TONY TEARS: The Wail of the Elements” Digi CD

Coming sharp on the heels of the “30th Anniversary E.P.” this full-length album carries a decidedly different flavour to its predecessor. That, in part, can be explained by the wholly instrumental nature of this anguished soundtrack. Moreover, Antonio Polidori has channelled it alone thus making “Wail…” a deeply personal and insular journey. A voyage which resonates with “The Reality Before All” in his early discography albeit with disarming clarity. Every aspect audible. There is nowhere to hide. But before launching into the narrative, do soak up the pink, blue and grey hues adorning the irresistible cover art because this very painting by our protagonist’s hand is integral to everything that follows. Look how that spirit appears to be sucking up all of the water while a cracked church might collapse in the tumult at any given moment. Some of the imminent sounds may even have been created within that very church! Rest assured, there is conflict. There is tension. Uncertainty too. Multiple readings of this hour-long expedition probable. Beginning at the beginning, “Pray for Nature” soothes. Eerie yet beautiful, gentle guitar notes mingle with synths. By “The Earth Will Tremble Again” that serenity comes undone. Genuinely disconcerting, discordant keys stab and stab, for a prolonged period, with teeth-grinding regularity. The proverbial fingernails scratching on the blackboard. When the intensity finally abates, a throbbing pulse, perhaps a heartbeat, becomes the rhythmic force for the second half of the movement. An ominous presence strong. Tormenting or tormented, it is difficult to gauge as creepy melodies overlap, accelerate, expand and retract around the core. “Malattia Del Fuoco” is pitched structurally somewhere between the two compositions and having implied sickness, all is not well. Keys and guitar call, respond and merge. Church organs weave through a cacophony of warbling synths. The air thick with smoke. Perhaps elemental forces lurk in the periphery. Spooked out by “La Falce Del Vento” and its bizarre radio transmissions, the electronic evolution evokes memories of a decidedly glorious Italian past. The grandiose middle ground of the recording. As guitars enter the frame, flecks of magical dust illuminate the night sky. Meanwhile, down below, “Ricordi Sotto le Acque” bubbles away. A stirring guitar theme returns. Seeks the stars. Regenerates the soul. Taking another unexpected urgent twist, “Days of Agony” bubbles hard and fast with Germanic fluidity. As it passes, the crisis dissipates and only the lingering guilt of “Culpam Nostram” remains. Back in the crumbling old church, the organ weeps a final lament. This is an emotionally challenging experience. Not everybody will have the resolve to see the path through to the end. Persevere, even a little, and you might discern an alluring magical current, one which invites multiple visitations. Another valuable entry in the Tony Tears canon.

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