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Nodo Gordiano - Flektogon CD (album) cover


Nodo Gordiano


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.85 | 70 ratings

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4 stars Nodo Gordiano's Flektogon is the third album from this thundering Roman prog band, led by gifted multi-instrumentalist Andrea DeLuca and drummer extraordinaire Carlo Fattorini. The band sent me a download subsequent to my review of their 2014 masterpiece 'Nous'. I will be purchasing this CD to add to my classic collection (I am not a fan of collector downloads).

I have always had a soft spot for Gregorian choirs, not due to any religious schooling but rather because of the resonating effect it has when witnessed in a proper setting (church, cathedral, basilica), it serves as an excellent audio-physical anesthetic, preparing the mind for some serious sonic pleasure. So on the opening 'Theatro di Memoria', once the drug has penetrated into the soul, what better than some classic King Crimson (Red period) to push the boundaries, a hurricane of Cartesian guitar triangles, weighty Wetton-esque bass excursions and syncopated drum lunacy, but the Italians do add a new twist, an operatic aria courtesy of Silvia Scozzi, that will make the hair erect on any listener's body.

The Oriental-leaning 'Ozymandias Pt 1' involves more avant-garde fantasy, assorted percussive adventures framed with some marimba-like lines, booming gongs and a sense of forlornness. This interlude only serves as a primer for the 'piece de resistance', the megalithic 30 minute colossus 'Avventure di Mastarna', which once again stamps the KC/Anekdoten influences with little regret or shame. For a low-end fiend like yours truly, I get hooked hard and fast when a bass guitar blasts into the ionosphere like on this piece, literally hauling the arrangement forward mercilessly. The sound is clearly in the John Wetton/Liljestroem vein, where obese bass (ooh that was clever!) rule the roost, sweetened by a virtual arsenal of various percussive instruments that wink at Jade Warrior and such' yet contrary to their prime influences, there is a slew of spacey synthesizers that induce a sense of hypnosis and intergalactic voyage. Then, when you least expect it, a gluttonous saxophone comes blaring into the melee, proposing a deafening chaos that verges on the absurd. At the 14 minute mark, the reptilian bass goes bonkers, fueling sheer aural pandemonium. Hey, this ain't no girlie pop music, okay! Play this loud and your Miley Cyrus t-shirted neighbors will 911 the army, let alone the cops! Volcanic, disturbing, angular, lunatic and slightly insane, the progression of this piece defies categorization, literally encompassing every prog genre (yeah, including zeuhl) and will bedevil the drum freaks out there (Fattorini is a giant!), shame the bass novices and scare the lazy formulaic composers who constantly search out the cheapest thrills. The anarchic onslaught is quite experimental, and at times, just outright mental. This flirtation with dark and obscure themes provide a real carnal appreciation for the music, as if a soundtrack for some imaginary movie was the main impetus, a sonic script entirely at the mercy of the beholder. Dream what you will, fratello, dream what you will! As far as bass and drum fests go, this will feed your hunger.

Part 2 of 'Ozymandias' serves as a rhythmic sandwich for the previous turmoil, a platform for Fattorini to show off some wrist and elbow, perhaps a forearm as well, such is the thunder emanating from his kit. Hey, he can do Moerlen, he can do Bruford, he can do anyone! The finale has a coiling beat, aided by some peripatetic electric guitar and a strong sense of direction.

'Zeitgeist' (isn't that like the archetypical prog title for a song?) plows through some mammoth slippery bass lines, cyclical (or is that cyclonic) guitar patterns and deranged drumming, a fitting finale lush with menace and inglorious doom. A piece that sort of sums up what Nodo is all about. Bloody amazing band.

4.5 camera lenses

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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