Ataraxia – “Deep Blue Firmament” (2016)

Label: Sleazy Rider Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Tranquillity is the short translation of Ataraxia, they are of course also a band with a massive output – they have created 29 albums in their career since the early 90s! The latest of those is “Deep Blue Firmament”, forged with the passion which must drive all the band members to have such a prolific career. This album has a general theme of exploration, however the poetry of their musical compositions feels too complex to simply categorise. Ataraxia have style alike an interplay between innocent light beams and sombre darkness. Even though the general mood is calm there is still considerable drama at play. Atmospheric, ethereal, and ambient are all suitable descriptions of what you experience. “Delphi”, the first song, opens with a repeating four note melody sounding like a simple musicbox. It is gradually joined by various musical elements including a chanting vocal style. Overall it reminded me of the music created by Enigma – though more acoustic. Cello playing features on this song and throughout the album, it is my favourite musical element of “Deep Blue Firmament”. “Message to the Clouds” follows on from “Delphi” with a vocal/cello duet introduction. On this and many of the subsequent songs the lead vocals spend significant periods in an upper range which, combined with generally acoustic and sometimes symphonic backing, gives the album a gothic choral sound. As “Message to the Clouds” progresses guitar and percussion are added, in this case I am reminded of Mike Oldfield. The album stays in the zone created by the first two tracks throughout, though each song has its own personality. One of the final tracks, “Phoebe”, transitions from a simple acoustic arrangement with the power of added orchestral elements – it is my favourite song on the album. There is a lot to love about “Deep Blue Firmament”. So much so, I am inspired to find out more about Ataraxia. Having not heard their creations previously I am most impressed by “Deep Blue Firmament” and now face their huge back catalogue with anticipation. They are obviously successful with such a career, and deserve a trial from those delighted by the magic of music. The band claim they perform as “craftsmen of sound” at a crossroads of Mediterranean and Celtic cultures and I can only agree.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Delphi
  2. Message to the Clouds
  3. Greener Than Grass
  4. Myrrh
  5. Alexandria Pt. 1
  6. Rosso Sangue
  7. Galatia
  8. May
  9. Vertical
  10. Ubiquity
  11. Phoebe

 

Line Up

  • Francesca Nicoli – Vocals, Flute & Recorder
  • Vittorio Vandelli – Guitars, Percussion & Vocals
  • Giovanni Pagliari – Keyboards & Vocals
  • Riccardo Spaggiari – Percussion & Vocals

 

Links

facebook.com/AtaraxiaFB

ataraxia.net/

Salva

Salva

Even Vast – “Hear Me Out” (RE-ISSUE) (2016)

Label: Sleazy Rider Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

In 1999 Even Vast released their first album “Hear Me Out”. In 2016 they have re-mastered the album, packaged it with a new cover and added three live tracks to the playlist as a relaunch of the band and preparation for the release of a new album. They call themselves sludge/doom/stoner and say their music is for fans of Lacuna Coil, The Gathering, Joy Division and Moonspell. Of those, I think they are most like Moonspell here – the Joy Division influences must come with their further recordings as they are not evident on “Hear Me Out” (they did a cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on their third album). “Hear Me Out” opens with the creeping doom metal of “Never Hear Me”. It is a good track to open the record as it is a declaration of strength – listen up, here is Even Vast! It is followed by generally similar songs. “Energy” is a cleaner song with the addition of a male shouted refrain, “Believe Me” has occasional male growling and the original album songs conclude with “Ru”, an experimental sounding piece. “Ru” is 7-minutes long, features running water, and finishes with band giving us some reverse played music. The live tracks are a good bonus, though the production quality is a noticeable drop from the album tracks. It is a significant time for the band and their fans, as Even Vast will continue to re-release their back catalogue and their new album. Strap in for the celebrations because Antonietta Scilipoti (vocals), Luca Martello (guitars), Diego Maniscalco (bass) and Paolo Baltaro (drums/keyboards) are definitely showing and although the line up is changed during the years, Even Vast are excited to be releasing new material with this release of the band’s beginning.

Rating – 74/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Never Hear Me
  2. Once Again
  3. The One You Wish
  4. Foolish Game
  5. Memories
  6. Energy
  7. Believe Me
  8. RU
  9. The One You Wish (Bonus Track – live in Italy, 1999)
  10. Once Again (Bonus Track – live in Italy, 1999)
  11. Over (Bonus Track – live in Italy, 1999)

 

Line Up

  • Antonietta Scilipoti – Vocals
  • Luca Martello – Guitars
  • Diego Maniscalco – Bass
  • Paolo Baltaro – Drums/keyboards

 

Links

facebook.com/EVEN.VASTband

twitter.com/EVEN_VAST

evenvast.strikingly.com

Salva

Salva

The Lust – “One Life Ago” & “Decomposition Deluxe” (2010/11)

Label: Wordlessness Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Hailing from Russia, The Lust plays Gothic Rock/Metal with a definite electronic/industrial edge. They formed in 2004 and that is the same year they released their debut album “Tangled”. Since then they have continued to release albums at a productive pace and their newest album “Decomposition Deluxe” is also their fifth, so they have been busy since their formation but one year before the band has released  “One Life Ago” that is a compilation album made up primarily of rare tracks and alternate versions of some of their older songs.

The first six songs on “One Life Ago” are made up of unreleased tracks. The self-titled song starts things and right away I notice that their earlier stuff has more of an electronic/industrial edge to it. Continue reading

Hand of God – “The Hand of God” (2013)

Label: Sleaszy Rider Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Hand of God is a power metal outfit from Greece. The band is fronted by lead vocalist Marissia and guitarist Theodore Ziras. Their debut album, “The Hand of God” is out now.

“The Hand of God” features 11-songs and 38-minutes worth of soaring, melodic power metal. From the mid-tempo, majestic opener “Falling” the band treats us to well played sophisticated metal music. “Signs” is a great melodic track and one of my favorites – it features a pretty cool rapid-fire guitar riff. Lead vocalist Marissia has a strong vocal presence that works well with Theodore Ziras’ guitar playing. Other noteworthy tracks include:”Start Again”, “Collapse”, “Endless Circle” and “Reach the Light”. Looking at the entire album, I was impressed with the level of songwriting and musicianship that Hand of God displays. Continue reading

Thy Symphony – “A New Beginning” (2013)

Label : Sleazy Rider Records

Review by Tony Cannella

It’s always a risky proposition when a band replaces their lead singer. Well, imagine replacing two. That is just the situation that the Brazilian symphonic metal band Thy Symphony finds themselves in. Gone are the two lead vocalists (Camila and Alan) from their debut album “Harmonizing the World”. Now, with the release of their sophomore album “A New Beginning” (very aptly titled) the band is joined by the new vocal duo of Karina Bonizi and Leandro Baracho.

The ultra cinematic intro “Hope and Fear” segues into the inter mingling of heavy guitar driven music with Tarja-era style symphony dominated music on the track “Galaxy’s Great Eye”. Continue reading