CHRISTINE PLAYS VIOLACastellano
Christine Plays Viola is on the cutting edge of modern goth. The Italian ensemble has built a credible reputation around its innovative and original formula. Fabrizio Giampietro (guitars, synths, programming), Massimo Ciampani (vocals), Desio Presutti (bass) and Daniel Palombizio (drums, synths) have a special gift for creating dark soundscapes. They weave meticulously a darkwave-tinged enveloping using synths, guitars and electronic beats. The ambiance flows around an explosive post-punk core, consisting of prominent bass lines and tribal drum thuds. Baroque vocals by Massimo, rich in emotional inflections and tonal changes, merge both parts while transfering its distinctive theatrical character to the compositions. All these elements are cunningly balanced, resulting in an endless-evoking kaleidoscope of feelings, moods and textures of their very own. With their new Single-EP "Leocadia", Christine Plays Viola endorses its virtues and takes a step forward in its creative commitment. In a sense conceptually related to Goya's black paintings (the artist portrayed her wife Leocadia in one of these terrifying works), these songs enhance the band's obscure facet as demonstrated by the title track. Already from its first seconds, processed dissonances and distorted guitars set up an unsettling atmosphere. Then the song runs at full gallop driving by pulsating bass lines, hard-edged drums and abrasive riffs. Shimmery chords and coloured high voices defuse partly the tension, keeping the sound further attractive. Coming with oriental hints, the following "Whoosing Dissolution" switches moods and rhythms with ease. Fabrizio connects the different soundscapes through his flawless play, soloing his way up the neck of guitar while fully depressing the pedals. This, together with the haunting synth melodies, helps to join smoothly the fragments. With "Scattered In The Dust (Slay With Dismay)" the single reaches its climax. This tune brings together all CPV's distinctive features. Scary beats and sawing guitars shape an intense goth rock intro. Suddenly the track gets into the kind of psychedelic wave which is the band's own, driven the strong pace by a precise rhythm section. A refined mixture of energetic and ambient sounds which brings to mind the glorious years of The Cure and Bauhaus. A live recording of the CPV's classic "Keep My Scorn Warm" closes the EP. Where others failed, this band lets their talent shine. As this song demonstrates, the Italians know how to reinvent themselves on stage, keeping intact its unique abilities. So, Single-EP "Leocadia" is the perfect opportunity to delve deep into Christine Plays Viola's imaginative goth rock. High quality-wise tunes where surrounding darkness and addictive rhythms are cunningly fused together. You'll become entranced by them.
Review by Billyphobia