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Album Review

After four critically acclaimed studio albums (including the influential 1995 De Republica) and two live recordings, it was about time the Italian avant-prog group Deus Ex Machina had its international break. Cinque was released in May 2002 by the American label Cuneiform, and is the group's first album to be widely available outside Italy. The growth of the music has been constant in the band's career, making it difficult to compare what have become stages in an evolving work. Cinque marks a return to slightly more simple structures than what the previous two albums featured. The music doesn't really get simpler; it just feels less oversaturated. The arrangements open up, some of the pomposity that made anti-prog critics sneer has receded, but no real concessions were made: This remains pure Deus Ex Machina — lyrical, provoking, and genre-pushing in terms of prog rock. This sextet version of the band rocks hard while placing Alessandro Bonetti's violin up front (a string quartet joins in for the closer "Olim Sol Rogavit Terram II"). Like previous opuses, this album requires a certain number of listens before any melody has a chance to gel in your mind but, when it does, it becomes very powerful. Of course, the music is propelled and dominated by Alberto Piras' riveting operatic voice. All but two tracks are sung in Latin, with translations in Italian and English provided in the booklet. Piras' paradoxes and metaphysical thoughts will sound pretentious to some, but the pathos he gives them (and the language barrier) turn them into something of another nature. "Rhinoceros" and "De Ordinis Ratione" stand out, but there are no weaker songs. After the last piece is a "hidden" track, a nine-minute collage of badly recorded rehearsals that the CD could easily have done without. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

An Italian rock group which tops off their modern progressive rock with vocals in Latin, Deus Ex Machina got an ambitious start in the late '80s. The band penned a rock opera which, when performed in 1990, received good reviews but proved too costly to run for very long. The Milan-based Kaliphonia label agreed to record and release the opera, and the band recorded Gladium Caeli in two days. Deus Ex Machina followed this with a cleaner sounding self-titled effort, and in 1995 they released De Republica,...
Full Bio
Cinque, Deus Ex Machina
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: May 07, 2002

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