New conceptual CD from the Italian gothic-progressive cult band Malombra formed by Mercy (vocals, synth effects), Diego Banchero (bass, programming), Franz Ekurn (keyboards, piano), Francesco La Rosa (drums), and Roberto Lucanato (guitars). Malombra is the main project created by the great Mercy, who is also responsible for other projects such as "Il segno del Comando" (amazing) or "Helden Rune".
It´s really hard to define Malombra´s music. Firstly I must remark that Mercy´s voice is not easy to listen to, especially if you are used to Anderson, Stolt or Gabriel´s voices. Mercy´s voice is very deep and similar to The Mission, or even Eric Clayton´s (Saviour Machine).
And the music... how would I describe the music?. Well, we could imagine a mixture of Sisters of Mercy, John Foxx´s epic tecno pop, and some drops of new romantic music a la Visage. This is the non progressive side of Malombra. The most interesting parts are the influences of the hard progressive rock from Italy (Il Balleto di Bronzo or the current Abiogenesi), and progressive thrash bands such as Vöivöd or Mekong Delta.
The result of all the mentioned influences is captured in songs so diverse as the delicate and symphonic introduction "The useless millennium" (3:22), followed by two tremendous hard Gothic rock tracks titled "The dissolution age" y "Unknown superiors". The fourth song is the best of the CD, "The Duncan Browne song" (5:40), which begins slowly and acquiring an impressive epic poetry that reminds to Saviour Machine II. "Everybody afterwards" (5:46) is more synthetic and tecno, although Malombra gives tecno sound a soul of guitars and rhythmic section. In "The anti-sex" (6:28) the band shows us its more terrifying side, uniting almost infantile melodies with the tension of a terror movie, all of them with industrial arrangements. "Venice Lido 1901" (6:07) is one of the most progressive songs, with another sweet intro, and traditional Italian flavor among the whole instrumentation. After the epic tracks "A spiritual waste" (5:18) and "Mortal despise song" (5:09), we listen to the brilliant "Misery domine" (6:47), a masterful lesson of how some musicians can play gothic or tecno music in a progressive way. And if that song is good, the following one is better... "El centro" (9:15), full of different rhythms and atmospheres, and an epic poetry that even drains the listener. The dispensable "The lost father" (6:56) is the last track of the album before the beautiful acoustic reprise of "The dissolution age".
In favor of this CD we can say that Malombra has been able to create an own style starting from maybe too many influences. Anyway, and although the fans of Gothic rock will consider this album as a master piece, the progressive rock fans maybe find this CD a little bit strange and difficult to listen and assimilate. For progressive people I would recommend Mercy´s most progressive side with bands/projects such as the Il Segno del Comando or Helden Rune.