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If / Ifsounds

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If / Ifsounds Apeirophobia album cover
3.57 | 24 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Anima Mundi (7:21)
2. Summer Breeze (6:06)
3. Last Minutes (6:18)
4. Aprile (2:22)
5. Apeirophobia (27:50) :
- Part I Apeiros
- Part II Knowledge
- Part III Steps
- Part IV Conscience Builder
- Part V Jungle Feelings
- Part VI Another Life
- Part VII Memories
- Part VIII Home Again
- Part IX I will never be alone

Total time 49:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Elena Ricci / vocals
- Dario Lastella / guitars, synth, vocals, composer & producer
- Claudio Lapenna / piano, keyboards, synth, vocals
- Franco Bussoli / bass
- Enzo Bellocchio / drums, percussion

- Phil Naro / lead vocals (1)
- Andrea R. Garrison / lead vocals (2)
- Núria Palau / strings (4)
- Alexandra Milas / strings (4)
- Maria Miele / strings (4)
- Armando Varriano / strings (4)
- Luca Di Pardo / drums (3,5)

Releases information

Artwork: Andrea Pinti

CD Melodic Revolution Records - 776027 (2010, Netherlands)

FLAC download -

Thanks to b_olariu for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IF / IFSOUNDS Apeirophobia ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

IF / IFSOUNDS Apeirophobia reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Apeirophobia (the fear of the infinite after death)

IfSounds is an Italian band who began back in the 90s as a part covers/part originals outfit. The three core members, Franco Bussoli on bass guitar, Claudio Lapenna on piano/keyboards and Dario Lastella on guitars have been together ever since. In 2009 two new members came on board, vocalist Elena Ricci and drummer Enzo Bellocchio. This year (2010) the band signed to Melodic Revolution Records and in the fall released their new album "Apeirophobia" which apparently refers to a fear of the infinite state following death. The album is a conceptual work on the topic of what may occur in the states after death, if I understand correctly, and about larger life issues in a philosophical sense. Andrea Pinti's imaginative cover art gives us a nice visual beginning to the journey that follows.

I've not heard their earlier albums but this one is certainly ambitious, and includes a 28-minute suite for a title track. Dario Lastella and Claudio Lapenna are listed as the main composers/arrangers and the influences are older English rock and prog bands, the most usual suspects. These influences can be heard throughout the album but in updated fashion with elements of Crossover, modern Symphonic, and perhaps Neo-prog. They also remind me of other elegant Italian projects with female English-language vocals and symphonic influences, such as Alma Sideris, Mindflower, and Greenwall. The band should appeal most to retro-prog fans and not as much to those who look for the fiercely bold and abrasive stuff. Opener "Anima Mundi" brings to my mind later-career Floyd in an energetic mode like "One Slip," and other moments also make me think the Gilmour-led Floyd is an inspiration to them. "Summer Breeze" begins with a nice piano melody suddenly stopped by sound effects, the announcements at an airport. Lovely acoustic guitar and piano lead through the vocal verses (this song can be sampled in video here on their PA artist page.)

"Last Minutes" gets a bit funky off of a good bass line, with trippy processed vocals alternating with Ricci's singing. "Aprile" is a fantastic little interlude which sounds like traditional RPI with the rich piano and strings (courtesy of guests Núria Palau, Alexandra Milas, Maria Miele and Armando Varriano) gushing a sentimental melody of the heart. This is a nice respite before we launch into the finale of the 28-minute nine-part title track. This is wonderfully ear-pleasing melodic prog, unapologetically throwing everything they have at the listener. I've no intention of a 28-minute play-by-play (John can do that for us, heh heh) but we get a wide taste of ear candy: female vocals with harmonies, cool synth sounds and formal piano, acoustic folk guitar, jamming lead guitar, and a very solid rhythm section. The intro Part I is fantastic, very spacey and slowly building. Part V "Jungle Feelings" is cool with what I'm guessing is a sound presentation of some plane in the afterlife or expansive life experience, with tribal percussion and weird, wild vocal noises. Part VIII's "Home Again" is another favorite for me, I fall for the sweet piano every time. The suite closes with the majestic "I will never be alone," very upbeat emotionally and featuring a soaring guitar solo.

The CD is available through CDBaby or you can sample it via free streaming from the band's website, so there is no reason not to check out this band. Again, I've not heard their old stuff, but IfSounds does sound like a band with new energy coming into their own both in composition and performance. I sense we have not heard the last from them. 3 ˝ stars for a good melodic prog album which I very much enjoyed. Congrats to IfSounds for their new label relationship and a bright future!

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great album from the new Ifsounds!

Since I knew about this band thanks to Torodd's interview, I've been following them and their music, fortunately, last year (2010) they released a new album entitled "Apeirophobia", an album that also could be considered as the first studio album of Ifsounds, because if we remember, their name was If, but they decided to change it in order to give the band an own style and name that anyone would recognize.

With their two-CD compilation album named "If?Sounds" they composed "Don Quixiote" an unreleased song which actually represented the change of the former If to the new Ifsounds. But now, we can appreciate a full-length album, not only a song.

This release consists of five compositions that together make fifty minutes; the first four are the short ones (under ten minutes) while the last one is a long 28-minute epic, so take a sit, relax and listen to Apeirophobia. It kicks off with "Anima Mundi", and a female voice appears, seconds later guitars, drums, bass and keys appear, but I liked that vocal introduction. Then, Elena Ricci's voice reappears but in a different style. The song is pretty good, I like the keyboard work because it gives a special flavor to the music, also there are some nice guitar riffs here and there, and some nice changes in time and tempo. The track ends with a nice acoustic guitar, charming.

"Summer Breeze" opens with a delicate piano sound, seconds later it ends and some kind of airport announces sound, moments later they fade out. Then an acoustic guitar start playing a soft and gentle melody, vocals appear and that delicate piano returns and creates a nice harmony together. Just before the fourth minute, the song changes, turns heavier and more emotional, it is a pretty good track!

"Last Minutes" has a constant beeping and some steps, like being in a hospital. They disappear and the music begins, it is a rockier piece with cool lyrics, the female voice starts telling a story and male backing vocals appear saying important things. At the second minute there is a change which gives the melody a new mood and atmosphere for some seconds; then the music returns as it began, the steps and beeping return until they fade out.

The shortest track (two minutes) entitled "Aprile" is a wonderful and charming composition. There is a beautiful piano sound all over the song, that is accompanied by some strings, the violin sound is also precious and together produced an adorable piece of music which put some images in my mind, I was actually touched by this song.

Now, on the other hand we have the longest composition, I believe it is their longest song since they were If. "Apeirophobia" is a 27-minute epic which offers an exquisite variety of sounds, textures, colors and feelings, and also it let the listeners know how capable they are to produce challenging music with excellent results.

This song has several passages, first, they give us an instrumental piece with an intriguing atmosphere, one can easily be waiting for the next to happen, but what happens next?, you don't know. Those first four minutes are pretty cool because they create images on you and even you can imagine your own story. Then the vocals appear and the direction of the music changes a little bit, I like the piano of Claudio Lapena, he knows how to use keyboards in the right place and moment. There is a cool guitar solo by Dario Lastella just before minute seven, then the song continues its way.

Until minute eight when it makes a sudden change and an acoustic guitar appears along with some spacey effects reminding me of Riccardo Zappa; that mood continues and then that acoustic guitar becomes more Spanish-like, there are some claps on it also. I am not sure but I think that this passage was taken from the previously mentioned "Don Quixiote" song. When it finishes, a rockier passage begins, the vocals return and the music is quite good and enjoyable, the only thing I don't really like are the robotic vocals.

As you can imagine, all of a sudden another change and a new passage begins, with some kind of African percussion and some sounds simulating a ritual; I like a lot this part because I do imagine that ritual and several things, also, when the addictive bass sound appears I fell like in a dream, motivated and caught in a short but nice dream. But when I woke up, I found myself in a different place with a cool guitar sound and a rockish song.

Those spacey effects return and give a different flavor to the music, actually you can imagine a new place and a new atmosphere, and the vocals help a lot here. But well, minutes later a surprising change with a sad piano appears, this change was not really my favorite, it sounds like a scene of a character bringing memories of the childhood or something like that. The last minutes of the song are very good, with great guitar solos, that wonderful voice and strong musical moments.

I am happy with this album, now I am looking forward to their next release. Take a listen to this album, so far my favorite of Ifsounds. My final grade will be four stars!

Enjoy it!

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Italian band IFSOUNDS have been around a couple of decades now, initially starting out under the moniker If and releasing 4 studio productions under that name. "Morpho Nestira" the most recent of these, a CD that appeared in 2009. Since then a new drummer and vocalist have joined the folds, and this revised version of If decided that a new name was in order at this point. "Apeirophobia" is the first studio production they released as Ifsounds, and was issued by US label Melodic Revolution Records in 2010.

Musically we're dealing with a fairly ambitious outfit, and on this occasion they explore a sound that mainly stays within a framework whose outer boundaries are formed by Pink Floyd and Rush respectively. Relatively gentle excursions sporting symphonic backdrops with additional sounds and textures of a kind inspired by science fiction and space complement dampened guitar riffs and blues-tinged careful soloing David Gilmour style for the former, while the latter sports energetic riff patterns and keyboards with a more dampened and subservient role. The occasional majestic passage with rich and compact guitar and keyboard constructions is also a part of the package, and by and large this band produce pleasant pieces of progressive rock of the accessible variety.

Their new vocalist Elena Ricci is a fine addition to this band. She's got a good and pleasant voice, and while my impression is that she's far from fully developed yet she has the talent and capability to be able to lift a song by her input alone at best. The main example of this on this production to be found in the epic title track that takes up the final slot on this disc, where her voice really makes a grand impression in a sequence sporting more of a jazz-oriented expression. The one where the piano takes the lead, if anyone familiar with this CD should be curious.

The title track an experience worth a paragraph of it's own, clocking in at just under half an hour and exploring a great variety of moods and expressions. Opening as a gentle, warm and rich affair that sounds like a piece of music residing in the exact middle between late 70's Pink Floyd and early 80's Vangelis, a theme later revisited incidentally, and later on visiting shamanistic folk-inspired territories, taking on an expression with closer links to Flamenco, the aforementio0ned jazzy insert also a part of the proceedings alongside a pacier AOR-tinged one and sequences with more of a distinct Floydian feel as well. Great variety, many compelling parts but not at the level that makes this one any more rewarding than your average epic length creation. A good construction with moments of brilliance.

The most intriguing composition as far as I'm concerned is the second to last one actually. A piece very much different from the rest of this production, sporting a careful piano motif supplemented by strings. A warm, rich, sad and distinctly melancholic instrumental, and an impressive one at that. It is difficult to write and perform such pieces in a manner that does make an impression, but this one succeeded quite nicely at that.

If you enjoy late 70's Pink Floyd and bands like aforementioned Rush, Ifsounds latest creation Apeirophobia is a CD you might want to lend an ear too. A nice and pleasant album in general, and if you have an interest in productions of a conceptual nature you'll get those cravings catered fore quite nicely too. Including the use of cinematic lead-ins and lead outs to emphasize the nature of the story told.

Latest members reviews

3 stars If/Ifsounds returns again with a very ambitious album. I have to admit I am not a member of their fanclub. Neither in spirit or as a card carrying member. But Apeirophobia is doing a good job converting me. Apeirophobia is a crossover album from Ifsounds where they tries to include a lot o ... (read more)

Report this review (#403456) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, February 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Apeirophobia is a Greek word that means "fear of the infinity" and centres this concept album by Italian band ifsounds. The lyrics by guitarist Dario Lastella are always very deep in researching the psychological implications in the stories that he talks about. There's a song about emigration (Summ ... (read more)

Report this review (#382441) | Posted by lucacatone | Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First, extraordinary song "Last minutes". I've repeated after listening to the cd. Congratulations to the group. This album is most shocking than the last. Still influenced by PINK FLOYD, MARILLION, some FLOWER KINGS, but also QUEENSRYCHE a friendly DREAM THEATER, PORCUPINE TREE. It is more mod ... (read more)

Report this review (#381797) | Posted by David Saez | Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Fifth studio album for the Italian band, the first one with a brand new line up and name. ifsounds at their best. Enzo Bellocchio substitutes a great drummer like Luca Di Pardo but his performance is at the same (excellent) level. Elena Ricci is the great news: for the first time the band has ... (read more)

Report this review (#358434) | Posted by frankiehendrix | Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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