[Reviewed by stark]
At first I thought that “l’inverno” means “hell”, but after checking it in Google Translator it turned out that this word stands for “winter” in Italian. “The Winter and the Kite”. Isn’t it a cute title? As if taken from a fairy tale. But this is Albireon, the band inscribed so strongly within the neofolk genre, but also standing out because of their different attitude towards concepts and atmospheres. No runes or dealing with big history, world wars and other things like that. This is a personal project, even though it’s a band. “L’Inverno e l’Aquilone” was recorded by three fellows; for me it’s the intimate output of the band’s leader, Davide Borghi, who deals with his angels and demons. As if he’s not really interested in the world outside, and tries to focus on his own little moments of tragedy and happiness. Also, it’s always filled with a child’s delicacy. The fragility of a child’s body and mind was always Davide’s point of interest, for which he found vent in the strongest manner on the album of his sideproject Ekra.
I liked the album after the first listen, at least the first six songs. Nice catchy melodies, a charming atmosphere and an honesty that I felt throughout my whole body in each and every second of this album. But something was missing. Perhaps I was looking at this album through the lens of the previous albums, which remained deeply rooted in my memory, and as the old Polish comedy says, we all like the most the melodies that we’ve already heard. But then “Kezia” came and I shivered for the first time. Apparently nothing new under the sun: acoustic guitar, voice and a simple keyboard melody. But what a mood they managed to create, intensified by strange noises in the background and distorted, desperate screams in the second half of the song. Suddenly I realized how much Albireon has in common with Sonne Hagal, which I know the guys like very much. Yet the German project seems more down-to-earth and isn’t as light and ephemeral as the Italian project.
After “Kezia” we have “The Stolen Child” with lyrics by W. B. Yeats. In this song they present more experimental approach; it’s also the only song enriched by female vocals by Maria Cristina Anzola, known from The Blue Project, the other side project by Davide. The feeling of awe stayed with me until the end of the CD, the innocent and peaceful of “Park Of Silent Angels”. the hypnotizing and epic “The Black Harbour”, which at moments reminds me of the magic atmosphere generated by The Joy Of Nature. “Beslan 2004” recalling the tragic events that happened in a school in this Russian town twelve years ago. After a while I also learned to appreciate the first six songs, which are more “classic”, so to speak, but nicely arranged and performed. And I have the impression that Davide became a better singer, at least from a technical point of view – because when it comes to transferring emotions he’s one of the best within the genre. As is Albireon in general, that made it again. Silently and modestly, with no need for big words, they managed to bring some tears into my eyes.