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Ombraluce biography
OMBRALUCE is a Turin-based outfit that evolved from Italian covers band BISHOPS in 2004. The group's six members come from a variety of musical backgrounds that includes rock, blues, prog, jazz and funk, but these differences seem to have fostered unity within the band and their music is a modern-sounding fusion of these genres. They have a good live activity under their collective belt but the past year has been devoted to the completion of their debut album ''Distanze Ravvicinate'', which is available to buy as an MP3 download.

The album is a conceptual work that speaks of the inner conflict between man's dreams and reality, and it contains, in the band's own words, ''our emotions, our determination, our successes and our failures.'' As to the music, it features rock and progressive in roughly equal proportions. While these guys don't exactly tread in the same steps as their ancestors from the seventies, for anyone with the independence of mind to look beyond the more traditional type of Italian progressive music OMBRALUCE should be an interesting discovery.

- seventhsojourn
- picture from band's official site

Ombraluce official website

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OMBRALUCE discography

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3.25 | 8 ratings
Distanze Ravvicinate

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Distanze Ravvicinate by OMBRALUCE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.25 | 8 ratings

Distanze Ravvicinate
Ombraluce Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars An unknown band from Turin, formed around mid-00's and consisting of members with a different music background, including Rock, Jazz, Funk, New Age and Psychedelia.It appears that around the time drummer Carmelo Contino joined the band, Ombraluce shifted towards more unconventional songwriting and the result of their efforts was taped in the 2011 digital album ''Distanze ravvicinate''.The line-up of the band was Carmelo Contino on drums, Andrea Rosso and Roberto Savoca on guitars, Sergio Afredini on bass, Giorgio Gonzini on keyboards and Alessandro Vitale on vocals.

The wide spectrum of influences is evident throughout an album with a vast palette of different sounds and styles, which sounds refreshing, albeit a bit inconsistent.During the first few cuts Ombraluce display their ability to compose easy-listening pieces with memorable and joyful tunes, characterized by quirky keyboards, funky bass lines, rockin' guitars and clean vocals.There is still some sort of instrumental value, but overall these cuts are destined to satisfy lovers of accesible Rock music.As the album unfolds the influences from Classic Italian Prog become more apparent and they often sound a lot like RANDONE and compatriots MONTEFELTRO: Poetic vocal deliveries, smooth piano lines, dreamy keyboard themes, symphonic flourishes and elaborate arrangements.They even added some sudden greaks and changing tempos among the more melodious parts to offer an interesting and polished Progressive Rock.DEMETRIO STRATOS has to be also a huge influence for singer Alessandro Vitale, while sometimes the music passes through loose textures with extended guitar soloing and a jazzier feeling overall, where the power of Rock music meets the depth of vocal experiments and the blend of different rhythms.

Ombraluce are still around and continue to appear in live performances, while a second work is yet to be desired.

Some very different music worlds combine in this Italian sextet to create a unique spectrum of diverse musicianship, likely to satisfy fans of pleasant, catchy yet challenging Progressive/Art Rock.Recommended.

 Distanze Ravvicinate by OMBRALUCE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.25 | 8 ratings

Distanze Ravvicinate
Ombraluce Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ombraluce began life in Turin in 2004 with the aim of blending different styles and experiences shaping something new. The present line up features Alessandro Vitale (vocals), Andrea Rosso (guitars), Carmelo Contino (drums), Giorgio Gonzi (keyboards), Roberto Savoca (guitars) and Sergio Alfredini (bass). After many years of hard work, in 2011 they released a very interesting self produced debut album, "Distanze ravvicinate" (Close), featuring an overall sound influenced not only by historic Italian progressive rock bands such as Area or Le Orme but by canzone d'autore, psychedelia and funky as well.

The short opener "Intro ? dualitÓ pt. I" (Intro ? Duality part I) recalls Demetrio Stratos and features wordless vocals and a Middle Eastern flavour. It leads to "Il cerchio" (The circle) where behind the glass of a window in a rainy day you can follow the footsteps of some people looking for hidden truths, believing in their own personal God and who can't see their likes. But if you open the window you can see the world in every raindrop, so do not waste your time and look around! "Set your eyes free and you'll find... Love!". Here the music every now and again reminds me of Le Orme and Lucio Battisti.

"Ancora un po' di cose inutili" (More useless things) is about dreams clashing against the routine of an ordinary daily life. You wake up and your dreams melt, the rhythm picks you up and carries you away, towards a sea of useless things... As a new, atypical Adam you can still feel the venomous effects of the apple while sitting on a tram surrounded by unknown people who look all the same...

"N'gas (nuoce gravemente alla salute)" (It seriously damages health) is a caustic piece about some side effects of dreams and love... If you inject some substances with a needle in your arm to dream, beware! Sometimes dreams can seriously damage your health... If your love is so strong that when you see your lover with another partner you go crazy, beware! Sometimes love can seriously damage your health and jealousy can lead you to kill... If you kill someone pushed by your passions later remorse can be overwhelming, so beware! Killing can seriously damage your health... "Now for me it's time / To close my eyes and disappear...". Sometimes love turns into hate and death turns into freedom, it depends on the points of view!

"Prigionia" (Imprisonment) is a short experimental piece featuring recitative vocals in the style of late Area's vocalist Demetrio Stratos. Sometimes disinformation, prejudice, involution, intolerance and silence become a cage... "As wound into imprisoned thoughts... Fragments of thoughts that crumble... Stop! I want to be free...". Awareness is the first step toward freedom and in the next track, the bittersweet ballad "LibertÓ" (Freedom), the imprisoned thoughts break through, soaring from a delicate piano pattern... "The imprisoned thoughts bang their head as birds closed in a barn... They look for the air, they dream the air...". But we can't be free, we are slaves of our passions and even love can be a prison. Our free thoughts broke their chains but now they are prisoners of caresses and certitudes, of hate and love...

The dreamy "DualitÓ pt. II" (Duality part II) features a touch of mysticism and an Oriental flavour. It's about the inner conflict between instinct and rationality, between the need to pursue our dreams and the need of security that pushes us to give up dreaming and settle down... "My friend, you are fragile / You're lost in a useless fight / Shadows are swallowing you... In the illusion of security I try to invent the world I would like / I dream, dream, dream and I will keep on dreaming / Because no one will dream for me...". It leads to a kind of instrumental suite in three parts, "Giochi d'ombra" (Play of shadows), featuring a short experimental intro, a drum solo middle section and a fine jazz rock finale that recalls Arti e Mestieri.

"Ricordi" (Memories) features a lively rhythm and pulsing bass lines. It about a meeting but the lyrics don't tell who or what the protagonist meets. For sure this meeting changed his life... "This is the memory of something that changed me / It began some time ago and it's still changing me..." Well, every day is full of difficulties but the way you tackle them can change, it depends on your heart and on your mind...

"DualitÓ pt III" takes us back to the conflict between dreams and reality. This time the melodic lines soar from a funky rhythm and the atmosphere is lighter. When you realize how important your dreams are things change, the sun rises and the breeze sweeps away clouds and shadows... "My friend, change your mind! / No struggle is useless... The hours become empty / If you cry on your broken dream instead to take side with Time / My friend, listen to me / Frequently ashes hide a fire ready to burst out / Revive it, stoke that fire! / The flame will fill the absence of certitude in your life... A man without hope is nothing but dead flesh, useless! / I dream, dream, dream and I will keep on dreaming until someone will dream with me...".

On the next track "Allucinazioni" (Allucinations) funky influences are even stronger and Steve Wonder "Superstitious" comes to mind. The song is about the end of a love. A woman goes away and her ex boyfriend sees her everywhere, hallucinations and distorted images drive him crazy... "You know, I saw you running away / You slammed the door on my face / Now my sight is a bit distorted... You were looking for your own way / You were looking for your own life / Where are you now?... Hallucinations in the mud are taking me away...". The brilliant final "Giochi di luce" (Plays of light) is a long, complex instrumental full of changes in mood and rhythm. It begins calmly, then the rhythm rises and the music flows away shining and sparkling until the end. The CD features also a ghost track where you can listen to experimental sounds, hints of disco music and classical inspired passages. Fragments of a dream that slowly fades away...

 Distanze Ravvicinate by OMBRALUCE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.25 | 8 ratings

Distanze Ravvicinate
Ombraluce Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Modern RPI debut with a heavy, elegant sound

Ombraluce are a relatively new band who has just released their debut album, a self-produced and self-released project. They have an eclectic style that tries to blend, according to them, hard rock, blues, prog, jazz, funk, and psych into one without falling too in line with any. They want their sound to be the mix of the styles, not just a collection of different recognizable styles pasted together. For the most part I think it succeeds well because it was hard to classify. I found them to be somewhere between The Natural Mystic and Senza Nome, for those familiar with the contemporary Italian scene. The songs are mixed between mid-length, energetic prog tracks and lots of little, bizarre interludes which spice it up. A couple of these interludes finds an ethnic flavor and the vocalist playing it up in what I assume is Demetrio Stratos homage, outside of these moments he is a very good singer in his own right. The songs are melodic and ballad-like at times but quite interesting, and a live sound permeates from the drums (lots of toms!) and a very bold, high-mixed bass guitar. The guitars are probably a bit more prevalent than the keys and have a heavy, distinctly modern edge, with leads that are feisty. Ombraluce will please fans of RPI and melodic Eclectic prog as they straddle the line between the two genres.

 Distanze Ravvicinate by OMBRALUCE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.25 | 8 ratings

Distanze Ravvicinate
Ombraluce Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars It really is remarkable, and I think significant, how many RPI albums have been released this year; there's been a veritable swarm of the beggars and some of them have been quite stunning. Now, as far as comparisons with those others go, 'Distanze Ravvicinate' isn't one of the year's more spectacular releases but it does reveal Ombraluce as a band with real potential.

This collection of tracks represents a conceptual work based on some Homeric mumbo jumbo about the struggle between man's dreams and his day-to-day sufferings. The three- part 'DualitÓ' mainly focuses on this rite of passage but its central themes can actually be found spread over the entire album. The first part begins menacingly with a drawn-out wail that sounds like the voice of suffering carried on the air by a sentient levanter: 'The conflict within each of us can make us confused... The struggle to return to the light begins.' The other parts of 'DualitÓ' don't follow consecutively but they are linked musically, and the eastern influence alluded to above continues to bubble to the surface with some spicy, spiky sitar-guitar on part two. Its lyrics outline how the rational aspect of the dual identity prevails upon the protagonist to abandon his dreams, and his isolation is highlighted when he addresses himself: 'My friend, you are frail / Lost after this useless struggle / The shadows will devour you.' Personal growth eventually arrives in the final part as he comes to the realisation that the 'duality' is inherent in everyone and that 'no struggle is useless' - man must not be overwhelmed by either side. Of course, it sounds more poetic in the original Italian rather than my pidgin translation.

'Il Cerchio' is a nice chunk of guitar rock although, since it follows 'DualitÓ Parte 1', it effectively sticks a pin in the balloon of that track's gloomy atmospherics. It's an optimistic- sounding song with a familiar theme - love is the answer - although the message is dressed up in metaphysical perplexity with lyrics that concern a flood of people all driven by their own personal thoughts, history and gods: 'this energy that clashes in dissonance, and you are looking for harmony'

'Ancora Un Po Di Cose Inutili' also relies on well-known ideas (Adam, forbidden fruit and the serpent) in its examination of the absurdity of human existence. This is one of the album's longest tracks and as may be imagined there are some fine keyboards here, although the one shortcoming is an occasional reliance on digital keys. In spite of that minor criticism this is a fine song and it's followed by another highlight.

'N'gas (Nuoce Gravemente Alla Salute)' is characteristic in that it takes an idea from the preceding song and develops it, in this case the snake's venom: 'I feel the flow of this poison, flowing slowly inside me... this needle within me dissolves my actions.' The song challenges the concepts of good and evil, and it distinguishes itself as one of the heavier pieces with just a hint of Dave Gilmour in the slide guitar of the closing section.

The brief 'Prigionia', which features a murmur of voices like the hallucinations of a soul in anguish, deals with the prisons of prejudice and intolerance that we create in our minds. Alessandro Vitale is a singer with passion and strong personality and his vocals are of utmost value to the project. He personifies the theme of duality while the instrumentation represents the inescapable forces driving the protagonist; the album's several instrumentals therefore add some important dimensions to the proceedings.

A couple of the album's later tracks flirt with funk whereas 'Allucinazioni' plunges into it tackety-boots-first. This isn't my favourite style of music but the balance is thankfully restored with 'Giochi Di Luce' which also ends the 'struggle to return to the light.' This is wonderful, coloured variously by the keys and twin guitars, and the guitarwork even betrays something of a Mike Oldfield influence.

'Distanze Ravvicinate' can be purchased as an MP3 download from Amazon or from the band's official website. Alternatively, the band has posted most of the tracks on YouTube so I'd recommend you to try before you buy. Ombraluce fit well into the context of modern prog rock and are as likely to appeal to northern beer-and-sausage guys as southern wine-and- cheese ones. Since a variety of styles meet on this album it'll be interesting to see which direction the band takes with future releases.

Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition.

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