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Armonite: And The Stars Above

After playing the club circuit as much as they could the Italian duo of Jacopo Bigi and Paolo Fosso, from the city of Pavia, formed Armonite and released their debut album Inuit in 1999. The duo was short lived and after a few years faded away. That is until a decade or so later when they decided to give it another shot and released The Sun Is New Each Day in 2015. You can read my review on this site. As for the new disc it is truly excellent beginning with “The March of the Stars”. A delightful violin and piano will absolutely delight the mind and the lead vocals have a childlike quality that may or not be to your liking but are really quite wonderful. A heavy groove develops and the music is both theatrical and dramatic. Treated keyboards and electronics begin “Next Ride” followed by a great groove. The drums and bass stand out and the strings, violin and cello, create heavy distortion and huge riffs emulating the sound of heavy guitars. The band’s creativity is really noticeable on this track. Plucked strings and a fuzzed out bass begin “District Red” another pretty heavy track until the music segues into mellower violin with a classical vibe. In fact, the classical influence can be heard throughout the disc. The music once again gets heavy, this time with psychedelic undertones. The violin continues to growl in the heavy “Blue Curaçao” or in a complete change of pace offering a lovely sound palette in the whimsical “Clouds Collide”. Another favourite is the instrumental progressive rock classical hybrid “By Heart” displaying a very nice orchestral arrangement and even revealing some funkier moments.

Really, what I love about this band is, well, they are so different. There is so much creativity and variety here but it never feels overwhelming or self-indulgent. This music encapsulates all that is right with progressive rock. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. The March of the Stars
2. Next Ride
3. District Red
4. Plaza de España
5. Clouds Collide
6. Blue Curaçao
7. By Heart
8. Freaks
9. By the Waters of Babylon
10. The Usual Drink
11. What’s the Rush?
12. Ghosts
Bonus Tracks:
13. A Playful Day (for String Quartet)
14. The Fire Dancer (for Piano Solo)

Added: December 30th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 734
Language: english

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