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Album Review: Fetile by Stearica

Italian instrumental progressive-rock act Stearica release their second album Fertile on the 13th April. It’s a big blistering slab of heavy progressive rock bordering on post-rock. With nine tracks coming in just shy of an hour, it’s not an album to be toyed with. It requires some serious listening and your full attention. Give it you’re all and you’ll be rewarded.

While Fertile is largely instrumental, there are guest spots from Scott McCloud of Girls Against Boys, who provided the vocals for the track ‘Amreeka’, Ryan Patterson of Coliseum (vocals on ‘Nur’). The latter is a storming track that pounds you to within an inch of your life, while the former is a more laid back affair with the vocals being secondary to overall sound. You’ll find a real gem in ‘Amreeka’ – a beautifully delicate track that takes all of the best elements of post-rock with a smattering of math-rock time signatures.

As with instrumental albums you should listen to Fertile as a whole. It flows wonderfully and the intricate guitars speak a thousand words. Naturally though there are high points on the album. There’s the intensity of the And So I Watch You From Afar like ‘Tigris’ and the expansiveness of ‘Bes’ before you get your socks knock off by the dense bass lines and wonderful guitar in ‘Siqlum’.

The release date in early spring is significant. Both the concept of ‘fertile’ as ‘life-giving’ and the revolutionary impulses of the Arab Spring and the Indignants protests in Barcelona provided inspiration for this latest work from Stearica. It may sound grandiose, but that is the territory you are entering into with Stearica. As each song is born out of free improvisation sessions then edited down into the end product, you’re in the presence of something extravagant and expansive. At times you feel that the band could have done some more editing and toned it down a little.

Fertile is a very strong and impressive record. It will certainly appeal to any progressive or post-rock fan. It’s not for the casual listener though and some may find it a challenge. Give it a go.

AD Rating 7/10

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