Review: Rose Rovine e Amanti - Demian (2009)


artist: Rose Rov­ine E Amanti
release: Demian
format: CD
year of release: 2009
label: Cold Spring
dur­a­tion: 42:52

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Recor­ded in Rome in 2008, Demian is the second full length album by Rose Rov­ine E Amanti (mas­ter­mind: Dami­ano Mer­curi) on Cold Spring Records. The album col­lects ten tracks of hot-blooded neo­folk with a flair that is the trade­mark of many Medi­ter­ranean artists work­ing in this field.

The songs on this album altern­ate between Italian and Eng­lish, bal­ladry and more power­ful rock-influenced tracks, strik­ing an enjoy­able bal­ance between calm pieces and more bra­cing work. There is a strong influ­ence of South­ern European folk and pop sens­ib­il­ity, which places the sound some­where on a con­tinuum between San­gre Caval­lum and Spir­itual Front. The more rock­ing tracks tend to stand out, because they offer a grip­ping appeal that is not present as much in the more gen­eric slow songs. The title track is eas­ily the best, fus­ing heavy mar­tial indus­trial per­cus­sion with power­ful acous­tic gui­tar chords and a catchy song struc­ture, and a swirl­ing violin solo by Giuseppe Loren­zoni, remin­is­cent of Matt Howden’s style. Equally strong is the bass-driven “From Des­per­a­tion to Vic­tory”, high­light­ing the mar­tial theme that is still at the fore­front of much con­tem­por­ary neo­folk.

And, like many of his con­tem­por­ar­ies, Mer­curi isn’t truly push­ing the (sub)genre any fur­ther. The themes, the style, the sound, the atmo­sphere, we’ve heard it before in quite some places. In this sense, Rose Rov­ine E Amanti is a nat­ural player in the pro­cess that prac­tic­ally all spe­cial­ised styles of music suc­cumb to: stag­na­tion. That doesn’t mean Demian isn’t a good or enjoy­able album, because it cer­tainly is, if you’re in the right mood. It does mean that this album is niche music and recom­men­ded mostly to people oper­at­ing within that niche.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1 Il Gatto Osserva (2:30)
2 Rose Rov­ine E Amanti (5:17)
3 Demian (3:53)
4 Il Grande Tradi­mento (5:04)
5 From Des­per­a­tion To Vic­tory (2:50)
6 The End Of This World ( 5:00)
7 Paura Del Demonio (5:23)
8 Mille Serpi (3:47)
9 Noi Ritorneremo (3:39)
10 Ave Maria (5:34)

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