Saturday, January 17, 2015

CD review: AUSTRALASIA Vertebra

AUSTRALASIA
Vertebra
Australasia is a project based in Italy; all the music is by Gian Spalluto with special assistance from Giuseppe Argentiero and Mina Carlucci. The genre is described as heavy post-rock. The album Vertebra was released under Immortal Frost Productions in September 2013. Great production quality, crystal clear instruments and a well-balanced recording. Not what I expected to hear. I got this bundled along with other black metal albums so my thoughts were anticipating another blast beat high velocity music but instead got a very welcome surprise. Melodic and engaging. Lots of clean guitar coupled with keyboards/synth. The music is not super complicated. I hear many smooth transitions and the female vocals from Mina Cartucci ring pleasantly in my ears. On a few of the tracks I was thinking of bands like Anathema, End Of Green and Pelican. There are ten compositions in total. The majority are instrumentals. If I had to pick some, my favorites would be the title track Vertebra; the way it comes in with dual clean guitar melodies grabbed my attention immediately. It is a short song but captivating nonetheless. Mina Carlucci’s vocals are a great feature with some melancholy guitar riffing in the background. Deficit is one of the heavier tracks and does get faster on the drums for some of the verses. Finally the last track Cinema: I found myself playing this track many times. Memorable passages and hints of samples spread out without taking too much from the song itself. It has a great buildup and this is one of the standout songs on this album. In conclusion, a great release with lots of good surprises and captivating moments. I recommend this for fans of Anathema, Russian Circles, Fields Of Locust, God Is An Astronaut, Alcian Blue and End Of Green. -Frank Garcia