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Yggdrazil - Settimo Grado di Separazione CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.00 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Heavy gothico-zheulo-prog metal?

Like the other releases from the Psych Up Melodies label, YGGDRAZIL's "Settimo Grado Di Separazione" ("Seventh Degree of Separation" in English) is a quite strange and hard to describe album. First and only opus to date by this obscure Italian band, taking their name from Northern mythology, the music displays a singular dark and esoteric ambiance, borrowing from various different styles. Almost constantly taken by surprise, the listener will travel through an unknown parallel dimension, moving from hard rock, heavy prog to progressive metal via gothic, cold- wave and zheul-esque wormholes. The mystical impression is reinforced the vocalist's chameleon unusual raw and high-pitched falsetto vocals. The compositions are rather homogeneous in terms of quality, contain many changes, as well as elaborated rhythm structures.

From the beginning, you know you're in for something special. Starting on a heavy prog tonality, "Conception of Time" turns into a powerful heavy progressive metal title, then to a 80's goth / cold wave lament, to finally conclude as a somehow rock ballad! Completely different, the dreary "Lizard" evokes an incantatory ritual chant with its Middle-Eastern accents, and abruptly introduces the nonsense fast-paced "Gig", entirely reversing the peaceful atmosphere. This indescribable track resembles Zheul with various digressions, however dissonant and not really united. My least favorite passage from the record. But even more surprising is what comes next. "Every Man" is a much more classic melancholic hard rock song, both pretty and strong, with a very usual structure. The last kind of track you would expect to find in such an eerie disc! By contradiction, that's why this album is unpredictable.

Opening with beautiful arpeggios, the soft gloomy "By my Time" slightly morphs into complex tortured prog metal. With its high-pitched vocals, this composition may remind a little FATES WARNING. Interesting and varied, although a bit messy at times. Back to calm with the hazy "Specular", a smooth ethereal cold wave title that suddenly unleashes raging numerous saturated soli. Longest song of the record, "Separazione" is a worthy powerful conclusion for such musical trip. Its dark progressive metal tone contrasts with the strange falsetto vocals and the mesmerizing passages, building a mystical atmosphere, summoning the ancient spirits of the sky... Great!

The 2012 Psych Up Melodies re-release includes four bonus tracks, consisting just in low quality demos, rather optional.

Despite a few moments hard to follow, "Settimo Grado Di Separazione" possesses a genuine particular ambiance. Difficult to categorize, YGGDRAZIL is constantly shifting from a genre to another, nearly fooling its audience musically, but not in terms of interest and inspiration. Don't expect walking on an establish path, prepare for an uncommon journey instead.

A very strange and original album, recommended if you like to venture into obscure, tortured heavy prog / prog metal territories, not without certain slices of both known and unknown...

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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