Exposé Online banner

Ballo delle Castagne — Surpassing All Other Kings
(Black Widow BRRCD012, 2012, CD & LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-09-22

Surpassing All Other Kings Cover artLed by the duo of Vinz Aquarian (vocals, synthesizer, lyrics) and Diego Banchero (bass, backing vocals), the two are joined by a number of other players on guitars, keyboards, drums, and additional vocals. Surpassing All Other Kings is part three of a trilogy about the Babylonian hero Gilgamesh, that began with the 10” single 108 (2009) and continued with the band’s second album Kalachakra (2011). While I can’t speak to any of the earlier releases, here we are in psychedelic-affected heavy goth-rock territory, which is to say they are right at home on Black Widow along with bands like Jacula, Orne, and Antonius Rex. Most of the ten cuts here feature very dense arrangements enriched with thick choruses of male and female voices, doomy haunting atmospherics, and –mostly by the way of guitarist Roberto Lucanato, some heavy psychedelic effects and distortion. Some of the pieces, like “Königin der Nacht” feature haunting melodies that would be right at home on some horror movie soundtrack, while “Il Viaggio” rocks with some heavy guitar and organ grooves with ever-present wah-wah, before the female vocals kick in and take it into a post-rock gloom and doom scenario. Another standout is the mysterious “Rorate Coeli,” featuring a simple repetition of a series of chords subject to echo delay and awash in a thick brew of studio effects. The band mixes languages, one will hear lyrics in Italian, German, and English, track depending. The only piece here that doesn’t work is the anti-war closer “Apocriphon of Gilgamesh” where the band takes excerpts from an old U.S. presidential speech and an interview with a soldier, and grafts some very predictable and unimaginative war-like music over them. This has been done to death before, and offers nothing new or interesting. Other than that, this is a fairly decent album.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Il Ballo delle Castagne

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tokyo Jihen - Sports – Since its founding in 2004, singer Shiina Ringo's band Tokyo Jihen (The Tokyo Incidents) has been a very eclectic and creative entry in the Japanese rock scene. Their latest effort is no exception, a...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues