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(33:30, Lizard Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Vieni Via Di Li 3:44 2. L’Odio 4:31 3. Ero a Boston 4:02 4. Malta 4:10 5. Morto t’Ammazo 3:34 6. Distributore Di Ladro 4:01 7. Ottember Rain 5:34 8. Prcmdn 3:50 LINEUP: Michele Lipparini – guitars Francesco Pellitteri – bass Mario Poli Corsi – drums
Prolusion. I will not be verbose here and will only note that “Live in Singakong” by Italy’s MERME is a full-fledged album, not a set of previously released compositions. Those who want to learn more about the band’s formation, etc, please visit their site for details, while I’d better focus on the below paragraph – to find out what they’re breathing of musically.
Analysis. As you can see above, the band’s lineup is extremely simple: guitar, bass and drums. The music, however, is quite interesting (and would be highly impressive if we bear in mind that we are dealing with an all-instrumental trio here), ranging from proto-progressive Hard Rock to progressive Doom Metal to classic guitar Art-Rock as well as Jazz-Fusion on some occasions. Listed in line of descent according to their weight in the album, the most notable influences include Primus, Black Sabbath, Rush and John Patituci – the last-named a remarkable jazz-rock bassist, who fairly often uses the “Overdrive” pedal when playing his instrument, particularly on his solo creations. The outing was recorded live in the studio, but its sound is pretty voluminous and is dense enough to conform to the styles explored. Much, if not most, of the music stands out for its intensity and dynamism, so even very accessible compositions, such as Malta and Vieni Via Di Li, do impress. Full of low frequencies, both of them just blaze with positive energy (without which heavy music is worth nothing, in my view), reminding me in a way of well-accelerated locomotives. Another instantly accessible piece, Distributore Di Ladro, has additionally a couple of sections of a semi-atmospheric appearance, and can be regarded as a good combination of heavy/up-tempo and softer/slower arrangements. Okay, the bass much more frequently plays first fiddle than the guitar, but the drummer’s performance propels the proceedings above mediocrity that this form of proto-progressive music can fall victim to. All in all, I only dislike the very beginning of the piece – a piano solo that comes from a different source, namely a scratched LP. Morto t’Ammazo, Ottember Rain and the strangely titled concluding track, Prcmdn, are more intricate and dynamically evolving compositions. Heavy almost throughout, they, nevertheless, reveal a series of the quirks, with bits of Jazz-Fusion appearing here and here too. The remaining two tracks, L’Odio and Ero a Boston, are the most varied ones, both structurally and stylistically: they contain all of the above idioms in fact, in approximately equal proportions, at times combining those in a pretty effective way. Anyhow, each of the last five described pieces is sure to appeal to most lovers of heavy music with its strong themes and compelling forcefulness. The absence of vocals is a positive factor in this case, at least to my mind, as it’s hard for me to imagine music this heavy coming with Italian lyrics.
Conclusion. The album isn’t too sonically saturated (please note that, of the band’s benefactors, only Primus did not use keyboards), but what it lacks in bigger-budget production it makes for with quite uplifting music, even though much of it is dark actually. Listen to it via loud-speakers, not with headphones.
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