Arctic Plateau – The Enemy Inside


Review by Jason Guest

Being an author means that Gianluca Divirgilio knows how to build an effective structure, how and where to add light, add a brush of colour, or withdraw into the shadows, and most importantly, when to leave it be. Add to that his sense of melody and you have a winning combination. Peppered with dream-like atmospheres, melancholic melodies, and ethereal nuances, what would otherwise be little more than a better-than-average self-indulgent prog or typical shoegaze album is much more engaging.

A collection of perambulations through soundscapes that take in the grief-stricken, the restrained, the reserved, the reverent, and more, The Enemy Inside balances tone with shape, the soothing with the quietly disconcerting, and the dark with the light. The compositions are beautifully arranged with structures that allow air to flow freely through them whilst simultaneously allowing dynamic change and metamorphoses to emerge as they wish, and to allow each layer to converge with its antithesis. For instance, The most “metal” of the tracks on the album, ‘Trentasette’ contrasts the power of heavy guitars with pedal tones and lightly strummed chords. And both ‘Abuse’ and ‘Catarctic Cartoons’ move easily between the despondent and the joyous, blurring the line between the two in their tonal transformations and ambient expanses. With a voice as soothing as it is emotive, Divirgilio’s musicianship is that of a sculptor letting the masterpiece carve itself from the stone. And like the latest from Alcest and Les Discrets, The Enemy Inside bears something enchanting, compelling even, and is an intriguing listen.

7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Music’s Like…
  2. Bambini Piangete
  3. Idiot Adult
  4. Abuse
  5. Catarctic Cartoon
  6. The Enemy Inside
  7. Melancholy Is Not For Soldiers
  8. Loos And Love
  9. Big Fake Brother
  10. Wrong
  11. Trentasette