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Thanks to our friend Angelo Hulshout if are now on ProgArchives. Angelo put on a page dedicated to the band and reviewed Morpho Nestira.
Here’s his review:
Not signed to a label, but with 2 commercial albums out and three more available under Creative Commons License, and in existence for 15 years. That’s the career of If in (probably irrelevant) numbers. Let’s have a look at their most recent creation – Morpho Nestira.
After playing it on and of for three weeks, I think this album contains some great moments, but is somewhat ruined by the intermezzos between the tracks – in the form of soundbites of people talking. Obviously, this has a meaning in the context of the album, but at the same time it feels like an overly repeated trick.
Musically, there’s not much wrong with the album. Tracks like You Need (which could be called, perhaps slightly disrespectful, as a cleaned up Nirvana riff with an organ underneath…) and Background Noise could be classified as mature rock of the kind we had in the late 70’s and early 80’s, with bands like Journey and Toto – although with less of a signature sound to it. At the same time, tracks like Thirsty and Naked could’ve easily fit on Pink Floyd’s The Wall – just listen and you’ll recognise why. And then, sometimes the vocals remind me distinctly of Lou Reed (Learning To Communicate). ‘Diverse’ is probably the best way to describe this experience, which also shows clearly where the influences of the band, and main composer Dario Lastella come from.
An interesting notion with this album is that some tracks keep pulling you back for a relisten. Unknown Eyes has that effect because of the weird darkness it radiates, while Poison has a slightly irritating sound to one of the vocals that makes you want to skip to the next track, and yet it doesn’t.
Finally, to cut the progressive edge – I think Morpho Nestira Part 1 and 2, together with Empty are the most progressive pieces on this album. The clear distinction between different parts, and the use of the keyboards make this in places almost classic symphonic with a modern (neo?) edge. Or in short: worth a listen, and another, and another…
Thanks Angelo, and Happy New Year!