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Divae - Determinazione CD (album) cover

DETERMINAZIONE

Divae

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.73 | 34 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Look out everyone in PA-land = BIG ONE!

If there ever was an RPI album that truly deserved some "amore", then this singular solo outing from the depths of early prog Renaissance circa 1995 is a prime candidate. I for one have been holding on to this gem for a longtime, as it doesn't come across immediately as a must-have. But it is, oh yes very much so! Even my respected colleague sinkadotentree has anointed only a paltry 3 stars (truth be said, it was one of his very early review contributions!) and nary a word has been expressed by our glorious RPI crew. Well, I officially challenge finnforest, jimmyrow, LinusW , Mandrakeroot and the Mickster to revisit this underrated wonder and concur with my glowing comments as well as those from Enrico Olivieri of Metamorfosi and the legendary Gary Green of Gentle Giant, both effusive in their praise as it was printed in the booklet. The latter was even invited to Italy to play on stage with Divae in September 1995 and it was an memorable experience, to say the least. With respected featured guests as Gianni Leone of Il Balletto di Bronzo and Lino Vairetti of Osanna , one wonders why "Determinazione" is not swimming in praise and deeply revered! From the opening instrumental entrance, the sheer quality surfaces to the fore, simply splendid musicians setting down their credentials , a dual keyboard line-up made famous by Banco, Il Volo and UK band Greenslade , ably assisted by a superb fretman Luis Dragotto Morelada, a simmering rhythm section composed of robust bassman Romolo Amici and drum meister Ugo Vantini (both truly exceptional) and an occasional talented vocalist steeped in the RPI tradition of powerful and emotional delivery. The playing is rooted in a more complex form of symphonic prog than usual, perhaps even more orchestral with a slightly harder edge, where tubular bells coalesce nicely with cymbal flourishes, whooping romantic synth bellows embellishing colossal themes (a little classical music air is lifted unashamedly), oozing guitar bursts that illuminate and emblazon the arrangement, inspiring future Dark Matter-era IQ but with more symphonics expansion. The comparisons to CAP are inherently correct and that's a good thing! "Libero" is where these boys start espousing their Giant chops (they were a GG cover band initially, wow! ), with assorted death defying twists and turns, jumbled piano fighting off scorching synth assaults while the bass burps frenetically, the drums pounding in support. Manic and exalted yet suddenly a highly quixotic piano waltzes in, encouraged by a fabulous vocal aria full of Úlan and passion. "Robin Hood" has a harpsichord intro (a sadly underused instrument in prog) bleeding into a mighty church organ blast, as the powerful vocal storyline enters the fray, loaded with vibrato-laden lungs and zealous release. A grandiose mellotron torrent is fusioned with a synth soar that winks mightily at Emerson's "Lucky .Man". The next track's title is 3 lines long so let's just call it "Gargantua." and it features Gianni Leone on synthesizer and Hammond , digitally upgrading an inspiring and majestic theme , full of bravura and dizzying inspiration , a gentle 'tron section that evokes dreaminess and vaporous expanse before reverting to the slalom-like main refrain. A definite highlight of this splendid disc, an 8 minute travelogue of pleasure prog, where Leone showcases his improvising skill on flirting with that magnificent theme, as a soaring two-tired guitar flight that bumps the goose big time is tossed in, just in case! The soloing is like ripping his synths to shreds. "Regina delle Fate" has some outright ELP intonations, loaded with blistering keyboard interplay, rivet-popping bass and propulsion drums leading the way, as the guitar slashes like a harvester's scythe. But contrary to the famed trio, Divae keep endlessly exploring new horizons as an incredible vocal aria increases the splendor and the symphonic orgasm heightens ever so powerfully. Unbelievably brilliant stuff! "Frammenti" , as the title implies, searches out more complex polyrhythmic expanses, with some precise instrumental gymnastics that lean heavily on the GG/jazz-rock time tortures but adding exalted male lead vocals that reaches for the skies, female backing voices celestially imploring the heavens, vortexian surges and sonic tornadoes bathing in orchestral magnificence with brash Moog punctuations. Incredible and diverse, Divae take no time to take a nap, persistently weaving into new realms. The follow up title track is another scorching exercise in mind-numbing proficiency and inspiration, a typical RPI master stroke replete with lyrical dramatics, brief dreamy respites and powerful explosions (the vocalist really does an accomplished Ian Gillan imitation as he howls convincingly), where undulating synth waves meet phosphorescent axe adventures. The brief drum/bass/Moog interplay midway through is simply spellbinding and we haven't even hit a bum note yet! A scarily good guitar swirl adds to the pleasure. "Vento Che Va" is the album's serene episode where guest Lino Vairetti 's sultry voice enters the limelight, with divine flute and acoustic guitar chaperones, a windy little enchantment that can only heighten the gratification. The disc closes with the superlative wordless tribute to their main influence, "Il Ritorno del Gigante Gentile" (Return of the Gentle Giant), a dozen minutes of glorious frenzy that brightly encapsulates all the mercurial qualities of Power and Glory of the musical Octopus that idealized the Glass House. There is little to say other than it is a magical journey into creative prog exploration, unrestrained in diversity as illustrated by the ostentatious fanfare of the second section (Principessa Narda), nestled between 2 avalanches of sound and fury. The third section (il Tiempo) cockily wields musical unpredictability and fate, boldly enforcing the placid tempo before the raging storm of the last battle ("L'Ultima Battaglia"). The respectful homage ends with "One Day, One Friend " and "Goodbye Giant". So, in essence, I can now boldly state that this one shot-wonder of an album is a precious addition and therefore a necessary one to add even into the beginner RPI collection. It is as vital as resonant as all the other famous and luminary titles that make the genre famous. Divae's drawback is that it didn't get enough love and respect. Kind of strange from the land of love and passion. So I wish ardently to redress this inglorious affront by adoringly rating it with five determined stars. Gentlemen, start your reviews! Let's give this masterpiece some AMORE!

tszirmay | 5/5 |

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