Thursday, 12 February 2015


Barnum's Freak began life in Naples in 2012 on the initiative of Massimiliano Romano (guitars), Sergio Vassetti (keyboards) and Salvatore Oroso (drums). Their music was influenced by seventies prog bands such as Pink Floyd, Goblin, Focus or PFM but also by post rock and more recent acts. The name of the band refers to some attractions of Barnum's Circus, monsters and curiosities such as Joice Heth, an African-American slave who was exhibited by P.T. Barnum with the false claim that she was the 161-year-old nursing "mammy" of George Washington. According to the band, the monster is necessary to the mental integrity of us all and, against its will, increases the cohesion of the so-called ‘normal people’ against all the forms of perversion. A quite confused conception, but sufficient to satisfy the early craving of normality: that blurry desire of conformity and uniformity that each of us harbours inside ourselves.

In 2014 Barnum's Freak self-released a debut work featuring the collaboration of two guest musicians, Alessandro Bagagli (bass) and Manuela Papa (vocals). It's a concept album about a spiritual journey towards a new awareness titled Revolution Loading, where the words revolution and evolution are in some way merged to create something new. The album is almost completely instrumental and you have to rely upon your imagination and on the explanations of the band to understand and appreciate the storyline. According to the band, the world in which we live is a professional system created to hide a terrible reality... We are all slaves, locked into a prison with no walls, no bars, no smell, a prison to our mind... So, we have to search for a way to breakthrough!

The calm opener "Appearance (DayDream)" describes an unconscious, apparent normality made by conformity and uniformity. It's sung in English and, unfortunately, it's the only track where we can appreciate the vocal qualities of Manuela Papa. Behind an ethereal, surreal dreamy mood you can feel an impending change in the air...

The following "Doubt (UnReal)" begins by the sound of a storm in the background and marks the loss of confidence and a state of uncertainty. The rhythm rises, doubts are spreading all around, you feel confused... It leads to the dark, powerful "Crisis (SetBack)" which tries to describe the dramatic inner conflict and the confrontation with the ‘other-than-itself’.

Next comes "Awakening (Resurgence)" that tries to depict the birth of a new attitude in the way you observe and perceive the world. You begin to breathe again fresh air under a dark sky, eventually the sunlight shines through the clouds... "NeWay (Beaming)" ends the album with a surge of cosmic energy and a touch of optimism while the gates of the house of the king open for you.

On the whole, an interesting debut work from a band that deserves credit and that could have a bright future.

You can listen to the complete album HERE

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