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Il Rovescio Della Medaglia - Contaminazione CD (album) cover


Il Rovescio Della Medaglia


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.17 | 303 ratings

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5 stars Absolutely Marvelous!

It has been a while since I reviewed an album, mainly when I first joined the forum and picked some of my old favorites (plus a new one or two) until the novelty for me wore off. Since reviewing is harder and more time consuming than it appears, at least if it is to be one worthwhile, I prefer to read others. That being said, I am at my 1 year anniversary of hearing RPI music for the first time and then fell head over heels into it. So I felt compelled to pay homage to the genre by reviewing a RPI album that continues to amaze me, that being Rovescio Della Medaglia's Contaminazione.

It would have been easy to pick PFM's Per Un Amico as that was my first album that started it all and was blown away by it, as well as albums by Le Orme, Area, Quella Vecchia Lonconda, and some others. I do not speak or understand Itailian which does not bother me, but adds to the mystery and charm of the music. I have a feeling if I understood the lyrics, I would not be nearly as fond of RPI as I am (like some of the english speaking bands I have heard). The vocals are another instrument for me.

Now for the album, it is a remarkable blend of various forms of prog and classical music. Don't be misled by the classical reference, it is prog at its finest. However, from information on this album, it is a work based on J.S. Bach's "The Well Tempered Clavier". I always like reviewers who let me know their interpretation of what the tracks sounded like, so here goes:

The first two tracks, Absent for this Consumed World and Ora non ricordo piu merge together as a dreamy interlude with some vocal harmonies that have a Queenish flavor to them.

The third track, Il suono del silenzio, covers a variety of musical territories mixing in some heavy riffs, playful psychedelic keyboards which later morph into heavier classic organ, good vocals, and baroque style moments. Sort of lets you know what to expect for the rest of the album.

Next is Mi sono svegliato e... ho chiuso gli occhi, just beautiful orchestra and organ beginning that builds into a darker mood with vocals that fit perfectly. This jumps into Lei sei tu: Lei, sort of a duel effect of clean guitar, excellent bass and drum work with great vocal harmonies with a mid section of seamless mix of orchestral strings.

The 6th track is La mia musica, a very soulful sad, but beautiful song with piano and organ mix, and oh yes, great vocal and string section harmonies again.

Johann is a short song that for some reason reminds me of a Zeppelin folk song with haunting, distant vocals and guitar.

Scotland Machine and Cella 503 go hand in hand into each other and we are back at our theme of covering many wonderful territories in varied time signatures as in the 3rd track (and throughout the album). Lots of psych keyboards, guitar riffs, strings, great flute work, a flamenco acoustical moment, and a lovely dueling banter of classical instruments (a little brass also) versus a proggy synth and drum combo. Then breaks into heavy guitar form into a dramatic pipe organ. What a delight.

Contaminazione 1760 is very Ian Anderson sounding with excellent soloing flute play.

Alzo un muro elettrico is a nice heavy guitar driven song and the usual excellent mix of orchestral strings and vocal harmonies, with a light jazzy moment in between. Very nice.

Sweet Suite begins with soft, erie classic organ with clean guitar mix which feeds into the finale, La grande fuga, just a majestic and very climatic end with all instruments in full glory. Makes goose pimples on my arms every time!

It gets a rating of 5 stars. It is a RPI classic and the musicianship is excellent. I hope that those who have not ventured into this genre give it a try, it has more to offer than the beautiful compositions heard here, it has many varied styles. I love it and am getting constantly surpised that music like this was around back in the 70s and I had not heard any of it until a year ago.

AEProgman | 5/5 |


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