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Le Orme - Felona E Sorona CD (album) cover

FELONA E SORONA

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 609 ratings

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LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Continuing with my exploration in the world of RPI, the turn has now come the second of its three giants, namely Le Orme. Blinded by the light that PFM turned out to be, I was eagerly anticipating more Italian prog, and in retrospect I might have expected just a little to much. At first I actually found Felona E Sorona hugely disappointing, and I constantly lost attention during the first listens.

But with so many glowing reviews and recommendations, you're always left with this feeling that you must be mistaken, that the rest of the world stands laughing at your ignorance, leaving you confused and frustrated wondering what's wrong. So luckily, I gave it more time. And that changed, if not all, at least a great deal of my opinions considering the album.

Le Orme plays a very keyboard-oriented kind of prog and just as with ELP, the occasional guitar is more an exception than a rule. But the sharp angularity that often riddles the works of Keith Emerson is transformed into a more mellow, melodic and melancholic form by Le Orme. Being a mixture of darker and lighter songs, it still is the melancholia that stands out. Compared to PFM's Per Un Amico, this is a very, very gloomy album, almost disturbing at times. Lonely. This is something the band achieves with great skill and success, making use of all you can get from the keys at that time. Pompous, soaring organ for atmosphere and texture, intricate melodies, classically arranged piano and spaced-out effects form the basis, or rather, IS Felona E Sorona. Even the sometimes flamboyant, skillfull and heavy drumming of Michi Dei Rossi or the times when Aldo Tagliapietra's bass enters from its place somewhere down in the massive keys' undergrowth can't prevent that.

When listening to the album you realise that there are very few highlights among the nine songs. And since this equals consistency and sticking to the concept of the album it is in some way a good characteristic. But it's just the same thing that, together with the clear, smooth voice of Aldo's that make the album very concentrated and hard to grasp. It seldom rises from the mellow mid-tempo, songs lack clear hooks and crescendos and it just gets a little blurry after a while. Aldo never reaches emotional peaks, his phrasing remains innocent, emotional and sad, even though he's got a fantastic voice I immediately accepted and praised. It's no wonder then that my two stand-out tracks are the opening and the closer, Sospesi Nell Íncredibile and Ritorno Al Nulla respectively. Because these tracks are the ones that adds some true dynamics to the album, with some much desired action and surprising changes. The latter of the two is one of the most stunning album finals I've heard so far, which says a lot. Ending with an unrivaled feeling of feverish uncertainty.

Just as with PFM's L'Isola Di Niente I feel some amount of irritation and slight disappointment after hearing Felona E Sorona. Perhaps with more time and in the right mood I'll learn to appreciate it fully, but as it is right now, it doesn't stand out as a masterpiece. 3,5 stars, going for 3.

//LinusW

LinusW | 3/5 |

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