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Cellar Noise - Alight CD (album) cover


Cellar Noise


Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 98 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hailing from Milan, Cellar Noise took shape in 2013 on the initiative of Alessandro Palmisano and Niccolò Gallani with the aim of blending classic seventies prog with modern influences in their new original compositions. Once found the right formula, after some line up changes and a good live activity on the local scene, in 2017 the band released an interesting debut album on the independent label AMS/BTF entitled Alight, a conceptual work about a surreal trip on a London Underground train. It was recorded, mixed and mastered at the Zerodieci Studio in Genoa with the help of Fabio Zuffanti, Luca Nasciuti and Roberto Vigo and with a line up featuring founder members Alessandro Palmisano (guitars) and Niccolò Gallani (piano, organ, synthesizer, Mellotron) along with Francesco Lovari (lead and backing vocals), Loris Bersan (bass, classical guitar) and Eric Bersan (drums, percussion) plus some special guests such as Chiara Alberti (cello), Luca Tarantino (oboe) and Giulia Zanardo (flute) who gave their contribute during the recoding sessions to enrich the sound. The result is very good...

The opener "Dive With Me" is a long, beautiful instrumental track that sets the atmosphere and starts by the sounds of an underground station. As by magic, a charming music rises from those confused sounds... Then it's the turn of "Underground Ride" that conjures up the image of a man, a commuter wrapped in his own thoughts and fed up by the daily grind. He gets lost in a kind of parallel world and you're invited to follow the trip of the protagonist diving into his dream. The art work by Francesca Serpi might give you an idea of the scene... "Once he got on the train, he started to observe the names of the stops printed on the signs. As he watched, the words came to life and started to fuse with the visions from his imagination. Each name generated different places, characters and stories that moved in the dreamlike dimension as the train moved on..." (quote from the liner notes).

"Embankment" begins by a delicate piano pattern, then the music veers from a dreamy mood to Gothic atmospheres. The music and lyrics tell the story of a girl that day after day meets the ghost of a beautiful young man during her commuting trips in the subway and finally establishes a contact. Then she jumps from the train to follow him in the world of spirits, the afterlife. A wonderful track and a very strange way to depict a suicide on the underground rails...

The following "Temple" starts by a classical guitar arpeggio, then the atmosphere becomes dark and the rhythm slowly rises while the lyrics evoke the stage of a crumbling, abandoned opera theatre. The shadow of an old caretaker slowly moves around, drawn into a whirlwind of emotions and memories for a last, tragic show...

The nervous, aggressive "Blackfriars" conjures up images of riots and rebellious acts contrasting with the words of unscrupulous politicians disguised in men of peace who try to canalize hate and manipulate the crowd... The it's the turn of the calm, introspective "Move The Stone" where the visions seem to stop for a while and a frozen, hidden memory emerges as the protagonist comes back to reality...

The closer "Monument" is the last stop of the journey, a piece where music and lyrics try to depict the new awareness of the protagonist and convey a healing feeling of freedom. For him it's time to take another train and a new direction leaving behind the chains of his false self and grey routine...

On the whole, an interesting concept and a beautiful album...

andrea | 4/5 |


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