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Acintya - La cité des Dieux oubliés CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.45 | 29 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Eclectic violin-heavy symphonic instrumental prog played in a heavily baroque and neo- classical style, Acintya has a grand and majestic sound filled with drama and urgency. Although a little more cold and brooding, they have some similar sounds to romantic prog acts like Terpandre, as well as a slight electronic Tangerine Dream influence. It creates a wildly varied and fascinating album definitely worthy of your attention.

`Adyane' has a stomping beat with harsh keyboards, but the main feature is a dancing violin with rough bass murmuring away in the background. About a minute a half in we get a highly original almost reggae diversion with noisy scratching violin squeaks! Very impressed with this, it sounds like nothing else. Nice loopy electric piano and spacey synth solos at the climax.

Crystalline Eloy-like organs and plodding bass throughout the longer `Espoir'. Soon the music turns more electronic with an chilly synth backdrop, very trance-like and dreamy, while a nice bass solo effectively drifts through the atmosphere. The music turns quite folky as a somber piano and weeping violin weave around the fog of synths. The classical piano/dirty violin finale builds a slightly sinister tension before a mysterious and disorientating outro.

The side-long title track has a grand and regal intro, with stop/start percussion and bass timing, epic classical synths/piano and stirring violin. The cold synth melody is rather lovely, but some awful nasty violin in the urgent section that follows lets this part down a little. The sad piano/violin duet that follows is much better, very emotional and reflective. After a heavy drum/organ workout, the piece diverts into a spacey and unsettling Tangerine Dream-like electronic pattern, with a cacophony of echoing, swirling effects, tribal drums and laboured breathing around it. Booming and creeping gothic organ consumes the listener, then falls away into a blissful hum. A Genesis-like bass/drum combo then kicks back in, before storming medieval violin and loopy synths solo through to the end.

The CD reissue has been expanded with two fascinating live pieces. Hopefully some more full concert releases emerge somewhere down the track, as the band shows a highly skilled improvisational talent and confidence not shown as much on the studio album. Although not very well recorded, the murky bootleg sound quality perfectly suits the ghostly and darker elements of the music, and it makes the classical elements sound even more gothic and dramatic. The violin has been replaced by some sporadically used electric guitar, but the main focus is the spectral organ with overpowering and attacking drumming. The bass is surprisingly fluid and lively. Oddly the pops, clicks and skips present in the source recording give the music even more of a haunting quality, like the soundtrack to a nightmare creature scratching at the end of your bed...

The main album is sometimes let down by a wildly inconsistent production. Drums are frequently reduced to a dull rumble, the bass is a muffled crunch, and in some parts the violin sounds a little flat and unpleasant, however I think some listeners will find this adds to the atmosphere of the album. The music itself offers some very interesting ideas, with quite an original style present in both the studio album and the bonus live tracks. The band has an definite energy and unique style, and I feel fans of Neo-classical and darkly dramatic instrumental prog like Shylock and even Ars Nova may find much of interest here.

Three stars...maybe even three and a half!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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