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Nathan - Nebulosa CD (album) cover

NEBULOSA

Nathan

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.02 | 24 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nathan is a new player on the Italian prog scene, though manned by veteran musicians with a variety of cover bands, mostly prog and some not so prog. Finally forging their own destiny with their debut oeuvre "Nebulosa", these crafty lads from Savona have set a very lofty standard, one that has been growing in recent popularity in Italy, with a slew of burgeoning talents such Il Paradiso degli Orchi, Ad Maiora, Logos, Ingranaggi delle Valle, Unreal City, La Coscienza di Zeno, Progenesi, Mad Crayon, Mad Fellaz, Nodo Gordiano, Phoenix Again, Qirsh, Ranestrane, Sezione Frenante, among many many others?The 'boot' is doing fine, constantly revitalizing itself, a land where music still means a lot to many people, replenishing the fountain of prog with gusto and brilliance. They are also supremely well-balanced with a total team effort mindset that still leaves a lot of room for instrumental exploration. Keyboardist Piergiorgio Abba is a splendid piano player, doing fine on organ and synthesizers, while coloring all the arrangements with solemn tapestry as well as zippy phrasings. This solid backbone gives axeman Daniele Ferro a lot of room for scratching, searing, sizzling and cajoling his fret board and he does so perfectly. Tectonic drummer Fabio Sanfilippo nurtures the refined RPI drumming tradition, keeping a strong rhythmic pulse to the entire musical provisions. Finally, singer and bass player Bruno Lugaro handles both with aplomb and occasional theatrical expanse, his convincing singing is typical of the Italian school, praying and pleading one moment and brash and exalted the next.

Noteworthy are the longer tracks that clock in the 7-8 minute range, as they provide a wide panorama of stylistic curves and straight lines, with the occasional chicane where things suddenly slow down to a crawl. Mini-epics such as the title track, the magnificent "Resto Qui" and the muscular then soft "A Ferro e Fuoco" showcase the brilliance of their technical abilities within strong and creative compositions, supremely confident and courageous. In this context, guests flutist Davide Rivera and pianist Marco Milano add more than just elegance and craft, infusing grandeur and majesty as well. "A Ferro e Fuoco" in particular is one of many outright masterpieces featured on this disc.

But the best track here is the sublime, I mean SUBLIME, "Il Tempo dei Miracoli" that has a slight tinge of Blackfield's poignant masterpiece "Pain", a seductive melancholia that swoons the heart, saddens the soul and yet somehow, still shines brightly with hope. The main melody is achingly expressed in Italian by singer Bruno Lugaro, who takes his sweet time in delivering his bruised lament, followed by up the most honeyed guitar licks ever and scouring mightily into the night sky. The colossal choir apex half way through gives the composition more impetus to nail it down, just perfectly, as Ferro vacillates on his axe. The tempo is kept torrid until the final hurrah, mellotron and drums in unison, laying down another velvet carpet for the guitar to slide into nirvana. A grandiose slice of heart- breaking prog balladry.

Armed with a more Genesisian aura is "L'Attesa", once again a cleverly orchestrated piece of dramatic prog, as only the Italians seem to mother with apparent ease. This piece has another heavy flurry of guitar magic, bass firmly grounded and the motors running turbocharged. The keyboard work again suffuses a myriad of ornamental detail that just elevates the lyrical disposition of the vocals. Abba even dares to pull off a classic Banks organ blast that can only make one smile.

Rambling and raging is the 9 minute "Il Fiume Sa", a searching voice passionately telling its fluid story, shoved along by illuminated synth runs and a stunning bass line, down low on the neck, a thing of beauty and persistence. Ferro once again conveys a series of incisive guitar bites and chomps that get the heart beating rather fast. All in all, including the delightful shorter interludes like the exquisite "La Coltre Viola", this is one hell of a discovery and another feather in the recent RPI cap.

Ancora, per favore!

4.5 billows

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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