Best known for their melancholia and wistful aural scape, Nosound returns with their fifth album of catharticism. With a new direction band leader Giancarlo Erra has introduced a wholly new musical approach on Scintilla, marking the brave beginning of the second phase of nosound's fascinating career.
With a desire for change inspired by personal upheaval, Scintilla is a complex and musically direct work that offers a stripped-down group of songs that take the listener on a new journey with influences from Post Rock and the Alt-Singer-Songwriters styles. Scintilla imaginatively utilizes a primary acoustic and organic palette that is sonically more intimate and musically looser than the band's earlier releases.
Marianne De Chastelaine adds free-flowing cello to this album, with Anathema's Vincent Cavanagh lending his distinctive vocals to two tracks, plus acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Chimenti who sings and co-writes the piece Sogno E Incendio.
Available as a Deluxe 1 CD / 1 Blu-ray edition that contains high resolution 24bit / 96kHz 5.1 & Stereo lossless mixes, along with additional video content.
On all accounts Scintilla is a beautiful sounding album creating a stunning soundscape which weave together a relaxing collection of songs, that is a wonderfully immersive listen from start to finish. The rich and scintillating recording has been masterfully mixed into 5.1 surround sound, wrapping the listener in a wash of music ecstasy. I like how the opening track “Short Story” paves the way for the songs that follow, beginning ever so quietly, building the dynamics slowly while adding textures as the vocals and other instruments join in, leading into “Last Lunch.”
Smooth vocals permeate across the front channels while the gentle cello and somber guitars add depth to the mix, which is best heard on the track “Emily”. The stunning cello solo shines on this track, bathed in a subtle reverberant space that spreads across the listening room.
Scintilla provides a chilled vibe which is a perfect refreshing listen for those moments when you want to relax and experience aural excellence. With its awesome sound quality and extremely well balanced mix, the album is a cool summer breeze that takes the listener on a pleasant journey.
From a functional aspect, getting to the music is a breeze, but actually playing the LPCM surround mix required that I use the Audio Selection button on my universal player. I could find no option to set up my preferred audio from the Blu-ray menu, which meant I have to first start the music, and then change to surround sound each time I load the disc. I even hoped the function buttons would directly get me to either stereo or audio layers, but no luck there either.
Setting the functionality issue aside, not only will you get the album in both hi-res stereo and 5.1 surround, but an additional four videos, all bonus tracks, which are all available in both stereo and 5.1 surround too. These include Sol29 from their 2006 album of the same name, Kites from their 2008 release Lightdark, Constant Contrast from their 2009 A Sense of Loss album, and Wherever You Are from their 2013 release Afterthoughts. A very nice selection of bonus material best for those who have yet to pick up their earlier releases.
While Nosound is not for everyone, Scintilla is a must have for fans of this Italian based group. Surround sound enthusiasts are recommended to add this to their collection, especially those who enjoy top quality sound that provides an immersive listening experience. I have enjoyed all of their earlier releases, and find Scintilla to be a worthy addition to my multi-channel journey.
1 CD / 1 Blu-ray deluxe edition with 24/96 5.1 & stereo mixes. Also available on Audiophile Double Vinyl.