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Giardino delle Delizie - Ritratto di Ballerina CD (album) cover

RITRATTO DI BALLERINA

Giardino delle Delizie

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.31 | 7 ratings

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Todd
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars Excellent new keyboard-driven RPI!

"Ritratto Di Ballerina" is the new album by GAN EDEN/IL GIARDINO DELLE DELIZIE, which is basically the artist Angelo Santo Lombardi. On this, the third release from the artist but officially second from the band, the sound continues in a similar vein as his previous work, "Lavori in Corso." The formula is lots of keyboards, very enthusiastic drums, strong melodies, and great arrangements and instrumentation, mixed with some very occasional Italian vocals.

This album was initially based on the concept of the emerging artist struggling for recognition, but in the end not getting much reward for all the effort. In Angelo's words, "the affliction an artist proves in his fight to emerge." But during the work on the album, his father passed away, which lends the work a special kind of gravity.

In terms of points of reference for the work, if you're familiar with the last album, this one is the logical extension of that, showing more mature composition and musicianship but keeping with the same style. If you're not familiar with it, then think of keyboard-driven progressive with strong melodies--I'd say a modern METAMORFOSI but without the operatic vocals, or perhaps a more melodic, less riff-oriented ELP. Angelo is an amazing keyboard player! There are many passages that would fit well in 1970s RPI, although with better production. Occasionally the music reminds me of THE TANGENT (although more personal), and even Angelo's vocal quality is similar to that of Andy Tillison. The influences though are far-flung--the introduction of the title track even sounds like ANGLAGARD! The album contains a heavy emphasis on church organs, supplemented by thick mellotron choirs, Moog runs, and synth solos. My favorite track is "Reazioni a Catena," which is an 18 minute tour-de-force of progressive composition, stretching from solo piano to full-throated ensemble, choirs, and sudden shifts in mood and intensity. I particularly love the powerful organs accompanied by bombastic drums and keyboard ensemble.

Overall, this is a solid modern RPI album, more developed than Angelo's prior work. If you like passionate, engaging, keyboard-driven prog, especially with the kind of twist that comes with RPI, this is for you! Four enthusiastic stars.

Todd | 4/5 |

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