Monday, April 9, 2018

ARMONITE - And The Stars Above


Cleopatra Records

This band from Pavia, Italy has been around since 2015 and has put together their new album of instrumental prog rock. Basically a duo, Jacopo Bigi (acoustic and electric violin), and Paolo Fosso (piano and keyboards) have added a bunch of people to this album to give it the sound that they were striving for. The album also includes Colin Edwin (bass), Giacomo Lampugnani (double bass), Corrado Bertonazzi (drums), Maria Chiara Montagnari (voice), Diletta Fosso (child's voice), Marcello Rosa (cello), Quartetto Indaco (string quartet): Eleonora Matsuno (violin), Jamiang Santi (violin), Francesca Turcato (viola), and Cosimo Carovani (cello), and finally Jacopo Bigi also plays viola, and ukulele on “By the Waters of Babylon,” whistles on “Freaks” and plays both violins and viola on “A Playful Day.” Whew!

As you can see, what a group of people on here, and not totally instrumental, but vocals used very carefully and sparingly on the album. Starting off with violin and sweet vocals, the album gets going to a great effect with added piano and then the band kicks in and get things going in a rock oriented vein that is catchy and thrilling. The instrumentation on this album is just unbelievable, with so much going on and in such different ways that the blend is simply intoxicating and will give you goose bumps. The album has a beautiful flow to it, going from one song to the next and carrying you on a journey that you never want to end. The production is perfect, giving the sounds the space that they need to be heard and having fullness to the mix.

This band is unique and will have you wanting more and more from them as you listen to the haunting sounds they produce. This is something special that you won’t find in any other band, they have hit the jackpot on this one.

-Rick Ecker

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