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Eris Pluvia - Different Earths CD (album) cover


Eris Pluvia


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.40 | 23 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Like the big bang that set everything and everyone in motion, ERIS PLUVIA seems to diminish in potency and distinction as it vaults ever further from its source around the turn of the 1990s. The sudden passing of long time keyboard player Paolo Raciti in 2011, shortly after the release of "Third Eye Light" must have been emotionally arduous, but Alessandro Cavatorti and Marco Forella have pressed onward, playing all the instruments except for the continued contribution of Roberta Piras on flute. They have recruited but one vocalist, Roberto Minniti, to replace Matteo Noli and Diana Dallera. Hence for the first time, no female vocals are present to complement the overall placidity of the material, and I have some problems with Minniti's twang from its first appearance, although eventually he (or perhaps I) yield to the ambiance at which the group has always excelled.

"Different Earths" is yet another ambitious thematic work that prioritizes atmosphere over amplification or virtuosity, as it explores mankind's yearning for interstellar travel, discovery and settlement. Wafting keyboards, acoustic guitar and otherworldly electric guitar leads reminiscent of both Andy Latimer and David Gilmour mark most of the tracks, with the conch occasionally passed to the flute. The melodies tend to be more languid than ever, but not as memorable or lucid. This is hurtfully evident when the closing piece cedes to "Rings of Earthly Delight" in that inevitable and cruel contrivance of itunes, over and over again. That early work could hardly be described as vivacious, except in stark contrast to "Different Earths".

Flaws aside, the album includes 4 very solid tracks while most of the rest might appeal to different listeners in different moods. The centerpiece is the 10+ minute "Heroes of the Dark Star" with a few amiable twists and a fine vocal turn by Minniti. "Man on a Rope", "Poet's Island" and "Black Rainbow" are other highlights offering the attributes described above. I can't consider any of the pieces to be masterpieces like every track on the debut and 2 or 3 on "Third Eye Light", nor do I find the individual compositions to be very synergistic as an ensemble, pushing together to scale peaks not attainable individually. It's almost like what the original band might have dreamed up one night and then scrapped the next day in deference to more profound inspiration.

Overall, while I am disappointed, I think a reset is probably appropriate. The earth of 2016 is different from that of 1990, or even that of 2003 when I first heard "Rings", and "Different Earths" is a good album of mellow folk influenced prog, nothing more or less. If you are a fan, by all means reach for it, and if you are not, but you find the description intriguing, I recommend approaching ERIS PLUVIA chronologically.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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