|11 Nov 2016||Failing Records||Digipak|
Antropocene by Italian band Il Rumore Bianco is is a great Prog/Jazz/Fusion album. When I think of Italian Prog, the great symphonic prog bands of the seventies come to my mind (i.e. PFM, Banco, Le Orme...). Sure, there has been a Prog resurgence in Italy since the mid-nineties, bands like Finisterre, DFA and others have acheived a quality level that can be compared to their famous predecessors. Many of these bands have adopted the symphonic melodic Prog style popular in the seventies, but others (i.e. Atto VI, DFA, Deus Ex Machina...) have taken another route.
Personnally I consider Il Rumore Bianco to be in between those two extremes. For example the first track on Antropocene starts out as a hard Prog rock song, but adds some great melodic elements before cranking up the power level again. This first track is driven by some crunchy electric guitar, not so far from what Steven Wilson can offer. The next track ''Mediocraza'' pretty much stays in the same style and features some great vintage sounding keyboards. This is followed by ''Capitale Umano'' that introduces some cool saxophone. This one would not be that much out a place on a Van Der Graaf Generator album. It's only with the fourth track, the excellent ''Tempio Pallido'' , that the traditional melodic Italian Symphonic Prog appears. PFM would be proud of this one.
The rest of the album continues to offer us a variety of styles and moods, often in the same track, the highlight for me being ''Il Giudice e Il Bugiardo'', a track I would compare to what Opeth has been doing in the last few years.
Even though Antropocene takes on a variety of genres, this is done with a continuous thread from beginning to end, something that, for example, Steven Wilson has also been doing with great skill.
In conclusion, on Antropocene Il Rumore Bianco offers us eight varied and excellent musical pieces, performed flawlessly and with a very good lead vocalist to boot.
2017 is just starting out but I can at least say that Antropocene is (for now) my best Prog album of the year... and it would have certainly been in my Top 10 list for 2016.
Highly recommended indeed!!