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Conqueror - 74 Giorni CD (album) cover

74 GIORNI

Conqueror

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.75 | 45 ratings

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andrea
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Conqueror with their third album seem to have attained a full maturity... "74 giorni" is a concept album that was inspired by Ambrogio Fogar's book "La zattera" and describes a journey that turned bad... Ambrogio Fogar was a sailor, rally driver and all- round adventurer. In 1978, when he was sailing from Mar del Plata to Cape Horn along with his friend Mauro Mancini, his ship "Surprise" was wrecked because of a killer whale attack. Ambrogio Fogar and Mauro Mancini survived for seventy-four days in a life raft in the South Atlantic until they were rescued by a Greek cargo ship. Journalist Mauro Mancini died of pneumonia two days after the rescue....

The sources of Conqueror's "musical inspiration" range from PFM to Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, from Pink Floyd to Alan Parsons Project, from Italian melodies to classical music... Nevertheless it would be extremely unfair to define them as a clone of any other band, since their song-writing is personal and they prove to be able to find an original way to express themselves... "74 giorni" is conceived as a musical and poetical journey, as the description of a quest for self-knowledge where you need to fight against adversity and never give up to reach your goals, to follow your ideals...

"Masks of men / Portrayed into catalogues / Conditioned by the symptoms of regularity...". The lyrics of the opener "Maschere di uomini" (Masks of men) suggest that you can choose a model which is worth following, you can set off and look for something else, far from hypocrisy and from the models of life that the media tries to impose, even if your choice could lead to a dangerous journey... All you have to do is make up your mind and the journey can quietly begin... The mood of this track is dreamy and the voice of Simona Rigano soars light and melodic upon a piano arpeggio...

The instrumental "Il viaggio" (The journey) features a good guitar solo and leads to "Orca", where the band try to describe the effect of the killer whale attack against the "hunters of emotions"... "Looking at the time passing by / Hidden by the night / Forgetting just for a while / To be men on such an unknown world / Sons of a noble Earth without mercy...": the need for knowledge and insight is "captured" by a whimsical destiny... On this track the melodic side of Conqueror still prevails but the sweet dream is going to turn sour...

The wreckage can be also seen as a metaphor of every misfortune in everyday life. On "Limbo" the soaring voice of Simona Rigano is ethereal, as if suspended in a dream that is becoming a nightmare and asking for help...

The impending tragedy is suggested by the change of mood and atmosphere on "Non maturi per l'aldilà" (Not ready to die)... From this track on the music becomes quirky, with shifting rhythms suggesting the struggling for life in the middle of an Ocean of solitude and fear... "Non maturi per l'aldilà" along with the short instrumental "Cormorani", "L'ora del parlare", "Preghiera" and "Miraggi" form a kind of long and beautiful suite... "Nebbia ad occhi chiusi" is outstanding, one of the best moments of an excellent work!

The name of the sailor who first helped Ambrogio Fogar and his friend was Eleutherios and the name of the Greek cargo ship that rescued them was Master Stefanos... "Northern winds... Blow softly, talk with my words! / Keep on dancing on the icy mantle of the desert!"... "Eleutherios" and the instrumental "Master Stefanos" are both tracks thick with emotion, full of hope...

The final "Cambio di rotta" is a kind of requiem for a lost friend... "We sail on the sea pushed by the wish for knowledge, by the need of an unconditioned freedom... We sail on the sea because we have to and many times the sea wants to keep his sons it..."

On stage the band introduce the songs reading some passages of book that inspired the concept and it's a pity that you can't find them in the booklet... Anyway, the overall impression about this album is extremely good... In my opinion "74 giorni" is one of the best "prog" releases of 2007 so far...

andrea | 5/5 |

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