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

DARWIN!

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.37 | 725 ratings

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LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Darwin! proves to be somewhat of an enigma. It's not that it's one of the unsolvable sort, but more that I don't know if I'm willing to accept the answer. The debut was a diamond in the rough, a heartfelt and stunning way to introduce the band to new fans across the globe and for some Darwin! is just the next and natural step for the band to take. It's tighter, it's more focused and it's always interesting instrumentally. And still I'm slightly disappointed.

Because the frenzied darkness and adventurism is very introverted, for lack of a better expression. It fails to engage me with few exceptions. Laboured is one word, too dense is another way of putting it. Cold is another favourite and one I've used before. Yet none of these complaints really fit what I feel while listening to Darwin!. So perhaps it's one of those rare albums you should love, but just don't, for reasons unknown. The music is 'in your face' for the most part, but I like many other efforts with that concept, but here it reflects some sort of uncertainty and tension, which I can only attribute to the albums concept. A speedy, spasmodic journey through the evolutionary rollercoaster, with few moments to sit back and reflect. Images pass by you in light-speed, leaving you as a passive involuntary witness, stressed out and powerless. Perhaps that's it. This album feels very compulsory.

Discerning keys, no matter how they're applied (atmospherically or melodically) play a very big role, and so does dark sound effects, sometimes shrill, sometimes distorted guitars and throbbing and nervous bass guitar (most enjoyable bass guitar on the Banco records I've heard so far). The beauty and easily detected classical parts (mostly piano) of the debut is left behind for sheer aggression and drive. For those who consider RPI as nothing but mellow, traditional Italian arrangements with a rock touch, Darwin! should be a great way of discovering the other side of the genre. La Danza Dei Grandi Rettili with its leaned-back, slow tempo jazz tendencies and the long-named Le Orme-like Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde ... Non Ne Ho! almost feels like abominations when looking at the album as a whole. Especially the latter have more of what you'd expect from an Italian album, but both stick to the album's concept with a touch of darkness and distress. Francesco DiGiacomo is slightly overshadowed by the music here, and isn't allowed to reach such artistic heights as on the marvellous Io Sons Nato Libero. Still shining at times.

Cento Mani Cento Occhi is very representative of this album, and surprisingly, it has become sort of a favourite even due to that fact. Unstoppable as a freight train, this is a true face melter. Heavy, pounding keys and bass turning into a slightly more polished song, but still a very compulsive one with the entire band contributing with vocals. It then mellows out for some spacey passages and comes back with full power in an organ-laid finale. Rough, primitive and very, very enjoyable.

Still, the material here really can't reach for the higher ratings. I wish it did, and honestly, they sometimes do, but as those moments are sparse and far between this album is way too dependant on mood for them to be solidified. Can't complain on anything on the instrumental or compositional side of the album, as it's all pretty flawless. As such it deserves its place as a top RPI album, but it can't change the fact that Darwin! and I just don't match in the end.

Three solid stars.

//LinusW

LinusW | 3/5 |

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