Qirsh is an Italian Progressive Rock band formed in Savona in the mid 90’s. After “Una Città Per Noi” from 1997 and “Sola Andata” from 2013, “Aspera Tempora (Parte 1)” is released on January 31, 2021 for Lizard Records. This third album is a concept that moves the sound style even further towards a less commercial and more progressive dimension, both in terms of content and tracks length. More classic sounds are mixed with more Rock and Electronic components, the result is an original album with personal characters, mature and with epic tracks as in the best Prog tradition. Composed of 7 long tracks, it is available in digital and in an elegant Digipack CD format, with an internal booklet thanks to which the listener is accompanied in the sound and conceptual path by images, commentary captions and explanations of the various titles. The opener “Rumors” is the longest track of the album which begins with an orchestral keyboard layer, a very rhythmic drums and a whispered voice. After a series of vocal games, the track kicks off with a solid rhythm session and Italian sung over massive melodies with a powerful bass line. Full of tempo changes between acceleration and steering and in the first instrumental section a prolonged keyboard solo with the leading organ intertwined with the synth. It is a continuous succession of sound dialogues between keyboards and guitar, with a more melodic singing and where the structure is developed with technique and is engaging throughout its long duration. All the time of the track is used to elaborate the musical theme, without leaving empty spaces, giving life to a high-level epic both in terms of composition and involving execution with an excellent technique. “Aer Gravis” is characterized by a piano intro and an atmospheric background to then enter the singing at times choral and a rhythmic and elaborate structure. The bass is hypnotic and the guitar always dialogues best with the keyboards, true protagonists of the sound, both for the orchestral carpet and for the psychedelic synth inserts. The solo interventions of both guitar and keyboard are well executed and the sung parts alternate well with the instrumental sections, dividing the time and collaborating in the success of the sound. Dreamy melodies of acoustic guitar and keyboard characterize the opening of “Quel Momento” to which is added a sweet piano that takes its place. In the middle of the piece, a sudden change brings us back to the initial melodies to which are added the games of effected voices, while the verse sung is choral and aggressive. A particular track that alternates softer moments with stronger ones, always maintaining a dark and anxious atmosphere as you can guess from the lyrics of the song. “Hurt” is the shortest on the album, featuring frantic bass and drums with dark sinister inserts here and there, with a pompous and anxious opening midway through. “Anansi” is also a short piece, just a few seconds longer than the previous one, with an orchestral carpet and distorted guitars. The rhythm session is more linear, with interesting bass lines and the guitar taking the stage with fine lead inserts, while the vocal adds softness to the sound. A pleasant passage in the form of a ‘song’, however well elaborated and with Pop-Prog cues of a good level, the keyboard melodies have cinematic cues. The album closes with “Oremus” another long track of over 12 minutes, with an intro made up of choral vocal intertwining and hypnotically marked tempo. A layer of the keyboard enters the background and then suddenly an accelerated piece begins, always with choral voices but with pulled melodies. The sudden tempo changes with soft and symphonic openings and sudden outbursts with the whole band are an added value for the song. The keyboards are great protagonists and the sometimes dark atmospheres highlight excellent duets between guitar and keyboards, the backbone of the band’s sound. Even the solo parts alternate with technique and quality and this track ends this pleasant work with a flourish. A pleasant and flowing album, which despite the long duration of the tracks and the elaboration of the structures is always easy to grasp, engaging and delightful. A recommended listening for all lovers of Progressive sounds made in Italy with clear references to the modern period with 70s veins. The sound of the band is solid and mature and the ideas clear, as well as the positive cues contained within the album, which throughout its duration maintains a high quality level.
|Pasquale Aricò||Keyboards, Vocals|
|Daniele Olia||Guitars, Vocals|
|Andrea Torello||Bass, Vocals|