ARMONITE

The sky’s the limit for the Ital­ian duo.

Prog - - The Musical Box - KN CLEOPATRA

Af­ter the crit­i­cal ac­claim heaped on 2016’s The Sun Is New Each Day, Italy’s Armonite col­lec­tive, led by com­poser Paolo Fosso and vi­olin­ist Ja­copo Bigi, are step­ping up ac­tiv­i­ties by sign­ing with LA-based Cleopatra Records. The com­pany’s hor­ror and/ or mu­sic film di­vi­sion was a ma­jor in­cen­tive, con­firmed by the cin­e­matic qual­ity of the duo’s lat­est al­bum. It takes a sim­i­lar, mainly in­stru­men­tal path to its pre­de­ces­sor, if lighter and more di­verse. Fosso’s res­o­nant pi­ano themes and Bigi’s vir­tu­oso vi­o­lin are the main fo­cus, un­der­scored by a band that in­cludes the pro­nounced bass pres­ences of Al­berto Fio­rani and Por­cu­pine Tree’s Colin Ed­win. While tracks such as The March Of The Stars un­cork episodic clas­si­cal prog tropes, By Heart, The Spe­cial Drink and Ghosts ex­plore sound­track-friendly at­mo­spher­ics, in­clud­ing By The Wa­ters Of Baby­lon’s sump­tu­ous duet be­tween the two band lead­ers. Clouds Col­lide sees Maria Chiara Mon­tag­nari singing Armonite’s first fully formed song, re­call­ing Hounds Of Love era Kate Bush, while Blue Cu­raçao strays into fu­sion grooves. Two bonus tracks – one Fosso’s pi­ano solo, the sec­ond a string quar­tet flare-up – com­plete an al­bum to be proud of.

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