Thursday, December 8, 2011

CD Review: Al Conti's 2011 Grammy Award Nominated 'Northern Seas'

Al Conti
Northern Seas
Shadowside Music

The powerful mythology of Norse folklore graces the musical foundation of Al Conti's 2011 Grammy Award -nominated release for Best New Age Album. The eleven-track release contains compositions that are mostly instrumental and inspired by various Norse references, including Ragnarok, Valkyria, Baldur, Odin, and Thor. The rather dark connotations of Norse mythology are brightened by Conti's uncanny ability to create spritely rhythms and melodies with the aid of uillean pipes, fiddles, piano, Celtic whistles, acoustic guitars, and assorted percussion. The atmospheric backdrops fill in the melodies and provide an awe-inspiring journey for all who listen. A nice mix of Celtic, New Age, ethnic, and instrumental melodies are more upbeat than anything from Robert Rich or Steve Roach. However, the scintillating music is more in-line with Ireland's Ronan Hardiman. Nevertheless, Conti knows how to create visionary compositions that are entirely unique and refreshing. Conti breathes life into the mythological void of imagination and lore. You can find Al Conti on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace. ~ Matthew Forss 

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