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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Katzenjammer Kabarett - Grand Guignol & Variétés – Their name is German, they sing in English, but they are indeed French. I must have missed this band's 2006 debut, but I guess it's never too late to discover a good thing, and this four-piece...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues