Neronoia: Sapore di Luce e di Pietra

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Neronoia: Sapore di Luce e di Pietra
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Neronoia: Sapore di Luce e di Pietra
Ambient
Eibon Records
December 22nd, 2013
Release length: 42:50
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Back in 2006, all the members of Canaan teamed up with vocalist Gianni Pedretti for a new musical endeavour. This side-project is known as the Ambient, and sometimes Gothic Metal act Neronoia. The six-piece from Milan, Italy issued their debut album Un Mondo in Me later that year through Eibon Records, and their follow-up Il Rumore delle Cose in 2008, but didn’t find much attention outside their home country. For 2013, they present their next recording, Sapore di Luce e di Pietra. But is this a strong enough venture to grab some new listeners, or is it far from a memorable experience?

The best way to describe Sapore di Luce e di Pietra is that it’s a cold, morose experience. Each track is an example of minimalistic Ambience, relying heavily on the emotional keyboards and echoed voices. “XXII” captures a sense of mourning thanks to some simple thick drum beats in the background, creating more of a tribal sensation with deep, clean vocals that sound genuinely remorseful, all making it seem as though you are standing at some kind of Viking funeral. The makes the perfect lead into “XXIII,” which carries a ritualistic touch due to the voices and chanting, but has an aura of astral projection from the keyboards, casting you out against a blanket of stars in the night sky. While dismal, it’s very soothing, though the sound of metal hitting the ground about a minute and fourteen seconds in does pull you pull you back to Earth momentarily.

Of course the release isn’t strictly limited to mourning and depression. “XXI” actually kicks things off with a truly burdening sensation through simple pounding drums and additional creepy keyboard effects. The song gives off an odd mixture of a tension building score from a paranormal Horror or Thriller movie laced with eighties industrialized Rock or the Gothic approach similar to groups like Nick Cave and the Black Seeds, a style that is strongly felt on “XXVII.” While it has its share of sombre moments, there are plenty of quicker sections that end up a bit upbeat thanks to the effects and Science Fiction-esque keyboard performance. Meanwhile there’s “MMVI,” a grim, haunting piece that eventually shifts to astral projection once more after a brief stint of weight.

While Sapore di Luce e di Pietra does have a good amount of emotion behind it, the recording as a whole isn’t always that memorable. Neronoia clearly accomplishes what it sets out to do, creating haunting and depressive compositions that speak more to the soul than anything else, allowing you to drift into aural landscapes of pitch black oppression or just to the midnight skies above. The minimal approach can only go so far, especially with tracks like “XXVIII” where you can’t help but start to feel like material is getting recycled, even with it torn down to the bare bones like with this track.

In the end, Sapore di Luce e di Pietra is still a solid experience worth taking, especially if you’re a fan of dark Ambient landscapes and out of body experiences. Depression and oppression aside, much of this release sounds like the kind of thing you might expect to hear at some kind of meditation class, or a general area of relaxation. If you need to get your yin and yang in balance, or just want something to drift away with, Neronoia‘s Sapore di Luce e di Pietra makes for a good choice, but one you might not be coming back to too often.

01. XXI – 4:13
02. XXII – 4:14
03. XXIII – 4:14
04. XXIV – 4:16
05. XXV – 4:14
06. XXVI – 4:02
07. XXVII – 4:44
08. XXVIII – 4:26
09. XXIX – 4:14
10. XXX – 4:13
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Eibon Records via Aural Music Group.