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Biglietto Per L'Inferno - Biglietto Per L'Inferno CD (album) cover


Biglietto Per L'Inferno


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.10 | 257 ratings

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5 stars Seemingly typical of a number great bands in the Italian prog scene Biglietto Per L'inferno released just one studio album in their existence; a second was recorded but not released until many years later. That's a real shame because their eponymous debut is one of my favourite albums in the RPI genre.

Biglietto Per L'inferno are at the heavier end of the RPI spectrum with plenty of powerful guitar riffs well to the fore. Their vocalist, Claudio Canali is well suited to the powerful style, coming across like an Italian version of Uriah Heeps David Byron in his more histrionic moments. In fact the parallels don't stop there as Biglietto Per L'inferno occupy a similar place in that heavy prog area even though they don't particularly sound like them. It has to be said though that Biglietto Per L'inferno are a band with a more complex style and greater dynamics than Uriah Heep, even though of course Heep weren't averse to moments of subtlety. Between the riffy guitars are plenty of sections of subtle restraint and beauty. In fact it's these moments that much of their strength lies where a haunting keyboard part contrasts so well against the raw guitar sound of the heavier moments.

It's an album with no weak tracks getting off to a great start as the Hammond organ and guitar arpeggios introduce Ansia until things take off on this excellent piece. It's not far off being an instrumental as the vocals don't come in until the 3 minute mark and it's only just over 4 minutes in total.

Confessione is the band at their most explosive with a strong vocal performance from Canali but it's the exciting closing instrumental part that is its greatest strength. Excellent dual keyboard work from Giuseppe Cossa and Giuseppe Banfi, with the heavy guitar work of Marco Mainetti riffing over the top of this constantly shifting passage. Incidentally the instrumental section of this track is used again to close the album so it's just as well it's so good! Still I can't help feeling a little cheated that it's used in such an identical way.

The rhythm section of Mauro Gnecchi (drums) and Fausto Branchini (bass) have the necessary skills and power to deal with the musics dynamics perfectly illustrated on the diverse Una Strana Regina. They're equally at home where delicate understatement is required.

Likely to attract the most interest is the albums epic track L'Amico Suicida. The melancholy start is particularly beautiful where eerie keyboard textures, dark swirling Hammond and guitar arpeggios lay the foundations for a full frontal distorted musical assault; the dirtiest flute sound I've ever heard. Even not knowing any Italian the song title clearly has references to suicide and the forlorn vocal tone clearly indicates a person in despair. It's a wonderfully dramatic song, again the music constantly shifting through many sections. Not necessarily the best track but at least the equal of anything here.

For anyone finding some of the more challenging RPI bands a little difficult to get into could do no better than to give this brilliant album a listen. It's very accessible by prog standards and one of the very best in the Italian genre, in fact any genre. An incredible album well worthy of 5 stars.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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