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Deus Ex Machina - Cinque CD (album) cover


Deus Ex Machina


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.07 | 109 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Deus Ex Machina were formed in Bologna in 1985 and have released six studio albums so far. "Cinque", their fifth one, was released in 2002, after three years of hard work, on the American independent label Cuneiform and it is usually considered their best album. The line up features Alberto Piras (vocals), Fabrizio Puglisi (keyboards), Maurino Collina (guitar), Claudio Trotta (drums), Alessandro Porreca (bass) and Alessandro Bonetti (violin) plus some guests musicians. Along their career the members of the band have matured a good live experience and improved their compositional skills blending challenging avant- garde passages with rock and jazz. Acoustic parts and electric ones are always well balanced and the result is a very peculiar and original sound halfway between Area and PFM. One of the characteristics of the band is the use of vocal parts in Latin. According to the band, "the use of Latin lyrics originate from the need to reconcile the melodious nature of Italian (which is difficult to transpose into rock), and the immediacy and fluency of English". Anyway, if you don't understand Latin don't worry, in the booklet you'll find the translation of the lyrics in Italian and English.

The opener "Convolutus" (Wound) starts softly with an acoustic guitar arpeggio, then violin and other instruments come in setting a neurotic and agoraphobic mood. Sometimes relations with other people and events of real life are difficult to deal with and you look for a safer exclusive inner world as a shelter... "Wound around my thought, this world meets my need for joy and simplicity / I won't waste another drop of myself out there / This world takes away my inability to love and respect myself...".

"Rhinoceros" (The rhinoceros) is about freedom of expression. The atmosphere is dark and surreal while music helps you to imagine a rhinoceros in a library ready to charge... "There's a rhinoceros looking at a pile of books, you can't imagine how many, you can't imagine which ones, you can't take one without making them all fall... Whatever thought is contained in them, the earth will always receive it".

"Uomo del futuro passato" (The man of the past future) is sung in Italian. It's a long and complex piece about the incapability to enjoy what we have because of the desire to have something more that we can't obtain, even in love and relationships. Music features frenetic parts and calmer ones and it perfectly fits the lyrics... "I run from you and you're the street under my feet / And I run faster and faster / Before me there's what I never had / Behind my there's what I've lost / In the middle is you, whom today I desired and tomorrow I'll miss...".

"Olim sol rogavit terram I" (One day the Sun asked the Earth) is a beautiful acoustic track featuring only acoustic guitars, violin and vocals. Lyrics deal with ecological issues and depict an imaginary dialogue between the Sun and the Earth about new horizons in an upcoming future... "One day the sun asked the Earth:- How's going? / - Better now, the cities have disappeared under thick vegetation which turned them into root drainage, nothing remains of machines and technology but a word lost in space after a radio broadcast from who knows how long ago... Life has new vigour, in fact, it's going better now".

"Il pensiero che porta alle cose importanti" (The thought that leads to the important things) is another track sung in Italian. Music leads you through winding alleys and dark paths inside your brain... "The thought that leads to important things is oblique / The brain hides the way with easy, close lights, excellent remedies for a tired soul...".

"Luce" (Light) is a good instrumental where acoustic guitars and violin are absolute protagonists. It's full of stop and go and music every now and again reminds me of the walk of a "Pink Panther".

"De ordinis ratione" (The theory of order) is a dynamic and well crafted piece about the need for order and its dangerous consequences... "We order things for fear of not recognizing ourselves / We classify for fear of being different / We destroy, simplifying multiplicity to the essential / That is the only way for the world to take the forms of our ideas / Ideas born from eyes that don't know how to see, that catch only distorted reflections of a simple denied complexity".

Last track "Olim sol rogavit terram II" has a strong classical feeling. This time the background for the dialogue between the Sun and the Earth features a string quartet and a very peculiar and nocturnal arrangement. At the end of this piece, after a pause, you can listen to a "ghost track" featuring some sound-checks and the voices of the musicians during the recording sessions. It's not a song but it can give you an idea of the hard work behind this excellent album...

andrea | 5/5 |


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