Monday, 17 December 2012

PHILORHYTMICAL PASSAGES

Filoritmia are an Italian prog band from Milan that have been active since 1993. The current line-up features Roberto Riccardi (guitars), Matteo Scarparo (bass), Angelo D’Ariano (keyboards), Antonio Mazzucchelli (drums) and Giorgio Mele (vocals). “Passaggi” (Passages) is their second full length album, after the excellent eponymous debut work released in 2000. Filoritmia’s music is complex and features a wide range of sources of inspiration (from classic prog bands like PFM to hard rock and jazz) but the band managed to shape a fresh and original sound. All the tracks are in some way challenging and need more than one listening to be fully appreciated but in my opinion at length I’m sure you will enjoy the experience.


The album opens with a sudden burst of energy. “Colla e gesso” (Glue and chalk) is a complex “hard rocking” track full of whipping rhythms that invites you to make up your mind, to choose what’s right, to look for you own way of life and to follow your dreams... “I’ve got the fantasy / I believe in what’s fair / I can saw storms with the hardness of the thunder / And the skilfulness of a blind acrobat / Who laughs smelling the smile of astonished children / I choose because to stand still is like dying...”.

“Senza sale” (Without salt) is a long track in four parts that tries to describe in music and words a troubled relationship between a man and a woman. It starts softly in a sweet, romantic mood, then come misunderstandings, incomprehension and rising tensions until the final split-up...

“Non è festa” (This is not Celebration) is a tribute to PFM. Instead of playing just a cover of a song of the Italianprog masters, Filoritmia tried to elaborate a new, personal track starting from the melodic lines and rhythms of PFM’s evergreen “E’ festa” (also known as “Celebration” in the English version). The result is great! 


“L’uomo che torna” (The man who comes back) is another sinuous track about a troubled relationship between a man and a woman. Sometimes we choose the wrong moments to express our feelings and words turn around without reach their goal, what’s right for one person could be wrong for another and vice versa, so all we can do is to try one more time and come back to find the light again.

“Godo” (I’m enjoying myself) is like a long shower of energy. Electric guitar riffs and fiery bass lines drive the rhythm while suggestive vocals invite you to take your time and to enjoy life overcoming bad dreams.

“Il sogno del fotografo” (The photographer’s dream) starts with intricate rhythm patterns, then comes a dreamy interlude that melts into a solemn marching beat... The song is about the artist’s dream to capture reality and to shape it through his skilfulness. But the artist has to live in a dream to be creative and to express his talent... “I’m the god of light / I’m the alchemist of the picture / You will live forever on this photo paper / I’m the master of your eternal youth / This is the dream...”. 


“Questo” (This) is hard and sharp, it tries to depict a sudden breakthrough from everyday life, an escape from reality on the wings of imagination... “You know, it’s not easy to live without fairy tales...”.

The final long, complex “Manifesto” is about mass media and consumerism... The smiles of anchormen are like the teeth of wild animals ready to bite you while radios kill any fantasy. What can we do? Change the radio before it changes you and play your own music to resist...

This is one of my favourite albums of 2009. Check it out, you can listen to the whole album from the official website, legally download it and then, if you like it, you can buy the “hard copy” in a beautiful fivefold digipack. The art cover features eight pictures, one for each track... Click HERE
Filoritmia: Passaggi (2009). Other opinions:
Paul Fowler: What I can say is I'm very impressed with this Milanese five piece; enough to consider tracking down a copy of their debut. Strong vocals sung in Italian are complimented by very competent musicianship from all players involved and mature songwriting. From the powerful opening track, Colla e Gesso it would appear we're in for a heavy rock, seventies style album with its powerful guitar riffing, pleasing Hammond organ and solid rhythm section. It doesn't take long however to realise that Filoritmia have more up their sleeves as they move through varying themes while maintaining the overall power of the song... (read the complete review  HERE).
Raffaella Benvenuto-Berry: A surprisingly mature, multi-faceted album, “Passaggi” will equally appeal to lovers of classic heavy progressive rock in the Deep Purple/Uriah Heep/Atomic Rooster mould, and to the ever-increasing contingent of Italian prog fans. Successfully reconciling vintage sounds with more contemporary sensibilities, Filoritmia would deserve a lot more exposure outside their native Italy – provided they do not keep us waiting another nine years for their next album... (read the complete review HERE).
Alex Torres: I would say that Passaggi is guitar driven – at times it sounds like a straight rock record – but just when you think that it is descending into banality, out come the keyboards, the Hammond, the piano; out comes a divine sung melody; out come the structural changes that keep you hooked and keep you tuning back in again. It's an appealing sound, without ever really taking off in a major way... (read the complete review HERE).

Read the interview with Filoritmia at progarchives. Click HERE