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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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Qirsh biography
Formed in the winter of 1992 in Savona by a group of young friends, Italian band Qirsh (the band name having no actual meaning!) initially played a mix of commercial cover songs for school parties, church exhibitions and music contests. A mix of different musicians and singers would enter and leave the band over the next few years, but each would bring new influences and inspirations, and after seeing Pink Floyd in Turin in September 1994, the band began to experiment with sounds, effects and even implementing sketches between songs, as well as special effects in their live shows. They made their first home-made recording without overdubbing in 1996 of `cosmic pop/rock' music, 50 cassettes for friends and relatives.

Summer of 1997 saw an altered line-up (which will remain mostly unchanged to this day) commence recording in Mondovi of an album to be titled `Una cittą per noi' (A City for us). On the eve of its cassette release of 200 copies, it was discovered the album was recorded entirely in mono, with no stereo effects and horrible equalization. All involved became convinced that the tapes needed to be re-done. In 1999 Qirsh decided to re-record the entire album, this time for a print on CD and in a greater number of copies, but sadly the label filed for bankruptcy, and this closed the chapter of `A City for Us'. 1998-2008 saw the band in a state of flux - a mix of side-projects, live concerts with other artists and several of the group studying separately in different parts of the country, but they would still try to catch up and play shows together a few times a year. But by 2009, the members all realised too much time had passed since that first work in 1997, so a renewed focus and determination saw the band begin work on a new album.

The `official' debut album Sola Andata (One Way) was released in December 2013, with nine songs created between 2009 and 2012, then recorded and mixed in 2013. Each piece has its own style and atmosphere, but the album has a common thread: the journey. Tales of exploration, travels made by members of the group, history of the last few decades and also trips into the mind and personal fears all feature, with American influences, Mediterranean themes and much more, with images in the CD booklet designed to accompany this `journey'. A album of spacey passages, psychedelic colours, proper vintage theatrical RPI, spirited vocals, electronic experiments, Post Rock, and a little electro-pop, Sola Andata is pu...
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3.94 | 13 ratings
Sola Andata
3.43 | 7 ratings
Aspera Tempora, Parte 1

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QIRSH Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sola Andata by QIRSH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 13 ratings

Sola Andata
Qirsh Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This one was like a crowded hospital, it took a lot of patience (pun on patients), biding my time until the cd finally arrived in my sweat-drenched hands , as I had heard this one on progstreaming, then read Aussie-Byrd- Brother's exuberant critique and , as is often the case with my Oz pal, I ordered it subito. I am glad to report the wait was more than worthy, as this is a truly impressive package from the glittering artwork, the sublime cover (ah, yellow dresses , wink wink !) and a magnificent production and pristine sound. 'The perspiration on my upper lip area' (grazie Franco) grew in intensity as the thin clear plastic was mercilessly torn from the cardboard and the disc slid into my player like Ricky Henderson stealing home plate. These ragazzi have created a thoroughly modern RPI classic that should be the talk of Italian prog, gifted in all facets of instrumental prowess as well as singing their collective hearts out. Have to say that this new breed of Italian proggers have really adapted the illustrious ingredients of past glories and fused them with all the modern accoutrements that make the scene still oh so vibrant. The band's makeup (no, not like Kiss, silly!) is partly responsible, offering dual guitarists, 'duel' keyboardists and a bass/drum tandem of the very highest order. The other main characteristic is the plethora of world-class melodies they come up with and adorning them with amazing sounds and astounding ideas. Bass player Andrea Torello in particular really gets it, shepherding the remaining squadra with tight 10th Legion-like discipline and Pirlo-esque artistic savvy. Old school meets new school, Bravo!

To begin the cheery festivities, the band wastes little time with warming up excuses, though "Artico" is anything but frigid, probably influenced by the sweltering sun-baked beach scene on the cover, a stimulating escapade into classic RPI storytelling (Italians are good at stories). The vocalized imagery conveys inimitable enthusiasm, the buoyed vibrancy of the driving rhythm section going for the beat jugular and not letting go until this album is 'finito'. A truly shimmering introduction to their craft.

If anything, Italians like to leave their foot on the Bugatti pedal so, the highly theatrical and chatty "Mercato Ghardaia" remains a palpitating affair, supremely confident and utterly delightful in all manners of musical expression both vocally and instrumentally. The swoon is overtly Mediterranean, mottled with Carthagian sprinklings, little desert sand in the linguini. Damn, this is great music two tracks in, that old style guitar solo, wow! Brake? We break for lunch, some nice porchetta , eeh!

Sleek like a shining vintage Maserati , "Mayflower" is clearly intended as a quaint reminder of past glories, a whopping PFM-styled melody on the synthesizer that recalls their 70s classic period, you could easily close your eyes and imagine Flavio Premoli massaging his keys with that special flair for the dramatic. "Figli dello Piccolo Padre" owns a bass onslaught that left me panting for air, a scurrying heat-seeking missile that never misses it mark, a spectacular 8 minute+ throbbing rocket urging the screaming synths into even deeper delirium. The sheer pushy remorselessness of the piece is worthy of legendary status, finishing off with a mellotron eargasm. This is a track you fans need to hear, it is startling!

"Finestrino" is another shorter ambient 'pezzo', an interlude between two gargantuan classics, a piano pied piper leading the mood, introducing a violin (real or sampled) and suave orchestration in the background, rolling distant thunder and church bells. I am in awe! Dual ivorymen Leonardo Digilio and Pasquale Arico put on quite a creative display as they do throughout the entire album.

The insistent vocal splendor on the adrenaline-charged "Rianimazione" is immediately seared into one's brain, as the addictive Ultravox-like pulse , courtesy of Marco Fazio seems to hammer away at any glassy attempt to conform, Torello's bopping bass scouring like some famished reptilian monster avid for a meal. This should be anointed as a modern RPI classic, it's that splendid! When the two guitarists Daniele Olia and Michele Torello strap on their axes, the mood gets even more frantic, slashes and screeches becoming the norm.

Enter the 21st century with the tectonic "Malaria", an electro-prog arrangement that will kick you in the Ferraro Rocher nuts, as insistent vocoded effects of the very highest caliber are propelled by a fearsome bass, chunky drumming and carnal guitar rants, as the battery of smoking synths illuminate the stars. This is also extraordinary in both quality and creativity, probably my fave cut here.

Back to more classic style with the lyrical storytelling of "Vento Delle Isole", a breezy, almost pastoral canzone, loaded with accordion, acoustic guitar, mellotron and choir humming. Yes, I said 'choir humming'! The two-part finale "La Nebbia" offers a dense melancholia that will tear at one's heartstrings, something these lads do oh so very well. Moody, lively, spectral and impassioned, the meandering melodies evoke profound passions and the mood is quite exceptional.

My grandfather once famously stated "Italy is not a country, it's a theater!". Yes, so they talk with the hands, they live life like a Ferrari, live to eat, drink and love. And do it kind of stylishly. Qirsh has a killer debut in "Sola Andata", right up there with new debutantes Mad Fellaz, Ad Maiora, Egonon, Ingranaggi dele Valle, Phoenix Again and Unreal City. The future bodes well for 'la bella Italia'.

4.5 No U-turns

 Sola Andata by QIRSH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 13 ratings

Sola Andata
Qirsh Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars An `official' debut CD release for Italian band Qirsh, formed back in the early 90's, has been a long-time coming! Sure, there were a couple of cassette recordings to pass out among friends in the early days, but time in a proper recording studio resulted in several setbacks, brought on by flooding, burglary and plain old unsatisfactory production results! After a period of not much activity, 2009 saw the group refocus and bring a determination to complete their dream, and 2013 finally sees this promising band deliver `Sola Andata' ("One Way"). Every track is about a `journey' of sorts, be it physical travelling, moments in history, or even looking inwards and journeying in the mind. It's a truly progressive and likeable mix of some traditional symphonic styled RRI and psychedelic rock, but with very modern sounding electronic experiments and even Post Rock elements delivered with a youthful energy and focus.

There's lots of hazy psych colours throughout album opener `Artico'. Soaring electric guitars, treated phasing vocals and drifting synths create a drowsy atmosphere, with some nice whimsical acoustic guitar moments bringing a briefly playful sound. A foot-tapping up-tempo energy runs through `Mercato Ghardaia', all furious acoustic guitar jangling, relentless pulsing bass and frantic ravishing Italian vocals that RPI purists will adore. `Mayflower' will instantly remind listeners of those rollicking perky instrumental moments from the classic P.F.M albums, lovely humming Hammond organ on that one too.`Figli del Piccolo Pardre' sees the band move into the modern age, a mix of heavy driving guitars, monstrous stalking bass that never lets up and pounding drumbeats, with little breaks of ambient passages around floating keyboards, all bookended with eerie Mellotron.

Rising and falling synths groan over a repeating violin sample throughout brief electronic interlude `5a, Finestrino', while the band reveals darker flavours in the slinking electro-pop of `Rianimazione', throbbing attacking bass and vacuum-like synths howling around ranting vocals. There's more dark electronic sounds on the powerful rolling drumming and a chanting processed vocal loops of `Malaria', and `Vento Delle Isole' races back to the past for some Mellotron, acoustic guitar and accordion led acid-folk, with some gorgeous group harmonies an exquisite highlight. There's a creeping unease to album closer `La Nebbia', murmuring bass, maddening intense spitting vocals and building Post Rock-flavoured chiming electric guitars makes the piece equal parts dreamy and melancholic, it's just a shame the end fades out abruptly...before a shimmering reprise fixes that near mistake and closes the end with a swirl of disorientating synths!

All the years the band spent patiently working on their craft, experimenting and taking in all sorts of musical inspirations, both old and new, have delivered an exceptional debut. Qirsh bring just enough vintage RPI influences and weave it seamlessly with modern styles, each complimenting the other and sounding highly original. There's a bright future for this band, and `Sola Andata' is just the beginning of their journey. Highly recommended!

Four stars.

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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