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  • Writer's pictureSpyros Psarras

Album Review: Girl On The Shore | Torre di Fine

March has already been an intriguing month for the Sanctum. A ton of diverse music from both popular and upcoming artists has come to my attention begging to be explored, from Sir-Vere to Fever Ray and from TsarB to Torre di Fine. Today we’ll be discovering the sound of the latter, a Post Rock, Slowcore trio born in the bizarre year 2020, offering music that’s raw and noisy like the days we’re living, honest and emotional like the days we wish to live. Pressing Play >

‘Vanta’ is immediately transforming our surroundings into this gloomy, grainy landscape, a realm of unknown intentions where the listener is made to walk their way through until peace is found into utterly comforting strings and chords. A small oasis in an industrial chaos. The moment we get settled, two giants -one of love and one of war- collide until no one prevails and both fall into a slumber. Futile and beautiful. And then we have a sensual vocal layer which is barely heard ‘This is not a place for you..’ over a moving key melody in ‘Perfect Blue’. The bass, the crawling percussion and sharp textures give a sense of melancholy and heartbreak, so strong that it feels as if the track is about to materialise. If that could happen, it would be too heavy for a human to bear. ‘Perfect Blue’ definitely goes among the most powerful moments in the album and we’re just getting started.

The following ‘Attraction’ dwells in the experimental plain with distorted soundscapes, undecided about wether to swallow the vocal performance or reinforce and glorify it. It’s an interesting game that manages to keep the audience on their toes from beginning to end until the track silently flows into the surprisingly organic ‘Kenopsia’. Here we have a fragile, numbing performance from both M. Cella and De Freitas which sounds as candid and unfiltered as old photos of some other decade. The chords get extremely dramatic, overflowing with emotion, elevating this whole piece to a new level of depression -almost alluring- no matter how controversial this might sound.

‘Ammonia’ opens mysteriously, filled with sorrow as it gives space for J.I Gobbi’s viola to bleed all over us and shine like a flashlight into the darkness. The strings cry as if they had a heart of their own and the outcome is pleasingly painful. Ammonia, as a chemical bond, is a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceutical products and the homonymous track seems to have healing properties itself. ‘Coercion’ arrives all cataclysmic while rustic and enchanting at the same time. A wondrous, almost daring blend one would say. As the gentle piano is contrasting with sounds of doom and incomprehensible whisperings, like prayers, the listener is sent to witness the end of everything, the end of life as we know it. Either literally - the doomsday, or metaphorically - an inner death of the current self for a new one to rise.

The echoing percussion of ‘N02A’ is what was missing in this ethereal journey and it was kind of rewarding at this point. Other than that, the drowned vocal and chaotic mix of the second half of the track left me with mixed feelings. Still it all felt familiar considering the raw character of the album. Unlike its predecessor, ‘Thirst’ tells its story clearly with the magical performance of Liliia Kysil balancing between the sobbing style of Au/Ra or Billie Eillish, and the muffled vocal effects of Soley’s ‘We Sink’ album. The instrumental is following the emotional journey of Kysil and both powers gradually build to an overwhelming climax making this song an unforgettable moment in GOTS.

Little before the end we get ‘Mascara’, which acts like an interlude that connects ‘Thirst’ to the epilogue. The opening dialogue of ‘Mascara’ could be coming from an old tv and fits ideally into the nostalgic mood set by the wonderfully textured instrumental. Last but not least, ‘Sorrow’, despite its title, sounds lighter than many of the previous tracks and provides a sense of hopefulness and promise until its menacing second half turns everything around and sets it all on fire. Ultimate anarchy. We are left with a poetic monologue, abstract enough for the listener to interpret however they feel like.

In a nutshell, Girl On The Shore is a transcending journey, surreal yet emotional, rich in texture and expressive enough to build entire worlds from sound only. It’s very rare to come across music that feels physical and heavy even though its just audio traveling through air. Especially imaginative is the handling of space as Torre di Fine explores both absence and overabundance, successfully bringing the audience before their own extreme feelings. For all the reasons above, the Sanctum is grateful to have experienced GOTS, happy to celebrate it through this review and proud to embrace Torre di Fine as a band that has so much to offer out there. Cheers!

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