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Garden Wall - Assurdo CD (album) cover


Garden Wall


Progressive Metal

3.89 | 62 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's fair to be surprised to find out that Assurdo is the 8th release by this band; their first was released in 1993, and yet to date, they have not garnered a very large following. If this album is any indicator of the quality of the rest of their output, then I find myself begging the question - why?

Until I came to this page, I thought I had been lucky enough to stumble on the debut album of a promising young band. The music is fresh and alive, full of ideas and energy. But the band has a sound that is completely their own, and they pull of the compositions on this album with such deftness that I should have immediately recognised that I was listening to a band who had a number of years behind them spent perfecting their craft.

From the opening lines of "Ipebole", the band makes their statement. The mood is dark and aggressive; the rhythm section snakes in and out of the textures provided by the keys while lead singer Allesandro Seravalle paints dark, bleak images with his raspy, growl-like singing (I use growl here more in the animal sense, than the way "growl" is often meant in metal - although there are some growls here as well!). There is a certain Eastern vibe to the music contained on these discs that cannot be denied. But it is not a gimmick, nor does it distract or compete with the rest of the music. It is an ingredient that one cannot imagine being removed from the whole, but that gives the music a bit of an exotic flavour.

Metal lovers, be happy; this is an album with riffs, and there are great riffs. But they are not the focus of this album, but merely another ingredient used to paint the whole picture; the tracks will abandon them for texture, for sound effect and environment, for melody or for vocals where it is appropriate. This is not a "loud" album, either, although it does get loud at a few points. Garden Wall make use of quiet and clean sections to give more meaning to what they do when they get loud and dirty.

My favorite track here is Transfiguratofunky. This is one of the louder and more aggressive tracks on the album, but it also features some crazy, high-pitched tribal-sounding vocals mixed in with the riffs and the sound effects to create a truly fantastic element that simultaneously pumps you up and immerses you in the atmosphere. Other highlights include the eerie "Flash", "Re- Awakening" (which includes some nice flute and reprises the high pitched vocals from Transfiguratofunky), "Negative" and the opener, "Ipebole".

For fans of metal who crave some adventure merged with create playing and compositions, or for adventurous rock listeners who enjoy a bit of metal in the mix, this album is worth a spin. And if you are a fan of prog - then you definitely have to check this album out - it is likely to be one of the top releases of the year.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |


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