|......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH|
We are already at the end of 2009, from the first day of the year, until today, I had the pleasure of listening to hundreds of the new progressive rock bands, mixing various styles, and recalling the great influences of an unforgettable decade in the past. In November, Walter F. contacted me, asking to know his latest musical project called N.y.X., and listen to the album titled "Down In Shadows".It was a great surprise when listened the album for the first time, we can hear a powerful battle between the guitars, keyboards, drums, bass, sax, that are simply awesome, and fits ever so well within the total picture of both song and band, something very close to the style developed by famous bands like "Van der Graaf Generator" and "King Crimson", or something like these two bands playing together with conductors like Walter and Danilo. In closing I would recommend "Down In Shadows" and the Band N.y.X, to all Prog Fans who find enjoyment listening to very intricate instrumentals, full of emotion and looking for an orchestral extremely complex ride through the arrangements created by the main musicians. Personally, my favourite tracks on the album are "Down in Shadows (Part I)", "Day After Day", "Colour", "Wait", "C18H21NO3" (really a wonderful performance of the singer Adina Bajenica) and "Down in shadows (Part II)" this last track reminds me the best age of VDGG. Brilliant, fantastic, an amazing album, highly recommendable...
line-up on the Project N.y.X. are:
N.y.X is a project born in Turin in the beginning of the New Millennium. After a period dedicated to the electric experimentation, the duo formed by Walter F. (vox, guitars, bass and devices) and Danilo A. “Pannico” (drums & percussions, piano, organ, marimba and devices) has published a first work in 2005, an approach to the song form integrating progressive and psychedelic influences. The homonymous EP got very good reviews from all the international qualified press and let the two musicians to improve their musical experience with many live and studio collaborations, particularly in France.
"Down in shadows” is the new N.y.X’s album, a co-production with the famous italian label Electromantic Music (Arti & Mestieri): is a concept, based on the pure tradition of the experimental music, telling a modern story of betrayal and loneliness. The main character, a complex and disturbed personality, suffers a “progressive” degeneracy “until the end of time”, with ineluctable consequences… The seven tracks of the disk have an astonishing variegated musicality: between electric violence and melodious acoustic moments. The “title track” is a long suite divided into two parts: the introduction and the end of the album. The other songs are peculiar plugs, giving the definition of the concept. This new N.y.X is a progressive rock suggestion, a research of contemporaneous and futurist resonances, without forgetting the eminent past. This is a very personal and original sound, a winning “mélange” of effects, electronics and traditional instruments. As an ideal “bridge” between past, present and future, “Down in shadows” is rich of many important collaborations; in particular, N.y.X’s work has received the great contribution of Mr. "David Jackson", legendary saxophone player of the historical prog band "Van der Graaf Generator" (and, also, "Peter Hammill", "Peter Gabriel" and "Osanna"…) and Mr. "Trey Gunn", fantastic touch guitar player in the most recent “incarnations” of the avant-garde band for excellence: "King Crimson" (and, also, Robert Fripp solo, David Sylvian and John Paul Jones…).
The seven tracks of the album “Down in Shadows” have an astonishing variegated musicality: between electric violence and melodious acoustic moments. The title track is a long suite divided into two parts: the introduction and the end of the album. The other songs are peculiar plugs, giving the definition of the concept.
The first sound is the charge of a carillon then a fade introduces “Down in shadows part I”. The opening track starts with an instrumental theme (a trademark of the whole record), with a great solo played by Trey Gunn. The first vocal section is a surreal emphasis of being bewildered by setting a low value on human feelings. After other instrumental themes and an impressive crescendo, the second part of the lyrics gives the image of the protagonist who’s watching his woman and his best friend making love together.,. In his own bed! This is a reminiscence of the famous Serge Gainsbourg’s album “L’homme à tête de chou”. This discovery changes the consideration of the social relations, previously based on a sense of egoism and superficiality..
The second track, “Day after day”, is a sort of pop song, with a peculiar structure, with a progressive moment in the middle (a truly delirium of guitars, bass, drums, percussions and… Telephone!) and in the end. The words are a sort of “fresco”, talking about the “anathema” that seems to be in the air of every relation (friendship and love).
“Colour” is a soft acoustic ballad, with a particular arrangement of voices, guitar, piano and the cello (played by Marco Allocco): a macabre lullaby. The dualism of the colors red and blue as a metaphor of the ambiguity in our lives.
“O.y.O (On your Own)” stars the second part of the concept: a remark on the great loneliness caused by the difficulty of a truly communication and the egoism. This piece has a great dynamic, enriched by the imaginative playing of David Jackson. In the middle there’s a pure “Generator” sax solo…
“Wait” is a final, useless attempt to reinstate the status quo, a desperate request of relief. The melancholy guitar arpeggio is blended with electronic percussions and lead “reverse” sounds, the atmosphere is sweet and acid at the same time.
The instrumental “C18H21NO3 – 30 mg Codeine” seems the soundtrack of a horror film, with piano, cello and guitar feedback as a “launch site” for the wonderful performance of the singer Adina Bajenica. Finally, the insanity is well-established.
“Down in shadows part II” is the ultimate whirl of emotions and dynamics. This long track has received the subsequent contribution of Trey Gunn, David Jackson and Marco Allocco. The first section, called “Crime”, talks about a murder, a bloodthirsty revenge, the hunt of the betrayers. In the second part, the protagonist wonders in the night on a strange town, under the rain: probably it was all in his imagination... After a solo of unusual violence, the end of the album is the music of the carillon (charged in the beginning…), enclosing the story: “the calm before the storm”…
"Down In Shadows"
Down in Shadows
(*) Instrumental (danilo A. Pannico.
Concept, Words and songs by Walter F.
For more information and every thing about the band, please visit N.y.X HOME PAGEN
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