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Osanna - Palepoli  CD (album) cover

PALEPOLI

Osanna

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.23 | 240 ratings

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LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
5 stars Bringing chaos and mystery along the way, Palepoli is one of the most unstoppable records I've encountered in all genres I've dabbled in. It's an excessive display of energy, skill and bold ideas and as such it has quickly established itself as one of my favourite albums.

Generally considered Osanna's crowning achievement, it's an album that will rock many boats filled with preconceived opinions about prog rock from Italy. With dramatic switches in tempo and style, a love for heavy guitars (even dissonant at times) and a gritty, raw quality that makes the music feel honest and alive, the pastoral and delicate landscapes often visited by other RPI bands is replaced with a more urban sound. Those might be the characteristics that strike you the most, but the music often reveals the more traditional sounds many have come to love as well. Mellow symphonic arrangements with exquisite flute and guitar parts, flowing Mellotron and emotional crescendos are done just as good on Palepoli as on most readily accepted symphonic masterpieces, but it is the excellent Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra that comes to mind when describing Palepoli's mellower parts.

Having a fair amount of structure and sound experimentalism, a word of warning should be sent out to all of you who find this scary, pointless or just plain stupid. This is confronting music, both as perceived by the listener, but also much of the point behind Palepoli. Hugely different parts crash into each other without fear, build-ups result in nothing, or nothing results in everything; noisy, aggressive distorted guitar and frantic drumming, wild saxophone! All expanding the sonic possibilities of RPI a hundredfold. Different influences fight for a place in the spotlight, and when only hearing Palepoli in the background, it may appear as chaotic as a barbaric battlefield, and only glimpses of any sort of "proper" structure can be found in the thick fog of war.

Having only two long songs with a short instrumental break separating the two, much can be said and done throughout the about forty minutes the songs have to their disposal.

Oro Caldo begins with the sounds of a city, with an ethnic melody and subdued drums taking the lead. A triumphant, fast-paced part launches this track properly with a hard-rocking edge worthy of many outspokenly heavier bands. Moving on to deceptively safer symphonic territory for a couple of minutes, one of those chaotically powerful guitar-driven parts wait around the corner. Stunning and fast flute performance here.and yet the whole thing resolves with an alien yet tasteful bluesy guitar solo, only to be kicked back to frenzy again. Right when the song reaches a natural ending point, it's time to get the thing rolling again with what is probably my favourite part of Oro Caldo. A foreboding, swirling and dark theme (again fronted by guitar) and one of those inspirational, raised-fist vocal parts the Italians do so well. Chaos back, chaos gone, mellow, delicate and reflective acoustic part and finally this tour-de-force ends on a dissonant note.

Animale Senza Respiro is much in the same vein, but perhaps even more chaotic and experimental. Lots of Area vibes coming out of this one, with stripped and noodling parts and a bigger jazz influence. Breaks with a rumbling saxophone and a lot of punch.

Awe-inspiring, commanding and altogether excellent.

This is such an exciting album, such a godly blend of styles and moods, and above all; very unique in all of what we call prog rock. Some call it bizarre madness. Fortunately, madness and geniality often go hand in hand, and this is certainly the case with Palepoli.

One of the masterpieces of masterpieces. 5 stars.

//LinusW

LinusW | 5/5 |

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