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Empty Days: Empty Days

My recent revisiting of Gentle Giant may shade my review of Empty Days but the opening track "Two Views on Flight" sure does have plenty of similar qualities: melodic piano, multiple contrapuntal harmonized vocal lines, vibes, etc...

This project piloted by Francesco Zago (most music, most lyrics, guitars, mellotron, bass) consists of seven instrumental and seven vocal tracks and includes Paolo Botta (keyboards), Jacopo Costa (vibes), Elaine Di Falco (vocals), Maurizio Fasoli (piano), Pat Moonchy (electric zen garden), Guiseppe Olivini (percussion, theremin), Bianca Fervidi (cello), and Rachel O'Brien (vocals).

"Ankoku" is an eerie instrumental with ambient industrial sounds and booming piano playing bass notes; this is perfect soundtrack music.

The plaintive vocal, piano and cello ballad of "Words Lurking" moves into "Kurai," another atmospheric sound collage - this could be a continuation of track 2.

"Ananke," "The Ghosts of Dawn," "A Knife Under the Pillow," "Waiting for the Crash," and "This Night Wounds Time" are the remaining instrumental tracks. The use of ambient sounds combined with sparse instrumentation create that special trigger that causes the mind to generate images and Empty Days excels at this.

Track 7, "Running Water," features acoustic guitar and multiple vocal lines reminiscent of Jon Anderson and Gentle Giant. Very unique melodies and chord progressions plus some electric guitar lines that sound like classic Steve Howe.

"Coming Back Home" completes a trio for me (tracks 1, 7 and 11) with more arpeggiated coustic work and many vocal lines and harmonies.

Meditative and calm but solemn, Emtpy Days is a very unique listening experience. The vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano provide most of the rhythm and the instrumental tracks are interspersed between the vocal tracks to great effect. The production is crystal clear and everything seems exactly as intended. Progressive acoustic ambient vocal soundtrack? I am having a hard time categorizing this CD which shows how special it is.

Track Listing
1. Two Views on Flight
2. Ankoku
3. Words Lurking
4. Kurai
5. Flow my Tears
6. Ananke
7. Running Water
8. The Ghosts of Dawn
9. In Darkness Let Me Dwell
10. A Knife Under The Pillow
11. Coming Back Home
12. Waiting for the Crash
13. A Dark Vanessa
14. This Night Wounds Time

Added: March 21st 2014
Reviewer: Ryan Good
Related Link: AltrOck Productions
Hits: 1827
Language: english

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