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Pleonexia - Virtute E Canoscenza Award winner

Virtute E Canoscenza
by Neil Cook at 25 February 2020, 3:53 PM

PLEONEXIA formed in Italy in 2012, the brainchild of Michele Da Pila, initially a solo project, that soon grew into the fully formed project we hear today. Their first album “Break All Chains” came out in 2014.  They brand their sound “Philosophic Metal,” a sound grounded in the 80s, a mix of Hard Rock and melodic Heavy Metal.  Their sound is based on epic tunes, with tons of melody and power.

The album kicks off with the obligatory intro track, all danceable bass lines and choral chanting, leading into the 1st proper song “Out Of The Tribe,” which sounds a little like GHOST does the 80's. A strong song built on a guitar and keys in harmony. “Selfish Gene” has a similar vibe. Built on a not so subtle parp, parp, parp keyboard sound, and aggressive fretwork, which gives the song a dated and modern feel at the same time.  It should not work, but heck it does. Almost AVANTASIA in its bombastic-ness.

Message To The Future” starts as a more straight ahead guitar driven banger.  Some great screaming vocals and wailing guitars. And then a little keyboard cameo to drag us back from the future to the past (the 70s called they would like their keys back!).“Choises,” is a slower melodic song which builds into an epic track. I have to especially praise the drumming on the track, it really underpins the intricate nature of the music. The keyboard outro finishes the song perfectly and leads into the song with the oddest title I’ve seen, “Slug On The Highway”.  The spooky keys and vocals give the song a very GHOST-like feel, albeit a touch heavier than their current sound.  I love the guitar solo.  I have no idea what it is about, but I don’t care!  And chuck in a bit of whoa , whoa, whoa-ing, which I defy anyone to not want to join in on.

Eternal Return,” is my least favorite track on the album. For me it just isn’t quite as strong as most.  Although it does have some nice 70’s keys underpinning a decent guitar solo.  I think I find it a bit repetitive. Maybe after a few more listens it will grow on me. “Ataraxy” is also, in my opinion a weaker track too. The little piano refrain at the start of “Ship With No Captain” runs out of the previous song, and leads into a huge slab of 70’s Pomp Rock meets 00’s Power Metal, Modern Rock guitar vs a keyboard sound straight off a STYX LP (and I love STYX!).  As epic a track as one could hope for.

A close second in the weird title stakes “The March Of The Dumbs”.  Is the chuggiest song on the album. I could see this being a live favorite. Finally “Time To Fight,” is a quirky little song, which sounds like something HELOWEEN would have done, back in the day.  A very good way to end an album with more highs than lows.

Generally I love this album, there are a couple of songs I like less than the rest, but they are not bad, just not of the same standard as he rest of the excellently crafted pieces in my opinion.  The sound is crystal, the keyboards at time are cheesy, just like they were in the 80’s , but the album still sounds true, and not simply a pastiche, works for me!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Forgotten Language Song
2. Out Of The Tribe
3. Selfish Gene
4. Message To The Future
5. Choises
6. Slug On The Highway
7. Eternal Return
8. Ship With No Captain
9. The March Of The Dumbs
10. Ataraxy
11. Time To Fight
Michele Da Pila - Vocals, Guitars
Andrea Autiero - Guitars
Edoardo Barbero - Guitars
Andrea Borlengo - Bass
Lorenzo Luca - Keyboards
Daniele Ferro Milon - Drums
Record Label: Pure Underground Records


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Edited 08 February 2023

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