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Il Balletto di Bronzo - Ys CD (album) cover

YS

Il Balletto di Bronzo

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.21 | 395 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A trailblazing piece of work, Ys must have been one of the heaviest and noises prog albums ever at the time of its release; there's simply very little that can possibly compare to it. Maybe if Jimi Hendrix had survived to become a founder member of ELP (as, rumour has it, the plans went) the results would be comparable; as it is, while I'm occasionally reminded of some of the more frenetic parts of the Tarkus suite while listening to this album, I don't think ELP managed to pull off the sort of sustained - but never monotonous - sonic attack that this album presents.

Opening and closing with soothing, angelic voices, Ys plunges us into the sort of chaos that King Crimson would eventually explore in its Red period - two years later. Completely unhinged keyboard work and rabid, raving lead guitar, coupled with a tight rhythm section and foreboding vocals, combine to make Ys a vital foundational album for the Heavy Prog subgenre. It's certainly not a relaxing listen, but if you're not allergic to raw power, aggression, and heavy, thumping organ and electric guitar, Ys is an excellent listen. An album that combines great quality with such incredible originality, taking prog rock further than (at that point in time) it had ever previously been taken, can only be awarded five stars. Bottom line: if you dig heavy prog, you *need* Ys!

EDIT: Having come back and given another careful listen to this album, I feel I have to downgrade the rating by a star. It's still exceptionally good, but some of the compositions are dragged out a little too long - in particular, the midsection of Epilogo spools out the same repetitive motif for about four minutes longer than it really needs to, and whilst it does pull itself together for the conclusion it's still tiresome.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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