domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2016
For the present year 2010, especially the latter half, Argentina has been a gentle provider of great progressive music from outside the European and North American realms, and this post-rock duo Autumn Moonlight is no exception at all.
AM's debut album has a pre-historic phase of digital free downloading in 2009 before its official 2010 release: re-recording, refurbishment and slight modifications in the tracklist determine the reality of "The Sky Over Your Shoulders" as the world is supposed to know it.
After listening to this album, even if it's only once, the listener has to ponder and admire the amazing fact that the rhythmic schemes, orchestral additions, instrumental nuances and varied textures that stand beyond the guitar/bass guitar inputs have been created via computer tools and programs.
And I'm not saying this as praise for the use of technology in itself but for the use of technology with such musical depth and such artistic cleverness.
Well, the result is a vividly embellished sort of post-rock that is patently melodically driven as well as friendly with some specific patterns of structural pomposity that we usually find connected to the symphonic prog standard.
Few times like this we find the post-rock pattern so closely related to the progressive formalities.
Now it's time to focus on the tracklist itself. 'Autumn Moonlight' gets things started in a most stylish fashion, due to its pristine architecture of guitar chords and the rhythm duo's controlled dynamics:
while bearing a dominantly reflective mood, the melodic scheme and the vivid instrumentation bring out a distinctly optimistic vibe.
The noise of sea waves in the shore paves the way for the second track, 'Dawn Of Atlantis', whose initial piano motif announces yet another delivery of crystalline atmospheres and elegantly driven electricity.
The recurrent 7/8 tempo mandates an effective musical intelligence for the ongoing sense of warmth: this track encapsulates what I earlier tried to describe as "symphonic-oriented post-rock".
The predominant lyricism continues to assert itself for track # 3, 'Letters To God', and not only that, it also becomes increasingly epic: at this point, the band's framework draws a bit closer to the power-ballad standard that one can expect from a regular prog metal album.
Once the main body's has been emphasized enough, the basic sonority becomes calmer, which makes the whole thing turn more ceremonious and introverted.
Now that I casually mentioned the prog-metal thing, it is fair to say that 'The Outsider' is the track that works on this area more meticulously: there are also hints to space-rock in its development, but the ballsy nature of the main riffs and the well-constructed guitar solo leaves no room for confusion regarding the presence of prog-metal as the central ingredient for this specific track.
Between these two pieces, 'T.O.R.' delivers a sort of midway between the introspective languidness of the second half of 'Letters To God' and the opener's colorful lyricism. 'Lost Paradise' is another example of AM's introspective side, but this time there is nothing about that can properly be described as languid:
there is an explicit sense of energy and power that is inevitably instilled in this track's compositional framework, and so the namesake piece is ready to enter and settle a typical post-rock atmosphere, eerie and subtly adorned. Well, the album's last 5 minutes are occupied by 'Autumn Moonlight Part II', which deepens the introspective side that had been reinforced throughout the previous two pieces in order to generate an amazing crescendo and a subsequent epic climax. This display of bombastic exquisiteness is followed by a lovely coda that features soft piano and bass guitar interplaying.
"The Sky Over Your Shoulders" is, first and most of all, a beautiful piece of artistic rock, and as such, it must serve as a motivator for all prog collectors everywhere to pay due attention to Autumn Moonlight.