It’s always nice when a package of new CDs drops through the letterbox, but nowadays there’s no shortage of free downloads out there if money’s a bit tight in any given month. One such freebie is ”Asrava”, the second self-produced album by modern Italian band Logos that’s available via their website. ”Asrava” comprises a diverse mix of styles (prog, jazz, electronic, etc) that makes for a rich and interesting tableau, in my opinion a bit like Finisterre’s ”In Limine”. The album begins in reflective mood with ”Prologo” but its hypnotic pattern of moody electronics is soon swept away by the loud and rhythmic ”Ezra Pound”, a hard-edged instrumental that’s driven along by irregular funk-fuelled beats. On the following track ”99” the lyrical content apparently deals with the anxiety associated with the risk of a potential nuclear accident. It reminds me melodically of Hackett-era Genesis although rhythmically it has a more modern feel in places, having something of Anglagard about it. This song’s complex structure and slightly tentative vocals successfully create a sense of turmoil, accentuated by some doomy choral effects and the eerie organ that smoulders away in the background. It’s an ambitious idea for sure but the guys in Logos manage to pull it off with some aplomb.
The short acoustic ballad ”La Leggerezza Della Liberta”, which sits at the album’s midpoint, is the most straightforward song although it’s none the worse for its simplicity. The instrumental title track follows and it takes on two main shapes, the first led by forceful bass and drums while the second culminates in jazzy flute and trumpet solos set against backdrops of spacey guitars and synthesizers. There’s even more diversity in store with the tapestry of sounds that make up ”Terra Incognita”. It opens up with effects of gushing water, while a robotic spider’s web of vibrating electronics continues to weave its way across the entire track. This track also benefits from some excellent guitar play, undercut with ghostly choirs and psychedelic organ. The dreamy ”Epilogo” is a pleasant little postscript of nylon guitar and synthesized strings to close the album.
Logos is one of the most exciting new bands I’ve discovered here during the past twelve months or so. However given that I’m listening to this album so much it’s a major source of frustration not to be able to buy a hard copy of it; the fact that you can download it for free is really of secondary importance to a dinosaur like me. I’m hoping that any future releases by this band will be available in CD format. Perhaps Black Widow, or someone, could sign them. Of course Logos may have other ambitions, but I definitely think their music deserves the attention of the record labels. ”Asrava” is a mere whisker away from being a 5-star album, so if RPI is currently the one true love in your musical life you really should check this one out.