The Sins of
A Triggering Myth Album Reviews
Expose Magazine - Issue No. 16, December 1998
Review by: Rob Walker
The fourth album from A Triggering Myth expands upon this duo's well-defined keyboard dominated sound, displaying an elegantly, maturing compositional sense and featuring some stunning guest performances. The stand out track from their previous album was a tribute to the great Area vocalist Demetrios Stratos, and the band's affection for dramatic Italian singers is again manifest here in three excellent pieces co-written and sung by Deus Ex Machina's frontman extrodinaire, Alberto Piras. Piras' bandmate Alessandro Bonetti contributes some fine violin work to another track, and indeed much of the album seems to embody the poignant harmonic sensibility and delicate lyrical beauty that characterizes the classic Italian style. There is some simply fantastic music on this disc, with strong motifs, vivid dynamics, and a pervasive mysterious and moody ambiance. When Piras' amazing voice isn't soaring over the proceedings, dexterous analog synth leads emerge to dance on top of the subtle counterpoint created by piano, organ, and various other keyboards sounds. A well controlled harmonic tension infuses these sophisticated compositions with an emotional intensity that deftly avoids resolution for the bulk of the album, lending a slightly unsettling yet mesmerizing quality to the music. As on previous albums, the drumming remains somewhat incidental to the keyboard-heavy textures, usually only highlighting the rhythmic elements of the instrumental themes. Some might lament the lack of a dedicated rhythm section to lend a solid foundation to the mix, but though this album may not rock as much as some might like, it still presents a respectable full band sound when that is called for. Much of this music however, derives its momentum and power not from pounding rhythms and low frequency harmonic anchors, but from well conceived and flawlessly executed contrasts in texture, timbre. dynamics, and atmosphere. The subtle delights of this album only begin to reveal themselves with repeated listenings; always a sign of another solid step forward for this talented duo, and it shouldn't be the least bit surprising to find this on many a "Best of 98" list come next January - it will certainly be on mine.
Review by: Peter Thelen
Growth and change. The conservative release schedule of A Triggering Myth (approximately one album every three years) makes their body of work an excellent laboratory for studying the growth and progress of a band over a period of time. And clearly since the last release (1995's "Between Cages") there has been an abundance of both. While the earliest releases by this duo seemed to be eloquent wanderings in synthland, a more formidable sound began to emerge with "Between Cages", combining their neo-classical vocabulary with a stronger sense of melody - no doubt the influence of classic Italian progressive and some jazz elements, and a stronger propensity to rock. That, combined with the use of real (as in acoustic, non-gated) drums was a major step forward for the band. This time out all of these positive points are taken out a few notches further, making this ATM's strongest instrumental effort to date. But wait - there are vocals on the album too, on three of the nine tracks, supplied by none-other than Deus Ex Machina's Alberto Piras. With ATM's neo-classical flavorings underpinning so much of their music, it casts his voice in a completely different context than his work with DxM, and one that suits the music and his voice well. Much of ATM's music consists of delicate threads of melodic counterpoint, where drums are typically used very sparingly for accent or judicious application of contrast and power, and as with the last album, Moe Vfushateel handles the drum kit duties exceptionally. Some tasty violin is added by DxM's Alessandro Bonetti on another track as well. "Sins" is a bold step forward with plenty to interest the discriminating listener.
Review by: Mike McLatchey
In the works for quite a while, the new album with Alberto Piras as guest is finally in our hands. Make no mistake, Piras certainly dominates the music over which he sings. His powerful voice is distinctive enough to the point where shades of DEM predominate on these songs (violinist Alessandro Bonetti also plays a bit here). As Rascal Reporters are to Canterbury, A Triggering Myth are to Italian progressive; keyboards are the story here. lots of them, from digital patches to analog-like lead synths. Piano is used in cyclic fashions at times, classical rock stylings at others, but its obvious the influence on this album is less PFM and Banco as it is Area or Battiato. The music is often dissonant and unusual, more so as the CD progresses, ending in the type of free experimentation that wouldn't be out of place on a 70's Franco Battiato album. The drumming is a low point, very digital and featureless for the most part, but it doesn't really seem to be that much of a main feature of the music, more a backdrop for the modal melodies and oblique experimentation. Not a really album to get into, all that said, making it more intriguing each time you listen to it. Very original music, much more so than their prior efforts.