If an alien vampire movie set on Mars in the year 2666 ever goes into post-production (fingers crossed on that one), its soundtrack would probably sound a lot like The Gabriel Construct’s Interior City. The experimental debut album is the solo project of Gabriel Lucas Riccio, a vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Maryland. Hardly afraid to get a little weird, the diversely talented musician creates a uniquely atmospheric album that seems devoid of convention, common sense, and at times, even gravity. The otherworldly sound is brought to life through the collaborative effort of featured artists with musical backgrounds that range from metal and rock to jazz and classical.
Hauntingly discordant piano chords welcome the listener to their “Arrival in a Strange Land”, an aptly titled first track on an album that could certainly be disorienting. But fear not, space-sound explorers, that’s not to say Interior City is lacking in any imaginative adventurousness. At almost five minutes long, “Ranting Prophet” begins with the same disjointed piano but soon develops into a pulsing cacophony of electric strings, blaring saxophone, and indeed, prophet-like chants of lyrics such as “Disappear in movies, various addictions / Every single dogma, none of it has substance.” With its sampling of police sirens and bubbling crescendo, “Fear of Humanity,” comes across as a conceptual action opera, as does the vocally-enhanced “Retreat Underground.” The Twilight Zone-esque landscape of fuzzy feedback and distant echoes, however, returns in the 11-minute meditation that is “Languishing in Lower Chakras.” All in all, the dystopic expedition of Riccio’s Interior City is worth strapping into a space suit for. Beam me up, Scotty!