Astrolabio - L'isolamento dei Numeri Pari. 2014 Italy
I could say that L'isolamento dei Numeri Pari is Italian prog-by-the-numbers, but that would be rather cheeky of me. See, Astrolabio are not ones to take things too seriously. The album's title means "Isolation of the Even Numbers", and witness the cover as the even numbers are roaming about in a body of water. Meanwhile the tracks are all indexed by the odd numbers (1,3,5....to 21). Musically, the metaphor holds as well - but in a good way. No question Astrolabio have studied their 1970s Italian prog, and though the instrumentation teeters both the 70s and 90s, the overall execution is splendid. If one were to be critical, it's that the album doesn't feature any dramatic highs, nor too many surprises, so in that way they aren't like the very best the genre has too offer. Our good friend Apps79 offers up Jumbo and Biglietto per L'Inferno as a couple of benchmarks, but they aren't near as passionate and experimental as the former, nor as jarring as the latter. And yet, of course, it's a good comparison all the same. I hear more Osanna in the "hard core Italian" aspects of the album, whereas Pink Floyd (cheers Snow!) gives us our Anglo sound (perhaps Mary Newsletter from the home country gets a shout out). Very good album overall. No surprises or head lifting moments, and yet it accomplishes what it set out to do. Hard to complain about that. For fans of classic Italian prog.