Review: Thomas Greenwood And The Talismans ‘Ateş’

When in 2021, by chance, I came across Valley Of The Sun, a single by Bergamo, Italy’s psych acid folk rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Thomas Mascheroni aka Thomas Greenwood, I was deeply moved and mesmerized by his magnetic and pastoral folk that I kept listening to it time and time again.

Thomas Greenwood And The Talismans 'Ateş' Artwork
Thomas Greenwood And The Talismans ‘Ateş’ Artwork

There was an immense sense of musical magic and songwriting purity that you could rarely find in any other artist of this music genre. I was practically charmed. Then six months later I was once again immersed to a more intimate earthly psych ‘barn’ music with Violet Hills, which was then sent to me by Thomas, and my mind once again is trapped in a whirlwind of inexplicable emotions that you can only sense when you fall in love for the first time.

This, for me, was musical love at first sight. Thomas, in his little musical refuge, wasn’t producing backyard music but an oasis of sovereign ballads born in the solitude and intimacy of his family farmhouse.

Deep in the Italian underground of psych earthly rock music, a new storyteller was spreading his credo almost unnoticed, but not for long. This adorable and hippy type of guy was aiming to take us on a voyage into the threshold of his world of imaginarium and yet a real world made of enthralling landscape beauty where each of his stories has its own picturesque and enchanting vision of these immense and unexplored ancient places.

Between 2021 and 2023, in addition to being hired in 2022 as the new guitarist of the Bergamo psych stoner rock Humulus, with whom he discovered the joy of touring, Thomas was already busy working on his debut solo album, the very much acclaimed Rituals, released via Mike Sill’s Australian experimental rock label Rumble Records together with Jeff Ferguson’s Atlanta, Georgia notable Echodelick Records. This is an album rich in musical brightness where he explores the intimacy of psych acid folk, country blues and experimental rock. A joyful labour of love perfectly crafted and delivered.

the psych acid folk rock shouted and played brings out the pristine beauty that every song is infested with…

With his mind always buzzing with visions of imaginary enchanted ancient places, he releases his second work Ateş, about a magical city hidden under the mountains of Turkey, a place buried by time where men have found refuge during the harshest environmental catastrophes. Ateş, Thomas tells me is, ‘like our debut album as a real band, the result of hard work and collaboration as a definitive power trio line up as Thomas Greenwood And The Talismans which includes Lorenzo Zenk on drums, Cristian Bona on bass and myself on vocals and guitars.

Although on the album various other extras were involved who actively participated in the writing of the songs, they have managed to find their definitive ‘form’ as the new work is not at all affected by that stoner rock sound played with Humulus, that once again outlines his strong music roots with soulful eccentricity. It’s very much like a continuation of what was left behind in Rituals.

Here we have these three lovely hippies who retreat inside a former barn above the hills of Lake Iseo jamming away night and day producing what is to be one of this year’s best albums released via Roman’s Subsound Records. The long-player contains eight crackling tracks that smell of smoke emanating from the hay burned during their warm up jam sessions. The sound is simple, captivating and engaging from start to finish. It’s like the country rock of Pure Prairie League but on acid.

Capturing every moment of it it’s truly mind-blowing. The mantra, the psych acid folk rock shouted and played brings out the pristine beauty that every song is infested with. The opener When We Die is a mix of a country and western ballad with a ‘60s psych rock feel. When you are hit by the sunny stylings of Mystic Sunday Morning you are enveloped in an aura of mystical sound that transports you into a dream of vast hills filled with colourful daisy flowers. Sleepwalker and Crack explodes with sounds that exude the heavy psychedelic blues of the ‘70s. Two impeccable transcendental tracks so to speak.

Without spending any more words, I can wholeheartedly recommend this incredible and fascinating work made of songs specifically to brighten your spirit every day of your life.

Label: Subsound Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Caccamo