On A Sad Sunny Day
posted on 7/2009 By:
Arctic Plateau is a name that suggests this project from Italian Gianluca Divirgilio is all about the “scapes” in life. Vivid music that allows your mind to escape to vast beautiful landscapes and echoed dreamscapes… brought to life through the creation of suddenly surrounding soundscapes… presenting reality as a scapegoat for the problems in your life.
On a Sad Sunny Day couldn’t be more aptly named itself; reflecting the emotional fluctuations conveyed from the moment the opening track “Alive” begins. The spooky jangle of the opening guitar lines and oscillating atmosphere takes you to a place nostalgic of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Yanqui U.X.O., as it develops into a fuller, more victorious progression of delays and reverbs. The brief screams on this track, stitched in the style of Agalloch, are the only vaguely metal moment throughout the album, and would have certainly been welcomed at any time.
Stand out tracks include the 7 minute “Coldream”, one of the more traditionally arranged and vocal centric moments, cementing comparisons to bands like Anathema. Divirgilio replaces their Liverpudlian voice with an equally obvious Italian delivery, whilst drawing on and retaining all the soul and emotional stirring from their Judgement era. However, the title track feels like the strongest piece on the album, offering some rather tangible and memorably morose guitar passages, with an allure matched only by its own simplicity. The instrumentation and vocals truly become one here and set the tone for the album perfectly.
The album is a warm yellow and a tragic blackout in its rustic mood swings, as trebly guitars buzz major and minor phrases between tracks constantly, most often relying entirely on the bass to choose the key and often relying entirely on the percussion to select breathing spots and rhythmical dynamics. This inevitably builds towards full on moments of embracing happiness before being stifled by bad news and cloud cover.
This is the general blueprint for this debut record, and whilst there may not be enough distinction between songs to surprise you, there certainly is enough happening with in the songs to keep you interested. Besides, music with such immediate power and grace, performed with the feeling and finesse of Arctic Plateau is an absolute joy to become wrapped up in.
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