Isproject - The Archinauts

(CD 2017, 48:00, AMS Records)

The tracks:
  1- Ouverture(3:54)
  2- The Architect(6:23)
  3- Mangialuce(7:39)
  4- The City and the Sky(4:57)
  5- Lovers in the Dream(5:59)
  6- The Mountain of Hope(6:31)
  7- Between the Light and the Stone(14:37)

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This Italian-based musical project comprises Ivan Santovito on vocals and keyboards, and llenia Salvemini on vocals, the producer being Fabio Zuffanti. Other featured musicians are Giovanni Pastorino (keyboards & programming), Simone Amodeo (guitars), Andrea Bottaro bass guitar, Paolo Tixi (drums) and Martin Grice (flute and saxophone).

Opener Ouverture is a lush, symphonic sweep of sound, piano and synthesisers very much to the fore while The Architect is more guitar-based and introduces Santovito's vocals. A gentle piano section takes it into new territory and it ends with a pleasant vocal passage.
Mangialuce has an opening musical texture which sounds like dripping water before Santovito's vocals take over. However, the song jumps around, never settling in one groove, and despite big piano and guitar solos coming in later, it never really goes anywhere.
There's more of a distinct rhythm and waltz-like vibe on The City And The Sky and a couple of good instrumental breaks.
Lovers In The Dream follows at a slower pace and at times, Santovito's voice begins to grate. There is some ebb and flow in the arrangement, culminating in a big guitar solo and some vocal interplay towards the end.
A slow piano introduction starts The Mountain Of Hope and after that, it's all rather one paced save for a couple of synthesiser breaks underpinned by guitars.
Finally, The Light And The Stone offers some variety and interest, Grice's flute playing alongside Pastorino's piano and we hear much more from Salvemini while Bottaro's got a great bass line going for an all too brief juncture. Grice returns with a powerful saxophone solo which is followed by synthesiser, and suddenly, it all begins to take off.

Apart from that track, there's simply not enough drama, passion or indeed, cohesion, to make this album as interesting as it could have been.

**+ Alison Reijman

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