It's been a busy old week here at the 5D headquarters in terms of promotion requests received either by email or via the contact page at the website (which can be found HERE). As I'm eternally grateful for such requests I always make sure that I check them out as soon as possible - both the good and the bad. Amongst the said requests for interviews, online screener reviews and a new horror novel that came my way this week was an email from Italy.
The message in question was from Sara Paradisi who informed she was a member of the Italian band Tetrolugosi and that they had recently recorded their debut album - also entitled Tetrolugosi (2014). The message ended with her asking whether I'd like to hear the album and give my opinion.
Why the heck not, I thought. Why the heck not?
According to the 'Properly good reviewing for a SciFi, Fantasy and horror blog handbook' (2nd edition)' the first thing that any self respecting reviewer must do is research the product he or she intends to write about. Blimey, there's a first time for everything I suppose. So after some incredibly intensive research (which took at least 2 minutes) I eventually managed to find out the following information;
"Tetrolugosi are Sara Paradisi (keyboards, voices, organs, theremin) and Camillo Perazzoli (keyboards, voice, organs, bass guitar). They come from Ripatransone, central Italy, where they formed in 2013. They recorded their first album “Tetrolugosi” (2014) in their home studio. They like to play theremin and vintage organs producing creepy old sounds. Their lyrics are surreal and often grotesque. Enigmatic characters (sumo wrestlers, Japanese insects, robogeishas, sleeping lawyers, golden bugs) populate their world. Reverberating deep lead vocals coming from dark territories blend with angelic otherworldly voices. Tetrolugosi music is obscure. Besides, the owls are not what they seem."
You could be correct in theorising purely from that description that Tetrolugosi isn't going to be in the realms of mainstream boy band friendly pop (thank god) and after listening to the album I can safely say that the theory would be correct. Quite simply, I haven't listened to anything like this record for some time. It's also safe to say that I enjoyed the listening experience immensely.
The Italian Duo of Paradisi and Perazzili have managed to put together a collection of songs that defies categorisation and theme. There elements of horror-synth, Gothic Rock, Punk, Progressive Rock and a veritable plethora of other styles that interweave to provide a fusion of romanticism, melancholy, longing, horror and insanity.
It can often be the case that such a blend of style and influence can result in a mixed and distinctly unrewarding experience - yet here it works. From the Kraftwerk inspired synth track 'Tonight the dead can dance', the Carpenter-esqu background fronted by Camillo Perazzoli's wonderfully distinctive vocals of 'The Milky Way' to perhaps my favourite track on the whole album - 'Till we are buried' which is quite simply a magnificent and haunting ballad that features features Sara Paradisi providing some haunting melancholic backing vocals.
It's not just the contrasting and various melodic influences that results from a combination of instruments such as keyboards, bass guitar and a Theremin - a blooming Theramin. Like FAR OUT BABY! -
But we also have a contrasting array of lyrical content.....
For example we have the brief and basic two lines of 'There is a sleeping lawyer';
"There is a sleeping lawyer inside the church,
There is a sleeping lawyer inside the crypt"
The wonderfully weird 'Tastaferro';
" There are a lot of bees on the flowers, kind bees
i wave to the bees as they follow me"
Then there are the beautiful lyrics of the aforementioned 'Til we are buried';
"I'm gonna take you to the snow covered pine trees
we'll show the pine trees that we we are ready
let's ourselves in the white
the white that covers everything
we'll become one with the snow covered world
we'll become one with the snow covered world"
Lyrics that are at times bizarre, beautiful, hypnotic a romantically melancholic - who could ask for more?
Listening to Tetrolugosi is at times unsettling, interesting, familiar and unfamiliar - sometimes separately, occasionally all at once. It is also a stunning collection of music that will at times make you smile, wince, think and drift away upon a cloud of Gothic splendour. Lovely stuff.
If you don't believe me then have a listen the hauntingly beautiful Til we are buried. - It can be found by clicking on the link below.
(The video can also be seen on my website at http://stuartandrew86.wix.com/fifth-dimension.)
The Facebook page for Tetrolugosi can be found at https://www.facebook.com/tetrolugosi?fref=ts
The Tetrolugosi youtube page can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/tetrolugosichannel