Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 734 ratings

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4 stars A masterful RPI trilogy concludes

Banco likely has other great albums, I've not heard them all, but the first three released in just a two-year spread were surely one of prog-rock's greatest accomplishments. Whether weighed against other RPI bands or any country's progressive rock it does not matter-Banco were world class progressive rock. All of the beauty and artistry of the Italian rock tradition is on display, married to impressive musicianship and a wonderful sense of experimentation.

The third album, "io sono nato libero," is actually my least favorite of the three, and yet I still marvel at it. The upside to the album was that by this point, with the self-titled and "Darwin" under their belt, Banco had experience and confidence. Their knowledge of the studio and the craft was now obvious; the album is a large step forward sonically, and in the smoothness of the song assembly. But the music itself has lost just a bit of the adventure and edge of the first two albums, substituting a more "mature" Banco in its place. The centerpiece is the near 16-minute epic "Canto Nomade per un Prigioniero Politico." It features all of the hallmark Banco traits: great vocals, melody, acoustic and electric guitar, fantastic keyboard and piano. The chorus is delivered with great drama over piano, moog, and perfectly designed guitar notes. I miss however the dense murkiness of the Darwin material. Similarly "Non mi Rompete" has a delightful lightness to the melodic, repeating "la la la" section. "La Citta Sottile" is where I really notice the slight change in feel from previous work. They do attempt some avant-garde coolness here but it just comes off more scattered and less fresh than before. It's a bit of a mess at times. "Dopo" is the other long signature piece clocking in at 10 minutes. Pure eclecticism and driving energy are exuded. I marvel at the playing but fail to be moved as on the previous Banco albums. Still, this one deserves an excellent rating despite my preference for the others. I suggest anyone looking to investigate this pillar of the RPI scene begin at the beginning and move forward. Banco is a band for whom the progression of albums is important for maximizing the thrills. Certainly all the ingredients are again here, and based on their opening trilogy, I would say Banco is every bit the force that PFM and Orme are.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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