All the grievances I had on the debut were mostly solved on this album. The potential I saw for them to get better in my opinion is fulfilled.
Continuing from the last track on 'Sol 29' the intro to 'Lightdark' was just akin in terms of beauty, exquisite ambience to take the mind to a heightened peaceful experience. The vocals did get much better. Giancarlo sounds pretty good when he is 'singing', but when he tries his laid back/whispering vocals, it just sounds like a huge struggle to pronounce some words. Even if the vocals were still a problem, they are very scarce on this record, the beauty that was thrown in the background on the first album is brought into the spotlight, and it shines ever so bright.
The second track 'Places Remain' was the single off the album. I actually consider it one of the weakest songs on the album, and that is not to discredit it at all, my reasons later. The stark contrast of what Giancarlo can sound like between his two vocal styles can be seen hear. The chorus features his good side, while he kind of ruins the verses with his broken English.
The other tracks were far more interesting. There is a cello on some of the tracks that adds to the beautiful keyboard work. 'The Misplay' and the end of 'Kites' show some of the finest points in NoSound's music so far, I think the cello should have a permanent spot in the line-up, the melancholy of the cello and bright keyboard samples work so well in unison, creating such a unique/diverse experience. The guitars and drums are very restricted on this album, which isn't a bad thing in my opinion. The title track's guitar solo is so very Gilmourish and 'Places Remain' sounds like a Wilson solo as well, suffice to say, Giancarlo needs to find somewhat of his own guitar sound.
However, the influence that sticks out the most might be No-Man. Even Tim Bowness vocals are featured on one of the tracks, which save Giancarlo from perhaps butchering the song. The overall feel of the slow work makes it feel similar to No-Man, but not sounding like an imitation of it or anything.
Really, the only problems here were SOME of the vocal parts and some of the guitar spots. I thought this was a real nice album to relax to, or even appeal to in a downtime because of the tear jerking cello work. Excellent album in my opinion. http://www.progarchives.com
Lightdark is the second full studio album from Italian progressive rock quintet Nosound. Progressive? Definitely! But the term “rock” can only be applied loosely. Nosound relies on languid tempos with traditional rock instruments employed for mere decoration. Each of the seven pieces relies primarily on slow synthesizer patterns and sparse piano phrases from prime mover Giancarlo Erra and keyboardist Paolo Martellacci. Use of bass, drums, guitars, and even solos is spare.
Nosound is heavily influenced by dream rock veterans No-Man (whose vocalist Tim Bowness guests on “Someone Starts To Fade Away”) and early to mid-70s Pink Floyd. Think of a murky version of the lengthy instrumental sections on Wish You Were Here sans any lead instrument or a darker “All Sweet Things” from No-Man, and you’ll get the picture. Cello parts, courtesy of Marianne de Chastelaine, are as important as Gabrielle Savini’s acoustic guitars or bottom end from bassist Alessandro Luci. We hear more solid drum patterns from Gigi Zito or Erra’s guitar mostly as punctuation before a song fades away. English lyrics from Erra are sung with his mild, Italian accent and are submerged well below the keyboards and strings. There is nothing here that will grab you and shake you. Lightdark offers little for the casual ear, yet reveals its charms to those who commit to active listening.
The three shortest cuts, the instrumental “About Butterflies And Children,” “Pieces Remained” and “The Misplay” are front-loaded as build up for the centerpiece, “From Silence to Noise.” Over the course of 15 minutes, Erra and crew assemble an emotional backdrop that forms behind Erra’s eventual lead guitar. The strongest moments exist within the final three cuts, “Someone Starts To Fade Away,” “Kites” and the title track. At nearly nine minutes each, the length feels perfect for Nosound’s method of aural sculpture and quiet disappearance.
Nosound has already begun work on their third album, due later in 2009. With neo-prog label Kscope/Snapper backing them, we can expect to hear more of the group’s inventive post-rock ambience in the very near future. Already gaining popularity in Europe, we can also expect to hear more collaborations with like-minded creators such as Bowness and greater exposure to an American audience lacking in fare this beautiful. http://classicrockmusicblog.com
CD 1 - Lightdark: 1. About Butterflies and Children (3:02) 2. Places Remained (4:29) 3. The Misplay (4:32) 4. From Silence to Noise (15:29) 5. Someone Starts to Fade Away (8:55) 6. Kites (8:30) 7. Lightdark (8:45) CD 2 - Clouds (bonus CD): 1. Could Afterall 6:18 2. Like The Elephant? 5:40 3. You Said 'I am..' 4:48 4. Clouds 10:34 Lightdark promo (video)