Nichelodeon il gioco del silenzio (The Game of Silence)

The seven-member Nichelodeon, from Italy, make music of operatic grandeur and emotion. Highly dramatic pieces are delivered by charismatic vocalist Claudio Milano over multidimensional accompaniment that's polyphonic and artfully layered. Opening with an impassioned "Fame (Hunger)," the lyrics get seriously intense in the first few seconds and don't let up for a single heartbeat. "Claustrofilia" is introduced via bidirectional piano and melodica lines ceding to baritone range Sprechstimme vocals, providing an engaging change of pace. There is more than a touch of Fellini's carnival sensibility throughout the varied tunes, but where Federico's work was humorous and nostalgic, Nichelodeon are hallucinatory and dark, in very, very interesting ways. The orchestration is carefully creative: clarinet, piano, percussion, guitar, synths, saxes and field recordings all produce panoramic, highly theatrical, evolving soundscapes, especially on the epic "Malamore e la Luna (Evilove and the Moon)." This is not for the faint of heart. If you like your music big, deep, philosophical and passionate, Nichelodeon definitely offer something to sink your teeth into. (Lizard)