Armonite — The Sun Is New Each Day
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-04
The Sun Is New Each Day starts with a double-bass drum blast and the first thought is, “Oh no, another prog metal clone!” But the next thing you hear is a violin backed by keyboards, and the impression changes. As the music goes on, you realize that there’s no guitar (or if you read the credits in advance, you knew it already). The overall style is amped up Romantic Classical music with few touches of Twentieth Century or later. From time to time there’s a slightly bluesy lick on the violin or a repetitive pattern on a synthesizer, but it’s always sweetly tonal, reminiscent of 80s video game music as much as anything. The percussion sounds add to this impression — although a drummer is credited (Jasper Barendregt), it sounds so precise and dry that it might well be programmed. The two proper members of Armonite, Jacopo Bigi (violin) and Paulo Fosso (keyboards), are both skilled players who avoid the trap of merely showing off their technical abilities. It’s hard to fault the compositions or performances, and my only complaint is that it sounds a bit on the sterile side, without a lot of human feeling added. I’m going to put this down to the production, which is slick and modern, but has no real atmosphere, no sense that (aside from the violin) human hands created the sounds. The lovely tune “Le Temps Qui Fait Ta Rose” provides a welcome relief, featuring only acoustic piano and overdubbed violins.
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