In a monumental – and solidly mental – bid, trio from Firenze erect an elegant edifice to their magical doctrine.
Starting with “Alchemical Trilogy” was a colorful concept move that brought this Italian band to the heart of many a modern metal fan, but on their fifth album the trio paint it bleak, leader Luca Liotti’s guitar and synthesizers building up a molten wall of sound for his voice to rustle over like a wind. The gale is arrestingly heavy in the title track, yet new-agey gentle in the purely ivories-shaped “Between” and soft, if instrumentally sophisticated, on “Four Steps In Gray” with its folky strum.
The pale “Black Universe” is a perfect scene-setter: it unfolds the cinematic tapestry, punctured by Claudio Tovagli’s drums, into a swirling picture to ripple into the siren-smashing slow stream of “The Last Day On Earth” before a piano-laden prog flow blows in full on the “Rose In Wind” balladry. Emotionally engaged throughout, the slightly claustrophobic album is permeated with a pulsing buzz, so there may be a concept to it all, but in fact this music doesn’t need one to quietly shake the listener’s psyche.