Saturday, 4 February 2012


Ombraluce began life in Turin in 2004 with the aim of blending different styles and experiences shaping something new. The present line up features Alessandro Vitale (vocals), Andrea Rosso (guitars), Carmelo Contino (drums), Giorgio Gonzi (keyboards), Roberto Savoca (guitars) and Sergio Alfredini (bass). After many years of hard work, in 2011 they released a very interesting self produced debut album, “Distanze ravvicinate” (Close), featuring an overall sound influenced not only by historic Italian progressive rock bands such as Area or Le Orme but by canzone d’autore, psychedelia and funky as well.


The short opener “Intro – dualità pt. I” (Intro – Duality part I) recalls Demetrio Stratos and features wordless vocals and a Middle Eastern flavour. It leads to “Il cerchio” (The circle) where behind the glass of a window in a rainy day you can follow the footsteps of some people looking for hidden truths, believing in their own personal God and who can’t see their likes. But if you open the window you can see the world in every raindrop, so do not waste your time and look around! “Set your eyes free and you’ll find... Love!”. Here the music every now and again reminds me of Le Orme and Lucio Battisti.

“Ancora un po’ di cose inutili” (More useless things) is about dreams clashing against the routine of an ordinary daily life. You wake up and your dreams melt, the rhythm picks you up and carries you away, towards a sea of useless things... As a new, atypical Adam you can still feel the venomous effects of the apple while sitting on a tram surrounded by unknown people who look all the same...

“N’gas (nuoce gravemente alla salute)” (It seriously damages health) is a caustic piece about some side effects of dreams and love... If you inject some substances with a needle in your arm to dream, beware! Sometimes dreams can seriously damage your health... If your love is so strong that when you see your lover with another partner you go crazy, beware! Sometimes love can seriously damage your health and jealousy can lead you to kill... If you kill someone pushed by your passions later remorse can be overwhelming, so beware! Killing can seriously damage your health...  “Now for me it’s time / To close my eyes and disappear...”. Sometimes love turns into hate and death turns into freedom, it depends on the points of view!

“Prigionia” (Imprisonment) is a short experimental piece featuring recitative vocals in the style of late Area’s vocalist Demetrio Stratos. Sometimes disinformation, prejudice, involution, intolerance and silence become a cage... “As wound into imprisoned thoughts... Fragments of thoughts that crumble... Stop! I want to be free...”. Awareness is the first step toward freedom and in the next track, the bittersweet ballad “Libertà” (Freedom), the imprisoned thoughts break through, soaring from a delicate piano pattern... “The imprisoned thoughts bang their head as birds closed in a barn... They look for the air, they dream the air...”. But we can’t be free, we are slaves of our passions and even love can be a prison. Our free thoughts broke their chains but now they are prisoners of caresses and certitudes, of hate and love...

The dreamy “Dualità pt. II” (Duality part II) features a touch of mysticism and an Oriental flavour. It’s about the inner conflict between instinct and rationality, between the need to pursue our dreams and the need of security that pushes us to give up dreaming and settle down... “My friend, you are fragile / You’re lost in a useless fight / Shadows are swallowing you... In the illusion of security I try to invent the world I would like / I dream, dream, dream and I will keep on dreaming / Because no one will dream for me...”. It leads to a kind of instrumental suite in three parts, “Giochi d’ombra” (Play of shadows), featuring a short experimental intro, a drum solo middle section and a fine jazz rock finale that recalls Arti e Mestieri.

“Ricordi” (Memories) features a lively rhythm and pulsing bass lines. It about a meeting but the lyrics don’t tell who or what the protagonist meets. For sure this meeting changed his life... “This is the memory of something that changed me / It began some time ago and it’s still changing me...” Well, every day is full of difficulties but the way you tackle them can change, it depends on your heart and on your mind...

“Dualità pt III” (Duality part III) takes us back to the conflict between dreams and reality. This time the melodic lines soar from a funky rhythm and the atmosphere is lighter. When you realize how important your dreams are things change, the sun rises and the breeze sweeps away clouds and shadows... “My friend, change your mind! / No struggle is useless... The hours become empty / If you cry on your broken dream instead to take side with Time / My friend, listen to me / Frequently ashes hide a fire ready to burst out / Revive it, stoke that fire! / The flame will fill the absence of certitude in your life... A man without hope is nothing but dead flesh, useless! / I dream, dream, dream and I will keep on dreaming until someone will dream with me...”.

On the next track “Allucinazioni” (Allucinations) funky influences are even stronger and Steve Wonder “Superstitious” comes to mind. The song is about the end of a love. A woman goes away and her ex boyfriend sees her everywhere, hallucinations and distorted images drive him crazy... “You know, I saw you running away / You slammed the door on my face / Now my sight is a bit distorted... You were looking for your own way / You were looking for your own life / Where are you now?... Hallucinations in the mud are taking me away...”.

The brilliant final “Giochi di luce” (Plays of light) is a long, complex instrumental full of changes in mood and rhythm. It begins calmly, then the rhythm rises and the music flows away shining and sparkling until the end. The CD features also a ghost track where you can listen to experimental sounds, hints of disco music and classical inspired passages. Fragments of a dream that slowly fades away...

Ombraluce: Distanze Ravvicinate (2011). Other opinions:
Chris “Seventhsojourn”: Ombraluce fit well into the context of modern prog rock and are as likely to appeal to northern beer-and-sausage guys as southern wine-and- cheese ones. Since a variety of styles meet on this album it'll be interesting to see which direction the band takes with future releases... (read the complete review HERE)
Jim Russell: They have an eclectic style that tries to blend, according to them, hard rock, blues, prog, jazz, funk, and psych into one without falling too in line with any. They want their sound to be the mix of the styles, not just a collection of different recognizable styles pasted together. For the most part I think it succeeds well because it was hard to classify... Ombraluce will please fans of RPI and melodic Eclectic prog as they straddle the line between the two genres... (read the complete review HERE).

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