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Eris Pluvia - Tales from Another Time CD (album) cover

TALES FROM ANOTHER TIME

Eris Pluvia

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.50 | 17 ratings

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TCat
3 stars Eris Pluvia is a band from Genoa, Italy playing a style of RPI that has influences of symphonic prog and folk evident in their music. Their first album was released in 1991 and received a lot of praise from critics. However, their next album wasn't released until almost two decades later in 2010, a 3rd album in 2016, and finally, this album called "Tales from Another Time", released in March 2019. The current line up consists of lyrics and guitars by Alessandro Cavatorti; bass, piano, keyboards and drums by Marco Forella; vocals by Roberto Minniti; and Roberta Pitas on flute. This album consists of 6 tracks that together span almost an hour in total run time, 3 that are standard length of about 5 minutes, and 3 others that are multi-part suites lasting 11 to 17 minutes. Most of the lyrics are sung in English.

The album starts with 2 of the shorter tracks. "When Love Dies" is an instrumental that starts peacefully with piano and flute playing a pastoral ballad with acoustic guitar joining later. At 2 minutes, keyboards and a more traditional rock feeling comes in with drums, but it remains soft and melodic. Intensity comes in later with guitar and then synthesized vocal effects as the band reaches into its Floydian bag of tricks. "Lost in the Sands of Time" starts quite mellow with atmospheric guitars and processed percussion before vocals come in. The band comes in later with a driving rhythm and synth riff and vocals become more intense. The track is fairly typical however, not really offering much and sounding a bit forced as they try to get in a progressive sound in the time allotted one way or another.

The first epic is over 17 minutes. "La Chanson de Jeanne" is a 3 part suite. It starts with a guitar intro with the full band behind before the vocals start. Later, guest vocalist Ludovica Strizoli sings the 2nd verse. As the track continues, it seems quite shallow and the keys sound dated. The only real good thing here is the guitar solo, but it is played against a boring background. After 5 minutes, the 2nd part begins with a minimal keyboard playing sustained chords and other effects. Spoken word vocals echo in the background for a short time. Finally, after 8 minutes, soft flute and guitar stars and the guest vocalist sings a lackluster part that is supposed to have that prog-folk feeling, but unfortunately, there is hardly any feeling there at all. The beat finally picks up with the regular singing and a lilting flute. Again, there is still no real heart in the music, it feels flat and the playing seems canned as keys and guitar take turns at solos. The 3rd part begins about 14 minutes in with organ and strummed guitar supporting a synthesizer melody and guitar solo then a pastoral flute ending with fade out.

"The Call of Cthulu" is another 3 part suite lasting about 12 minutes. It starts out a bit more heavy when the guitar comes in with drums playing a more solid beat. As the instrumental beginning continues, organ, synth and so on play their parts as this track promises to be a bit better. Before the 4 minute mark, things get eerie with dark and mysterious sounds, which is expected considering the subject matter, then the ominous organ comes in preceding vocals. The vocals are much to mellow however and bring the believability down a bit. A steady, moderate beat begins, more vocals, then guitar. At 8 minutes, the rhythm becomes slightly more complex and the vocals a bit more intense, but then everything is lost when this stops and the 3rd part begins. Cue the final guitar solo, then more eerie atmospherics. At the end of it all, you realize that even at almost 12 minutes, the development still lacks because it just seems like a lot of little parts that had to be put in here or there, everything had to be in its place that there wasn't any room for development anywhere.

Next, there is the 3rd short track "Last Train to Atlana". This is again another pastoral instrumental with flute and acoustic guitar (with squeaky strings) with some light percussion. The flute melody is quite uninteresting though.

The last track is another epic at over 14 minutes. "The Hum" is a 5 part suite. This one shoots for a more progressive sound in the introductory section with tricky rhythms, organ and guitar. Later, a slow piano section brings in the vocals for a ballad style section. The organ, piano and guitar in the instrumental break are nice and the melody here is probably the most heartfelt. After this, the complexity returns with a more progressive section, but this ends too quickly as things get quiet except for tolling bells and atmospherics. Then the flute carries a melody with a soft orchestral effect. This is interrupted after the 10 minute mark with the complex progressive sound coming back as the full band kicks in but soon settles into a steady beat with the flute still leading the way, but this time with a little more intensity. After a while, the guitar takes the flute melody and runs away with it.

For the most part, this album seems to try to be more than what it really is. Yes you have the long epic songs, but, other than "The Hum", which is the highlight of the album, they just seem too forced and lack emotion. The shorter tracks don't really help to bring it all together, and in the end it seems a bit disjointed. For the most part, unless they are playing a solo, the musicians just seem to be there playing automatically. Other times, it seems they are in a hurry to fit everything in and end up without developing anything. What makes "The Hum" more interesting is for some reason, there is more heart and soul in the song, but even it has it's problems, it's just that it is a more interesting track too. The music could stand to be somewhat looser and emotional and not just playing for the sake of playing. The album squeaks by with a 3 star rating, but only because of the last track.

TCat | 3/5 |

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