Review Summary: The most underrated album by one of the most underrated artists in progressive music, an incredibly subtle yet moving debut that lays the foundations for Nosound to reach every further height.
Gaze into the exquisite Italian forest, shrouded by a gentle mist. Imagine yourself losing touch of the ground and beginning to float weightlessly through the trees. You're coming close to the serene atmosphere created by Nosound's debut, Sol29.
Effectively a solo album of Nosound's mastermind, Giancarlo Erra, it marked the arrival of the band into the modern post-progressive scene in 2005 but is in no way Erra's first efforts at producing music. The moniker was conceived as early as 1998 with the Radici
demo and Erra's developed, sophisticated songwriting ability is more than evident.
The album opens with the 2 songs closest to 'straight-forward' rockers, In the White Air
and Wearing Lies on Your Lips
, introducing Nosound's slow and snare-heavy percussion, a which would become one of their trademarks and of course Erra's heavy Italian accent, often causing him to pronounce words such as "the" as "teh" but rather than grating horribly, they actually complement the music well, creating a slightly 'exotic' and certainly Italian feel.
While these songs are solid and worthy of re-listens, they lack stand-out moments found in the rest of the album and the listener only really 'takes off' with the following tracks.
Surrounded by two ambient pieces (which show Erra's talents in creating spine-tingling atmosphere, especially with Waves of Time
), is one of the hidden gems of the Nosound discography and easily the album's best: The Moment She Knew
, a 9-minute instrumental featuring immensely powerful guitar-work with a Floydian-esque guitar tone, though he does not fall into the trap of simply rehashing Have a Cigar
and shows off his own unique flair, incorporating use of a violin bow.
The next 'chapter' of the album is the listener's gradual descent back to land, with a line of acoustic-driven, gradually slowing tracks up until Hope For the Future
's 3 minute outro is another high-point of the album that you feel as if you could listen to forever, with Giancarlo's mastery of keyboards and acoustic guitar gradually slowing the song to a close but with a contrasting sense of urgency.
Experimentation is clear in every song, each one featuring a different kind of sound-effect or keyboard tone to create variation, preventing the listener from noticing the heavy use of acoustic guitar, Idle End
and Broken Parts
' ambience clear examples of this, though it is Erra's solos that bring out his passion most effectively.
The album's weaknesses are its production, which despite the Kscope remaster occasionally leads instruments to feel flat, (noticeably the drums) and at times you may wince at Erra's pronunciation of certain words but this is uncommon and an issue almost crushed by Nosound's astounding atmosphere.
Hope For the Future
and the title track bring the album to a close with what is less of a one-two punch and more of a one-two kiss on the cheek from a loving mother before bedtime. The first is extremely slow and infectiously soothing acoustic-only track, the sound of Erra's slow inhaling/exhaling encouraging you to breathe along with him. If this is not powerful enough, Sol29
is a full on post-rock epic which finds intense emotion in the most subtle and simple of sounds and will
bring you to tears in the right mood, only to send you into a deep and comfortable sleep at its closure as you are left with the sounds of feet walking over fallen leaves, as you return to earth.