Saturday, 21 January 2012

EMPATHY AT AN EXHIBITION

Eris Pluvia began life in Genoa in 1988 with a first line up featuring Alessandro Cavatorti (guitar), Paolo Raciti (piano, keyboards), Edmondo Romano (flute, sax), Marco Forella (bass), Martino Murtas (drums) and Alessandro Serri (vocals, guitar). In 1991 they released an interesting debut album titled “Rings of Earthly Light” and started an intense live activity. In 1992 Alessandro Serri left the band while Alessandro Conti (vocals) and Mauro Montobbio (guitar) stepped in. In the mid nineties, after some other line up changes, the band stopped the live activity and took a long rest.


Eris Pluvia came back in 2005 and in 2010 the band released an excellent second album, “Third Eye Light”, with a renewed line up featuring Alessandro Cavatorti (guitars), Paolo Raciti (keyboards), Marco Forella (bass), Matteo Noli (vocals, guitars) and Daviano Rotella (drums). In the recording studio they were helped by some guest musicians such as Roberta Piras (flute, vocals), Diana Dallera (vocals) and Max Martorana (classical guitar) who contributed to enrich the sound. “Third Eye Light” is a conceptual work inspired by a short story written by Alessandro Cavatorti and Alessia Ceri that you can find in the booklet along with some pictures describing it. On the art cover there’s a painting by Anita Chieppa, “La donna di vetro (ferite)” (The woman of glass – wounds), that in some way depicts the mood of the music and lyrics... Well, to be honest the music is not so original and every now and again recalls bands such as Pink Floyd, Genesis and Marillion but the final result is good and fits the concept.

Anita Chieppa: La donna di vetro (ferite)
The title track opens the album and begins softly. The atmosphere is mysterious and dreamy. A man wakes up but his strange dreams are still hanging over him. He crawls out of his bed and finds a header inviting him to the inauguration of an exhibition of paintings by an artist called Peggy, a friend he hasn’t seen for a long time. The title of the exhibition is “Third Eye Light”. Soaring female vocals seem almost coming out from the invitation card like the singing of a siren, then a heartfelt, evocative electric guitar solo in David Gilmour’s style leads the way... 

Next comes “Rain Street 19”. It begins with an acoustic guitar arpeggio and flute notes, then melodic vocals soar on a piano pattern... The title of this track is the address of the building where the exhibition is held. It’s raining and there’s a lot of people at the entrance, they’re all trying to go in... “I hear their voice, don’t feel the sound... No breeze, no place, I’m fainting... Now I’m inside...”.

Once inside, the protagonist of the story doesn’t see the paintings, he perceives them! There’s a strange, strong phenomenon of empathy. The mood is tense and the rhythm rises. “The Darkness Gleams” describes the first painting and what the protagonist feels looking closely at it. The painting reproduces a scene of violence, a man is lying on the pavement and the protagonist can hear the hooters of an ambulance and feels the pain of the injured man... “I open my eyes, shouting all my fears! / Now they’re coming down chocking all my fears / The darkness gleams!”.


Eris Pluvia 2010

“Someone Cares For Us” is more reassuring and calm. It describes another painting representing a hand stretched out to reach another hand. The scene communicates a warm feeling of security, there’s someone who cares for you and he lights the fire of hope...”There is my trust inside your hand-shake, that I will never give up...”.

On the instrumental “Fixed Course” the rhythm rises again. The protagonist is aware that the emotional power of the paintings could be overwhelming but he can’t go back, there’s only one way and he has to look at every painting risking to get lost in it before leaving the exhibition.


“Peggy” describes the reaction of the protagonist to the next tableau. It represents a ballerina in the rain mixing tears, sweat and excitement... The sweet voice of the painter seems coming out from the colours on the canvas, female vocals soars... “Now you can see me, here inside this maze / Where we’ll share ambition with tears and true commotion...”.

“Shades” is an excellent instrumental that describes another painting. It begins with a delicate piano pattern then an electric guitar solo introduces a sense of tension. Disquieting shapes surround a man with a threatening look but he doesn’t seem to fear them. Some horrible sounds call him and scratch his soul, he walks following their orders, tamed...

Eris Pluvia

On “Fellow Of Trip” the empathy with the mysterious painter is stronger than ever leading to an explosion in the mind of the protagonist. On the next painting you can see open spaces and a crushed merry-go-round, the purity of the childhood is falling into an abyss while in the distance a train  runs night and day marking the minutes...

The melancholic last track “Sing The Sound Of My Fears” describes the reaction of the protagonist to the last piece of art before the exit, a mirror! “Again, a shiver in my back / I think to start to run and escape / And the rain over my tears sings the song of my fears / I see my soul / A huge mirror showing my eyes, my dreams, my pains / And I know my third eye light, my new life...”.

Well, a very interesting story and a good album. Unfortunately, on August 3, 2011 Paolo Raciti, the heart and keyboardist of the band, died. Now he’s playing his piano in Heaven while his band mates keep on playing on Earth remembering him...

Paolo Raciti

Eris Pluvia: Third Eye Light (2010). Other opinions:
Vitaly Menshikov: Eris Pluvia’s “Third Eye Light” provides the right amount of listening room for any fan into good Neo Progressive. Instantly accessible for comprehension, the album should attract a comparatively large audience and, at the same time, renovate interest in its predecessor... (read the complete review HERE).
Tarcisio Moura: The only down side is the record’s short running time (only 44 minutes, we want more!). In some tunes I had the feeling the band could have developed the song into something longer or so it seems. Yet Third Eye Light is a very strong come back, one of the best releases of 2010 and I really hope they don’t take that long to produce a follow up, even if, in this case, it was well worth the wait... (read the complete review HERE).
Henri Strik: The lyrics are sung in the English language, but it’s easy to say that they’re not sung by people who usually speak English according to the heavy accents. Maybe it would have been better to sing in the Italian language... However, there’s enough quality left on the second album of Eris Pluvia... (read the complete review HERE).

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