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Tracklist: 1. Balocco 7:21 2. Germogli 7:22 3. La mia terra 5:25 4. Libera Mente 8:05 5. Il velo 7:56 6. Raggio di luce 8:32 (in 2 parts) All tracks: by IV Luna. Line-up: Michele Chesso - vocals; guitars Luciano Chesso - guitars Andrea Cominity - basses Alex Giuliani - drums & percussion Produced by IV Luna. Recorded & mixed by IV Luna at "Elefante Bianco" studio, Rome, Italy. Mastered by Fabrizio De Carolis at "Reference Mastering Studio", Rome.
Prologue. "Libera Mente" is the debut album by the Italian band IV Luna (Quarta Luna, actually). The second album by this young quartet from Rome, "D'Incanto", should be released in a few months.
The Album. Overall, "Libera Mente" can be regarded as an album of a unified stylistic concept, which, in my view, represents nothing else but a blend of progressive Doom-Metal and the guitar based Art-Rock (which is not symphonic, of course) with elements of Space Rock. What's interesting is that the harsh arrangements on this album sound very strong, yet, at the same time, rather traditional, as the influence of Black Sabbath is obvious here. Whereas all of the parts of the guitar based Art-Rock are very original. The elements of Space Rock episodically appear on each of the first five tracks on the album thanks to the effective use of either an excellent sound processor (like Digitech Pro, for example) or guitar-synth. Il Velo (5) is slightly richer in these elements than any of its predecessors. The last song on the album, Raggio di luce (6), presents kind of a spacey atmosphere in a very strange (to put it mildly) form of the two sequenced effects that roll without any changes throughout the 3-minute first part of the track. The band's decision to include these long and incredibly monotonous sounds in the album was absolutely irrational. At least, it would've been better if they had put the second part first and vice versa. The contents of all four of the remaining songs completely conform to the aforementioned definition of the music of Quarta Luna. On the whole, all six of the tracks that are presented on "Libera Mente" are very interesting, as the frequent alternation of heavy and quiet textures, most of which are different, as well as changes of tone and mood and complex stop-to-play movements, are typical for all of them. It is well known that the Italian progressive bands and performers (of course, not only these, which is for sure) are especially rich in vocal talents, and Qurta Luna is not the exception here (all lyrics are in Italian). Although the parts of Michele Chesso, who is a real singer-chameleon, are mostly of a dramatic character, he changes his timbre a few times on each song on the album. Most often however, as it seems to me, Michele presents two characters whose voices are wonderfully different from each other. Unfortunately, all the contents of the CD booklet are exclusively in Italian. However, judging by intonations, most (if not all) of the songs on the album represent kind of the dialogue between two heroes, one of which, "whose" voice is marked with sinister shades, is certainly evil and the other way round. A positive hero "sings" not only dramatic, but also very touching andů just beautiful. While the method of a 'dual' singing is by no means the innovation (when I say so, I immediately recall Iced Earth's album "Burnt Offering"), I find Michele one of the brightest representatives of it. And I heard quite a few of the albums where this method was used as well.
Summary. I love Black Sabbath, I like a real progressive Doom-Metal, and I appreciate heavy music in general. (In fact, Metal, along with most of its manifestations, is the only non-progressive genre that I am into.) And especially, I like when heavy structures are blended with different ones, like here, on this album. Certainly, I like "Libera Mente" and highly recommend it to all those... you know who you are. By the way, the music of Quarta Luna reminds me in some ways of that on the "Andromeda" album by their compatriots Runaway Totem. (Though, it is quite possible that both of these bands don't have even an idea of the existence of each other.) So the fans of Runaway Totem, the band that perform a blend of progressive Doom-Metal, Zeuhl, and Space Rock, should find their pleasure in "Libera Mente" as well. Instrumentally, this album is hardly worse than "Andromeda". While vocally, the debut Quarta Luna CD is definitely better than that.
VM. August 20, 2002
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