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IANVA - L'Occidente

Once again the Italian formation return, this time with a formidable new EP, L'Occidente. Ianva seek inspiration from Italian culture, particularly of decadent and romantic persuasion, in a musical project they have termed: Archeofuturistic. It's a fitting description, as the group comprising members of cult Italian outfits such as Malombra, Helden Rune, an ex-member of Wagooba, members of black metal groups, together with some classically trained musicians, delve into past musics giving it a contemporary setting.

Their last album Disobbedisco! was a musical concept album; a tale of impossible love set against the Conquest of Fiume, where the Italian war poet Gabriele d'Annunzio and his Arditi conquered the port of Fiume declaring it a Free Republic. L'Occidente doesn't boast such a heady concept, as such, but the four tracks draw upon soundtracks, Morricone soundtracks, ballads and post-war songs. It's a bold statement, and, one that doesn't tread water in the neo-folk scene. Ianva are far more ambitious. The opening track 'L'Occidente' is a stirring composition boasting spirited trumpet playing, and sumptuous accordion playing. It's strong Italian flavour more than apparent. A strong call to arms, which at times, recalls a more Morricone slanted take on Scott Walker's 'Scott 4' in terms of composition. Equally passionate is 'Santa Luce Dei Macelli' with music drenched in accordion and sweeping strings and with the voice of Stefania T. D'alterio it is pure post-war cabaret. It captures their "archeofuturistic" appellation perfectly, whilst paying homage to some specific Italian rituals of the Catholic church whose devotional feasts still incorporate elements of its pagan past. The instrumental piece 'Il Sereno E La Tempesta' is a beautiful piece of finely plucked guitar, strings and flute. The final track is a special Italian reading of 'The Battle', a track written by The Strawbs. It's acoustic interplay, and martial drumming share a slight affinity with the neo-folk scene but here it's augmented by accordion, a lush trumpet score and cinematic harmonies. In a clever twist, Ianva also link it to their past release, Disobbedisco!, capturing an event involving one of the key protagonists in that release.

Strangely enough, even though the entire thing is sung in Italian and immersed in Italian culture, it's so easy to put this on repeat and lose yourself in the ballads of these Italian accented songs. For more information go to or