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Akt - Blemmebeya CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 33 ratings

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5 stars An album of amazingly diverse sound and styles, from true symphonic RPI structures to world, new age, jazz, folk, psychedelia and many other forms.

1. "Prima Della Fine" (1:13) starts the album off with a recording of a GEORGE CARLIN rant on politics. Amazing! What a way to start an album! YES! A group with some guts! (10/10)

2. "L'assalto" (9:56) gets the music off to a very, very powerful start--great melodies coming from all instruments, weaving in and out of each other's paths in a beautiful and never overwhelming the listener with "too many notes." At 2:30 male vocals enter, causing the tapestry to be less attention getters--for a while. The vocalist timbre and style is remarkably similar to that of Quebec's THE BOX lead singer, JEAN-MARC PISAPIA. This song has so many twists and turns it's like a maze, yet it never loses the listener, each turn is easy and acceptable. (9/10)

3. "TG Egeo" (5:10) is a great song very much in the RPI tradition, sounding a lot like BANCO DEL MUTUO SUCCORSO from the 1970s. Cool Frippertronics at the end. (9/10)

4. "Favonio" (4:55) begins with acoustic guitar and male vocals--first one then harmonized others. Sensitive, kind of like a great JOHN DENVER song. Piano, double bass, and brushed drums join in for the next section before an awesome guitar riff pulls in mellotron, electric bass, and full drum kit. Yes' or Genesis' best 'surprise' moments never topped this one! And then it just gets better with another shift at 3:30 whereupon an electric guitar--with bass mirroring and harmonizing it--plays an amazing solo to the end. (10/10)

5. "Stati D'animo Uniti" (5:50) starts with some ominous, deep bass sounds with flits and splffs of percussion and other distorted instruments and samples creating a heavy, oppressive feel into which an equally dismal feeling vocal enters. The music and 'noises' plod ominously along, until at 2:35 a brief flourish of tango-like Latin music rushes through the room before, then, just as quickly disappearing to allow the vocalist to carry forward his depressing message (in Italian). The upbeat Latin section returns, establishes some lasting footing, then kind of backs off for a very ALLAN HOLDSWORTH-like guitar solo to play. The song ends with the Latin flourish, leaving the listener quite confused but entertained. Those Italians! They're so dramatic! (8/10)

6. "Di Vento" (10:17) again starts off with a feel and sound extremely similar to several of the kind-of-monotone songs on THE BOX's 2009 album D'Après le horla de Maupassant. This similarity continues throughout the song. Musically there are builds and lulls that are quite reminiscent of the wind. A nice song that seems to want to really build and break out, and threatens to do so several times in a "Cinema Show"-like way, but doesn't really do this until the end of the eighth minute. Still, a satisfying climax, dénoument and finale. (9/10)

7. "Mani Aperte" (4:55) starts off with clapping like PAT METHENY's "First Circle" before evolving into an enigmatic, chameleonic song, melding together some amazingly disparate sounds, instruments, and themes in a rather STEVE TIBBETTS kind of way. Even the guitar solo sounds like its straight out of Yr or another of Tibbets' 80s/90s releases. Then--surprise, surprise--at 3:20 an electric guitar slow strum that just brings everybody into pure prog melodic bliss--and which plays out, with male vocals/lyrics at the very end. (9/10)

8. "Zeitgeist" (3:44) is an instrumental that begins with another ominous, yet beautiful and engaging groove with still more odd and unusual sounds coming from stringed and keyed instruments. (9/10)

9. "La Fine" (5:27) begins with a muffled/treated male vocal backed by bass, far-back keyboard chords and very subtle cymbol play. By mid second minute the intensity and volume of still-slow drum work and vocal are increasing. A nice acoustic nylon string guitar solo in the middle carries the mood forward until a glockenspiel and some television sound samples take over for a bit, over which the voice returns in his treated whisper, before the volumes elevate again for the fifth minute. The final thirty seconds is kind of time echoing away. (8/10)

An album of amazingly diverse sound and styles, from true symphonic RPI structures to world, new age, jazz, folk, psychedelia and many other forms. The only negative comment I might have about this album revolve around the lead vocalist's monotonic singing style: it often seems to weigh down the song, even preventing it from developing more dynamic diversity. Still, this is in my opinion nothing less than a masterpiece of progressive rock music. 5 stars.

(As of 9/24/12 Blemmebeya sits at #167 on my list of All-time Favorite Albums.)

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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