I have read a couple of reviews in different Gothic media about this solo project conceived by Francesco Banchini, one of the members of the wonderful band Ataraxia, and they have not been too favorable since the music of Gor moves away from the "gothic" or neofolk patterns commonly accepted by most of these artistic movements. Fortunately in progVisions we have a wider mind and we don´t care about labels, and the fact that other media couldn´t classify this music is something that encourages us to listen to "Bellum Gnosticorum" with even more interest.
reviewOnly listening to the first track "Ungrund" we notice that we are listening to a very interesting work. Arab echoes blended with European medieval melodies that intertwining until a spectacular crescendo with a background of female vocals (Francesca Nicoli?... hmmm, her name doesn´t appear in the credits). An exquisite beginning. The second song, "Shabath", more pastoral and with some melodies which take us to the music of Basil Poledouris, has a soundtrack flavor thanks to the backing vocals. We return to Arabic textures with "La Danza di Salome" in which the the acoustic guitars and the exotic instruments take control in a very rhythmic track followed, in a more leisurely way, by "Gnosi" and "Canto di Norea". More traditional and more medieval (in an European sense) is "Transmutazione II", with some airs that remains to bands such as Gryphon, but later on we return to the eastern music with "Ophis". The beautiful "Manda d´Hayye", the tribal "Ruha d´Oudsha" and the epilogue with acoustic guitar and marine echoes "Pistis Sophia" close this album that you have to taste peacefully and slowly, savoring and feeling each note as a good wine.
"Bellum Gnosticorum" is an instrumental CD in its 95% based on acoustic guitar and some other superimposed (dulcimer, two-handled jar, mandolin, accordion, flute, organ) and exotic (bendhir, bodhran, rabab, d´rbouka) instruments. Although CD's such as Ataraxia´s "Historiae" has influences from continental medieval sources, Gor´s music has more influences from turkish and Arab music. Don´t forget that lots of Europeans countries lived along with these cultures for centuries. Making a bizarre comparison for those who are not into this kind of music, I should say that "Bellum Gnosticorum" music would be the perfect background for movies such as "Gladiator" or "Conan".
Exquisite instrumentation in a constant searching for inter cultural musical roots and almost 50 minutes of pleasure it is what contains "Bellum Gnosticorum", a CD that you can put beside your Ataraxia´s discography. For all the tastes and with certificate of "good purchase". Francesco: go on with Ataraxia but don't forget Gor, OK?