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Plurima Mundi: Percorsi

Can it really be over seven years ago that I reviewed the debut EP, Atto I, from Italian eclectics Plurima Mundi? Well it would appear so but thankfully we now have a follow up to that challenging but rewarding outing which found the band confident in their Italian roots, while willing to show so much more. The same is true on the (almost) full length debut, Percorsi, even if some of the more unusual, jazzy, swing-laden elements have been eschewed for a more singular attack.

However this is still varied fare with the electric violin of songwriter Massimiliano Monopoli often found right at the forefront of what Plurima Mundi wish to convey. Opening with the instrumental, "Eurasis", illustrates this to perfection, the almost bagpipe like tone Monopoli often utilises, dancing sprightly over the sprawling background created by guitarist Silvio Silvestre and bassist Massimo Bozza. Keyboard player Lorenzo Semeraro sprinkles a colourful melody over it all, as drummer Gianmarco Franchini nails everything in place. Yet it's the drummer's deftness of touch that really catches your ear, the temptation to clatter and smash profusely resisted with an expert ease. The song makes for quite an introduction, and yet I do have to wonder why the band's wonderful vocalist, Grazia Maremonti is kept in reserve until the beautifully constructed and ever evolving second cut, "E Mi Vedrai Per Te". Although there's no denying that it allows this lady's rich and vibrant tones to truly make their mark in the most startling of fashions, her range and full throated attack quite a sound to behold. More overtly 'prog' than the band's debut EP, guitar plays a more prominent role and Silvestre doesn't waste the opportunities to break out some scintillating solo work. Although where he chooses to combine, or even stand off against Monopoli's violin, is where he makes the most lasting impression.

The uptempo "L. … Tu Per Sempre" adds a darker edge to what can be a brightly dancing album, the vocals ranging from top end calls to low end booms, while the violin brings threatening stabs that allow the guitars to riff with a real intent. Whereas, the twelve minute "Male Interiore (La Mia Età)", which bar a shorter version of "...Sempre", closes the album out, is the track which feels most joined to the band's previous work. Different sections and a less 'progressive' nature revealing an ever evolving soundscape that places this piece as the album's strongest.

Clocking in at just over forty minutes (including the bonus track), the first full effort from Plurima Mundi may not be the longest album you'll encounter this year and yet with not a second wasted in its running time, it may well be one of the most interesting you'll come across. The songs are tightly constructed and varied, while the violin and vocals always keep similar underlying themes in play. As with their previous release, there's little doubt that a band emanating from the US or the UK would never have conjured up what Plurima Mundi do. Something that, with so many outfits working towards similar goals, is a real breath of fresh air.

Track Listing
1. Eurasia
2. E mi vedrai... per te
3. L. ... tu per sempre
4. Male interiore (la mia età)
Bonus track:
5. L. ... tu per sempre (single version)

Added: March 5th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Massimiliano Monopoli on Facebook
Hits: 2432
Language: english

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