Thanks to bands like Da Captain Trip, Lunakhod, Austalasio, to name a few, the Italian post-rock scene in recent years has found more breadth and homogeneity in their sound. In each band, although they have their own unique style of playing, it inevitably suffers from those typical sonic reminiscences already heard in bands like Mogwai, Russian Circles, Coheed and Cambria and so on. An amalgamation of sounds that shatters into a thousand pieces to then find refuge in moments of lucid, heavy musical madness. It’s all worked into a mind game that only every single member of the band knows the key to secret relaxation.
Bologna, Italy, six piece atmospheric post-rock band Ropes Inside A Hole, featuring members of Swedish post-metal band Suffocate For Fuck Sake, have built up their own sound, bringing light and changes on each and every piece they’ve worked on. Ropes Inside A Hole, or RIAH for short, sound is never stagnant, but expands, finding in its course the right element to accommodate their own style. While the sound on their 2019 instrumental debut Autumnalia is heavy, turbulent and at times cathartic, leaving little time to calm sonority, 2021s RIAHPSTVRT, a split EP with their long-time friends, Ravenna’s post-metal band Postvorta. The main sixteen minute long track, I – Prelude II – The Owl III – The Mouse, rises towards experimental symphonic sound horizons without leaving aside the heart pumping soulful heaviness reminiscent of Justin Greaves’ Crippled Black Phoenix, or the heavy doom of the now disbanded GOD.
The advent of the pandemic also affects the band, but for them, it was a good opportunity to bring new ideas into their sound, which is being spawned with their new album A Man And His Nature, a beautifully crafted work of art that brings out and reaches peaks of sober pastoral moments.
The album, born during the quarantine period, sees a remote collaboration of musicians from other parts of the world: Hernan Paulitti from Buenos Aires, Argentina on violin, the jazz master William Suvanne from Helsinki, Finland on saxophone, Francesco ‘Fresco’ Cellini from Ravenna, Italy on cello, Mohammed Ashfarf, also from Ravenna. on keyboards and the soulful voice of Sweden’s Suffocate For Fuck Sake, Daniel Loefgren, with whom the group is planning to continue the collaboration with.
This is an album made to delight, allowing a time of reflection as the listener immerses themselves…
The album is greatly affected by this mood and situation as you can feel its heart beating with fear, hunger, doubt and uncertainty. From the start to the end, you find yourself involved, and overwhelmed, by their melancholy, despair and musical mental calmness. There is no joie de vivre in the six songs that characterise the entire album and you may be an outsider, but you can feel yourself involved in their search for solace.
Each track screams until finds its peace of mind. I’m not here to express my sentimental feelings listening to this captivating and monumental experimental work, but to comprehend the meaning of it, as it’s also for you to judge. The highlight of the album lays down its heavy burden with the flowing musical moment that is Feet In The Swamp, Gaze To The Sky which is graced by the saxophone of William Suvanne. And so, as you get to the end of your listening journey, you feel your mind is taken over by a thousand thoughts and you realise that it’s Time To Sleep thinking of a ‘brighter’ tomorrow.
This is an album made to delight, allowing a time of reflection as the listener immerses themselves and becomes a part of their masterminded and powerful musical enterprise.
Scribed by: Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Caccamo