leanings help to diversify and brighten up their sound. What may surprise listeners the most is that the lyrics are in English; a artistic choice not too common in an Italian scene that prides itself on its own language. Though this also helps them to craft their own voice, he vocals are decidedly the weakest element here. Though Alessandro is a fine bassist, his voice often feels forced and fragile. I think he could have potential to be a good singer, but it sounds as if he's trying to sound like something he isn't; Peter Gabriel or a strained Tom Petty may be where he's trying to go, but it doesn't work nearly as well as the rest of Macroscream's formula.

As a whole, what Macroscream have done here is quite impressive; with their debut album, they have already fostered a style that should serve them well in the future. In truth, "Sisyphus" stands out above many of the other prog albums that have come out this year, at least as far as its bright songwriting and musiciansihp go. I predict listeners will have a 'love it or hate it' view concerning Patierno's nasal vocal tone, and I would be inclined to place myself in the latter category. It's a shame, really, because the rest of the album is excellent.

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 Sisyphus by MACROSCREAM album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.68 | 8 ratings

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Sisyphus
Macroscream Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars The classical myths seem to hold a central place within the corpus of Italian progressive rock and young Roman band Macroscream is one of the latest antiquity-mongers on the RPI scene. At the heart of their self-produced debut album is the legend of Sisyphus, a King of Corinth and all-round dodgy geezer who got busted by the gods for his many misdemeanours, one of which saw him trying to get the better of Death. For his sins, Zeus condemned our hero to eternal and futile punishment - to perpetually roll a huge rock up a hill in the Underworld, only to see it roll back to the ground below just as he approached the top.

The ruthless exercise of authoritarian power, with the gods delivering an Orwellian boot to the face of humanity forever, is not the album's only moral matter. Macroscream's depiction of the tale also takes inspiration from an Albert Camus essay in which Sisyphus personifies the absurd nature of human existence. According to Camus our hero's situation requires passion and revolt, and he concludes that Sisyphus must be happy with his endless affliction: ''The struggle towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.'' The broad expanse of the title-track is entirely congruous with the legend and the first-heard sounds evoke the bleakness of the fly-ridden hellhole into which our hero is thrust. During the opening and closing scenes of the 25-minute epic you almost get a whiff of the sweat from his armpits, and the dust rising from his head mingling with all manner of other airborne excrement.

Macroscream encompass the Camus-connection, that spirit of confrontation, through their complementary interplay between opposites. Alessandro Patierno celebrates the album's English lyrics with an artless accent that's as thick as my mother-in-law's lumpy porridge whereas Gianpaolo Saracino's violin melodies flow as smoothly as ichor. This schism between ugly and beautiful, between voice and violin, is an important characteristic of the album. It's a work that bristles with the spirit of the seventies and you may feel you've dropped straight into the midst of antique-keyboards-heaven, as everything is heavily clothed in Mellotron, Moog and Hammond. You'll have come across these attributes many times of course - in the world of prog they're as common as fleas on a flea-bitten dog - but their special quality here is that they're augmented by a perfect interaction between another pair of opposites, the bosom buddies of bass guitar and violin. It might be a wee bit harsh to say Patierno can't sing for toffee, at least not in English, but his bass-playing is singularly sublime.

''Sisyphus'' is a wonderful incursion into Italian symphonic prog that also rests at times in the world of Mediterranean folk. If the old whets your appetite more than the novel you should soak this up like a milky sponge.

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