TSO – Hearth

Edison Box 2020


Trieste quartet expand line-up and horizons and find the sky’s the alternative limit.

Even though this ensemble’s name may unfortunately get them confused with certain symphonic metal behemoths, the Italian collective won’t ever be bound by Yuletide once there’s a need for jagged edge. Their sophomore effort doesn’t cater to a life-fatigued crowd either, going instead for what the players’ instincts suggest the group should pursue, and sprinkling the results with enough grit to fall into the genre the quartet keep on choosing. Whether such a choice can further creative development remains to be seen.

As usual, as seen from the Apennines shadow, style is a relative term when melody has to be applied so, quite unpredictably, “Icarus” opens the album with a squeal of serrated blues – fittingly aloof, if arresting, in its sweet rifferama which will ebb to wrap a strum Andrea Abbrescia’s voice and then bring back the heaviness, concealing the band’s soft underbelly once again. But whereas “Horde” saved from stasis by Federico Seraffini’s acidic guitar and the horror of “Shining” undermined by Sebastiano Belli’s triumphal drumming, the funky, although serious, “Oswald” hints at intellectual depths these musicians yet have to fathom.

Still, the foursome rock rather recklessly on “Card Game” whose start ‘n’ stop flow feels infectious, but less adventurous cuts, like as “Corvée” that’s full of suburban ennui, fare much worse, despite their prog-tinctured choruses, while “Strawberries” has a pop appeal to it. Good thing is, these songs don’t overstay their welcome, with the violin-spiked “Blue” displaying plenty of elegiac moves and never straying from drama which “Drago Coda” sends into eternity of, inevitably, symphonic sort. If the group break out of these self-imposed boundaries next time around and carve a niche of their own, they might serve up songs for all seasons.


June 3, 2020

Category(s): Reviews
Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *