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Il Paese dei Balocchi - Il Paese dei Balocchi CD (album) cover


Il Paese dei Balocchi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.59 | 98 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here is another lost gem from the glory days of early Italian symphonic progressive rock - the eponymous album by the quartet Il Paese dei Balocchi bears a peculiar magic that makes it one of a kind through its obvious typical signals. The album kicks off with flashy splendor: 'Il Trionfo dell'Egoismo, della Violenza, della Presunzione e dell'Indifferenza' states a powerful Manierist dynamics by the full band before the string ensemble takes over and fulfills the last passages in order to slow down the intensity level a bit. At this point, the terrain is set for the next section 'Impotenza della Umiltį e della Rassegnazione', a slow rocker very much in the vein of bluesy psychedelic rock (airs of "Meddle"-era Pink Floyd and Nektar are easy to notice). The chorale keeps things quite ceremonious until things spice up in a pompous manner, very bombastic, similarly to Il Rovescio della Medaglia or Buon Vecchio Charlie. The third section 'Canzone della Speranza' is a symphonic ballad, featuring a majestic string arrangement. 'Evasione' is an eerie rocker, slow and melancholic, properly supported by calculated organ layers and developed through the tasteful, not too complicated guitar's lead phrases. The album's second half starts with a very dreamy 'Risveglio e Visione del Paese dei Balocchi', whose structural sound is quite surreal; 'Ingresso e Incontro con I Balcchanti' brings a stylish approach to a mixture of Baroque nuances and horror movie moods. 'Canzone della veritą' and 'Narcisismo della Perfezione' bring a dose of serenity with its intimate ambiences. 'Veritą dell'Intuizione Fantastica' states an effective combination of Gothic moods that stay between the calm and the creepy, and typical symphonic bombast. Actually, this track doesn't leave the aura of intimacy that had been explored in the previous track, but it takes it to a more colorful dimension. The closer 'Ritorno alla Condizione Umana' is a solo organ piece that installs, once again, the sort of dynamics mixing Baroque and Gothic that the band had been developing throughout the album. Now, this is the creepiest track, even though it is not horrific in a Devil Doll sort of way, but still, creepy in its grayish atmospheres. "Il Paese dei Balocchi' is, ultimately, a weird album: it is a creature of its time, a symphonic opus with lots of borrowed tricks from the world of academic music, but it also has a mysterious quality to it that keeps it on a different ground to those of New Trolls' "Concerto Grosso" or Il Rovescio della Medaglia's "Contaminazione". A very goo item in any good prog collection.

Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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