A Piedi Nudi - Eclissi

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Mellow Records
Catalog Number: MMP 329
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:38:00

I don'?t care much for progressive metal. This release from Italian progsters A Piedi Nudi is certainly a progressive metal album, yet I still like this album. Something is clearly wrong here, isn't it? How can this be?

Well, ok, I guess it's not that hard to figure out. This 1997 release by A Piedi Nudi is a progressive rock release using the vocabulary of heavy metal. Guitarist Nicola Gardinale is, without doubt, the dominant figure on Eclissi, a major difference from the band's preceding release, Creazione. Yet, even with the guitar carrying the majority of the load here, the band avoids the worst clichés of progressive metal. The new focus on the guitar (and the concurrent change in compositional style and textures) was not the only noticeable change. Eclissi also introduced a new singer, Mirko Andreasi, who took over the vocal duties from drummer Carlo Bighetti. Another change worthy of comment is the near total absence of Enrico Barchetta's french horn. While he and his horn were listed in this CD's credits, one would be hard pressed to pick out his presence anywhere on this release. While he was not a huge influence on Creazione, his horn was a unique and welcome addition to the group's sound. But ... none of this explains why I enjoy Eclissi so much more than most prog metal I've heard.

Well, it's the music man. Constantly changing form, direction, tempo and meter, all mixed up in an eerie, manic jumble of weighty, dissonant chord progressions from Gardinale, set against Cristan Chinaglia's jagged and often disturbing post-modernistic synthesizer and organ work. There are huge walls of sound careening and teetering at the brink of chaos, but it is all a well defined ensemble effort. Gardinale has his share of exciting solo moments, but the real power of A Piedi Nudi lies in their ability to gloriously ride triumphant over a never ending, ever-shifting melodic roller coaster ride. Sure, the band's sonic palette dips heavily into the metal riffmiester's bag of tools, but their vision is something completely different and unique. This is not progressively influenced heavy metal, no. This is progressive rock first and foremost, with the tone and timbre of metal.

Some of the highlights of this release are the first and second tracks "Esodo" and "L'Inganno," both explosive and absolutely frightening in their power and scope. Gardinale's guitar line in the intro to "Le Amanti" is a joy to hear, and is one of the rare moments on this disc that harkens back to the days of traditional romantic Italian progressive.

Mostly dark and gothic in its feel, this release is quite aggressive compared to what most listeners will expect coming from an Italian band. Two things that will not stray from the rich Italian progressive rock legacy are the bands wonderfully complex arrangements and their high standards of musicianship.

Overall, this is a brilliant release and one that shows real promise for the stagnant pool that encompasses most of progressive metal. Eclissi is a spine tingling thrill from beginning to end and is yet another reason to pay attention to the fine lineage of Italian progressive rock music.

Esodo (5:28) / L'Inganno (4:56) / Le Amanti (6:30) / Senza Ritorno (4:24) / Reverendo (7:41) / Temporale (5:51) / L?Infedele (6:40) / Amici D?Infanzia (6:38) / Eclissi (8:24)

Simone Bighetti - bass
Cristian Chinaglia - synthesizer
Nicola Gardinale - guitar
Carlo Bighetti - drums
Enrico Barchetta - French Horn
Mirko Andreasi - vocals

A Piedi Nudi (1994)
Creazione (1995)
Eclissi (1997)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: February 19th 2005
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Hits: 1867
Language: english


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