Areknames - Areknames - 2004
I think it´d better to enumerate the dozens of bands included at “thank you” section of this album´s booklet in order to get an overall idea of what we´ll find inside this debut album. But I only name a few ones (King Crimson, Battiato, Soft Machine, Black Sabbath, Balleto di Bronzo, Caravan, Goblin, UFO, Atomic Rooster, Iron Butterfly, Greenslade, Magma, Gong, etc.). But the first name of the list is Van der Graaf Generator. And that´s not a coincidence.
Michele Epifani (: Organ, Electric Piano, Synth, Mellotron, Harpsichord, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Recorder, Vocals), Piero Ranalli (Bass), and Mino Vitelli (Drums, djembè, Arabian Tabla, Spring Drum) can´t hide their passion for Hammill and co. And that can be noticed in the six tracks of this album.
Anyway, and although the evidence is clear in “A day among four walls” (12:04), this Italian band also shows the influences of the rest of the aforementioned bands in this album, that has a 70´s flavor and it´s really well recorded (warning: lots of bands shield themselves saying: “hey, my music sounds vintage” when the sound quality is poor). Epifani´s keyboards twirl among the guitars with lots of different sounds, creating atmospheres of oppressive and bizarre beauty (“Wasted Time” (5:40)). The taste for early progressive rock keeps in “Down” (10:28) where can also be noticed influenced by more modern bands who think that they´ve invented the concept “depressive-prog” (I´m talking about Anathema, Decoryah and others), as well as Syd Barrett-like influences.
“Season of Death” (8:43) is very descriptive. As you can see, these guys aren´t very positive and they wouldn´t be friends of Jon Anderson. This is a slow track with a frantic instrumental eruption in the middle of the song. “Boredom” (8:33) starts with a hypnotic rhythm but suddenly it becomes more up-tempo, with a playful organ and some original instrumental interludes. “Grain of Sand Lost in the Sea” (8:55), with lots of references to VDGG and psychedelic Floyd, closes the album but some electric adrenalin injected by guitars and keyboards. A very varied track that joins VDGG and Black Sabbath in the same song.
As I stated this is a great album with a great sound and great music. Nowadays this kind of music is not usually played except by underground bands (Morte Macabre and other dark swedish bands). It´s a good new when this style is claimed by modern bands. But also there are instrumental outbursts and amazing moments… of course if you´re not into “bright progressive”.
Take a listen... I´m sure you´ll like it