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Tilion - Insolitariamente CD (album) cover

INSOLITARIAMENTE

Tilion

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.33 | 14 ratings

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progaardvark
4 stars Tilion had its origins back in November 1998 in Bergamo, Italy. It was formed out of the ashes of a 1990s Italian group called the Prowlers. The band is made up of bassist Roberto "Bobo" Aiolfi, drummer Paolo Cassago, keyboardist Alfio Costa (credited with Hammond organ, Minimoog, and Mellotron, plus others), guitarist Flavio Costa, and lead singer Andrea Ricci. On their debut album, recorded in the summer of 2002 and released the following year, the group is accompanied by guests Vincenzo Zitello on harps and flute, Laura Mombrini on vocals, and Adriano Ossoli on saxophone.

"Insolitariamente" almost seems like its a concept album, but my lack of understanding of the Italian language prevents me from ascertaining this based on the lyrics. However musically, the album has a prologue, an epilogue, and multiple short interludes between the main songs. This is the only thing that hints at that possibility. Online translators don't really help and my fellow reviewers here and elsewhere aren't hinting at that either. Oh well, let's move on...

The music on this one is generally a dark mix of psych and symphonic prog. But that just touches the surface. Not only are there influences from bands like Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Le Orme, but also from King Crimson, Trespass-era Genesis, and even soundscapes that remind me of the Ozric Tentacles, plus occasional heavy guitar work. Some of the piano work is beautiful and sort of hints at Tale Cue. There are lots of quiet-to-loud and back to quiet transitions, all done seamlessly. The interplay of the members is fantastic. I think the one thing that bothers me most about the arrangement of the album is that the interlude tracks seem like filler. They often sound like short experiments that didn't lead anywhere and seem more like a distraction from the more important songs. The album to me would be better without them. All the meat is in the main tracks that range from six to over sixteen minutes long.

As for the production, this sounds very retro. It definitely has a 1970s sound rather than 2003. Whether that's on purpose is something I cannot answer for sure. The mix is sometimes inconsistent across the album. Bassist Roberto Aiolfi is an amazing player. He sort of reminds me of an Italian Mike Rutherford that can also slap the bass. Many times his playing is drowned out by the other instruments, however on Torpore Celebrale he's mixed in at the right level to show off his skills. Throughout the album, the snare drum comes off louder than I think it should. For some reason, most of the keyboard solos are placed slightly on the left side of the mix, rather than having them centered or evenly distributed across the stereo spectrum. I don't know if these slight flaws were due to limitations of the recording equipment or maybe they made some mixing decisions while being distracted with eggs or chickens or something. Nonetheless, these flaws don't distract my ears seriously enough from the enjoyment, the energy, and the powerful delivery of the music. It's a really great debut album.

If the flaws I mention above seem like they would bother you enough that you couldn't enjoy the music, then maybe this isn't the album for you. For RPI fans, this is well worth your time.

9/10 stars: Buio; Dietro i Ricordi (the two longest tracks) --- 8.5/10 stars: Luna --- 8/10 stars: Orizzonti sintetizzati; Torpore Celebrale --- 7.5/10 stars: Prologo; Epilogo --- 7/10 stars: Il Custode; Corale Tribale --- 6/10 stars: Solitaria Mente; Il pensiero dal Basso.

Overall rating: 8.25/10 (4.13 PA)

progaardvark | 4/5 |

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