Alio Die

Deconsecrated and Pure

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Stefano Musso's continuing work seems to be reaching a moment perfectly timed for him as much as fellow travelers like Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana, among others -- if new age as such gained new resonance in the 2010s, little surprise perhaps that Alio Die's explorations in texture and resonance should suddenly sound right at the center of a shift. The work on his early 2012 Deconsecrated and Pure has a focus suggested by song and album titles about a simultaneous stripping away of organized religious trappings and an implied spiritual purity gained as a result -- it's suggested rather than determined by direct lyrical reference, but the thematic emphasis has interest given the music presented. The opening "Layers of Faith" immediately hits church organ tones out of the gate but shifts into a gentler free-floating combination of lighter tones, which while familiar feels more resonating given the context of title and language, a reaching beyond from one spiritual state to another. Similarly, the slow layering of "Obliterated Alcove" again bespeaks resonance, a kind of cyclical loop around a center point that ebbs and flows with both wordless vocal (courtesy of guest singer Paolo Tognon) and musical elements, an understated peace, while the second half of the song brings the vocal elements forward more, a gentle transposition after a pause. The progression of the album through songs like "Cerulean Facade" and "De-altered" continues the whole feeling, in agreeable and sometimes quite moving fashion.

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