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Laviantica: Clessidra

Unlike many, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy listening to a band singing in their own language and so, right off the bat Italians Laviantica impress with the relaxed, natural tones of their singers Paolo Perilli and Paolo Musolino. Clessidra, which translates to Hourglass is the debut from Laviantica, although the band have been working together on and off since the late eighties under the moniker Alterego and releasing their music on the free music sharing site, where they made quite a name for themselves. Inactivity followed and the usual line up reshuffles resulted in the change of name, Laviantica chosen because it means "the old way", which the band felt described their musical ethos. Personally I agree, but only if you class the eighties as old in Prog standards, the fare on this first offering being more akin to Marillion and Twelfth Night, or even RPWL, than it is King Crimson or Yes.

However what isn't up for debate is whether Clessidra is any good, with relaxed themes stretched out, but not overly so, into incisive yet never forceful Prog come Neo; keyboards cajoling, guitars suggesting, bass roaming, drums busy, yet never Portnoyesque. Indeed it is the feel of a time gone by and an age not often revisited by debuting bands, yet after hearing the poised restraint of "La Pioggia", or the singing guitar line in "Icaro", you really have to ask why more bands aren't operating in this classy, less bombastic setting.

The album is, as ever these days, available in both digital and CD formats, however I'd suggest that if a knowingly reserved Progressive album sounds like your sort of thing, then invest in the physical format, where all of the songs are linked with ambient sounds such as approaching trains, or bird song. This links the tracks wonderfully and provides a real sense of an atmospheric journey that you and Laviantica are embarking on together. For some this album's resistance to stepping up the pace will result in gentle disengagement, but dig below the surface of the (ironically) mid-paced "Tempo", or the long meander of the song from which this band take their name and a real depth and substance can be found, with violins taking up themes and vocals often twisting and turning ideas into new outlooks.

It may be a bit depressing that a band whose ideals are firmly stuck in the eighties, can now be seen as traversing the "old ways", but if it results in music as engaging as this, then I don't mind admitting that I must be an old foggie.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Nel Vento
3. Sole
4. La Pioggia
5. Finche Il Giorno Non Finisce
6. Icaro
7. Tempo
8. Clessidra
9. Laviantica

Added: December 16th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Laviantica Online
Hits: 3318
Language: english

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