Providing one fascinating and compelling proposition, Tales of Faith and Lunacy is the latest album from Italian songwriter Nero Kane (real name Marco Mezzadri). It is a release which emerges and radiates from within darkness, temptation loaded shadows and cinematic hued landscapes aligning around dark psych-folk lyricism and imagination. It is a crepuscular haunting which quite simply had us enthralled from start to finish.
The Nero Kane sound is a tenebrific embracing of blues, psych and dark rock within a desert rock nurtured canvas though across dark ballad by brooding ballad within the album the tapestry is revealed to be far more involved in styles and flavouring. Tales of Faith and Lunacy is “a timeless journey conceived in a personal vision of faith between spirituality and passion.” The energy and tension within both aspects provides a drama which soaks every second of a release which rises from a Wild West dusted landscape to entwine and explore mystical and intimately cast visions. Adding to this potent incitement of the imagination the record also features the striking enterprise of vocalist/musician Samantha Stella who also provides the lyrics for three of its tracks, the violin/strings of Nicola Manzan, and guitarist/keyboardist and the album’s producer Matt Bordin (Thurston Moore, Michael Zerang, Jackie O’ Motherfucker, Delaney Davidson, Squadra Omega).
Tales of Faith and Lunacy is one of those records which will evoke individual reactions and feelings whilst igniting just as individually haunting adventures within one’s imagination, but sure to grab attention and immediately sparks all within the first breaths of opener Lord Won’t Come. A gentle caress of guitar strings draws ears, repetition bringing a melancholic expiration upon the senses before psych bred sighs shimmer behind the just as compelling tones of Kane. His descriptive words and emerging tale is just as seductive as the minimalistic but rich weave of sounds around them. There is volatility in the belly of the seduction though which subsequently boils up, a sonic trespass festering in song and senses to add to the fascination and tempting.
Atmospheric, evocative, and haunting, it is a powerful start to the release; a striking dawn of captivation which continues with Mechthild. A track inspired by thirteenth-century Christian mystic Mechthild Von Magdeburg, whose writings are quoted on the album, it almost singes hearing with its psychedelic shimmer and melodic intoxication. Gloomy yet rapturous in its mesmeric call come drone upon the senses, Stella’s voice enriches its potency, her tones as much a trespass as a siren-esque beauty within a track that persistently bewitched.
The echoing of holy women continues across Mary of Silence and Madgalene, the first another hypnotic in its repetitious lures and enthralling in its similarly nagging and unfussy but irresistible enterprise. Again words tantalise as potently as the voices of Kane and Stella, a combination gently but darkly devouring the passions just as skilfully within its successor. The dirty suggestive land of the desert inebriates the air as guitars evolve its description, vocals bearing the mystical insinuation and intimation like a shadow draped sunspot.
To be honest, experience can only truly reveal the strength, magnetism and depths of the songs within Tales of Faith and Lunacy, next up Lost Was the Road a case in point. We can only hint at its chilling splendour and caliginous majesty but can echo the captivation of its wistful despondency and dolorous beauty.
The album completed its enthralment with the final pair of I Believe and Angelene’s Desert. Sepia hued keys and melancholic melodies light the radiance providing inescapable captivation within the first with the second casting full attention through in many ways, the album’s darkest, most intense and haunting moment. It too even in its tenebrosity has a certain creative and emotive glow which draws the imagination further in.
It is a fine end to a glorious release, one which has only increasingly spellbound us, as so many already others, with every listen.
Tales of Faith and Lunacy is out now digitally and on vinyl via Nasoni Records (Berlin), CD through BloodRock Records and on cassette tape with Anacortes Records; available @ https://nerokane.bandcamp.com/album/tales-of-faith-and-lunacy
Pete RingMaster 07/01/2021