Title - 'And the Stars Above'
Artist - Armonite
For those not in the know, Armonite is a progressive rock band from Pavia, Italy. Founded in 1996, but reformed in 2015, the Armonite core consists of Italian prog-rockers Paolo Fosso and Jacopo Bigi.
Their debut record, The Sun Is New Each Day, which was produced at Abbey Road Studios and released in 2016 to massive critical acclaim also features Porcupine Tree bassist, Colin Edwin.
This past May 25th, 2018 via Cleopatra Records / Purple Pyramid, Armonite released their brand new sophomore album, And The Stars Above.
Featuring violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso, it also, once again, includes a special guest appearance by Colin Edwin of the aforementioned iconic UK prog-rockers Porcupine Tree.
1. 'The March of the Stars'
2. 'Next Ride'
3. 'District Red'
4. 'Plaza de Espa˝a'
5. 'Clouds Collide'
6. 'Blue Curašao'
7. 'By Heart'
9. 'By the Waters of Babylon'
10. 'The Usual Drink'
11. 'What's the Rush?'
13. 'A Playful Day (For String Quartet)' - (Bonus Track)
14. 'The Fire Dancer (For Piano Solo)' - (Bonus Track)
The album kicks off with the politely delicate, ethereal vocals of Maria Chiara Montagnari on 'The March of the Stars,' which before long entices the pulse of the track to explode into a heavy hitting masterpiece. Next comes 'Ride' and whilst reducing the tempo, it still carries with it a vibrant passion; all augmented with beautiful streams of violin atop a drum and electric guitar back beat.
The ethnic-salted 'District Red' is like a speeding train hitting the curves of a soaring mountain side, always threatening to derail, but never quite tipping over fully, and that's backed by the delicately floating work of musical art within the piano melody 'Plaza de Espa˝a.'
Montagnari is back, and rightfully so, on the playful, perky 'Clouds Collide' with the drumtastic 'Blue Curašao' following thereafter. Interestingly enough, both 'By Heart' and 'By the Waters of Babylon' - separated by 'Freaks' (an eerie, at times whistled walk through the dark alley ways of time) - are based on the virelai 'Douce Dame Joile' by Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), and a canon by Philip Hayes (1738-1797), respectively.
Armonite's varying keys of hopefulness are captured royally within a hunting rendition of the piano vs. violin masterpiece 'The Usual Drink,' which in turn is backed by the most upbeat, EDM-inspired cut on the album, the pulsating 'What's the Rush?' Ending the album with the supernaturally perky 'Ghosts,' Armonite have also added two (2) bonus tracks to the album to round it off in some style: 'A Playful Day (For String Quartet)' and the stunning 'The Fire Dancer (For Piano Solo).'
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