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Planetarium - Infinity CD (album) cover

INFINITY

Planetarium

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.21 | 49 ratings

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Utnapishtim
4 stars It often happens to listen to albums which are at the limit between one genre and another, or that are putted in a temporal context inappropriate compared to a specific musical wave present in that time. I think this is what happened to "Planetarium", a ghost-band appeared mysteriously and disappeared in the same way, leaving no little doubts and perplexity to the lovers of genre. "Infinity" born in 1971, in a period characterized in Italy by some bands Brit Prog oriented such as the Trip, or Nuova Idea, New trolls. The early 70's represent a pure experimental phase in Italy, especially for Prog Rock, far from the English masterpieces made by Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes, etc...

For a long time no one knew the very identity of these musicians, because no line up was represented on LP cover. The only one thing due to musicians was a certain A. Ferrari which was presented as the composer of all tracks. This was a marketing action for try to appear as an English band, a dream that belonged to all Italian 70s musicians. In fact the the titles of the album are in English and also the name of the album. Maybe the record company thought to sell more with this action. The truth upon the identity of musicians was discovered only recently. Their record company, the "Victory", was released at that time only albums for two bands and one artist. The bands was naturally Planetarium and a beat band called "Scooters". And here we discovered that this "A. Ferrari" was a member of Scooters. Not really a coincidence to be produced both by the same record company. Rounding out the band there are Mirko Mazza and Franco Sorrenti, always from Scooters; the other two members, Piero Repetto and Giampaolo Pesce, come from another band the "Miguel".

The album is a Concept and sometimes it couldn't appear really Prog oriented, but certainly it is a kind of Art Rock with interesting Prog moments enclosing inside two "souls", one more calm which sounds more "orchestral" , classic guitar and flute, the other whit more Prog attitude, characterized by beautiful keyboards. So why it is considered Prog? One answer could (surely) be for "Infinity" suite an the song "The Moon". Personally I'd like to add, also thanks to the opening song "The Beginning" and the Beautiful "Life". We talked about Concept Album, in fact it could be considered as the passage that the man makes on Earth, from The Beginning of his time walking towards the Infinite.

The opening song, as its title says, marks "The Beginning" of this journey. With a thunder starts a storm, also for the man which prepare himself to live his life with all its facets. An organ and a chorus line introduce the man into the whirl of existence with all its choices to do and the questions that characterize human intelligence. The rain falls dawn and the song "Life" sounds with a classic guitar theme accompanied by keyboard that seems a musical box and flute, in an atmosphere that offers a sweet scenario of a childhood lived. The second part is marked by a bongo that seems to sound like a "tribal heart", with a primordial lament accompanied by a beautiful piano groove. This crescendo of sound explodes silently in a beautiful guitar solo that vaguely resembles Robert Fripp. Here makes its appearance the fascinating "Man", divided in two movements. It is characterized by a classic guitar theme that let in my mind the figure of a man lonely, in searching of possible solutions to his questions and finally find them. The same theme is taken up also by flute, and after a few second of an "orchestral setting passage" also by piano.

The A side ends with the song "Love", a real classical piece that remember sometimes the future masterpiece "Contaminazioni" by "Il Rovescio Della Medaglia". The romance of this track describes perfectly an inevitable stage of the man's life.

The B side, certainly more lively, starts with the song "War". A siren sounds the alarm for the battle and a dark rhythm with some bomb explosions and machine guns describes well the war atmospheres. After this reflection about the war, theme so in vogue in that period (had just finished the 68 with its revolutions in Italy still alive) they offer us another good piece characterized by their style, dedicated to the moon. Probably each man has turned his thought at least one time to the moon.

The album ends with the suite (11 minutes) "Infinity", an interesting piece where the keyboards and the piano of Alfredo Ferrari create a memorable sound not bored the listener. The second part is characterized by a mixture of guitar and organ following the main theme with some chorus parts. So the man fly toward the infinite of his existence, but as cyclical in his being he was born and die until the end of times, and in the same way the song presents again the opening theme, as if to remind us that everything ends up sooner or later starts again.

The Prog Rock is so wide that often it merges, as its soul wants to, with different styles and genres to create splendid Works. Certainly this is not the case of Planetarium. This is not a monumental Work such those to which the Giant of Prog have accustomed us, no, this is a good job with many good ideas, this is an intellectual album (unfortunately only instrumental) that is appeared in a primordial period of Italian Rock scene still with no definite Prog identity. This is another example of an Italian 70s band that wanted to be Great as the English Giants of Progressive Rock. I think that with this album they have created with personality a little corner to be remembered in Prog Rock, but surely they have so much space to be appreciated in RPI.

4 Stars - Really so far away from being a noteworthy job? Absolutely no!

Utnapishtim | 4/5 |

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