The third album, 'Le Stelle: A Voyage Adrift' from Tuscany's Incoming Cerebral Overdrive, is as far removed from that tranquil setting as is imaginable.
Follow up to 2008s 'Controverso', the concept of the album is, as described by the band; "An imaginary, dark and lonely trip adrift, discovered in a diary. Emotions of fear, anger and irrational excitement are expressed, waiting for a certain epilogue into desolation, a final annihilation in a cosmic fusion."
You certainly get a sense of this when you listen. They have developed and expanded the limits of their sound on this latest album.
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The band's style on this album is very much progressive post hard-core, a sonic and psychedelic mix of unpredictable sound with grooves that are rhythmic and hypnotic. A very broad vocal range, that is at times quite outstanding, from Samuele Storai.
The guitar work of Maurizio Tuci and Stefano Tocci has discordant jazz influenced riffs and is bursting with ferocious energy. The addition to the mix of Stefano Tocci's synthesiser adds a psychedelic and spacy feel. Alessio Corsini on bass adds huge amounts of weight and depth to the overall guitar sound and the drumming by Filippo Baldi are excellently tailored to fit in and around the discordant and complex riffs and rhythms.
The tracks flow seamlessly into each other, opening with 'Mirzam' with its pulsating rhythms, spiralling morse-code like riffs and bombarding vocals.
'Sirius' contains sonic waves of sound, the synthesiser adding a psychedelic feel to the sludgy groove that permeates this track while 'Betelgeuse' continues the theme with pulsating riffs from bass and guitars and sonic waves from the synthesiser.
The gentle beginning to 'Kochab' expands into guttural vocals and excellent down tuned guitar work. 'Adhara' has frantic drum rhythms that crash and collide relentlessly around your head, easing into synthesiser rhythms towards the end but still maintaining that frantic quality to the drumming.
'Pherkad' is densely rhythmic with vocals that are sometimes rasping and growly and other times gentle and haunting. This track demonstrates Samuele's vocal range at its broadest and the 'feedback' at the end of this track is a total ear-bleeder.
You don't get a chance to recover from that before 'Sirius B' is launched at your already weakened auditory system. The hypnotic guitar rhythms and drum work do begin to have a soothing effect about midway through the track, preventing you from noticing the vocals are still shredding the inside of your ears.
The gentle slower pace of 'Polaris' combined with the low growl of the vocals has quite a relaxing feel and ends with monastic, choral sounding vocals. The rhythmic and catchy 'Bellatrix' by midway achieves quite a driving pace and excellent vocal screams.
'Rigel', the album closer is the longest track at almost eleven minutes, the rest of the album being pretty much all under the five minute barrier. Epic in both sound and length serves almost as a précis to the rest of the album with the extent of its content.
The more I listen to this album the more I like it. A musical journey of forty six minutes that gets into your blood and takes over your mind, the rhythms being so addictive.
This is a unique album that certainly pushes the boundaries from a music perspective. 'Le Stelle: A Voyage Adrift' will be out on May 7th on Supernatural Cat.