If on the occasion of Wildwood, Prophecy had presented 1476 as the best kept secret of American atmospheric dark rock, today Robb Kavjian and Neil Derosa can no longer hide, because an album like Our Season Draws Near puts them rightfully among the best musical expressions of our time. The new work should in fact gather unanimous consensus both from those who listen to the most intimate folk, and from those who are still able to be surprised and excited in front of the gothic post-punk pulsions that, unfortunately, the great bands of the past are no longer able to evoke. It’s also true that, if previously the references to the protagonists of the eighties epic (among all The Mission, in primis) were enough discovered, today these appear more nuanced and end up constituting, above all, a solid background on which to build a sound from the traits quite personal and composed. In fact, together with caressing moments of folk matrix you can find overwhelming rides, or even quiet hints of rock songwriting, often included in the same song so as to escape somehow the adoption of schematic or predictable solutions. The fundamental aspect is that, however, the music of 1476 touches the right chords with its retro-inspired but not obsolescent gait: I think there were many who were waiting for someone finally able to propose, with skill and a stylistic figure of their own, a form of musical poetry so powerfully dark and melancholic. The overall feeling is that Kavjian and Derosa have further focused the sound, making it more attractive in the acoustic passages and more robust and sharp when it’s the rock to get on the stage: just this emotional up and down is the ideal key to penetrate the most intimate folds of a work like Our Season Draws Near. It should not be forgotten, however, that Wildwood, in fact, contained compositions dating back to about five years ago, and undoubtedly the difference between the old and the new material is obvious, without diminishing one ounce the value of the older one. Ten minutes are enough, consisting of the first two songs, Our Silver Age and Ettins, to acquire the awareness of what will be a fresh and rewarding listening, starting from the arpeggios supported by Rob’s whispered voice to the splendid guitar opening in the final of the opener, or continuing with the following overwhelming ride that offers the measure of the ability of ours, when they decide to loosen the reins to their sound. If these two admirable examples are not enough, here’s the neo-folk that dissolves into post-metal passages of Solitude (Interior), or the incipit close to country rock of Odessa, which then, when it gets stronger, changes its skin with Kavijan screaming its regrets in a way never so convincing, between sudden accelerations and melodic jumps so bright to pierce the thick fog hovering over most of the disc. The persuasive Sorgen is the snapshot of a poetic sensibility that is still exalted in the beautiful Solitude (Exterior), in which even a hint of growl emerges to cloak the whole thing with a darker aura, until the melancholy and caressing gait of Our Ice Age, before the creaking of a keel abandoned in the waves we accomiatino from this wonderful album. The ten tracks follow each other without ever regretting the quality of what we have heard before, nor do they burn the ground for what will come next, amazing for balance, intensity and the ability of 1476 to move from the most intimate folk to short bursts close to punk or black metal without, in the end, the listener is prompted to ask what genre is played; however, if he did, the answer would be only one: music for the heart and soul.
2017 – Prophecy Productions
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