There is often a point in time when it becomes obvious that a band has taken quite a sizeable step forward. Italian prog-rock outfit Nosound have done just that with this their second album. Lightdark achieves that step through a lush collection of explorations spread across an impressive double disc release.
Nosound have further developed the promise shown on their debut album Sol29. On Lightdark they have created a rich sound-scape of music that despite drawing heavily on their, obvious, influences is both fresh and inspired. Those influences will crop up time and again and appear to be Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, No-Man, and the first couple of Porcupine Tree albums.
As music evolves of course, there is no doubt that Nosound will, in turn, influence others. Lightdark could well be the album that inspires such a development. The No-Man connection is underlined by the participation of Tim Nowness on “Someone Starts To Fadeaway”. The Pink Floyd references permeate throughout the album radiating a warm glow of familiarity cloaked within Nosounds own textures.
Nosound started life in Italy in 2001 as the brainchild of Giancarlo Erra. Subsequently, they have evolved into a fully developed five piece. Lightdark was recorded throughout 2006 and 2007 in Italy and the U.S. In the meantime, they have been attracting solid support with their mesmerizing stage shows.
It opens with “About Butterflies And Children,” a short ambient instrumental passage that blends nicely into “Places Remained”. The latter is heavy with highly satisfying shades of Floyd. This is where Nosound excel combining ambient, psychedelia, 70’s prog, and contemporary alternative sounds smoothly whilst adding their own dimension to the whole.
“The Misplay” delicately floats above the haunting cello of Marianne DeChastelaine. The memorable fifteen minute centre piece “From Silence To Noise” enters dreamily, building layer upon layer of rich ambiance. As the vocals enter they are pure David Gilmour at his best. The track oozes both class and quality and underlines the huge potential that Nosound have at their disposal.
“Someone Starts To Fade Away” has No-Man’s Tim Bowness on vocals, the lyrics for which he wrote himself. A simple piano/mellotron entrance introduces Tim’s distinctive vocals, which in turn lead to a nicely balanced guitar solo. This and the remaining three tracks all clock in at just short of nine minutes a piece.
“Kites” does what its name suggests, gently swooping, soaring, and slowly climbing, before finally being lifted as the textures build. Marianne’s cello is once again used to excellent effect.
The title track, the video of which is included on the five track bonus disc, gently leads us to the end of the album. The bonus CD starts with the acoustically led, and slowly building, “Cold Afterall”. The up-tempo “Like The Elephant?” wakes you from your gentle trance-like state with a satisfyingly intense shift of gear.
“You Said I Am”, eases us back down again into now familiar territory whilst the epic ten minute instrumental “Clouds” literally floats to its conclusion.
Lightdark looks good too and comes beautifully packaged, with some impressive photography. With the album Nosound have underlined why they are fast becoming one of the most interesting and promising arrivals on the alt. rock scene.