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Il Giro Strano - La Divina Commedia  CD (album) cover

LA DIVINA COMMEDIA

Il Giro Strano

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.40 | 19 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This only effort by Il Giro Strano was never actually released in vinyl format, so the CD 'La Divina Commedia' may be as well considered as a work of archaeological research. And thank God it happened, since the material compiled here is some of the most stunning and energetic hard prog to come out of Italy. The sound quality is undisputedly sub-par (except for some decent remix in the first two tracks), since the recorded tracks are demos that were harshly completed right before an official recording schedule, . a situation that eventually was never to be. This six-piece combo sounds really loud (no matter how unclear he sound quality is), with the featured presence of: keyboardist Feltri who's completely absorbed by the influence of Emerson, Lord and some Wright-esque psychedelic layers; and saxophonist/flautist Maio, who incarnates the Italian answer to VdGG's David Jackson. It is no surprise that the rhythm section has to lay an extremely tight foundation to sustain such heavy sounding display. On the other had it's a pity that the lead guitarist isn't given more space to come to the fore (I wonder what would have happened, otherwise); but then again, Mirko Ostinet's powerful tenor range - very similar to that of Biglietto's lead vocalist - allows him to perform his sung parts in order to convey an effective complementation with his fellows in charge of keyboards and wind instruments. 'Il 13 Transistor' and 'Il Corridoio Nero' are my favourite numbers, the latter including an amazing drum solo right in the middle of the final rondo-like section. I find tracks 3 and 5 less impressive in comparison, but nevertheless they are still quite enjoyable: 'Il Vecchio Old Sea' tries some melancholy trends, while the closing number takes back some of the peculiar energy of the first two tracks. The title track is in fact an ambitious suite (an older demo from 1972, the poorest sounding one of the repertoire may I add). It doesn't really work as a compositional cohesive whole, but it could have been a classic of Continental prog under more favourable conditions; way back then, the 1973 bassist Mario Pignata filled the role of lead guitarist while someone else played the bass. My overall rating is based upon my positive reaction to the attractive compositions, the proficient performances, and intensive jamming: my rating for sound quality would be 1 star (or 2, maybe), but in my case, I never let this kind of factors distract me from the most important matter, the artistic quality.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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