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Officina Meccanica - La Follia Del Mimo Di Fuoco CD (album) cover


Officina Meccanica


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.73 | 30 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars A fabulous adventure! This album definitely falls in the category of adventurous RPI -- Semiramis, Balletto di Bronzo, Osanna, Cervello, and most particularly for OM Rocky's Filj. Officina Mecchanica is a varied, wild experience, one that takes you from pastoral scenes to the harder edge of RPI, often in a very short time and within the same song. There is a definite theatric emphasis, particulary in the vocals, as discussed in the wonderful bio written by Jim Russell. The music relies on a very tight, excellent rhythm section to propel the pieces along, particular during the standard mid section which picks up the tempo, often introducing a memorable hook carried and repeated by the bass or often guitar. The musical atmosphere is rounded out by brass, with a variety of saxophones and trumpets, and sometimes a flute--also very tight! The guitar shifts from rhythm to solo, sometimes helping to create a mood with wonderful, somewhat jazzy chords, other times leading out with excellent solos. Like Rocky's Filj, keyboards don't really play a role in OM. (Yes, there are some, but when they appear they are brief and only serve to play a short melody, one that could easily have been covered by brass or guitar--this is definitely not keyboard-driven rock!)

The overall tone of the album shifts from the more mellow studio pieces to the wilder, less restrained live numbers. There are three studio and five songs. The live numbers serve to demonstrate their excellent musicianship--it's clear that this was a very talented band. The more adventurous vocals are also reserved for the live pieces. The one live song that falls in the mellow camp is the bonus track, a beautiful ballad entitled Angelo. All of the songs feature memorable melodies (archetypical RPI), but the studio pieces really emphasize this aspect of their music. The songs tend to be fairly schizophrenic, alternating between more subdued passages and wild, often catchy sections.

Overall, as stated elsewhere by Jim Russell, this band is every bit as important as some of those mentioned above. I can only imagine what they could have become with a studio album or two under their belt--or especially with a whole live album! This overdue, posthumous compilation is not to be missed. Definitely not for the faint of heart or those who fatigue with repeated listening, for that's what it takes to uncover all the facets of this wonderful RPI gem. Bravo!

Todd | 4/5 |


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