|Eddie Lascu||4-Jan-2012||2011 A.D.|
I Treni All'Alba – "2011 A.D." (Italy, 2011)
Many musicians ought to ponder what other approach to create good progressive rock has left untouched and unexplored, so that the music released sounds fresh and original. How about two duelling acoustic guitars? Yeah, that hasn't been done, it could work. And it does indeed. I Treni All'Alba is a new band from Torino, Italy. "2011 A.D." is its second album after the 2008's "Folk Destroyers". While I haven't heard the debut, I understand that the sophomore effort marks a departure from a somewhat folk-oriented sound (which apparently got destroyed on that first album) and a venture into the Rock Progressivo Italiano realm. Not surprisingly, we are welcoming such unexpected turn of events.
Adorning an amazing cover by Domenico Sorrenti, the focus on this entire instrumental album is on the duel of the band's two acoustic guitarists (Daniele Pierini and Paolo Carlotto), both with obvious classical training background, as the sound is well anchored in the Spanish and Flamenco style of playing. Sabino Pace adds layered support on piano and various keyboard instruments. The quartet is rounded up by drummer Felice Sciscioli and he turns out to be an extremely versatile musician as the sudden sonic outburst on the second track of the album, "Attila", would suggest. Although not a member of the band, Francesco Vittori is complementing the rhythmic section on bass guitar on all 9 tracks of the album.
The album is opened by "Intro" a rather short, pastoral piece that is not giving away the onslaught that is about to be unleashed. The track segues nicely into "Attila" and almost one minute into it, you are hit by the first wave of the high level of energy that this band can display. The third track, "L'Arte della Guerra" is probably the best of the album, showcasing the amazing trumpet work of Felice Moro. His delicate touches help elevate the tension of the song to dramatic overtones of a real Mexican standoff. Just listen and you will see what I mean.
"L'Apocalisse" is the longest track of the album, clocking in a little over 8 minutes, but despite its length, the band moves flawlessly through several musical themes, so that you will barely notice the passage of time. The only song where the dual acoustic guitar over piano interplay is abandoned and replaced by hard electric guitar riffs is "Tempi Moderni?". The formula may be different, but the outcome is the same: excellent progressive rock music. The electric guitar will make two more cameo appearances on the last two tracks of the album but by now your impression is formed: you will always remember I Treni All'Alba for the great use of acoustic guitars to create fresh, exquisite progressive rock music.
I Treni All'Alba:
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