Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A BARBARIC LEGACY

Ilienses were born in 2018 in the province of Nuoro on the initiative of multi-instrumentalist and composer Mauro Medde from Gavoi and vocalist Natascia Talloru from Tonara. The name of the band refers to the ancient Nuragic people who lived during the Bronze and Iron Ages in central-southern Sardinia, in an area called Barbagia, a natural region located alongside the Gennargentu massif. Their aim is to blend the sound of Sardinian traditional instruments such as tumbarinos, pipiolos, tumborro, corno, triangulu, campanacci di Tonara or cantu a tenore vocals with modern rock instruments such as electric bass, piano, synth and drums. The result is a very particular mix of dark folklore and progressive rock full of experimentalism and original ideas... 


In 2020 Ilienses self-released an excellent debut album entitled Civitates Barbariae, recorded with the help of the guest musicians Fabio Perra (drums), Alessio Zucca (piano) and Daniele Soru (bassu tenore). All the tracks of the albums are linked together to form a long suite dealing with the history and the spirit of Barbagia. Narrative vocals in Italian introduce the subject matter driving you in an ancient, imaginary world where proud wild tribes fight for their freedom opposing the foreign rule. In fact, Roman domination in this part of Sardinia was never more than nominal...


According to the band, this work was conceived as an imaginary soundtrack for a film although the plot is up to your imagination. There are many whispered and recitative vocal fragments in Sardinian language taken from the works by Peppinu Mereu, a poet from Tonara, to stir your imagination and to add colours to the picture while the music flows leading you through an enchanted, almost magical world. You can hear the sound of blades and spears or the echoes of ancient pagan rites, there are ghosts riding under the moon… But if you pay the due attention you can also perceive that the music and words are the fruit of a real philological research. In the end, narrative vocals in Italian evoke the soul of the land that tired to wander into blooded soil and pain surrenders to fate. But even in the darkest moment the beauty of Sardinia’s natural and cultural heritage shines through...


By the way, to promote the album the band shot an evocative video to give an idea of what their music is about… Have a try!

You can listen to the complete album HERE

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