The Julius Project is an Italian music collective led by Giuseppe "Julius" Chiriatti, who, according to sources, started work on this concept album as far back as 1978! This would certainly account for the retro Canterbury vibe of Cut The Tongue. It also features some guest vocals from Richard Sinclair of Caravan and Hatfield and the North.
However, another classic band Camel comes immediately to mind with the opener The Fog, the combination of flute and mellotron harking right back to the 70s. That Camel sound continues throughout In The Room featuring vocals by Chiriatti's daughter Bianca Berry.
The sound of fairground welcomes in You Need A Prophet that features a very pleasant mellotron break, while Mask & Money has a fascinating change of pace. Not surprisingly, Welcome To The Meat Grinder is more discordant and doomier, and Speed Kings lives up to its name being fast and furious.
A complete change of feel comes through Clouds Pt 1 where the ethereal and a Pink Floyd kind of guitar sound are to the fore. Clouds Pt 2 has a much more bluesy air, Egidio Presicce's wonderful saxophone bringing a delicious moody edge to the piece.
The title track finally gives some clarity to the album's theme. Starting with a classically sounding piano, there is a hint of Robert Wyatt in the arrangement, the line “Cut the tongue of every bad prophet” repeated within it. The operatic voice of Martina Chiriatti as the prophet comes in at the end.
The album then seems to head off in a different direction, the songs now more pastoral and gentler. Highlights include the stately We Know We Are Two leading into I See The Sea that has a Middle Eastern section leading into an upbeat Rick Wakeman-like synth and Hammond organ passage.
Wood On The Sand contains an interesting “musical box” sound and closer Desert Way's rather plodding, vocal passage is finally replaced with the sound of seagulls.
Likeable in places, this probably would have worked better as two separate albums because of the sudden change of mood and tempo halfway through.
*** Alison Reijman
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2021