The first track is a brief intro which kicks off with a cacophony that sounds as if various songs and riffs are being played together without a care for law and order. As the 2nd song approaches some form of serenity soothes things before a much faster tempo kicks in.
La Bottega Del Tempo A Vapore (‘The Steam-Powered Time Bazaar’…..very steampunk-sounding moniker) are from Italy and they certainly don’t do themselves any favours with a name that looks more like a song lyric. As you might have deduced, the lyrics of LBDTAV are in their native tongue and “Viaggi InVersi” seems to have a strong affinity with the Italian Prog scene of the mid-1970s, albeit with lots of Metal elements added.
My aforementioned description of the album’s opening moments pretty much sets the scene for what follows…..a hotpotch of different ideas, mood swings and instruments. Sometimes this approach works, other times…well, not so much.
Some examples…I liked the psychedelic/ethereal moods such as those in ‘Urla e Perdonami’ and ‘Tempo Inverso – Pt2’. Some well-delivered guitar licks pepper the album and the band certainly knows how to write strong melodies. But with the exception of ‘Mestieri’ and perhaps ‘Tempo Inverso – Pt2’ there aren’t any songs which are 100% gratifying for me. ‘Dama di Spade’ (‘Ace Of Spades’) is way too long at 25 minutes’ duration and I struggled to keep myself from dozing off as it played. And the lead vocals sometimes feel subdued.
The album title is a play of words: ’inversi’ translates as ‘inverted’ but ‘in versi’ means ‘in verses’. Combine that with ‘Viaggi’ – ‘journeys’ – and the title is complete. It’s a conceptual release where the band expands on characters that had appeared in the previous album.
So “Viaggi InVersi” contains some good elements but, taken as a whole, it falls short of being essential listening. To pinch the travelling metaphor, with “Viaggi InVersi” LBDTAV take many roads without getting far.
1. Flashback (1:58)
2. Goccia di tenebra (4:31)
3. Urla e perdonami (4:57)
4. Tempo inverso, Pt. 1 – Il Viaggio (5:27)
5. Tempo inverso, Pt. 2 – La Lettera (5:11)
6. Dama di spade (25:06)
7. Mestieri (5:18)
Playing Time: 52:28
Angelo Santo: voice
Alessandro Zeoli: guitar
Giuseppe Sarno: keyboards
Luca Iorio: bass
Gabriele Beatrice: drums