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TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 2:17 (Nicolini) 2. A Peaceful Village 3:43 (Nicolini, Profeti, Caputo) 3. Kankweezler 4:57 (=) 4. Stimmung 3:20 (Standarte) 5. Sonnermensh 5:34 (Nicolini) 6. Moon in Cancer 4:36 (Profeti, Gabbani, Caputo) 7. Dark Satanic Mill 4:36 (=) 8. In My Time of Dying 6:26 (traditional, arr. by Standarte) 9. Yellow Cave Woman 3:48 (K. Law) 10. I Won't Start Another Song 9:08 (Nicolini, Profeti, Caputo) LINE-UP: Michele Profeti - piano, organ, Moog, & Mellotron Davide Nicolini - guitar Stefano Gabbani - bass Daniele Caputo - drums; vocals Produced by Standarte. Engineered by A. Benassi at "Audience".
Prolusion. "Stimmung" is the third album by the Italian band Standarte. Previous are: "Standarte" (1995), and "Curses & Invocations" (1996), both released by Black Widow Records as well. At present, the band hardly works on a new album, which should see the light of day within the next few months.
Synopsis. If at the peak of their creation Emerson, Lake, and Palmer would have engaged a guitarist, who would've been into both >Cathedral Metal and a heavy Space Rock in the vein of Hawkwind, their music in the first half of the seventies would've been stylistically close to that by Standarte - at least on this album (I haven't heard the others). Although I have no doubts that guitarist Davide Nicolini is one of the masterminds behind the band, I am also sure that keyboardist Michele Profeti is the 'chief' of Standarte's arrangement department. All of the band members are highly virtuosi musicians, but Michele has probably no matches among contemporary keyboard players and is on par with those whose names are more than well known to the lovers of Symphonic Progressive. "Stimmung" is stylistically a very diverse album, which, yet, as you'll see now, doesn't conflict with the general description of the band's music I put at the very beginning of this paragraph. The opening instrumental: Intro presents Symphonic Doom-Metal, which sounds so unique (really) that the band has apparently decided to repeat it later in the form of the song Yellow Cave Woman (9). On the first three songs on the album: A Peaceful Village, Kankweezler, and Stimmung and the second instrumental piece: Sonnermensh (2 to 5) rules a triple alliance of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock, Space Rock, and Cathedral Metal, which will carry away to heaven anyone really grasping a high-quality progressive music, and also the fans of Hammond and Mellotron. Very surprisingly, the remaining instrumental: Moon in Cancer (6) turned out to be about a pure Symphonic Progressive, which is for the most part highly intensive, as well as most of the tracks on the album, but unlike them, is absolutely free of heaviness. This is a pearl of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock. While the band has lost all the Space Rock-related features before stepping over the 'equator' of this amazing Stimmung (regardless of what this German word means), the music as such didn't lose anything, and the remaining three songs: Dark Satanic Mill, In My Time of Dying, and I Won't Start Another Song (7, 8, & 10) are hardly inferior to others. The style is a blend of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Cathedral Metal, even though the only representatives of the latter are guitar riffs indefatigably following the continuously changeable themes of central arrangements. By the way, (drummer) Daniele Caputo is an excellent singer, and his pronunciation of English can be exemplified for many other performers used to use:) the international language in their lyrics.
Conclusion. The diversity, energy, and hypnotism of this music just take my breath away. Try it too, if you wish.
VM: October 31, 2003
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