Band: Ballo Delle Castagne
Band Website: http://www.myspace.com/ballocastagne
Label: Black Widow Records
Label Website: www.blackwidow.it
Release Date: 2011
There is a lot of new and exciting progressive rock music coming out of Italy these days. Truth be told the Italian music scene has always had a soft spot for prog so this should not be surprising. One of the more intriguing new releases is from a band called Ballo delle Castagne which in English means The Chestnuts Ball. The band has been together since 2007 and Kalachakra is their second studio release. The band is a quartet made up of Vinz Aquarian (vocals), Marco Garegnani (guitars, keyboards, moog, samples), Diego Banchero (bass) and Jo Jo (drums). They’ve also enlisted some support musicians on certain tracks which I’ve indicated; Caterina Cecchinato (vocals - 1), Maethelyiah (voice and moanings - 6) and Marco Cavaciuti (violin - 5). The music performed is an early styled progressive rock with plenty of psychedelic influences.
There are eight tracks onKalachakra and none of them is overly long and it all starts off with “Passioni Diaboliche” [3:42] featuring mid-tempo heavy organ chords and rolling crescendos. The male and female vocals intertwine as the opening chords cascade. Then about half way through the song changes entirely and settles into a rocking little riff with orchestrated string stab accents forming the background. This ends abruptly as we transition into “Tutte le Anime Saranno Pesate” [4:43] that opens with guitar lines echoing overtop of a plunky bass line. Soon the sound of thin distant vocals begin. It’s very reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. In fact much of the music here has that early seventies feel; a mix of psychedelia with spacey Floyd but performed with more than a hint of gothic proggyness. We hear searing guitar lines or pleading vocals overtop of bass and drums rhythmically rolling along in the background. The overall sound is subdued even downbeat at times, but it always seems to be slowly moving somewhere. We’re just never sure where. It’s intriguing and beguiling. Then every-so-often the band throw a musical motif out there that’s really different such as the opening of the title track “Kalachakra” [7:08] with its staccato opening chords and guitar line that slides into sitar and rolling bass lines and dreamy vocals. It sounds like an undiscovered psych classic from pop radio in the sixties. Very Cool!
The music of Ballo delle Castagne hearkens back to the early seventies in many respects and will inevitably appeal to fans of prog from that era, specifically those who enjoy the musical style of Pink Floyd. That said I think there is a much wider musical pallet to appreciate here and if you enjoy the musical sounds that emanated out of speakers during the late sixties and early seventies you too will find much to enjoy with the music ofBallo delle Castagne.