Italians. Sure we’re great at food, tanning, cunnilingus, and Hammer Horror, but did you know we also excel at being miserable? Take a listen. For the last decade or so, the best music emanating from The Boot is of the sad ‘n’ pretty variety. Everyone should already be familiar with Novembre’s otherworldly-emotive Metal mastery, SDBM veterans Forgotten Tomb have picked up a few fans along the way, and the debut from Gothic Doom kings The Foreshadowing is as essential as they come. But not enough folks are aware of the country’s quality Post-Rock output. Do yourself a favor and track down some Room with a View, and if you have the stomach for heartbroken Emo, Klimt 1918 do it better than most. You can add Arctic Plateau to that resume to a certain extent. After a 3-year hiatus, this second outing from Gianluca Divirgilio shows promise, occasionally hinting at greatness. Heshers be warned, there is little Metal here, if any. This is pure Shoegaze, but it might be reflective and spacey enough to label Prog if that helps you sleep at night. Whatever you want to call it, these are dreamy, featherweight ballads that ache with melancholic melodies and lyrical introspection. If Divirgilio has anything going for him, it’s a smooth singing voice reminiscent at times of Novembre’s Carmelo Orlando. The problem is, for all of their somber, ethereal atmosphere, most of these songs don’t go anywhere. They float in and out, like a gentle breeze, without that big hook or enough pain to be remembered. However, Gianluca does get it right on the poignantly sorrowful title track —replete with Black Metal vocal-aided crescendo— and the beautifully morose “Loss and Love.” Two of the best songs of the year, unfortunately surrounded by enjoyable but ultimately forgettable filler.
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