After the releases of “Kinesis” (2007), “Kublai” (2011) and “AdC” (2014) the Italian band Accordo dei Contrari comes with their forth effort entitled “Violato Intatto” (2017). The promotion of this independent release is in the hands of the Synpress 44 agency of Donato Zoppo. The music for 8 out of the 11 tracks is composed by keyboardist Giovanni Parmeggiani. Guitarist Marco Marzo Maracas brought in two compositions and sax player Stefano Radaelli brought in the other one. Under the special guests we find violin maestro Alessandro Bonetti. The later is known for his work with the band Deus Ex Machina and his live performances with the band PFM.
Marco Marzo Maracas - electric and acoustic guitar; Stefano Radaelli - alto and baritone sax, bowed zither; Cristian Franchi - drums; Giovanni Parmeggiani - organ, Fender Rhodes, miniMoog, Arp Odyssey, Mellotron
Alessandro Bonetti - violin on Shamash
Gabriele Di Giulio - tenor sax on “Folia Saxifraga” and “Eros vs Anteros”
Patrizia Urbani - vocals of “E verde e l'ignoto su cui corri”
What can we musically expect from the band Accordo dei Contrari. I think that their music is food for the open minded progressive rock lover. The music is heavily influenced by Jazz Fusion and RIO (Rock In Opposition). Also there is still a reference to a more Canterbury musical style in the “Intatto” part. That is to say; the album is divided into the parts “Violato” and “Intatto”. The “Violato” part includes the compositions “Folia Saxifraga”, “Monodia”, “Blue-S”, “Shamash”, “Idios Cosmos” and “E verse l'ignoto su cui corri”.
In the up tempo opener “Folia Saxifraga” the band is joined by sax player Gabriele Di Giulio. After an overwhelming and complex opening with two saxes and organ the band slows down with a slow Fender Rhodes and percussion intermezzo. But soon the band goes full throttle again with some freaky sax solo's in a Van Der Graaf Generator meets Deus Ex Machina part. The next track “Monodia” opens with a delicate organ part before the sax and guitar are joining the music. The piece develops into a song with nice sax melodies and hectic and freaky guitar parts. The next piece is called “Blue-S” and has great diversity and some lovely solo parts. The sax and the organ has an important role in the music. I had to think of a jazzy Van Der Graaf Generator.
Then it is time for one of my favorite tracks of the album. “Shamash” has an experimental and electronic opening. When the slow intro flows into an up tempo part with an increased intensity guest Alessandro Bonetti plays the violin in a way that reminds me of David Cross (King Crimson) and Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra). I just love the violin in my prog ... great track. In “Idiots Cosmos” you can find some extraordinary drumming by Cristian Franchi and some cosmic atmospheres in the quieter parts. The “Violato” part ends with the track “E verde e l'ignoto su cui corri”. It is a kind of transition to the “Intatto” side of the album. Delicate piano and guitar parts support the wonderful vocals of guest singer Patrizia Urbani. This beautiful composition with lovely acoustic guitar and delicate keyboard (Mellotron) parts is the resting point of the album.
The “Intatto” part of the album opens with the short “Marienkirche”. The bells of the Marienkirche in Mollis (Zwitserland) were recorded for this piece. The song has an ambient atmosphere. The opening of “Di Eccezione In Variante” has some influencers from the Canterbury scene. Halfway the track the tempo increases and becomes more threatening. Freaky electric guitar parts and great drumming. “Usil” has a delicate Fender Rhodes opening but develops into a song with lovely Van Der Graaf Generator influences. Later on the song becomes more jazzy oriented and we can enjoy another sax solo of Stefano. The last part with the repetitive Rhodes section reminded me somewhat of one of my favorite Canterbury bands National Health.
The Marco Marzo composition “Eros vs Anteros” includes long guitar and organ solo's. This longest (10:02) track of the album has some Space Rock influences. In the last part you can enjoy again exceptional drumming by Cristian before the song closes with a delicate acoustic guitar part. The album comes to an end with the song “Il Violato Intatto”. And again I have to think of the band National Health. It is a great piece with a brooding atmosphere. Van Der Graaf meets National Health ... just love it! The “Intatto” part of the album is very strong.
“Violato Intatto” the forth studio album of Accordo dei Contrari is recorded live in the studio with some overdubs. This worked very well for the band. It is a very strong album for the open minded music lover. The music is at times complex (especially in the first “Violato” part) but there is also melody in most of the compositions. Feels like a mix of Jazz Fusion, Canterbury and RIO to me. If you are into the more Jazz oriented progressive bands and like the work of (an instrumental) Van Der Graaf Generator and National Health you have to check this out. For the biggest part it is an instrumental album. Highly recommended for the open minded music lover!