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Reale Accademia Di Musica - Angeli Mutanti CD (album) cover


Reale Accademia Di Musica


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.66 | 13 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars What a confusing new work from Reale Accademia di Musica, a vintage Italian group that released a self-titled work back in 1972 that many RPI fans now rate as something of a minor classic. However, a soap opera drama revolves around two groups currently utilising the band name (the `other guys' as R.A.M releasing two albums a decade ago), but this one is considered the `official' version, even if it boasts even fewer original members, guitarist Pericle Sponzilli being the sole returnee here. But while it doesn't resemble the Seventies album at all, he and his assembled performers have delivered a highly respectable `comeback' in 2018's `Angeli Mutanti', one that can be considered a decent continuation or perhaps a very fine first effort from a `new' group!

On the surface, `Angeli Mutanti' seems like just a fairly safe and melodic collection of soft rock tunes and warm ballads sung in Italian, with Pericle taking up the lead vocals and constantly sharing the songs with stunning female singer Erika Savastani, and their voices blend together and compliment each-other beautifully. But if you're going to pass judgement on the disc and dismiss it after only listening to the first couple of tracks, you're going to miss out on several more adventurous and bigger proggier treats that are buried further into the disc that lift the album to greater heights. It even boasts guitar contributions from Gianfranco Coletta of an early incarnation of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Fernando Fera of Albero Motore and Nicola Di Staso of Libra.

The opening title track may be an undemanding pop/rock tune, but it's carried by Pericle's charismatic raspy croon and Erika's sweet soulful purr and taken higher with the lightest of Hammond organ touches and some tasty slow-burn guitar soloing to keep things interesting. `Alba' reminds of the male/female dynamic of fellow RPI comebackers Murple on their 2014 `Il Viaggio' album and fuses a bluesy danger to some icy Neo-Prog sounding synths, and ballad `Johnny e Adele' is a classy and embracing romantic duet. `Cosa Nascondono le Nuvole' is an sleek indie pop/rocker (and listen to that teasing P.F.M-sounding Mellotron-laced outro!) , and `The Beat Goes On (Come la Canzone)' is an elegant ballad with soft chiming guitars.

However, `Tempo' brings one of the more instantly exciting moments for prog fans, delivering classical piano races and dizzying synth spirals (a real showcase for keyboardist Fabio Liberatori here), Andy Bartolucci's snappy drumming, Fabio Fraschini's murmuring bass, twisting electric guitar reaches and soft reflective acoustic touches, and a doomed vocal from Erika laced with a gothic longing. There's a touch of Pink Floyd dramatic heaviness overall to this compact epic as well, and it might be one of the standout moments of Italian prog in 2018!

`A Dritta San Salvador' is a lightly melancholic comedown with plenty of trilling synths, `Una Sola Immagine' has a sprightly playfulness but the highlight is a gorgeously dreamy and unhurried electronic drift in the middle with hints of unease. `Io Sono Qui's contrasting acoustic verses with electric guitar drama reminds of British folk-proggers Mostly Autumn, and the group wisely close on eclectic instrumental `La Pista e il Miraggio', all shimmering guitars and swirling electronic washes full of mystery and ultimately bringing defiant hope and uplifting warmth.

Make sure to dig deeper into `Angeli Mutanti', as closer inspection reveals that even the more seemingly straight-forward tracks all feature colourful `proggy' touches and exquisite little details, even if it's just short but tasty keyboard and guitar solos. Fortunately this means that at just the right times the disc proves more surprising than it first appears, and there is no shortage of sophisticated tunes, tasteful playing, and superb singing throughout the entire set. It's a `quiet achiever' of an album deserving of more attention, and it's more than a worthy addition to any Italian prog fans collection.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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