Stories uncovered from water, in order to become music landscapes of a shamanic ritual. “Achab” is an EP made of five songs and two intermissions, which almost recall the atmosphere of ancient spells and black rituals, all surrounding the theme of water. The shamans are Elettrofandango, an Italian band that create an intriguing mix of stoner, grunge and progressive tunes. Three years after the debut ““In quanto già peccato”, the band recorded “Achab” at the Joe Lambert Mastering (Brooklyn) and released it with Blinde Proteus, a brand new DIY label founded by Simona Gretchen.
“Achab” is a brief journey that starts properly with some drums and percussions in “L’Antro di Achab”; what comes next is a series of ups and downs in which the melancholic atmospheres of Alice in Chains meets the full-bodied sound of Soundgarden, winking at stoner and progressive at the same time (“Achab”). There is a new Golden Age of Italian progressive, as bands such as Polar for the Masses, Vetronova and NUT can attest to. Some of them prefer English language, some others stick with Italian. Luckily enough, Elettrofandango’s lyrics enhance the shamanic feeling, using Italian suggestions as an hypnotic singsong, in which some Metallica-esque solos are smoothed by tribal percussions and captivating vocals on the background (“Nessuno”). The folk-turn of “Polare” is pleasantly surprising, evoking Tom Waits in its folk-noir, almost instrumental by the end with the introduction of unconventional and quiet trumpets, while the brief synth of “Denti” are quite out-of-place in the context. After all this experimenting, the EP closes with a less mordent track, “Vertigo”, in which the stoner and metal-esque tunes get a bit redundant, especially given that this is the longest track of the lot.
“Achab” is a fascinating journey, highly suggested for the ones who are keen on this new instrumental-trend that is also affecting the stoner-progressive area. A shamanic experience that may not be the same as the big “wizards” of the 60s, but it still charms the connoisseurs.