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If: Morpho Nestira

Here we go again, another Italian rock band for our consideration. I've got to tell you this is unlike any Italian band I have ever heard, and believe me I have heard a few. I can say, without hesitation, this album was a fabulous find for yours truly. Their brand new album, Morpho Nestira, is a conceptual piece about humanity's quest for gluttonous consumerism and the pursuit of all things materialistic. The subject matter is not your typical prog fare but this isn't your typical prog band. Actually, the theme may bear some resemblance to Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet. The band's lineup consists of Franco Bussoli (bass), Paolo De Santis (vocals), Luca Di Pardo (drums), Claudio Lapenna (piano, electric piano, organ, keyboards, synth, vocals) and Dario Lastella (acoustic and electric guitars, synth, vocals).

Some of the music infuses a 70s vibe and this is no surprise as the band considers The Who, Genesis and Pink Floyd as major influences. Do not get me wrong, however, as this music mixes nostalgia with a modern sound that is truly riveting. Although this is a concept album, and the songs flow nicely, each is finely crafted showcasing some outstanding melodies. Helping to meld these songs together is the occasional spoken word segment that subtly reminds me of Manfred Mann's Somewhere in Africa.

One of the album's highlights is the Pink Floyd influenced "Thirsty" which includes some great saxophone ala Dick Parry. Dreamy keys, lush background vocals and washes of synths reminds one of the glory days of art rock. In contrast, the hard rocking "Poison" really kicks ass with distorted guitar, emotional vocals and a Who-like attitude. The band does a great job at mixing hard and softer parts together creating different shades of light and heavy. Another favourite has to be "Naked" which its lovely piano and vocals. Again, if you like Pink Floyd this song should satisfy as it reminds me of The Final Cut in the softer parts and The Wall in the harder sections. The lyrics of Lastella reflect man's insatiable materialistic goals:

"I'm lonely in my room with all the things I have. I've got so many books. I've got a big TV there. I've got all my guitars I needed and I bought, but I can write no more songs, my soul got too cold."

And he goes on to say: "Now I've got everything, but I'm nothing and I'm alone." This is a sad commentary on society's obsession with greed and how it can leave us utterly empty inside.

Another highlight is the instrumental "Morpho Nestira part 2" featuring some of the best guitar playing on the album, while the music takes a few twists and turns really upping the progressive quotient. The quirkiness of "Empty" should also appeal to progressive fans as well as fans of 70s rock. An atmospheric and wistful beginning gives way to excellent drum fills, thumping bass and unique vocals creating a modern progressive sound. A soft middle section complete with organ and spoken word vocals provides excellent contrast . The album ends strongly with the acoustic driven "Oceans of Time". Beautiful Gilmour-like guitar and a great melody will have you tapping your feet. The song ends with a lovely piano motif and the sounds of waves crashing on the shore.

This could very well end up in my top ten of 2009. Lets just hope the rest of the year produces music this good. Highly recommended!


Track Listing:
1. You Need
2. Morpho Nestira part 1
3. 10 Years Old
4. Background Noise
5. Thirsty
6. Learning To Communicate
7. Unknown Eyes
8. Poison
9. Naked
10. Morpho Nestira part 2
11. Empty
12. Oceans Of Time

Added: March 13th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2912
Language: english

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