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Floating State - Thirteen Tolls At Noon CD (album) cover


Floating State


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.92 | 40 ratings

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3 stars Floating State from Italy has this album "Thirteen Tolls at Noon" that is not an easy listen, even when judged by its odd structure , two megalith tracks (21.59 for White Flower and a whopping 44.14 for Pilgrimage to Nowhere) surrounded by a trio of little ditties. Jeez, how does one begin to slice and dice this concoction? Well, I am a big vibes fan so the opener "Waterclock" is a gentle series of vibraphone musings that certainly inspire a Moerlin-era Gong but its short at 2 minutes 31 secs. "White Flower" is an altogether different animal, a certain Gryphon/Gentle Giant feel, lush with medieval intonations (a dash of harpsichord) and seriously fangled with a wide variety of wood and brass winds, elegant keyboard flourishes and some sizzling lead guitar. Then some of the negatives become apparent: the vocals are unfortunately accented English (they should have stuck with Italian, per bacco!), which is not an excitable language to start with, so the drama comes across as a bit hysteric. The normally solid drumming from a lady drummer (I love that!) is unexpectedly ruined by a rather lame mini-drum solo that is surprisingly amateurish. Edit please! Just when you get despondent, the flute gathers in the flock in a hugely successful pastoral interlude with brilliant duet vocals and a mellifluous sax passage, really nice as the piano and mellotron combine to add some elegance. This track would have needed some tweaks to become a classic. The serene and delicate "Fairies Inn" clocks in under 4 minutes and is arguably a highlight piece here, a sonic expanse where rustling piano, breathless voice that once again would have been better served in a native tongue. The monstrous Pilgrimage is next and as such, encapsulates well the weaknesses and strengths of this release, reminding us that good playing a masterpiece of prog does not make. There are snippets that veer into sheer radiance, especially when the winds are involved that are then nastily tackled by some poor singing (Sorry Michele!) and some okay electric guitar soloing that certainly could have used some more tonal feeling and less chopzilla. The keyboards and piano in particular are exhilarating though and the recorder work is stellar (such a gorgeous instrument) especially when used in unison with harpsichord and/or mandolin. The fretless bass musings are also memorable. In conclusion, the softer parts are much more seductive that the more aggressive sections, a clear indication that more attention would have been required from the production chair to blend them better. The contrasts therefore seem contrived instead of razor sharp and dramatic. But its still great music, if you hear what I mean! You just have to slalom through the gates as this is no downhill! By the time one gets to the finish line, this becomes a reliable and in a way interesting release that would have greatly benefited from a little guidance. 3.5 national balloons
tszirmay | 3/5 |


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