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Le Orme - VeritÓ Nascoste CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.55 | 118 ratings

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4 stars After the commercial departure of "Smogmagica", one might have expected LE ORME to poppify itself even more as the middle of the decade past. Instead what they produced with the help of new guitarist Germano Serafin is a superb rock album informed by 1960s enthusiasm and 1970s sophistication, with progressive overtones. The rhythm section and Serafin are so formidable that "Verita Nascoste" should have been required listening for the "masters" of prog in 1976, most of whom had long since abandoned any pretense of caring for their rock roots.

For those who felt betrayed by "Toni Pagliuca" on "Smogmagica", rest assured he is back and an equal partner. In particular his synthesizer work sizzles on vibrant cuts like Regina al Troubadour", and the closer "Il gradino pi¨ stretto del cielo" before the equally exultant guitars lead the way out. The organ is more ubiquitous but employed chiefly for colour. Among the more commercial cuts that shine, "Radiofelicita" is as good as it gets, which is to say excellent, particularly in the vocal department, and the tubular bells of Michi Dei Rossi tap out a deceptively simple tune. Again the synth passages are wonderful. Some dissonance in the form of other voices and an oddly sped up ending demonstrate the group's continued wish to experiment even in a more conventional setting.

The title cut is the most mellow, and tugs at the strings be they orchestral or cardiac. Again Tagliapietra is at his best, and this might be the album that showcases his strengths better than any, but that is generally true for the whole group on "Verita Nascoste". The two opening tracks are also strong, with plenty of imaginative shifts in service of a loosely unified whole, and rich acoustic dimensions. Only "Vedi Amsterdam..." and "I Salmoni" lack originality and verve, sounding somewhat strident and more like a group following a trend than setting one.

I have made few comparisons to anyone in this review, because the energy level on "Verita Nascoste" is beyond what one might expect from a pre-punk mid 1970s product, but also far superior to what followed in the punk and new wave genres. Still, I hear in the more aggressive passages some of the angst of the best rock groups from the late 1970s, such as THE CLASH. I shudder to place too much emphasis on this, because those groups were shackled by the 3 minute tune and plowed a singular furrow, albeit well. LE ORME set the pace using a multidimensional strategy, and that's the hidden truth as I see it.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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