Andrej Kralj – All (except vocals)
Paolo Bembi – Vocals
1.) Dark Electricity
2.) Walls of Madness
3.) Tunnel of Flashy Lights
4.) Her Body Rocks
5.) Prison is a Red Sky
6.) I am Nowhere in Time
7.) The Golden Stone
8.) Temple of the Dog
Some albums really depend on your mood.
I mean, that’s true of most music to at least some degree. But with some releases it’s especially true, and A Day in Venice’s III is one of those.
The band (or rather, man, since it’s a one-man project, though with Paolo Bembi performing vocals here) is going for a very distinctive and at times flavourful sound: a soft, mellow, drifting alt rock, relying heavily on atmosphere rather than raw power. A lot of these tracks are good to fall asleep to, and I don’t think the man behind it all, Andrej Kralj, would take that as an insult. It calls to mind the likes of Anathema or Tiamat in their lighter periods, and especially fellow Italians Novembre (“Tunnel of Flashy Lights” and “Prison is a Red Sky” sound like they comes straight off of Novembrine Waltz). It’s often going for that same gently hypnotic, dream pop-y vibe as Radiohead, music to float across a lake to.
How effective this is will depend a lot on your mood when listening. The first time I experienced this album, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it, and just found it tedious as a result. Returning to it later however, when I was in the right mood for something atmospheric and soothing, yielded a much better result.
This approach does make it tricky to name specifics, but there are some stand out tracks and moments. “Prison is a Red Sky” has a slightly more upbeat tone than many of the others, almost conveying a Beatles or Smiths vibe. “Far” is done in the standard style of most of the album, but is the most successful example of it. It gradually layers and climbs, feeling like a rise through the skies and the stars.
“Temple of the Dog” is the odd one out here, but in a good way. It’s so different to the rest of what’s on offer, I was at first convinced it was a cover, but I can’t find any indications of that online. It’s much more lively than the rest of the album, like hearing a quiet, reserved librarian greet you with a smile and a chirpy “Hi there!”. It goes for more of a Goth rock vibe than the ambient dream pop of the other songs, still maintaining a certain hypnotic quality to it, but perhaps closer to Type O Negative or a mellow Danzig.
If you’re after something more active or aggressive, this is definitely not for you. If you’re in the mood for something to drift away to, there are definitely worse albums to pick than A Day in Venice’s III. Personally, I’d take a little more like “Temple of the Dog” next time, though.