Plateau Sigma – Rituals

The second full length of Plateau Sigma from Liguria is a work that knows a lot of consecration for one of the most interesting Italian bands in doom (and not only). Doom that, however, ours do not interpret in its most orthodox way: in fact, compared to the previous The True Shape Of Eskatos, the sound is further refined, while not losing an ounce of impact, enriched with new nuances that, included in a structure that has as a basis the tradition of the genre, offers post metal and dark pulsions channeled in a progressive nature. Explaining this record is not easy, thanks to its changing atmospheres, often within the same song; the good thing is that everything happens organically and following an inspiring logic that constantly supports the intentions of Plateau Sigma, authors of a musical plot never trivial and able to wrap and satisfy the listener, bending him to its irresistible flattery. Rituals deals with the divinities of ancient Rome, a theme that offers the noble pretext to swing from one mood to another, supporting the variability of the lyrics themselves. Palladion, the magnificent track that comes immediately after the short and crystalline intro The Nymphs, opens the dances with its moods between Anathema and Porcupine Tree, light but intense and highly evocative in its crescendo. Follows The Bridge And The Abyss, a song apparently channeled in the doom orthodoxy, with its strong riffs and growl of Francesco Genduso to accentuate a heaviness interspersed with rarefied acoustic matrix post metal. The rituality of the Latin language opens Cvltrvm, another pivotal moment of the album along with Palladion: here the influence of giants of funeral as Esoteric or Mournful Congregation seems to take over at times, before this feeling is denied by a magnificent guitar foray of Manuel Vicari. The two guitarists/singers constantly exchange parts and, curiously enough, if the growl of Genduso has as a counterpart the passages of the six strings more liquid and intimate, the clean vocals of Vicari show as a counterpart the solo escapes and the more robust riffs; the rhythmic base composed by Maurizio Avena (bass) and Nino Zuppardo (drums) alternates with wisdom the club to the foil, supporting the oscillating pace of the work. In the two parts in which the title track is subdivided, are exhibited almost as a compendium the different distinctive traits of the compositional vis put in the field by the guys from western ligurian coast: the sound seems to fold on itself, rarefying until almost stopping and forming the humus for sudden, as short and intense, explosions of doom matrix (masterfully performed in the final of pt. 1). Rituals is not an easy record and needs several listenings because its notes can find a permanent residence in the most open and receptive minds and, after all, the same label of doom band affixed for convenience to Plateau Sigma risks to ghettoize them within a musical movement genetically for few; this record is much more, it is the creative expression of young musicians, prepared and with clear ideas: the production work, by the same Francesco Genduso, further enhances the musical content making the album at the height of the best international releases. This is exactly what I would like to hook up to, in conclusion, urging both the foreigners and the safe second-hand theorists to approach music with a different attitude: if the release of the new album by Novembre, a band to which many (Plateau Sigma included) owe something in terms of inspiration, is imminent, this does not mean that the longed-for return of such a heavy name should divert attention from Rituals, a magnificent work to be discovered with due calm, sipping the emotions that it is able to offer.

2016 – Avantgarde Music