THREESTEPSTOTHEOCEAN – Del Fuoco

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: https://antigonyrecords.bandcamp.com
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://threestepstotheocean.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/threestepstotheocean

Band line-up:

Davide Logrieco -drums
Giacomo Rogora -bass
Andrea Sacchetti -guitars
Francesco Tosi –keys

Tracklisting:

1. Canto ai vivi
2. Dal deserto
3. Fiori immortali
4. Profezie dalle rovine
5. Dispersi
6. Notte in pieno giorno
7. Arcangeli con le trombe diavoli coi tromboni

Review:

Threestepstotheocean are an instrumental band with metal, post-rock and psychedelia influences who formed in Milan in 2006. They released their fourth album ‘Del Fuoco’ on 4th September through Antigony Records. They are for fans of Grails, Yob, Russian Circles, Goat, and Mogwai and have collaborated with many Italian and international labels whilst having a DIY ethic. They have played more than 150 concerts across their home country, Europe and Japan and have gained a mass of fans. 

The music of this album is often pretty descriptive; 2nd track ‘Dal Deserto’ or ‘From the Desert’ really does conjure up images of bleak terrains, feelings of extreme temperatures and an overall feeling of despair, but be warned – it is pretty grim. A bit of a no-brainer that one. The track is also rather monotonous, bringing to mind endless, tiresome, sandy quests, but again that won’t be fun listening for the majority of typical music fans. There is also a lonely feel because of the lack of a singer. Perhaps fortunately, the mood picks up with third track ‘Fiori Immortali’ (‘Immortal Flowers’), and the sense of relief almost continues to the end of the album but again, without a vocalist it will be a bit hard to swallow for many. 

For instrumental music, there isn’t TOO much going on. The musicianship is relatively basic, as is the composition. If you’re looking for a Liquid Tension Experiment sound, you will likely be disappointed. Instead, bands such as Pelican spring to mind. Even so, there is a strong and sometimes even impressive sense of development to the music that is satisfying and each piece brings something new. Track five ‘Dispersi’ (or ‘Missing’) is the longest track at over 8 minutes in length, but has a calming effect rather than a dull one, as the note choices are frequently optimistic and inoffensive. The many twists in rhythm add just the right amount of drama and spice without ruining the mood.

There are some dark piano lines in ‘Notte in Pieno Giorno (Night in Full Day – according to an online translator again), but they are far from doomy. As the song gradually builds that sadness turns to frustration and then full blown anger. Then it stops dead. Rather than the piece sounding rushed, the listener is intrigued instead. What is the composer trying to say? It’s done very well. Lesser acts would replace the clever dynamics and harmonies with mindless guitar shredding and ridiculous and unnecessary beats. The final track could be thought of as a continuation of the second as it’s almost equally as bleak, but desert atmospheres have been replaced by more spacey ones, furthering the sense of adventure. The shimmering guitars in places, could bring gentle seas to mind, too. But stormy seas follow.

In conclusion, the album has a bit of an unusual start, with the first track kinda being a load of noise (but clearly well thought out noise) and the second track being the most depressing, but give it a chance and you’ll realise it is an unpretentious journey that whilst a little stripped down in areas, paradoxically still has a lot to give overall. This is recommended for prog fans, especially those who appreciate acts of the past such as Yes, where insane musicianship wasn’t quite as valued in the way it was in the mid 80s, and lovers of the avant-garde may well enjoy it, also. Recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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