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


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 1053 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars For the third time in a row, Banco hit gold. It's a slightly less glittering kind, but their continued creative bliss never ceases to amaze me.

The album marks a shift from their rocking extravagance to a smoother sound with lots of synth-polish. It's a change that makes it slightly less appealing to me, especially since they weren't able to compensate for it with better compositions. Admitted, Banco's song writing could hardly get any better then it had been on the first two albums, but while the first half of Io Sono Nato Libero is still as good as the preceding albums, they lose a bit of focus near the end.

The opening Canto Nomade is a wonderful track. It's really fascinating how they made the transgression from the full blown prog attack of the first 10 minutes to the flamenco bit in the second half. It's so smooth that I can't seem to grasp how they got there. The Nocenzi brothers must have taken a lease on some used ELP equipment and managed to forge some excellent melodies and dazzling interaction out of them. But the sound of the used apparatuses makes the track a bit pompous.

Despite the compositional mastery of the opener, I will go with Non Mi Rompete as my favourite pick from this album. It's a gentle acoustic ballad but it's done so subtle and truthful that I completely fall for it. The 'pompadadadum' chorus is simply genius. The nice little keyboard bit at the end links it to ELP again.

Next, Banco tries to incorporate some new experiments. La Citta Sottile is at heart a typical Banco song with touching lyrical vocals and music that is both very intricate and entirely spontaneous and relaxed. A rare combination, at least till halfway in. Then Banco tries out an experiment doing recited poetry with jazzy and avant-garde musical accompaniment. They do it quite well but I can't shake off the thought that Area would be so much more convincing at this.

Dopo ... is the first dip for me. It sounds like Gentle Giant was the driving inspiration behind this, meaning it has technically challenging playing but not much of a soul or emotional impact. Francesco Di Giacomo luckily adds very strong vocals again and saves this song from redundancy. Also the bass guitar and drums have their moments, but it all just doesn't seem to build up into something coherent, so I wouldn't rate it more 3.5 stars, which makes it the first Banco song that scores below the 4.5 mark they had continuously reached in my ears.

Traccia II almost makes me knock off another star. The inclination of progressive rock to include more and more synth-pulp from 1973 onwards is what killed my excitement with the mainstream bands for many many years. The song is acceptable, but as soon as the synths join with that trumpet-y theme, it's time to run for cover. This could have worked with a real brass ensemble, but the synth arrangement is cheesy and has aged very badly.

Overall it's a very strong Banco album again, but the Nocenzi brothers slightly disappoint me with some of their synth arrangements. And since some of the songs fail me a bit, 4 stars will have to do.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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