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Il Bacio Della Medusa - Discesa Agl'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante CD (album) cover


Il Bacio Della Medusa


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.23 | 313 ratings

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4 stars Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante is the title of the second album by Italian band Il Bacio Della Medusa. Although it was released as recently as 2008 it is highly typical of the classic RPI of the 1970s. It has been described as a concept album, the subject of which is the descent into Hell of a young lover. However it might also be appropriate to think of it as a rock opera, and one of the tracks is even titled Recitativo. For those of you who may not know, recitative in opera is sung narration. On this occasion more than any other I wish I understood the Italian lyrics, as the highly dramatic nature of this music has severely piqued my interest. Fortunately, PA Reviewer Andrea's review of the album incorporates a detailed synopsis of the plot.

The album opens and closes with some acoustic pieces that have a quasi-chamber music quality. Sandwiched between these is the meat of the album, a mixture of mostly heavy songs and instrumentals. In addition to the classical influence alluded to above, there are also elements of jazz and folk music on Discesa. All the tracks flow into one another, which enhances the feeling of grand scale on the album.

An approaching wind effect heralds Preludio: Il Trapasso, which features a beautiful yet doleful melody. Piano, flute and violin are joined by Simone Cecchini's grieving vocals. Confessione D'un Amante continues in a similar vein and employs the same texture as the opener. Piano arpeggios support the bittersweet violin melody, and on this song Cecchini's voice has a slightly harsher quality as he sings those gorgeous sounding words. Divine.

La Bestia E Il Delirio is the first instrumental track and features two main musical ideas. The first is a heavy, jazz-inflected theme with swirling organ, raucous electric guitar and staccato flute-play. The second theme is a sprightly bucolic dance featuring flute, pizzicato and bowed violin, and handclaps. It includes an accelerando that really gets the foot tapping, followed by some stops and starts before the first theme is reprised. The manic closing section features an organ and Moog joust that is only interrupted by a psychotic laugh. Thunder claps and a peeling bell introduce the ominous Recitativo: E Nel Buio Che Risplendono Le Stelle. A marching drumbeat accompanies the malevolent spoken word vocal, with evil laughs, whispers and gasps in the background. Creepy stuff. Some tormented screams introduce a heavy guitar and sax riff, with flute joining in toward the end.

Ricordi Del Supplizio continues in heavy mode with fuzzed organ and Eva Morelli's superb flute-play. Cecchini's singing is gruffer here and the torrid guitar and drums make this one heck of a rocker. There are a few moments of respite with the medieval-sounding intro of Nostalgia, Pentimento E Rabbia, featuring flute, acoustic guitar, vibes and sonorous drum rolls. The mood changes with a loose, swing-time rhythm and Simone Brozzetti's wah wah guitar. Cecchini's venomous vocals alternate with Morelli's flute in an anguished antiphon. A blistering guitar solo and a galloping rhythm on the bass and drums lead to a brief recapitulation of the swing riff.

Sudorazione A Freddo Sotto Il Chiaro Di Luna is the second instrumental track on the album. It also has a swing feel at its start with sax and organ to the fore. A heavy guitar and organ riff follows, before the track settles down with acoustic guitar, vibes and misty flute. Electric piano and jazzy guitar join in along with the rhythm section, producing a pleasantly laid-back groove. Some weird sounds lead to another heavy section where the organ mimics a storm, and the entire track is rounded off with a beautiful organ melody. The acoustic guitars and legato flute of Melencolia give it something of a Genesis air, although with distinct Italian vocals of course. Electric piano and whispered backing vocals further enhance the downcast mood of the song. Exquisite.

E Fu Allora... is a rather nondescript instrumental that mainly features jangling guitar and sax, although Brozzetti does impress with a sobbing fuzzed guitar solo. After its subdued intro, the tempo of Nosce Te Ipsum picks up with some lovely interplay between violin, organ, wah wah guitar and a hint of sax. Another stop-start section leads into some heavy riffing, then a heavily syncopated part.

Corale Per Messa Da Requiem witnesses a return to the chamber atmosphere from the beginning of the album. This is an elegiac choral piece that reflects the sorrowful mood of the subject. Epilogo then closes the album as it had started, the final notes being a beautiful ritardando that fades in the wind.

If you are a fan of RPI but don't have this in your collection I would urge you to buy a copy of this incredible album at the earliest opportunity. For those who only have a passing interest in Italian prog I would still recommend it highly.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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