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DEUS EX MACHINA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy


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Very interesting band from the new itlalian generation. This is a band with extremelly talented musicians, bringing their musicianship to extremes. Bold vocals in Latin feature on top of the massive instrumental avalanche. DEUS EX MACHINA has a very unique sound with hints of both the classic Italian groups (AREA, early NEW TROLLS, OSANNA) and FM classic rock like LED ZEPPELIN. One of modern progressive music's most fascinating groups. Highly recommended to fans of intricate / ecletic prog music!!!

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CinqueCinque
Cuneiform 2002
Audio CD$17.29
$13.30 (used)
De RepublicaDe Republica
Import
Kaliphonia
Audio CD$74.99
$27.99 (used)
ImparisImparis
Cuneiform 2008
Audio CD$19.01
$7.99 (used)
Equilibrismo da InsofferenzaEquilibrismo da Insofferenza
Kaliphonia
Audio CD$27.99 (used)
I HumanI Human
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$247.99
$10.00 (used)
War InsideWar Inside
CD Baby 2006
Audio CD$15.57
$40.35 (used)
Sound of LiberationSound of Liberation
Import
Imports 2013
Vinyl$52.82
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  • Female Metal Fest Geneva on 7 Nov 2014

DEUS EX MACHINA discography


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

DEUS EX MACHINA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 32 ratings
Gladium Caeli
1991
3.40 | 25 ratings
Deus Ex Machina
1992
3.92 | 57 ratings
De Republica
1995
4.03 | 53 ratings
Equilibrismo da Insofferenza
1998
4.09 | 88 ratings
Cinque
2002
3.56 | 31 ratings
Imparis
2008

DEUS EX MACHINA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 11 ratings
Diacronia Metronomiche
1996
3.86 | 7 ratings
Non Est Ars Quae ad Effectum Casus Venit
1997

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

DEUS EX MACHINA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Imparis by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.56 | 31 ratings

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Imparis
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars Fantastic playing, but Jazz-Rock/Fusion it isn't . Closer to Eclectic with a touch of Canterbury. Really, no need to salivate over a long lost masterpiece of that genre. There are some jazzy elements, but a violin played (at times) along with a few dissonant cords doesn't make it sound like Mahavishnu Orchestra with Jerry Goodman. Just like a flute player doesn't make a band sound like Jethro Tull. Far from it, but the music is great anyway, very close to a 5 star recommendation..

...till the vocals come in and practically ruin the enjoyment. The singer has a reasonably strong voice, but a voice that doesn't really belong on top of this otherwise excellent piece. Mixing coffee with salt comes to mind. I'd rather avoid that.

Mixing credible Hammond work, alongside pleasing guitar and violins with a very commendable rhythms section would please me enormously. Unfortunately, the vocals don't belong here and do severely detract from my enjoyment. I have no choice, but to drop my rating to 3 as a result. I wish that I had access to the master tapes to separate the instruments from the vocals. The former would be treasured, whereas the latter may serve better in a different context. .

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 Gladium Caeli by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.08 | 32 ratings

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Gladium Caeli
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Highly technical Italian Prog/Fusion sextet from Bologna, formed in 1985 with Marco Matteuzzi (drums), Alessandro Porreca (bass), Maurino Collina (guitar), Alessandro Bonetti (violin), Fabrizio Puglisi (keyboards) and Alberto Piras (vocals).They performed an original rock-opera for years in several gigs, based on a story about the endless battle between humans and nature.The band gained fastly some growing fame, which led them to sign a contract with the Milanese label Kaliphonia.Finally this work would be released in 1991 under the title ''Gladium Caeli''.

From semi-long to very long tracks, Deus Ex Machina's official entrance in the music world was quite a shock.Not only the music was extremely technical, quirky and frenetic all the way, but the most impressive thing was that singer Alberto Piras abandonded the Italian language for the Latin lyrics and their unique flavor.The album was recorded in studio in just two days and the band itself admits that the album has some evident technical flaws, still the music is highly intricate and offered between deep but complicated arrangements and semi-loose sections.The main influences seem to be acts such as AREA, the more jazzy side of P.F.M. and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and WEATHER REPORT, while Piras' voice has a strong theatrical twist ala DEMETRIO STRATOS, despite being over the top at some moments.Musically the album offers very technical Progressive/Fusion with constantly different themes, ranging from improvised parts to technical performances to powerful and rich grooves with strong use of organs/pianos and endless violin workouts.An accurate and solid rhythm section and a sharp guitarist complete this great Italian group.Massive interplays with keyboards and violins in the forefront, furious and frenetic paces, alternation between 70's sounding organs, edgy synths and jazzy piano parts and a singer all over the place are the main components of this work, which often seem to much to handle.

Impressive debut to say the least.Not fully conveincing, as the technique seems often a priority compared to more tight arrangements, but the result is an album full of energy and postive feelings.Recommended and even more for fans of all the aforementioned bands...3.5 stars.

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 Gladium Caeli by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.08 | 32 ratings

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Gladium Caeli
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This first album by DEUS EX MACHINA really does sound like a band trying to find an identity and not succeeding. Sure all the ingredients are here and it's still Alberto Piras singing but even Alberto sounds like someone without direction just showing his stuff. This is very much a Rock record that is often quite abrasive and too long.

"Expergi" opens with atmosphere then it kicks in after a minute and vocals follow as he screams several times. He does start to sing though. Check out the drumming 3 minutes in and the ripping guitar after 5 1/2 minutes. It settles after 7 minutes with vocals and organ before kicking in one more time. "Arbor" opens with gentle guitar and we don't get vocals until before 3 1/2 minutes as it gets fuller. It kicks in after 5 minutes when the vocals stop. It continues to shift. It's chaotic 10 1/2 minutes in with vocal expressions. "Gladiva Caeli" has a solid beat with violin and more. The guitar then starts to lead followed by a calm then the vocals join in. Violin is back as it picks up. Vocal melodies after 5 1/2 minutes. A guitar solo before 7 minutes and the organ follows. Ripping guitar before 8 1/2 minutes then it settles late with vocals as atmosphere ends it.

"Ignis Ab Caelo" opens with some impressive instrumental work then the vocals come in after 1 1/2 minutes when it settles some. Back to that instrumental work to end it. "Se Ipse Loquitur" is heavy with organ then it settles when the vocals arrive as contrasts continue. "Dialeghen" is led by the drums early then organ before we get a calm before 3 minutes as the vocals come in. It kicks back in before 5 minutes then it settles with vocals before 7 minutes. It builds then another calm 11 minutes in. Great sound when it kicks back in. "Omnia Evolvitur Sed Potest Mutari" opens with guitar and drums then the violin joins in. Vocals 3 minutes in but they are brief. More instrumental madness follows then the vocals return after 5 1/2 minutes. A guitar solo a minute later followed by violin. Vocals end it.

A good album but maybe one that i'd call immature. The next album shows the band becoming more focussed and then after that they become complex and insane but always within a framework.

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 Deus Ex Machina by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.40 | 25 ratings

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Deus Ex Machina
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars DEUS EX MACHINA's second album might not be as complex, innovative or insane ( it's still all of those things though) as what would follow but this is one of my favs from them. Just a killer album that reminds me of only one other band, and that is AREA. Alberto is his usual passionate self on vocals as we get lots of violin, guitar and keyboards along with the outstanding rhythm section. These guys are amazing players.

"Ad Montem" is quiet at first with the violin soloing away as it builds. Silence after 2 1/2 minutes then it kicks in after 3 minutes. Organ too. Vocals before 4 minutes as it settles back some. Another calm 5 minutes in. Ripping guitar late. "Vacuum" has intricate guitar melodies to start. Nice. Vocal melodies come in then it picks up after 1 1/2 minutes with vocals. This is good. The guitar is great 4 minutes in during this instrumental section. Violin follows. Vocals around 5 minutes to end it. "M.A." is a short piece with acoustic guitar melodies. "Hostis" is heavy with guitar then violin. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. It settles after 3 1/2 minutes but not for long. The guitar is really good 5 minutes in after the vocals stop.

"Cor Mio" sounds amazing when it picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. How good is this ! The guitar solos late. The rhythm section sounds great early on in "Si Tu Bene Valeas Ego Bene Valeo". Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes as it settles some. Contrasts continue. The last 2 minutes are incredible, very intense. "Lo Stato Delle Cose" opens with acoustic guitar then the sound gets fuller with vocals. Nice Zeuhl-like rhythm 2 1/2 minutes in. Fantastic intrumental section after 5 minutes. Vocals are back then more instrumental insanity follows. "Deus Ex Machina" is my favourite. It's laid back to start as vocals join in. It kicks in with some steller drum and bass work. So good ! Passionate vocal melodies before 4 minutes and some killer organ a minute later. Then the guitar lights it up and more impressive drumming follows. "Omega" is a short but powerful instrumental to end it.

Easily 4 stars and an album i'll be spinning often.

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 Cinque by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.09 | 88 ratings

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Cinque
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The relative popularity of this fifth studio album by the deluxe Fusion sextet of Deus Ex Machina (currently boasting the highest score in their discography here at Prog Archives, and with twice the number of reviews as the runner up) is really just a consequence of its wider exposure. The album marks their first (and so far only) effort to be distributed in the United States, by the good folks at Cuneiform Records, bless their hearts.

And yet the music itself is hardly more accessible. If anything it's the band's most difficult and challenging album to date, with an even higher proportion of the edgy, angular (and some might say irritating) eclecticism that marks their style. The song "Convolutus" is an attractive curtain raiser, with a catchier than usual melody and chorus. But after that the weirdness only escalates, in the avant-rock "Rhinoceros": all clashing solos in unfamiliar tunings, and with the bel canto tenor shrieking of Alberto Piras in peak form.

His unique vocal styling can have the same memorable effect as fingernails on a chalkboard, alleviated somewhat by the novelty of singing in Latin. The choice of language supposedly made the songwriting smoother. But I would challenge listeners to follow along with the enclosed lyrics to see exactly how each verse was twisted and bent to accommodate the music (English translations are included, and unlike most lyrics are worth reading for their own sake).

In retrospect the album is hardly the best I've heard from this band, but even at its most abstruse it's never less than fascinating. Some highlights worth mentioning: the constipated funk of "Il Pensiero che Porta Alle Cose Importanti" (yes, some of the tunes are in actual Italian); the uneasy instrumental calm of "Luce" (an - almost - unplugged guitar and violin duet, beautifully rendered); and the two-part, eco-friendly "Olim Sol Rogavit Terram", which exemplifies the band's shift away from traditional forms of Jazz Rock Fusion toward something more aligned with 20th century classical avant-garde. (Never mind the long, 'hidden' bonus track, by the way: a bootleg quality, barely audible verité-style rehearsal, caught on an open studio microphone and brutally spliced together.)

Compared to the uninhibited mania of earlier Deus Ex Machina albums the energy level is notably muted here. A sign of maturity, perhaps, but punches were definitely (and deliberately) pulled in the recording process.

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 Gladium Caeli by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.08 | 32 ratings

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Gladium Caeli
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The debut album by Italy's Deus Ex Machina is, unlike later efforts, more obviously Rock than Fusion, offering an easier point of entry for intrepid newcomers to the band's unique, kinetic style. But that's a relative observation: nothing about Deus Ex Machina is entirely easy. Their music is complex and incredibly busy, played with breathless energy and a sometimes reckless momentum (imagine an Italian MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA after an all-night orgy of amphetamines).

And the operatic shrieking of lead singer Alberto Piras is an acquired taste, to say the least, at times sounding not unlike a warped hybrid of PETER HAMILL and Cedric Bixler-Zavala from THE MARS VOLTA (singing in Latin, which oddly enough gives the band more universal appeal than would have been possible in their native tongue). His glass-shattering entrance in the overture of "Expergi" functions like a challenge drawn in the sand for unwary listeners, daring you to cross at your peril.

Once there, you can thrill to the epic riffing of "Arbor" and "Dialeghen" (together clocking in at 30-plus minutes), or the manic convolutions of "Omnia Evolvitur Sed Potest Mulan", building to a series of alternating high-voltage solos on guitar, synthesizer and electric violin over a heavy but swinging 3/4 rhythm.

Elsewhere the stately title track comes within shouting distance (literally, with a singer like Piras) of classic '70s Rock Progressivo Italiano, before moving into yet another absolutely furious jam by guitarist Mauro Collina. And the all-too brief "Se Ipse Loquitur" ends in a typically goofy orgasm of tortured moaning and wailing: business as usual, in other words.

Later albums would exhibit more polish and finesse. But the raw energy on display in this first effort is hard to resist, if approached with a clear head and a pair of open ears.

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 Diacronia Metronomiche by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Live, 1996
3.92 | 11 ratings

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Diacronia Metronomiche
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The maniac Italian rockers of Deus Ex Machina did something to Fusion similar to what a group like THE MARS VOLTA would later do to Psychedelia: jolting the genre out of its middlebrow conventions with several megawatts of kinetic energy and an uncompromising musical vision.

Cooler heads than mine have tried and failed to describe their unique sound, typically combining impossible-to-follow time signatures with more tempo changes per song than most groups put into an entire album, performed by a near-telepathic ensemble of screaming guitars, burning organ, and virtuoso violin playing. All that plus a truly unhinged high-tenor vocalist singing in a dead language...seriously, fellow Progheads: what's not to like?

The band's 1996 live album (following three acclaimed studio recordings) proved the sextet could recapture that same intensity and complexity on stage; if anything their energy is even stronger in front of a receptive audience. The set list covers a lot of territory, from moments of near-classical delicacy (the introduction to "Ad Montem"; the acoustic guitar / violin duet of "Perpetua Lux") to the unexpected beauty of "Exordium", and to more than one episode resembling something not unlike Jazz-Punk, as in the 59-seconds of "Sigla": all shouted Latinate vocals over a churning one chord boogie.

A quick personal aside: my own introduction to Deus Ex Machina was through their appearance on the "Progfest '95" concert CDs (qv). Without a doubt they must have played the most challenging music of the entire two-day festival, and frankly it took me a while to appreciate the uncommon urgency and integrity of their style. But the effort eventually paid off, and here's the reward: 70 minutes of likeminded musical mayhem, unabridged and unadulterated.

You get the point: the music of Deus Ex Machina does require an effort. But it's certainly worth it, especially when heard in a live setting.

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 Cinque by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.09 | 88 ratings

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Cinque
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Deus Ex Machina were formed in Bologna in 1985 and have released six studio albums so far. "Cinque", their fifth one, was released in 2002, after three years of hard work, on the American independent label Cuneiform and it is usually considered their best album. The line up features Alberto Piras (vocals), Fabrizio Puglisi (keyboards), Maurino Collina (guitar), Claudio Trotta (drums), Alessandro Porreca (bass) and Alessandro Bonetti (violin) plus some guests musicians. Along their career the members of the band have matured a good live experience and improved their compositional skills blending challenging avant- garde passages with rock and jazz. Acoustic parts and electric ones are always well balanced and the result is a very peculiar and original sound halfway between Area and PFM. One of the characteristics of the band is the use of vocal parts in Latin. According to the band, "the use of Latin lyrics originate from the need to reconcile the melodious nature of Italian (which is difficult to transpose into rock), and the immediacy and fluency of English". Anyway, if you don't understand Latin don't worry, in the booklet you'll find the translation of the lyrics in Italian and English.

The opener "Convolutus" (Wound) starts softly with an acoustic guitar arpeggio, then violin and other instruments come in setting a neurotic and agoraphobic mood. Sometimes relations with other people and events of real life are difficult to deal with and you look for a safer exclusive inner world as a shelter... "Wound around my thought, this world meets my need for joy and simplicity / I won't waste another drop of myself out there / This world takes away my inability to love and respect myself...".

"Rhinoceros" (The rhinoceros) is about freedom of expression. The atmosphere is dark and surreal while music helps you to imagine a rhinoceros in a library ready to charge... "There's a rhinoceros looking at a pile of books, you can't imagine how many, you can't imagine which ones, you can't take one without making them all fall... Whatever thought is contained in them, the earth will always receive it".

"Uomo del futuro passato" (The man of the past future) is sung in Italian. It's a long and complex piece about the incapability to enjoy what we have because of the desire to have something more that we can't obtain, even in love and relationships. Music features frenetic parts and calmer ones and it perfectly fits the lyrics... "I run from you and you're the street under my feet / And I run faster and faster / Before me there's what I never had / Behind my there's what I've lost / In the middle is you, whom today I desired and tomorrow I'll miss...".

"Olim sol rogavit terram I" (One day the Sun asked the Earth) is a beautiful acoustic track featuring only acoustic guitars, violin and vocals. Lyrics deal with ecological issues and depict an imaginary dialogue between the Sun and the Earth about new horizons in an upcoming future... "One day the sun asked the Earth:- How's going? / - Better now, the cities have disappeared under thick vegetation which turned them into root drainage, nothing remains of machines and technology but a word lost in space after a radio broadcast from who knows how long ago... Life has new vigour, in fact, it's going better now".

"Il pensiero che porta alle cose importanti" (The thought that leads to the important things) is another track sung in Italian. Music leads you through winding alleys and dark paths inside your brain... "The thought that leads to important things is oblique / The brain hides the way with easy, close lights, excellent remedies for a tired soul...".

"Luce" (Light) is a good instrumental where acoustic guitars and violin are absolute protagonists. It's full of stop and go and music every now and again reminds me of the walk of a "Pink Panther".

"De ordinis ratione" (The theory of order) is a dynamic and well crafted piece about the need for order and its dangerous consequences... "We order things for fear of not recognizing ourselves / We classify for fear of being different / We destroy, simplifying multiplicity to the essential / That is the only way for the world to take the forms of our ideas / Ideas born from eyes that don't know how to see, that catch only distorted reflections of a simple denied complexity".

Last track "Olim sol rogavit terram II" has a strong classical feeling. This time the background for the dialogue between the Sun and the Earth features a string quartet and a very peculiar and nocturnal arrangement. At the end of this piece, after a pause, you can listen to a "ghost track" featuring some sound-checks and the voices of the musicians during the recording sessions. It's not a song but it can give you an idea of the hard work behind this excellent album...

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 De Republica by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.92 | 57 ratings

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De Republica
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've felt for a lomg time now that DEUS EX MACHINA have continued where AREA left off. That adventerous style of music with a vocalist who can dominate any time he feels like it. This particular album is where they came into their own and they haven't looked back. "De Republica" is rated as DEUS EX MACHINA's second best album on the Gnosis site and I agree that this album is without question a must have.

This first track "Exordium" is unlike any song i've heard from this band. It's stunningly beautiful with rare laid back vocals with acoutic guitar leading the way early. Gorgeous. It kicks in briefly after 2 minutes with organ, then before 3 minutes violin and drums come to the fore as vocals stop. Heavy guitar and organ follows. Incredible ! And a top three track. "Res Publica I" kicks in right away with vocals and a full sound. Horns a minute in after the vocals stop. "Res Publica II" opens with violin then the vocals join in. Drums and a full sound after a minute. It settles a minute later then the violin starts to dominate. Organ, drums and guitar after 3 minutes. Hell ya ! Vocals are back. Organ dominates late. "Res Publica III" has a Fusion flavour to start as keys then drums lead. I love how this sounds then we get a change after 3 minutes as the tempo picks up and vocals join in. Nice guitar 4 minutes in and the bass is prominant. Keyboards are back then the violin arrives. It's very AREA-like before 5 1/2 minutes. A top three tune. "Macte Aequitatem" features pounding drums as the guitar attacks. Vocals then violin follows as it settles briefly.

"Foederis Aequas Dicamus Leges" has some good bottom end to it when it gets going. The tempo continues to change here. Check out the vocals 5 minutes in and the guitar that follows. "Aeterna Lex" is an experimental vocal piece. "Perpetua Lux I" opens with acoustic guitar as violin joins in. "Perpetua Lux II" is the other top three song for me. The acoustic guitar to open is beautiful as vocals join in. Organ floats in then drums. Amazing sound. Synths before 3 minutes then the tempo picks up with guitar ripping it up. Then it settles with acoustic guitar and vocals like the intro. Organ and drums follow. Nice. "De Oraculis Novis I" opens with quite the instrumental display.Vocals before a minute. It settles when the vocals stop and the violin comes in. Vocals are back later. "De Oraculis Novis II" is heavy with vocals. Uptempo too.Check out the drums 2 minutes in. "De Oraculis Novis III" is a bit of relief after all the intensity. Vocals and violin stand out. "Dittatura Della Mediocrita" is uptempo with guitar,organ and drums standing out. This is great. Violin then vocals around a minute. It settles before 3 1/2 minutes. It's building. The vocals sound excellent when they kick in a minute later. Violin and guitar follow.

Challenging, yet oh so enjoyable.

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 Equilibrismo da Insofferenza by DEUS EX MACHINA album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.03 | 53 ratings

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Equilibrismo da Insofferenza
Deus Ex Machina Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Music By Mail

5 stars As I write this today in 2009, more than 10 years after the release of the album presently reviewed, I'm still firmly convinced that this is the best the band has offered to us to date. For the first, they were really in a very mature period; not only was the creativity flowing but all the complex compositional techniques had been proved very well live (the albums "Non Est Ars Quae Ad Effectum Casus Venit" and "Diacronie Metronomiche" are proofs of this) and in the studio ("De Republica"). The players knew themselves perfectly, reaching this kind of telepathic interplay, a big value for a band and music like theirs. On top of that, they decided to add some horns, integrated in further demanding arrangements that also gave the music a very strong jazz-rock feel; not the chops type often wrongly associated to this genre but a very organic and human one, spirited and muscular. The linguistic pyrochechnic acrobacies of Alberto Piras, be it in Latin or Italian, are topping here, having found the perfect vehicle to drive them forth! Violinist Alessandro Bonetti has now a bigger role to play and his often phased melodic lines are vital to the big picture; add some fantastic Rhodes playing, biting and amazing guitar soli and generally a rhythm section in fire and you'll begin to see why I can't but give this album a 5 stars rating. The print was so deep that I was in fact much disappointed when the next album "Cinque" did appear after some years of absence. The fire had been extinguished .... so in case you haven't heard Equilibrismo yet, let's make an experience; throw a match on its ashes and I'm sure the fire would take up again!

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