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Akt - Blemmebeya CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 33 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars That being with no head and a face on his body is a "Blemma". It's one of the figures that were used to fill the blanks of the maps containing unexplored lands, the same as the latin sentence "Hic sunt leones" (here are the lions) put in the middle of Africa.

The album starts with a spacey soundscape and a speaker's voice saying of conspiracy. This short track is "Prima della fine" (Before the End). Just an intro to the first excellent "L'Assalto" (The Assault), a song with odd signatures and in line with the big ones (KC and YES mainly) with a hint of RPI specially in the vocals. This is an album for all the prog tastes: those who like the old-fashioned soundscapes and those who are interested in exploring new lands. Even this track is almost symphonic for the first 5 minutes, then it passes through different moments and this is what makes it an excellent short epic. Also the lyrics are interesting: "We are only a stupid wind in the blades of a windmill which mills us (note that in Italian "mill" and "to mill" are very different words).

"TG" in Italy is an acronym of "TV news" and "Egeo" is the Greek Sea. Initially the sounds are almost middle-eastern, then there's a short reminder to the soundtrack of the national "Tv news". After this quotation the music evolves on dark atmospheres (there's a bit of Fripp here).

"Favonio" is the warm wind that's called Phoen by the German speaking peoples and is typical of the alpine area. Even in Italy "Phon" is the name given to the hairdryers. This song is made of vocals on unusual passages, acoustic guitar and keyboard. In some moments it has a folk flavor but "eclectic" is the right word. The second part of the song makes me think even to Mostly Autumn for its melodic structure.

"Stati D'Animo Uniti" (United States of Mind) opens very spacey and dark. This is one of my favorite landscapes, honestly. If it was for this track only I'd have thought of Akt as an Avant band, but in the middle of the song a short jazz/fusion instrumental chorus arrives, but only for few seconds. As the track title can make you guess, the lyrics are about uniforming the people's minds to think in the same standardized way. Society, mass media and so on, with a clear reference to "the boss" that I interpret as referring to the former Italian chairman Berlusconi. Also the closure of this track is a quote of the TV weather forecasts of the 70s.

Next there's "Di Vento" (Of Wind). This song, specially in the vocals, is similar to an Italian post-punk band that I suggested and was rejected one year ago: the CSI. The lyrics are full of poetry with attention to the sound of each single word other than to their meanings. A very dark track with a joke: "Di Vento" can be spelled "Divento" (I become). This is the longest track of the album and even though the general mood doesn't change, this darkness is carried on by different musical moments. The final guitar riff is excellent (and very Crimsonian with a touch of Pink Floyd).

"Mani Aperte" (Open Hands) is another very interesting track. With the rhythmic part initially based on claps, it quickly turns into dark symphonic prog. Thinking to something similar, just to try describing it, I'd say Canterbury. An excellent instrumental until weird lyrics pop-up close to the end of the song.

"Zeitgeist" (German, not Italian. "Spirit of times") starts instrumental with a 70s sound, then comes "La Fine" (The End) with the vocals over a base of drums, keyboard and bass. The apocalyptic lyrics are very poetic and dramatic. Knowing the language can really help in appreciating this song. The acoustic guitar closes it with a very nice solo. "Each kind of Life will disappear...Each kind of Death will disappear..."

Really an excellent album. I'm reluctant to define it as a masterpiece, but it's not just excellent, it's more. Strongly suggested. Give also a look to the band's website, other than this free download there's a very interesting project behind.

4 deserved stars

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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