Accordo dei Contrari are Italy’s latest way of showing the rest of the world they are still at the top of their game in prog. AdC is their third opus – released on the ever-brilliant AltrOck label – after 2007’s Kinesis and 2011’s Kublai and shows the band confidently striding through swathes of grungy Canterbury-style instrumentals. While the instrumentation comes right out of the 70s (sometimes it sounds like they are VdGG) the music is played with a freshness and originality that only belongs in the 21st Century.
The album kicks off with one of its longest and strongest tracks, the impressive yet not-so-aptly-titled Nadir. Incorporating many thematic changes in its nine-and-a-half-minute length, this piece is a true tour de force that sets the listener up for what’s to come. Bars in 4/4 time are scarce here – indeed, throughout the album – and the time changes are anything but predictable.
The band are amazingly precise and creative with their instruments. Of particular interest to me is the drummer who seamlessly flirts between jazz, rock and of course progressive styles. The keyboardist is also of note for commendably displaying 70s style organ sounds amongst his arsenal.
While the band never take a true break on this album, contrasts do occur, most notably at the start of the penultimate track Tiglath, where an experimental free-time section allows the band to build a spooky atmosphere. This doesn’t last long though; before you know it the band are jamming along in 10/8 with what sounds like a middle eastern theme. This band are certainly workaholics, they just never let up!
The band decide to close with an acoustic track, almost causing you to forget the organised chaos that has come before. All in all, it’s an exceptional ride, all beautifully presented in a sleek digipak bearing the band’s initials as well as what appears to be an elaborate metal key. The band have already announced that work is underway on their fourth album, which they plan to be a double album, but AdC is more than enough to tide me over until its release. Why don’t you try it too?
01. Nadir (9:31)
02. Dandelion (4:47)
03. Seth Zeugma (5:48)
04. Dua (5:44)
05. Tiglath (8:28)
06. Più Limpida e Chiara di Ogni Impressione Vissuta, Pt. 2 (3:26)
Total Time – 37:44
Marco Marzo Maracas – Guitar
Daniele Piccinini – Bass
Cristian Franchi – Drums
Giovanni Parmeggiani – Keyboards
Vladimiro Cantaluppi – Violin (3), Viola (6)
Marina Scaramagli – Cello (6)
Enrico Guerzoni – Cello (3)
Record Label: AltrOck Records
Release Date: 7th June 2014