The Sun Is New Each Day

Armonite

Independent release, 2015

http://www.armonite.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/30/2015

Electric violin. Who knew?

There's more to Armonite than a cool instrument, of course. The instrumental Italian prog-rockers embody the usual trappings of their genre – no vocals, odd time signatures and drum patterns, flair over muscle – but they do so with glee and a knack for originality.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Suitcase War" is a goofy title for a great song, one that encompasses everything right about the band and one that all proggers of any age should check out on Bandcamp. It's almost King Crimson-esque in its intensity, the violin and ascending notes along with the guitar work recalling Red. It sets the stage in grand fashion for an album that rarely lives up to that promise.

Although the bass work is somewhat muted here in favor of the violin/keyboard/guitar trio, it should be noted that Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree – a leader in the neo-prog movement – plays bass on this album. The stars are composer Paolo Fosso, who finds a lot of variations on the sound established early on, and violinist Jacopo Bigi (their Web site describes him as handsome, for any prog-loving ladies out there).

Really, the problem with this disc is that it doesn't really go anywhere. The songs sound cool, perhaps as part of a soundtrack, but sort of run together after a while without much to differentiate them and few actual hooks. The skittering into to "Satellites" is noteworthy, as is the mood evoked in the different parts of "Sandstorm" and the lovely "Le Temps Qui Fait Ta Rose."

So there's potential here, and again "Suitcase War" is excellent, making this a flawed debut from a band with something to offer. We'll see where it goes from here.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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