G.O.L.E.M. -
Gravitational Objects of Light, Energy and Mysticism

(CD 2022, 45:18, Black Widow Records)

The tracks:
  1- Devil's Gold(7:58)
  2- Five Obsidian Suns(8:52)
  3- The Logan Stone(5:20)
  4- The Man From The Emerald Mine(7:02)
  5- Marble Eyes(5:31)
  6- Gravitational Objects Of Light, Energy And Mysticism(10:35)

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Italy's G.O.L.E.M. are something of an oddity - a band with two keyboardists plus bass, drums and vocals (no guitars). The band seems to take this as a challenge to see just how heavy they can get without guitars, but ultimately they are a much better band when they keeping things lighter and more melodic (which allows vocalist Marco Vincini to sing without straining), or delve into instrumental jam sessions- but I am getting ahead of myself...let's dive right in

The album opens with Devil's Gold and immediately organist Paolo Apollo Negri shows us that he can be just as heavy as any guitarist, taking a huge cue from Deep Purple's Jon Lord. Vincini's vocals tend to sound somewhat strained compared to what we hear from his voice later in the disc (or even later in this track). The heaviness of the track suddenly comes to a full stop and synth and electric piano break things down as the Hammond organ and rhythm section return and a mellow vocal section draws things towards a conclusion. The track concludes with a return to the opening heavy section.

The next track, Five Obsidian Suns, starts off very psychedelic in the vein of Pink Floyd (think Echoes if they hadn't hired David Gilmour and had just carried on as a trio after Syd Barrett). The psychedelic trip is rounded out with mellotron environments and a synthesizer lead before things start getting heavy again with distorted Hamond organ (reminding me of The Nice) and then back to psychedelic-land to wrap things up.

The Logan Stone starts off a capella and develops musically with shades of Bernardo Lanzetti-era PFM except the Hammond Organ has a much heavier approach than PFM ever had. An excellent track!

The Man From The Emerald Mine begins with a beautiful piano intro from Emil Quattrini which is quickly replaced with something akin to a 12-bar blues band doing John Barleycorn Must Die. Some excellent playing through the jam section.

The next track, Marble Eyes, may not be the best track on the album, it is definitely the most cohesive. Themes are well developed and the track features some great synthesizer leads from Negri.

Gravitational Objects Of Light, Energy And Mysticism starts with a very heavy blues feel and dream-like vocals which melds into a fantastic middle section. The heavy blues approach returns as the track becomes an extended jam over a repeating theme being held down admirably by the rhythm section of Marco Zammati on bass and Francesco Lupi on drums. We are then returned to themes we were presented in the beginning and the track concludes with another extended jam section. I believe that this is my favourite track in the collection.

Overall this is a very good album and would appeal to fans of early Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster or even Pink Floyd but the band has their own signature which pulls these somewhat divergent influences together.

*** David Carswell

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