Artifex – Suspension of Disbelief by Ben Spencer

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/Label: Independent (Industries Inc Records)
Released: 2013
Band Line-up:
Antonio Olivo – voice, guitars, synth
Francesco Ponessa – drums & machines
Davide Schipani – bass guitar, synth

Track listing:
1. Free Will
2. My Distress
3. No Gravity
4. Suspension + 5. You N’ Me
6. Electric Lights (featuring Fabrice Quagliotti)
7. Quench My Thirst
8. Disbelief
9. Witness of Transition ((featuring Pat Mastelotto)

Bologna’s experimental electronic/ Rock outfit, Artifex have been around for time now carving an interesting blend of electro and hard rock hybrid which began in 2001. Their album Suspension of Disbelief runs as a concept piece exploring human emotions with each song representing a different side of Man.

‘Free Will’ opens with an instant electronic synth intro and heavy bass and guitar riffs. The clean vocals pierce through with clarity and thought provoking lyrics. The track switches between the guitar driven rock and electro layers with ease and gives an accessible feel.

Next up, ‘My Distress’ has an interesting vocal effect and a slower in pace, with the Bass guitar and drumming becoming more prevalent in the verses. The chorus comes with catchy drumming and soaring vocals, along with electronic beeps and riffs wading in.

The fourth and fifth track are combined into one with ‘Suspension + You and Me’, which works interestingly, once you get your head around it. A track that has a piano orientated core that corrodes with the rock influences rather well.

Highlight track, ‘Electric Lights’, features Fabrice Quagliotti from Rockets, contributing with keyboard. This proves a welcomed addition to the catchy rocking riff choruses with a sing-along lyrics.

The record also features King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto on Drums in ‘Witness of Transition’. The heavy grunge fuelled guitars that are reminiscent of Audioslave merge with the vocal reverb throughout along with a retro symphonic undercurrent running alongside.

Overall, quite an interesting offering of songs found here with a commercial rock twist that is guaranteed to pull in a large enough fan base to get them on the road to a venue near you. While a lot of the elements are recurring and somewhat repetitive at times they do produce some catchy and memorable numbers that wouldn’t sound out of place at any decent dance/ rock club.