Ifsounds — An Gorta Mór
(Bandcamp Melodic Revolution, 2018, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-03-25
Ifsounds is the Italian prog band consisting of Fabio de Libertis (bass guitar), Runal (lead vocals), Dario Lastella (guitars, keyboards, synths, and vocals), Lino Mesina (drums, percussion, and vocals), and Claudio Lapenna (acoustic and electric piano, keyboards, organ, and vocals). Their latest album, An Gorta Mór, is about the Great Irish famine of 1879. The album contains four relatively short songs plus the title track that clocks in at 22 minutes. The music is a mixed bag of excellent music touching upon melodic progressive rock (“Mediterranean Floor”), aggressive complex rock (“Techno Guru”), gentle folk prog (“Violet”), and gritty hard rock (“Repitilarium”). The title track, "An Gorta Mór," is a suite of nine movements: I. “Emerald Island,” II. “Phytophthora infestans,” III. “Bridget O’Donnell,” IV. “The Great Famine,” V. “Doolough Lake,” VI. “The Docks of Limerick,”VII. “Regina Oceani,” VIII. “Long cónra,” and IX. “Ghosts in America.” To help with this excellent concept piece they enlisted guests Lino Giugliano (keyboards and organ on “Reptilarium,” “The Great Famine,” and “Doolough Lake”), Alessandra Santovito of Hexperos (vocals on “Regina Oceani"), Francesco Forgione of Hexperos (bhodrán on “The Docks of Limerick”), Vincenzo Cervelli (vocals on “The Docks of Limerick”and backing vocals on “Ghosts in America”), Matteo Colombo (violin on “Emerald Island” and “The Docks of Limerick”), and Marco Grossi (backing vocals on “Ghosts in America”). This long suite begins cheerily with birds chirping, leading into a pleasant folk ballad with a catchy melody. As they progress through the movements the music alternates between acoustic melodies and progressive rock until we reach “The Docks of Limerick” with Matteo’s beautiful Celtic violin trading lead lines with Dario's electric guitar as they set sail for the US. Sailing over silent seas on “Regina Oceani” Allesandra’s beautiful operatic soprano soothes the passengers as her voice soars off into the heavens. They all join in on a mail chorus as the ship reaches America along with a tasteful guitar solo that fades into the final sounds of the tolling ship’s bell. An Gorta Mór is a superb release worthy of all the praise levied on it!
Related artist(s): Ifsounds / If
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