Ifsounds – Apeirophobia

I’ve been following this band and their music for a while, fortunately, last year (2010) they released a new album entitled “Apeirophobia”, an album that also could be considered as the first studio album of Ifsounds, because if we remember, their name was If, but they decided to change it in order to give the band an own style and name that anyone would recognize.

With their two-CD compilation album named “If?Sounds” they composed “Don Quixiote” an unreleased song which actually represented the change of the former If to the new Ifsounds. But now, we can appreciate a full-length album, not only a song.

This release consists of five compositions that together make fifty minutes; the first four are the short ones (under ten minutes) while the last one is a long 28-minute epic, so take a sit, relax and listen to Apeirophobia. It kicks off with “Anima Mundi”, and a female voice appears, seconds later guitars, drums, bass and keys appear, but I liked that vocal introduction. Then, Elena Ricci’s voice reappears but in a different style. The song is pretty good, I like the keyboard work because it gives a special flavor to the music, also there are some nice guitar riffs here and there, and some nice changes in time and tempo. The track ends with a nice acoustic guitar, charming.

“Summer Breeze” opens with a delicate piano sound, seconds later it ends and some kind of airport announces sound, moments later they fade out. Then an acoustic guitar start playing a soft and gentle melody, vocals appear and that delicate piano returns and creates a nice harmony together. Just before the fourth minute, the song changes, turns heavier and more emotional, it is a pretty good track!

“Last Minutes” has a constant beeping and some steps, like being in a hospital. They disappear and the music begins, it is a rockier piece with cool lyrics, the female voice starts telling a story and male backing vocals appear saying important things. At the second minute there is a change which gives the melody a new mood and atmosphere for some seconds; then the music returns as it began, the steps and beeping return until they fade out.

The shortest track (two minutes) entitled “Aprile” is a wonderful and charming composition. There is a beautiful piano sound all over the song, that is accompanied by some strings, the violin sound is also precious and together produced an adorable piece of music which put some images in my mind, I was actually touched by this song.

Now, on the other hand we have the longest composition, I believe it is their longest song since they were If. “Apeirophobia” is a 27-minute epic which offers an exquisite variety of sounds, textures, colors and feelings, and also it let the listeners know how capable they are to produce challenging music with excellent results.

This song has several passages, first, they give us an instrumental piece with an intriguing atmosphere, one can easily be waiting for the next to happen, but what happens next?, you don’t know. Those first four minutes are pretty cool because they create images on you and even you can imagine your own story. Then the vocals appear and the direction of the music changes a little bit, I like the piano of Claudio Lapena, he knows how to use keyboards in the right place and moment. There is a cool guitar solo by Dario Lastella just before minute seven, then the song continues its way.

Until minute eight when it makes a sudden change and an acoustic guitar appears along with some spacey effects reminding me of Riccardo Zappa; that mood continues and then that acoustic guitar becomes more Spanish-like, there are some claps on it also. I am not sure but I think that this passage was taken from the previously mentioned “Don Quixiote” song. When it finishes, a rockier passage begins, the vocals return and the music is quite good and enjoyable, the only thing I don’t really like are the robotic vocals.

As you can imagine, all of a sudden another change and a new passage begins, with some kind of African percussion and some sounds simulating a ritual; I like a lot this part because I do imagine that ritual and several things, also, when the addictive bass sound appears I fell like in a dream, motivated and caught in a short but nice dream. But when I woke up, I found myself in a different place with a cool guitar sound and a rockish song.

Those spacey effects return and give a different flavor to the music, actually you can imagine a new place and a new atmosphere, and the vocals help a lot here. But well, minutes later a surprising change with a sad piano appears, this change was not really my favorite, it sounds like a scene of a character bringing memories of the childhood or something like that. The last minutes of the song are very good, with great guitar solos, that wonderful voice and strong musical moments.

I am happy with this album, now I am looking forward to their next release. Take a listen to this album, so far my favorite of Ifsounds.

Enjoy it!

Tracklist:
1. Anima Mundi (7:20)
2.Summer Breeze (6:06)
3.Last Minutes (6:17)
4.Aprile (2:22)
5.Apeirophobia (27:49)

Line-up:
Elena Ricci – vocals
Enzo Bellocchio – drums
Franco Bussoli – bass
Claudio Lapena – piano, keybords, synth
Dario Lastella – guitar

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