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Metronhomme - 4 CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.00 | 13 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars You must hand it to the Italians, they just keep on bursting through the seams and creating a constant river of sensorial delights, seemingly with the uncanny ability to blend traditional and well-proven methods and adapt them to futuristic visions. They have been doing this since the dawn of civilization and can be witnessed in art, design, food, architecture, fashion, engineering, mechanics and of course, music. So not only has RPI maintained credibility with seemingly an inordinate number of musicians (not surprising, prog is a higher school of learning after all), but it has bloomed into variants that yearn to establish a new progression, unafraid of fantasy, courageous in overturning the norms, uncanny ability to veer into going against expectations. Everyone knows that singing is an Italian national sport, so when groups decide to take the instrumental route, the mind does boggle! While that tradition has always existed (Goblin, Arti+ Mestieri, DFA, to name but a few) , in recent years, many bands have left the microphone behind and concentrated on exceptional aural landscapes. Bands such as La Batteria, Protocollo C, Gran Torino, Mad Fellaz, L'Albero del Veleno, Daal, Moogg, Progenesi etc... are keen to display extraordinary musicianship, structural imagination, modern sounds and wizard production.

I have been biding my time in getting Metronhomme into my collection and, of course, patience being a virtue, the band from Macerata has finally asked me to review their albums. I will dispense with the suspense immediately and give the golden buzzer right now. "4" is a masterpiece that has all the hallmarks of a genre defining monument to creativity while maintaining to afore mentioned irrevocable RPI traditions of lyrical beauty, technical mastery and as Franco Falsini of Sensation's Fix once described as "Music is Painting in the Air". The electric guitars are appropriately covering the entire sonic spectrum from serene to sizzling, there is a heavy reliance on the magical piano that pervades quite evidently, though e-piano, synth and organ are also featured everywhere. The thrilling bass carves eloquently, giving the 'prosciutto' arrangement the right amount to fat to amplify the flavour. Mirco Galli is certainly a stunner. The most evident 'modernistic' trait is the drum style of Andrea Lazzaro, a crafty and contemporary upgrade of Brufordian simplicity that is pure beat candy. Overall, there is a solid jazzy approach that seeks to keep everything fresh, tight and impactful, very much like a cinema soundtrack (a common quote from prog neophytes). The fact that there is truly little to no 'noodling' , makes this even more of a revelation. No need whatsoever to provide a blow-by-blow account of each track, as this release can and should be listened to as a stirring whole, eleven chapters of pure sonic joy! Throw in great artwork and you have a flawless package that will keep on giving for many auditions to come, it has all the tools to be continually pleasurable and relevant. My only caveat is that the title "4" does not reflect the number of stars deserved here, which is a definite "5".

5 regulating measures

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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