Saturday, 15 November 2014

EGO TRICKS

Nuova Divisione began life in 2009 in Avezzano, a town in the province of L'Aquila, in an area called Marsica. After a still immature work self-released in 2012, Once Upon a Time, in 2014 they self-released an ambitious and more refined sophomore album titled The Last Man In Europe, with a line up featuring Daniele Mari (drums, percussion), Alessandro Rivolta (bass, synthesizers, piano, vocals), Simone Salucci (piano, organ, synthesizers, Mellotron, vocals) and Francesco Mezzoprete (guitars). Despite the Italian name, the main influences of the band come from across the Channel and range from The Beatles to Pink Floyd and Genesis. The result is an interesting mix of psychedelia and progressive rock with a vast array of vintage sounds and a strong leaning to melody. The Last Man In Europe's music and lyrics (in English) tell of a man overwhelmed by his ego while the artwork and a surreal short story (in Italian) that you can find in the booklet try to help you to understand better the subject matter: in fact, here images and words are like the layers of a bad dream, just hanging memories that you can hardly define in the morning...

art cover

The opener "Here's The Light" starts softly with a spacey, mysterious atmosphere, then the rhythm rises and the story begins, the story of a man who dared to challenge gods, fate and fears. There's a beggar at your door and he looks like you... The following "Have You Ever Wondered Why?" recalls Genesis and raises some questions that could lead to an existential crisis, but beware! The road is dangerous and you could run like hell into a wall just waiting for the final cut... "Mind Your Steps" is a short instrumental track that could recall EL&P with a pinch of Jethro Tull, the tension is high but after a while the rhythm calms down...


"The Contract" is a nice, light track that recalls The Beatles and describes the deal with a mysterious character who can give you anything you want: all you have to do is signing the contract with a blood drop. Next comes "I Don't Care" that takes you to the land of consumerism and egoism. You can go everywhere, so why not having breakfast in America, for instance? No need of explanations, time is worthless, there's no need to care about other people, now your ego is the only religion... Then, on the melodic "If You Want it" you can hear here, there and everywhere the singing sirens of desire, the tempting sound of a pied piper and you let it be...


"A Creature Of Reality (a.k.a. The Egosystem)" begins by a marching beat and drum rolls. You're losing control, you get lost in a nightmare but there's no time for pain, the spirits all around you are cold and you can see a shiny glow... Then comes the psychedelic "Remember The Future" full of dark visions and obscure omens and the mellow, yellow "Stop Your Mind" where thoughts keep on swirling all around and your damned ego begins to play bad tricks tearing you down. On "Here's The Night" the mood is even darker while the nightmare gets worse and worse. You gaze regretfully at the bloody contract while the walls around you turn into mirrors reflecting your immeasurable ego...


The long, complex suite "The Last Man In Europe" concludes the album. It's divided into three parts (Abomination Of Desolation - It Was A Fake Moustache - A Storm In A Teacup) and depicts a surreal landscape. Your ego was so big that there was no room for anyone else, now you're alone! You're the only inhabitant of a brand new world, and you're feeling terribly sad and desperate... Is this really what you call life?

On the whole a good album, even if it doesn't shine for originality. All the members of the band are still young but they're all skilled musicians and I'm sure that they will do better in the future. Anyway, have a try and judge by yourselves...

You can listen to the complete album in streaming HERE

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