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(48 min, Altrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Culturismo Ballo Organizzare 5:49 2. DeltaU 1:52 3. DJ Psicosi 3:48 4. Preparazione Bomba H 3:12 5. Sintagma 1:08 6. Jessicalaura 3:17 7. Cerchio nel Grano 3:48 8. Rifondazione Unghie 3:17 9. La Ballata dell'Amore Stocastico 3:15 10. Chi Phi 1:29 11. Nabucco Chiappe d'Oro 4:13 12. Il Papa Buono 2:51 13. Accidenti 0:23 14. Centoquarantaduemilaottocentocinquantasette 2:05 15. Profiterol 1:28 16. Estate 216 Solstz 1:23 17. Puk 10 2:24 18. Il Contrario di Tutto 2:20 LINEUP: Dario D'Alessandro – el. guitars; keyboards; glockenspiel; voice Davide Di Giovanni – keyboards; bass, ac. guitar; drums; voice Daniele Di Giovanni – drums, percussion; ac. guitar; voice Domenico Salamone – bass With: Paolo Botta – keyboards Federico Cardaci – keyboards Giovanni Di Martino – keyboards Dario Lo Cicero – flute, recorder Toto Puelo – trumpets Mauro Turdo – guitar
Prolusion. The Italian band HOMUNCULUS RES presents its debut album, “Limiti All’eguaglianza della Parte Con il Tutto”. The CD press kit ‘asserts’ that the music totally belongs to the Canterbury ‘genre’, which I don’t consider to be the case, however (as well as Krautrock, i.e. German Rock). Named after the city in England, it – for some reason – embraces plenty of bands from all over the world, despite the fact that some of them play symphonic Art-Rock, whilst others Jazz-Fusion.
Analysis. There are eighteen compositions on the disc, and since most of them are creations of the same stylistically-compositional approach, I won’t list all of them when describing the material in hand and will only note that half of them (tracks 5, 8 and 11-to-17) are all-instrumental pieces – yes, the vocal ones are mostly gathered within the first half of the album. Led by keyboards and guitars, with occasional winds and frequent detours through contrasting textural and thematic breaks, the music on each of the album’s first five tracks is a clever Italian twist on Gentle Giant (especially obvious in the vocals, most of which represent a four-voice choir), unafraid to admit having absorbing influences from Genesis and Camel as well. In other words, the style is a blend of Avant-garde Art-Rock and Symphonic Progressive, which – save a brief episode in the finale of DJ Psicosi – avoids jazzy improvisations, only using rock ones in places. The almost 6-minute disc opener Culturismo Ballo Organizzare perhaps best of all demonstrates the band’s emergent compositional voice and ability to synthesize their influences. Always the arrangements bring surprises – one verse of a tune will be backed with piano passages, then suddenly the piano will drop out to leave an off-kilter guitar backing the singing, and so on. Alternately, there is a classic, almost purely symphonic muse speaking to the band, which appears on all of the subsequent tracks, most of which, as mentioned above, are all-instrumental, the majority of them following one another. To be more precise, what you get on the rest of the material is a superior retro-style Sympho-Prog somewhere halfway between Camel, Genesis and Gentle Giant (at its most symphonic), with quasi-psychedelic keyboards and a woody-inducing keyboard gear list, dynamic contrasts, tight group interplay and harmonic variation. While most of the instrumentals are pretty short, the majority of them are more than merely full-fledged compositions, as the band somehow manages to develop themes that go through few-to-many starts, stops and turns and still introduce plenty of variation therein, the sound glaringly vintage throughout. I only regret that the vocal-free pieces that follow one another don’t run into each other without pauses between them, though on the other hand it can hardly be regarded as a flaw. Anyhow, then it would’ve been an epic suite, creating a continuous listening experience.
Conclusion. So much second-rate Prog gets released nowadays, most of it not exactly original itself, that when you get to hear a first-rate execution you will appreciate it, at least. This group is young, but is a set of consummate musicians who play with mastery and passion alike, with the ability to spin out silky melodic phrasings or intricate contrapuntal unison lines with ease, three of the band members being multi-instrumentalists. All in all, their “Limiti All’eguaglianza della Parte Con il Tutto” is a high-quality progressive rock output. Not to be missed.
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