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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Darwin! CD (album) cover

DARWIN!

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.37 | 738 ratings

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UndercoverBoy
5 stars Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso is one of the most popular bands of Italian Progressive Rock, and listening to their masterpiece, DARWIN!, it's easy to see why. There has been much praise for this album, and I am happy to say it reaches, or even exceeds, these expectations. DARWIN! is Banco's second album, and describes the theories and voyages of the British naturalist Charles Darwin. Let me say that if he could hear this album, he would be very proud. Read on to see why.

The album opens with "L'Evoluzione." This is an epic 14-minute track, and is the perfect example of what a well-constructed Progressive Rock song should be. The first sounds you hear are eerie chords played on a Mellotron. It really reflects the idea of the origin of life, and how it becomes something more and more wondrous and complex. The lyrics are about Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution, and how will eventually replace the old religious views of the beginnings of life and time. As a Christian, I disagreed in some ways with the lyrics ("Try, try to think a little different/ Nothing was made by the great Gods/ But creation was created by itself") but it in no way hindered my experience of listening to this magnificent song. My favorite part comes in at about 4 minutes, where things start to get wilder, with some ferocious piano, guitar and vocals. This track is essential Prog listening.

"La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta" is the second track. Most of it is instrumental, and what wonderful instrumental music it is! It's full of confronational electric guitar chords and ethereal textures, and is simply some of the best Progressive music one can find. After about six minutes, the excitement begins to die down, and in come vocals. This time, the lyrics seem to describe a creature going through the process of adapting to it's environment, but I can't be sure. Still, this is another great track from this superb album.

"Danza Dei Grandi Rettili" is the third track. This is a 3-minute instrumental, but it's still no throwaway track. It's a very charming song with some great instrumentation from all- guitar, bass, piano, and organ. While it is short, it isn't lacking in quality.

"Cento Mani E Cento Occhi" is the fourth track. It has a very mechanical and fierce sound at the start, but like all great Progressive Rock songs, it goes through many different phases, while working off of one main theme. The lyrics are about the first primitive men, and their lifestyles. I think their barbaric ways are perfectly captured by the rough vocals (did I mention that this band has a passionate singer?) Some of the vocals are a bit lighter than others, but it's all around wonderful. Yet another great track.

"750,000 Anni Fa... L'amore?" is the fifth track. Piano lovers will dig this track, as it is full of it. About half-way through, the piano goes on it's own instrumental excursion. Once again, we here the eerie mellotron, filling in mystifyingly mysterious textures. The lyrics are about love, and how there was even romance 750,000 years ago. This makes a lot of sense, for this is a beautiful song, and I'm sure it would be great at night-time walks. Once again, a fantastic track.

"Miserere Alla Storia" is the sixth track. It has a running start, with a manic keyboard solo, but then transitions to a more low-key tempo. This is beautifully illustrated with woodwind and mellotrons, giving it a grand atmosphere. The vocals are a little strange, and are more like talking, and man, are they creepy! The lyrics describe when Man starts to become more complicated, and starts forming civilizations. The song then segues into the manic keyboard solo, with some guest "keys" from the piano, only to die back down to a slower pace. As you would expect, this is yet another essential track.

The album closes with "Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde ... Non Ne Ho!" This track starts off a little strangely, full of odd sound effects to give it a spooky mood. Then comes in the vocals, which I assume is describing a modern carnival. The track starts to become more lively and happy. The song then ends with an amusing trumpet (?) solo, concluding this magnificent album.

If you haven't got the hint yet, this album is fantastic, and is a must-buy. Not only is it one of the greatest Rocko Progressivo Italiano albums, it's one of the best Progressive Rock albums period. I love, love, love DARWIN!

Five Stars- Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

UndercoverBoy | 5/5 |

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