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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Darwin! CD (album) cover

DARWIN!

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.37 | 758 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Usually we consider many Prog albums as masterpieces and give 5 stars as candies because they are excellent (others for fanboyism), but the word seems to be loosing value with the avalanche of "masterpieces" we can find in Prog Archives, most of them for albums that are good but really not remotely superb.

The problem gets worst when you are before album that is absolutely perfect from start to end. as is the case of Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, all the words we can write and more clearly the 5 stars seem poor for this quality.

The combination between the Nocenzi twins in the keyboards and Francesco di Giacomo perfect operatic voice and sweetness can't be compared with almost no other album that I ever heard, so how much higher can we go?. 5 stars is the limit. But if you add that imaginative human metronome called Pier Luigi Calderoni in the drums, Marcello Todaro on guitars and Renato D'Angelo in the bass, you got the perfect band and album, the musicianship and classical training is more than evident, there's simply no way to ignore this from the first listen, it's a wonderful album.

"Darwin!" starts with the soft synth intro of "L'Evoluzione" (The Evolution), a blend of mystery and expectation can be felt in the dense atmosphere that can almost be cut with a knife, then the incredibly sweet voice of Signore Di Giacomo with the company of an incredibly beautiful piano and then full band places us in mood for what is coming.

The vocal section goes "in crescendo" until a piano and guitar fugue announces the explosion, the whole band Rocks and Di Giacomo rocks with them proving us how versatile he is, pure Prog Rock at it's most pristine expression, radical changes, perfect arrangements, it's hard to describe with plain words this excellent opener.

"La Conquista de la Posizione Ereta" (The Conquest of the Erected Position) is a semi instrumental that describes the battle between the instincts of the proto hominid to keep using four legs and the need to acquire the erect position in order to complete the evolution. Normally the instrumentals are unable to transmit a concept clearly (For example Six Wives of Henry the VIII is musically outstanding but it could also be an album about six of the seven Snow White dwarfs, because the music is unable to transmit the ,message), but in this case not only the frantic music but also the sound effects resembling the growls of our ancestors complete describe the scene.

After six minutes of music Di Giacomo adds a short vocal passage in which he clarifies even more the idea they expressed so well in notes. More than explanatory this section is important because we have the chance to listen his amazing voice.

"La Danza Dei Gran Retilli" (The Dance of the Great Satanding un Man -Not possible a literal translation-) is a softer and jazzy track that calms the mood a bit because the hearts of the listener must be pumping at 150 beats per minute, there are moments in which the influence of ELP is evident but mostly is pure Jazz with the Nocenzi twins playing together, even here they hit the nail in the head because part of the perfection of an album is to include the right section in the right moment and they did it.

"Cento Mani E Cento Occhi" (One Hundreed Hands and One Hundreed Eyes) begins ultra frenetic with the whole band and vocals hitting us with all they have, now I feel some Crimsonian influence but which is softened by the characteristic Italian melodic sense and again (Not strange at this moment) a beautiful piano passage, just to return to a very controlled cacophony and then to Baroque synth just to loose control again several times.this track describes the word Prog more than 1,000 words.

In this track Marcello Todaro adds his rough voice which make a perfect contrast with the clarity of Francesco, simply perfect.

"750,000Anni Fa..L Amore?" (750,000 Years Ago.The Love?) is the reason why I bought this album, the most incredibly beautiful piano performance with Francesco Di Giaccomo that leaves me breathless, if you want to find the definition of beauty in any dictionary, you should read the name of this song.

But again there's not all, the mystery and darkness is provided by the synth and again the original vocal and piano melody comes back for my pleasure, this sole song pays the whole album, the rest of it is for free, and what a gift.

Normally we are used to praise good vocalists who are very good, but this guy is on another level, I'm sure he's the best voice in the Prog Market and by far.

"Misere Alla Historia" (Misery to the History) starts with a vibrant instrumental intro that reminds me of "L Evoluzzione" but it's only a short reminiscence, the sound changes radically to a softer and more mysterious passage where the clarinet takes the lead, again Todaro adds his voice to create a primitive scenario (Something that achieves) and leads to another Crimson influenced passage where the piano and synths rule adding a touch of ELP and Wakeman successively, The guitar and bass work deserve special mention because fit as a glove in the song, well, we're before a group of virtuosos that know the meaning of the phrase "team work".

"Ed Ora Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Responde....... Non Ne Ho!" (Now I command Time to Time and He Responds Me.....I Don't Have Any" ) starts with a Medieval vocal section by a vopcalist who I guess it's Todaro (He's the only one credited in vocals beside Francesco) but sounds very clear, this intro is followed by some kind of carnival music, very weird and traditionally Italian, a short but interesting closer for an outstanding album.

Now, I started to look for 6 stars but we don't have that chance, so I will have to rate it with the undervalued 5 stars, sad because they deserve more.

There's simply no reason or excuse for any Proghead not to have this album, no collection can be complete without a copy of Darwin!, so connect to Internet with your credit card number or go to your favorite store and get it, it's a crime not to own it.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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