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Aries - Aries CD (album) cover

ARIES

Aries

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.47 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dirk
4 stars Aries is one of the side projects from italian Finisterre's Fabio Zuffanti who is also involved in projects as La Maschera di Cera, Hostsonaten and the prog rock opera Merlin. Aries's music can be described in short as very accessible, atmospheric,dreamy and melodic.

They are often compared to Mostly autumn probably because both bands have a very good female vocalist and the guitar playing is influenced to a certain extent by Pink Floyd in both bands. Nevertheless there are some import differences between both bands, whereas Mostly Autumn has lots of up-tempo songs and also some celtic influences Aries's music generally consists of slow moving melodies with a dreamy, often melancholic even sad atmosphere. Also Simona Angelieonie's voice resembles Tori Amos's voice more in my opinion than Heather Findlay's , as was already accurately noticed by one of the other reviewers.

The compositions on this album are somewhat similar to each other, creating a specific dreamy mood soaking through the whole album. The vocal sections are great because of Simona's outstanding vocals in good english,generally accompanied by mellow organ, piano or acoustic guitar. The band also show their teeth in the instrumental sections with rich intricate playing of various instruments.

Characteristic of these instrumental sections is the frequent use of the chorus-synthesizer especially at the end of the songs which often serves as a background for various floydian guitar or moog solos giving the music it's special atmospheric and dreamy feel. Especially in the longer songs there is room for other instruments such as flute, piano and organ as well.

In the first most vocal oriented song, Simona really sounds like Tori Amos with her haunted dramatic singing, in this track bells are used to emphasize the melody at the end, beautiful, my favorite of the album.

The third composition reminds me of Finisterre at several moments especially in the opening minutes, it's somewhat faster and more complex than the other tracks.

The sixth piece really focuses on instrumental playing with Simona wailing on top of the instruments in the middle (like Heather Findlay and Angela Goldthorpe use to do in Mostly Autumn), it has a long beautiful floydian ending.

The other tracks are shorter, there is a terrific loud guitar/organ ending in the second one, in the fourth the vocals are of special interest. The fifth song shows the band from it's most dreamy/introvert side with just singing, mellow organ and an interesting drum beat. It has a nice mellow flute outtro.

It is a pity that no lyrics were included in my package of the album. I also have been unable to find them on the internet. From what i understand of them (english is not my native language) they are generally about things as fear,loneliness, the changing of night into day and the feelings that accompany these changes.

Concluding i can say this is a terrific album, the highlight of 2005 for me even better than bands like Riverside, Opeth and PT. As i said before the album is very accessible, i liked it on the second listen, loved it on the third.After many listens it's still as fresh to me as in the beginning.

So if your music must be really complex, original or even weird with many twists and turns stay clear of this one.On the other hand if you like bands like Mostly Autumn, Pink Floyd or Camel then you probably do well to pick this one up.

For people knowing Zuffanti´s other work with bands like Finisterre and La Maschera di cera, this band is to a certain extent like a mellow version of finisterre ,quite different from La Maschera di cera.

Personally i think the album is close to 5 stars. To be honest though i can imagine that people may have some problems with the similarity in the songs. So 4.5 stars it is, rounded down to 4.

Dirk | 4/5 |

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