Arctic Plateau is a one-man band formed by the Italian multi-instrumentalist Gianluca Divirgillio. His debut album is a ‘must have’ for lovers of bands like Oceansize, Anathema, Slowdive and No-Man. The entire album breathes English melancholica and is in fact an introspective trip into your inner self. Five out of ten songs are instrumentals of which In Epica Memories and Iceberg Shoegaze are the best. These pieces comprise dreamy and sometimes weird guitar melodies, hooks and solos. The other three pieces sound too much alike with a lack of diversity.
The absolute highlight of the album is the title track featuring amazing guitar melodies sounding like Oceansize and No-Man throughout the song. The guitar dominates this album and so you can enjoy many beautiful arpeggios, riffs, hooks and tremolo pickings. However, I am not fond of the vocal parts. The Italian English is hard to understand and besides, the singer sings rather nasal and monotonous. The closing epic In Time is also a bit disappointing as we are ‘treated’ with a rather irritating thirteen minutes of silence…
Anyway, if you like dreamy, melancholic music with beautiful melodies then you should at least listen to this album once!
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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