ALBERTO RIGONI – EvoRevolution (Album Review)

Alberto RigoniFor some people, even the idea of listening to an album by a virtuoso bass player would be Hell! To then hear the album features only a drummer alongside and has only two tracks would really scare them. The whole idea of “self-indulgence” would be at the front of the mind. I would say to those to put their pre-conceived ideas to one side when it comes to the album EvoRevolution by Italian bass player Alberto Rigoni, the man behind the Bassists Alliance Project and co-producer for Vivaldi Metal Project. Featuring Marco Minnemann on drums who has played for artists as diverse as Paul Gilbert, Kreator, and the Buddy Rich Big Band as well as being a member of the Aristocrats.

Yes, there is some incredible musicianship, intricate, challenging and creative but throughout it manages to be accessible to non-bassists or drummers! There are plenty of cool riffs and melodies to hook onto and the main piece itself which sits at 32 minutes flows very well. It never becomes too clever or as British folk would say “a wank fest” where the players just show off for the sakes of it. This is wonderfully listenable.

Throughout there are moments where the ears prick up due to the heaviness of the bass or the thunderous drum rolls or detailed drum fills nimble of touch. The title track is made up of six sections with the last piece being the longest hitting around the ten minutes mark.

There are no lyrics although there are sections of spoken words at points. I personally found them difficult to catch at times, either due to them being too low in the mix or in the case of “Desolation” (section 4) a little to fast to follow. Perhaps they are included in the actual physical CD’s notes which would help those like me who would like to be able to follow the theme a little easier. This, however, is almost the only fault in my view when it comes to the title track.  The rest is almost perfection.

It starts with the sound of thunder and gentle drums before the bass itself comes in. Very early doors it is outstanding what both men are doing sound wise. The spoken words are about Charles Darwin which is appropriate as it (that being part 1) is really about the start of life and is called “Evolution”.

Revolution” has some of my favorite moments in it. The riff in the first minute is outstanding and mind-boggling. The bass sound is so heavy at points, the word thudding doesn’t even do it justice. The repeated riff has such a strong groove about it. The spoken word section is from what I can understand, about the industrial revolution which “started in Britain”.

Illusion” (part 3) has some nasty sounding (in a good way) fuzzy bass work. Anyone who grew up listening to stoner bands will love the sound of the bass on this (as will anyone who enjoy Cactus or Vanilla Fudge). The drumming around the 12 or 13-minute mark is particularly outstanding as the music goes strange and disturbing. Only perhaps beaten by “Desolation” (part 4) where his fills are delicious.

I love the riff around the 20-minute mark on “Destruction” where both bass and drums weave around each other in a display of virtuosity and joyousness.  Both parties shine on this section.

The last section “Involution” starts with a line that brought the song “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam to mind (it comes back in later in the piece as well). Not for long though as it takes on an atmosphere of its own. Longer and more meandering than other parts with a vibe of trying to hold onto life as perhaps illustrated by the sound of either a heart monitor or life support machine coming through late on. This would tie in with one of the definitions of the word “involution” as “a progressive decline or degeneration of normal functioning due to aging process”. Is it over for us as humans? Or can we recover?

The answer seems to lie in the second track called “Back To Life”, a more upbeat even catchy piece which could technically be released as a single with its commercial feel. Of course, this still features some fantastic playing and wonderful interplay between the two of them.

An album in the old sense coming in around 38 minutes so definitely not outstaying its welcome. Beautifully crafted and executed, with the right balance of jaw-dropping playing with riffs melodies and tunes.

Highly recommended.

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