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Officina Meccanica - La Follia Del Mimo Di Fuoco CD (album) cover


Officina Meccanica


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.72 | 29 ratings

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3 stars Born near Rome in early 70's,OFFICINA MECCANICA were one of the most obscure and challenging bands ever to come out of Italy.The band recorded no less than five singles between 1972 and 1977 and even had a good distribution on TV through their clip for the track ''Suite bambini innocenti''.The sextet unfortunately didn't have the opportunity of recording a full-length work and in 2007 a compilation of their singles along with live unreleased recordings was released on BTF under the title ''La Follia del Mimo di Fuoco" (The Madness of the Fire Mime).The band split up finally in 1978.

STYLE: Hardly to compare them to any of the classic Italian Prog bands.This is neither Symphonic Rock nor exactly Jazz Rock.OFFICINA MECCANICA combine elements of Classic Rock and Psych/Prog with theatrical vocals and brass instruments.Most of the compositions are long with alternating acoustic and intensive electric parts,always supported by a good dose of saxes,trumpets and to a lesser extent keyboards and flutes.Some parts have a typical romantic sound,showing the band's diversity and flexibily on different styles.Luciano Maiozzi is more than a simple singer,he sounds like an actor with changing vocal lines.Not much to mention around the brass section,an impressive work on all of the tracks.Lots of jazzy clarinet passages also,which I like a lot.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Imagine a mix of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR,AREA and CHICAGO and you are somewhat in the game...but do not forget about the theatrical approach of the band.

PLUS: Impressive musicians with a God-sent talent.Long compositions with all members contributing rather equally,even the drummer has his solo parts!Excellent vocal work in all of its aspects.A variety of instruments and styles makes the album really challenging and complicated.Very original music,haven't heard another band in that style.Good balance between mellower moments and complex Brass/Prog Rock.A few trully romantic and unforgettable passages close to the classic Italian Prog tradition.

MINUS: Too many changing moods throiughout the listening make the album hard to follow.That's not necessarily bad,but ''La Follia del Mimo di Fuoco'' is a unique and cruel experience even for the prog veterans.Not among the best productions to be heard on old Italian prog.Often the musicianship is sacrified behalf Maiozzi's dominating singing.

WILL APPEAL TO: Fans of RPI,vintage Psych/Prog and certainly to fans of complex prog in the style of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR,CIRCUS,AREA or GNIDROLOG.

CONCLUSION/RATING: I'm sure that ''La Follia del Mimo di Fuoco'' won't be for every ear around this site.It is possible that people with a deep knowledge on music will find this album closer to their tastes than an average prog listener.However it would be crime not to find and purchase this album due to its phenomenal sound and unique approach.I think a 3.5 star rating would be a fair one.Strongly recommended,considering always the album's difficult sides.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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