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Panna Fredda - Uno CD (album) cover


Panna Fredda


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.62 | 93 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Panna Fredda was an Italian prog band from Rome, one of the many one-shot bands of the early seventies Italian prog scene. The line up on their first (and last) album featured Carlo Bruno (bass), Giorgio Brandi (keyboards, guitars), Filippo Carnevale (drums, guitar) and Angelo Giardinelli (vocals, guitar, drums - composer and lyricist). They started playing melodic "beat songs", but after the release of some singles they changed musical direction and managed to shape a very interesting mix of Italian melody, prog rock and classical influences. Despite the good quality of this work, their label, Vedette, didn't give them credit, so Panna Fredda disbanded even before the release of the album... After the experience with Panna Fredda keyboardist Giorgio Brandi turned back to a more commercial style and joined a successful melodic pop band called I Cugini di Campagna (the antithesis of prog indeed!) while the other members were not so lucky and gave up. What a pity!

The dark opener "La paura" (Fear) could slightly recall of Uriah Heep. It develops from a haunting marching beat and features a good organ solo. Lyrics describe the fear provoked by the cold shadows of the dead gathering around you and give you a warning: when you'll understand that fear, death will be inside you. Almost an omen...

The second track "Un re senza reame" (A King Without A Throne) is about the absurdity of power and war... "Soundless bells asking for mercy / Smell of candles and dead flowers by now / The night will bring visions of terror / To a king without a kingdom / To a king who will cry". The music features an acoustic interlude and more frenzy parts. It could remind of some works of Le Orme...

Next comes "Un uomo" (A Man) that starts like the soundtrack of a "Spaghetti western" and sounds like a kind of "Ennio Morricone meets Le Orme and PFM". It's about a duel between love and hate and lyrics tell the story of a man who killed for love but was condemned by the people who didn't understand him.

"Scacco al re Lot" (Checkmate For King Lot) is my favourite track on the album. It's a kind of mini suite featuring a dark first part where lyrics describe the Death never tired of hunting new preys riding a black stallion, the Grim Reaper playing checks with his enemy Life... More melodic and acoustic passages follow, where people cry for the death of their good king Lot and hope for another good king like Lot (you can recognize here even a short hint of the Italian national anthem)... Hope leads to a solemn finale: "The great wizard is hidden / Beyond the world, above time".

The long and complex "Il vento, la luna e pulcini blu (sole rosso)" features an interesting harpsichord work and baroque passages that alternates with psychedelic atmospheres but in my opinion is not at the same level of the previous track. Lyrics describe a wonderful wood, children playing with the wind, the moon and little blue chicks, a white church, a red sun upon the altar... Unreal visions that seem to melt against reality: "Now I'm listening to the sounds that my mind refuses / My blood will burn what is left of me"...

The last track "Waiting" is a good short instrumental with guitar and keyboards in the forefront. On the Vinyl Magic CD re-release you can find as bonus tracks two early songs of the band, "Delirio" (Frenzy) and "Strisce rosse" (Red Stripes). Although they're quite weak, comparing them with the other tracks you can see the evolution of Panna Fredda's style...

On the whole, I think that this album is an excellent addition to every Italian prog collection!

andrea | 4/5 |


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