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And Harmony Dies – Ballast

And Harmony Dies
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 31 January 2022, 4:05 PM

Founded near Treviso Italy in 1995 by Black with the name HARMONY DIES, the new album here features lyrics are generally obscure and speak of man-related issues with particular reference to human feelings whether they are of joy or pain, happiness and disappointment, as well as protest against preconceptions and conformism. The album deals with issues related to the soul of the human being and tries to surprise the listener with a musical genre that while not forgetting its Black Metal origins, aims to experiment with multiple sounds and atmospheres. The album contains nine tracks.

“Under this Leaden Sky (we fall)” leads off the album. It begins with soft, mysterious tones, amorphous throughout. “Alena’s Chief in the Golden Spiral” is near ten-minute beast. It opens with clean guitars and vocals, and a jovial jaunt, slow and steady. From there, an almost circus tone develops…experimental you say? Definitely. The harsh vocals are…well…odd…but we’ll get back to them. If it wasn’t for the occasional snarl, you might not consider this Black Metal at all. Dreary tones come in from there, with strange background music. “Life.xar” is another really strange song. Following a relatively easy opening, the circus like tones are back, mixed with harsh tones. The way that the keyboards are used adds to this odd quality of the music.

“Atoll O.” begins with slow, dreamy tones. You might conjure up images of relaxing on a private beach with the sun in your face, and a soft breeze blowing. Guitars build slowly, along with audible bass notes, and some stirring vocals. The harsh tones mixed in where they almost don’t belong is again, odd. “Leave Now” opens with spoken words and some symphonic elements. Doleful tones progress from there. The message is strong but the music doesn’t really get strong until the chorus. This is a more emotional and poignant offering. “With no Sentence to Learn” begins with heavier tones out of the gate…now this is Black Metal. The harsh tones are tempered only with sad clean vocals in another yin and yang offering that is difficult to make the connections. The title track, ironically enough, shows that the band can build harmonies as well as a more cohesive sound. This song is quite enjoyable.

“How to Lighten Daily Weights” is a twelve-minute opus. More eerie tones open this song. Sad, depressing tones follow, but also with a hint of hope. The harsh vocals come in and wipe the slate clean for the return of melancholy. It waxes and wanes several times throughout, begging the question of how is this song supposed to help one lighten daily weights? “Drop the Curtain” closes the album. The sound takes a long time to develop, and can barely be heard. What another bizarre song.  I am not sure what to make of this album. One on hand, the sheer amount of experimentation is impressive, as is the talent of the musicians. But the music as a whole I believe could be misunderstood, or very hard to assimilate by the average listener. Chalk this one up for some very original musicians trying to just get their music out there for people to enjoy, but who those people are besides me trying to always find the next best thing out there, I don’t know. I rather enjoyed the discontinuity here, but I am a little strange myself.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Under this Leaden Sky (we fall)
2. Alena's Chief in the Golden Spiral
3. Life.xar
4. Atoll O.
5. Leave Now
6. With no Sentence to Learn
7. Ballast
8. How to Lighten Daily Weights
9. Drop The Curtain
Fabio "Black" Gatto – Vocals, Bass, Synth, Drum Programming
Marco "Whisper" Meneguzzo – Keyboards, Synth Programming
Giorgio "Yog" Bolognesi – Guitars
Filippo "Ghisgut" Baccega – Drums
Record Label: Club Inferno Entertainment


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