Is there a better way to start a blog of music than with the song that gives it the name? Muri D’Assenzio (Walls of absinthe) is a song by the Italian band Ianva, belonging to their first LP Disobbedisco! 1918-1920, one of the most interesting proposals that occurred around the year 2006.
Ianva is a band formed by Genoese Neofolk group formed by members of Progressive Rock and Black Metal bands. We could define this musical project as Archeofuturistic, a tribute to the Italian and European music of the last forty years, which include clear references to the music of Ennio Morricone, Cabaret, martial music and an absorbent cinephile atmosphere.
Disobbedisco! 1918-1920 is a concept album set in the city of Fiume during the years 1918-1920, after the end of World War I, when Gabriele D’Annunzio proclaimed the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in the city. On the album, we know about the love story that develops between the Mayor Renzi, officer of Arditos (the fiumana legion), and Elettra Stavros enemy spy. Muri D’Assenzio is the song that, they say, ends the story, reaching the highest levels of Tragedy on the whole album. While Disobbedisco is more enjoyable as a whole, there are some songs that stand out above the average, such as La Ballata Dell’Ardito -included in a self-titled EP in 2005-, or Tango Della Menade -amazing and atmospheric declaration of love-.
Currently the band has released two more albums, with those still delving into the history of Italy. Italy: Ultimo Atto, in 2009, which could mean that focus on the 70s, highlighting songs like Piazza Dei 500 (about the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini), Pasionaria (has anyone whistled Morricone?) Or Luisa Ferida; and La Mano di Gloria, in 2012 (and whose book version has just been published in three volumes), set in a near future in which Italy and Europe are under the heel of one enlightened oligarchy, which has the best moments with Edelweiss (awesome song that proves that they have not reached their best yet), Sul Mio Sangue (with a spectacular beginning) or Canzone Dell’Eterna Aurora. Also nice the version they took from the song Amsterdam, originally by Jacques Brel, including on their first EP.
Despite the lack of language or Italian history knowledge can be inconvenient, music, voices and atmosphere are enough envelopes to make your listening something memorable. Ianva is a highly recommended band, for which you may be asking, they themselves answer “without any input of ideology.”