Alienatura is the second album by Il Tempio delle Clessidre and was released in 2013 on the independent label Black Widow Records with a renewed line up featuring Elisa Montaldo (keyboards, vocals), Fabio Gremo (bass, classical guitar, backing vocals), Giulio Canepa (electric and acustic guitar, backing vocals), Paolo Tixi (dums, backing vocals) and Francesco Ciapica (vocals). After the excellent eponymous debut album, the old vocalist Lupo Galifi left the band to join the reformed Museo Rosenbach and Francesco Ciapica stepped in proving that in Italy there's no shortage of excellent singers. All the good qualities of the band's previous album are confirmed here, the overall sound is a wonderful mix of vintage sounds and new ideas and all the compositions are convincing and well performed. Somehow the beautiful art cover by Alessandro Sala depicts in a very effective way the content of the music and lyrics inviting you to wander under the moon, looking for the right balance between your every day life and an alien nature that the contemporary society can't understand.
|Alienatura - art cover|
The beautiful opener "Kaze" sets the atmosphere. It's an instrumental track with a touch of exotic mysticism where you can hear lost, distant sounds and voices still blowing in the wind. In fact, kaze is a Japanese word that means wind and the music flows away with many changes, carrying you from east to west, from Oriental waves to echoes of native American rites... By the way, on this track you can hear for a moment the voice of Yoshiko Kase, a Japanese friend of the band and a passionate prog fan.
Next comes "Senza colori" (Colourless) that depicts in music and words a man on the edge of a deep personal crises who reflects about his past errors. Slowly part of him gets lost in the spiral of time, his memories get blurred and his hopes melt, suffocated by an oppressive reality. The mood is dark, but never say never! Even when his world seems crumbling down his inner will is still pulsing and pushes him to find a balance to repair what's wrong and to look for that kind of madness that's called Truth...
|Il Tempio delle Clessidre 2013|
"Il passo" (The step) is another great track that describes a man who's falling down, betrayed by his self confidence and his desire of adventures. He was walking in the mountains, now he can remember nothing but the sound of his steps in the void and the wind blowing around him. He's scared and the night is coming down. Nobody will find him, lost in a solitary ravine, injured, surrounded by the desperate roots of the trees and naked rocks. His rage burns inside his chest as he shouts for the last time... Oh, what a lucky man he was!
"Fino alla vetta" (Up to the mountain top) is about hiking in the Alps and tells in music and words about the spiritual experience of a day spent in touch with beautiful, breathtaking panoramas, far from the daily grind. At dawn you can walk to the top breathing fresh air and listening to the melodic sound of soft rain drops falling on the trees until you get lost under a spell, led by the moon, free from the chains of civilization, in harmony with Mother Nature...
On the dark, nightmarish "Onirica possessione" (Oneiric possession) the music and lyrics describe in a theatrical way a very troubled night. As the veil of darkness comes down you fall asleep in a vortex of obscure thoughts, then your mind begins to fly across scary, bleak landscapes. You're filled with a strong sense of fear and risk to get lost, eternal prisoner of your madness and of your ill dreams. Then you see a creek in a wood and clear water flowing. Maybe there's another reality, you try to go forward to touch the illusion of a life after death while your thoughts fall down like autumn leaves... But soon you realize that your feet are sinking in the quicksand, the burden of your pain makes you heavy, the curtain opens and a crazy, dramatic play begins... In the last section you can hear the suggestive call of a demon and his false promises interpreted by Elisa Montaldo.
"Notturna" (Nocturnal) is a short, dreamy piece where you can fully appreciate Elisa Montaldo lead vocals. Here the music and lyrics depict arcane rites of cosmic harmony under the moon and a myriad of dancing stars, an ethereal celebration in honour of a pagan goddess who speaks of mountains, trees, rocks and of a world where your soul is free to fly high...
|Elisa Montaldo 2013|
The magnificent epic "Il cacciatore" (The Hunter) concludes this excellent work in a perfect way. It's divided into five parts and tells the story of a hunter who gets lost in the forest following the tracks of his pray. He's tired, stranded, injured. Who is the pray now? When he meets a wolf he's almost helpless, ha can't use his bow and arrow anymore. But the wolf is merciful and protects him. At last he repents, he understand that shooting down an innocent life is pointless and cruel. So, he becomes a new man who's finally aware of the importance of living in a perfect balance with Mother Nature... Well, a nice fable and another great track!
On the whole, this is really a wonderful album, full of passionate melodies, mellow symphonic passages and a pinch of melodramma. I think that this is a real must for every prog lover! Anyway, judge by yourselves: you can listen to the complete album HERE
Il Tempio delle Clessidre: Alienatura (2013). Other opinions:
Paul Fowler: The sound is rich, warm and full with some incredibly powerful moments alongside the more reflective elements. After a few plays the sometimes subtle and complex melodies really grab you. It's not always immediate but persevere and you'll be rewarded with a fantastic body of work... (read the complete review HERE)