Al Conti is a name many recognize in U.S. and international audiences as a composing musician having a natural ability for producing some of the most vivid story based music in the New Age & World music genres. For those who are wondering, his ability to intermingle these exciting tales of intrigue into every one of his award winning projects originates from Al Conti’s life experiences and extensive global travels.
Northern Seas is the fourth narrative from Al Conti that made a grand impression on me after hearing this new release for the first time. On Northern Seas the ancestral homeland and Nordic heritage of Scandinavia is the theme presented in a manner you will find intensely glorious regardless of your own family coat of arms since the perceptions in imagery and rich instrumental landscape valiantly hold the high ground on this resolute masterpiece.
Al Conti has a long family legacy himself arising from a extensive linage of expressive artisans, and in addition to his popularity as a top musician, Al Conti is an performing actor, having made television appearances during shows of the acclaimed CBS daytime drama As The World Turns, commercials, and films, in addition to on stage theatre productions in the United States and overseas.
Al Conti’s first albums were Shadows & Poeta and third release Scheherazade from 2008 was a landmark award winning release that resided at the top of ZMR charts for 3 consecutive months, and then received 4 ZMR Lifestyle Music Awards nominations including Album of the Year. Scheherazade then sailed among the clouds to secure Best World Album of 2008 and is played on many satellite and cable channels including Sirius / XM and Music Choice in addition to high watermarks in global radio charts. Northern Seas at time of review publication has reached # 2 in ZMR’s Top 100 chart for October 2010.
Northern Seas is a fascinating mixture of New Age & World Fusion with a Celtic inscription on several of the 11 tales of intrigue recounted from the long ago days of antiquity. The indigenous past folklore of Norse mythology brought to light by Al Conti is a melodious one indeed, telling of Norsemen during a time of Viking sovereignty in the Scandinavian nation. Treading a deep imprint on each tale, every single song is crisp, clear, and refreshing as if detailing the pristine landscape and panoramic mountain vistas by deeply spacious tonal qualities.
Northern Seas ( Title Song ) has a thunderous opening with an aura of mystery by the piano melody but the free spirited rhythms by flute and violin illuminate the first waterscape images and swiftly place you into the forged from fire and ice Nordic landscape. The light lyricless vocals portray an invigorating atmosphere which greatly changes what could have been pictured as a cold dreary day into one filled with deep but breathtaking rays of shrouded sunbeams. Long drawn out colorful vocals are another positive element that dominates an ambient grounded Veil of Mist.
Song of Rig & Valkyrja are adventurous melodies featuring the ancient and exotic instruments used in this albums production. Al Conti is proficient on a wide range of instruments and on Northern Seas he and contributing global talents create the unique feel of ambience using ancient and exotic instruments like kantele, harp, hurdy gurdy, pump organ, accordion and tribal drums that are melded with modern time instruments of piano, violin, cello, acoustic and electric guitar.
Odin The Wanderer is notably mysterious but also carries a palate full of vibrant hues much in part to the charismatic melody and choir that is lightly comingled with alluring violin and accordion tracings. Two flute melodies with a Celtic essence are the vigorously paced Dans for Loki and then free flowing The Rainbow Bridge. Piano and accordion merge in the light song Baldur and the time honored instrument when united with piano turn the tides of time to create an aesthetically pleasing old world essence.
Ragnarok has a penetrating melody with a light percussion rhythm of true enchantment. This graceful new dimension in elaborate instrumentals of piano, harp, flute, and accordion constitute smooth verses in unison with a light choir while transitioning into a breezy reflection well in harmony with the chosen Nordic folklore theme.
Al Conti has crossed yet another threshold with this exciting new release having every telltale sign of award winning success given his intriguing music portraiture of Scandinavian countries centered by Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The majestic highlands, islets and fjords bordering the Barents, Baltic and Norwegian Seas have become the phenomenal harbor setting for this striking new album christened Northern Seas.
Album art courtesy Elena Ray. Picture copyright Big Stock Photo – galdzer.