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Labirinto Di Specchi - Hanblecheya CD (album) cover


Labirinto Di Specchi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.82 | 43 ratings

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4 stars Wow, I am very impressed with this album. I haven't heard a lot of modern RPI but what I have heard disappointed me, sounding like retro prog. This, on the other hand, sounds more what I would expect present day RPI to sound like. Besides being based in classic Italian prog, there are some more modern influences like metal and post-rock here as well. The only vocals on the album are the narration of Paulo Cerelli, formally of Pholas Dactylus (whose sole 1973 album I have only recently heard). This is listed here as a 2011 release but without having it handy I'm pretty sure my copy has a 2010 date. If this is considered a 2011 release then it is one of the better releases this year without a doubt.

The music itself is a mix of the spacey, the symphonic and the heavy. Some great retro synth sounds are used and a guest musician plays violincello. The sound is great for a modern recording, not too compressed and every instrument has room to breathe. After a spacey opening with narration, "Eclissi Pt. 1" goes into symphonic metal before getting more folky and jazzy with piano and percussion. Later more metal with great classical piano runs. At over 1 minute into "La maschera della visione" it goes into Zeuhl territory similar to Italian Zeuhl bands Runaway Totem and Universal Totem Orchestra. Later some narration backed by some spacey quasi-metal. Gets more intense with the organ. Great synth sounds here including an awesome solo.

"Fantasia" features some lovely acoustic guitars, violincello and cymbals as bass and drumkit join them. After 3 minutes gets very folky with a nice bouncy beat. Then immediately goes into breath-taking symphonic prog. The bouncy beat later returns in a post-rock fashion with narration. Although the whole album is very consistent, track #4 with a very long title is the weakest on the album. Spacey and slightly avant this features narration and lots of percussion sounds. The percussion dies out at one point as hypnotic guitar enters and percussion comes back with altered talking in the background and random piano playing. Some of the percussion sounds electronic or heavily modified.

"Purpurea" has some retro-sounding spacey synth leading to what sounds like programmed drums and a Mellotron-like sound with acoutic guitar and bass. Real drummer enters as the band goes into uptempo symph prog with some metal guitar. Later some post-rock guitars and violincello along with narration. Then full blown post-rock with metal guitar soloing. Develops some post-rock style crescendos. "Follia" is a 19 minute epic that starts off with sorta Post/sorta Spanish acoustic guitar playing along with atmospheric and spacey sounds. Full band then comes in.

Some funky auto-wah bass. Repeated guitar notes lead to spacey synths that remind me of Jean Michel-Jarre's Oxygene album. Goes into some kind of space/post/symph hybrid. Some more narration. Later builds towards spacey metal with piano. Great organ soloing at one point over symphonic post-rock. Symphonic string-synth as the rest of the band slowly increases in tempo, playing post-rock style. Nice way to end the epic but despite it's length is not one of the highlights of the album. Last song "Eclissi Pt. 2" starts with a catchy drumbeat, then proceeds into symphonic metal territory. Symph metal fades out and is replaced by Tool-sounding spacey post-rock type stuff (or something).

Symphonic synths get added. Goes into a piano-based post-rock vibe, then prog metal with sitar. Violincello reminding me of chamber prog sets the pace for some more narration. Ends on a spacey note. What an album! It's nice to know that even in 2011 there is still great new music being made...that will be ignored by almost everyone. I would highly recommend this album to fans of RPI. A modern classic? Time will tell. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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