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Nodo Gordiano - Nous CD (album) cover


Nodo Gordiano


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.01 | 123 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A musical trip on turbulent seas

The cover art does not lie. Nodo Gordiano are one Italian prog rock band that I'm unfamiliar with despite the fact they have been around for twenty years now, albeit with a different line-up for each album. The one constant is multi-instrumentalist Andrea De Luca who for this fourth album is joined by guitarist Fabrizio Santoro (from Vu Meters) and percussionist Carlo Fattorini who has been around since the Alea album. Released in March 2014 from AMS/BTF, Nodo Gordiano sound enthusiastic and psyched for exploration. NG are not your typical RPI band by any means and could be just as easily be described (at various times) as psych-prog, eclectic, possibly even heavy-prog. There are long instrumental sections throughout the album with that eclectic spirit and that certain spark I've heard time and again in modern Italian bands. Adventure, mystery, and a willingness to dive down any possible rabbit hole with a big hearted grin. If prog-rock is about fun and adventure and you don't mind forgoing the "easily accessible" on occasion, then you're likely to enjoy this one.

The first thing you will notice is the wide variety of sounds choices, moods, and interplay. Sometimes passages are going to be somewhat abrasive and sometimes very mellow, even relaxing, but rarely will you be allowed to settle in for long. Changes are pretty constant, the ideas come and go at a good clip. We can go from gentle acoustic guitars over dreamy synthesizers, the occasional hand percussion, then quickly things can build into absolute frenzy with chaotic, wild lead guitar screaming. And then back to a subdued space. In the slower and more thoughtful passages there is great attention paid to mood and storytelling instrumentally, not always easy! I like instrumental music that still feels like storytelling, as opposed to random shred. While we have seven different tracks here this is very much the experience of listening to different movements of one long track for me. Too much going on to get into the details of every track but the closer Stella Maris is my favorite. Just amazing. Dreamy piano, waves-literally!, guitars like seagulls, electronic burst, mean riff, break, then a wonderful "sailing away" represented with wordless female vocals.

In his review of their previous work, our friend Assaf Vestin described the band as such, and his works ring true of the new album as well:

"I have a hard time trying to describe what they sound like, but I can say that they have a variety of influences and an eclectic palate. This plethora of musical taste buds doesn't lead to an incoherent album. They take all those ingredients and mix them in a superb and magnificent manner. However, the album may very well seem thick and too hard to digest at first, necessitating multiple listens until the listener manages to get ahold of the entire album in its size and splendor." -A. Vestin, Hanging Sounds blog

Oh I like this album very much. It is a busy album and some people will disliked their approach but I think adventurous music fans will approve. Bravo! And an awesome album cover proving yet again that simplicity and the human touch trump all those big budget covers that look like video game advertisements. Looking something like a map of a "Middle Earth" type location in a fantasy novel, it is a great representation of how the music itself feels to me. I'm in the 3-4 star space but I round up here without much hesitation.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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