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


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.29 | 923 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars Not at all as immediately pleasuring as Io Sono Nato Libero, this first album from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso is a big time grower. Like many other debuts, this album has an unmistakable hunger, almost na´ve at times, but ultimately a rewarding asset according to me. Passion has a way of making rough edges seem smooth again and a reviewer turn soft and forgiving.

So. After being a little put off by the lack of structure and direction in the beginning, some clear advantages rise from the mist of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso. First, it feels less polished and more experimental than any RPI I've heard to this date. Second, the shorter 'narrative' bits here (In Volo, Passagio and Traccia) adds an extra dimension to the album with their foreboding words (no idea what anything means though, and thus just based on the feelings they evoke), choirs and instrumentation. And third, that touch of early Deep Purple influence I for some strange reason found on PFM's Storia Di Un Minuto as well. A trace of harder, edgier rock and a pleasant surprise amongst the generally smoother Italian stylings. Both Hammond-wise and guitar-wise.

The three really real songs are all very good. R.I.P is a dense rocker, slightly repetitive at times, but never in a disturbing way. Piano, bass and guitar forms the heavy backbone with nuances provided by keys in the background. Nice laid-back and warm solo part by the guitar after a couple of minutes. As a twist, R.I.P turns soft and easy after a while, with nothing but tasteful piano, flute and the impressive operatic vocals of Francesco DiGiacomo. It then gradually builds up, adding more and more instruments (including a soaring organ) right to the abrupt end. Piano parts are really one of Banco's strengths, or rather the use of different sorts of keyboards. Metamorfosi is full of them, often alone and very gracious, and the song feels more like a classical work on some occasions during the eleven minutes it's got to its disposal. Being the highlight of the album, transforming back and forth between the lonely ringing piano and rich, more orchestrated parts where the rest of the band gets some time in the spotlight, this is where Banco does what Banco does best, in adding drama to their music. Epic in proportions, Il Giardino Del Mago isn't really as magic as the title suggests. It's one of the main reasons for this album not being the masterpiece I wish it was. This is the band's first album after all, and generally it suffers from a little underdeveloped composition. Part after part, often very different from one another in structure and style, interchange in sometimes very hopeful ways. Ideas are thrown around, sometimes developed, sometimes dropped, and leaving a lasting impression that perhaps this one had made a better impression as a bunch of shorter songs instead. The outstanding musicianship nevertheless keeps it interesting.

Intense and short, the dark and compulsive Traccia ends this strange album with a boom. Literally.

Bancos self-titled album has some flaws, perhaps inevitably, and it's not as immediate as the following two either. A great start it is, however, even with negative points considered.

3.5 stars, but going for a weak 4.


LinusW | 4/5 |


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