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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Come in un'ultima cena CD (album) cover

COME IN UN'ULTIMA CENA

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.01 | 175 ratings

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andrea
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In 1976 Il Banco del Mutuo Soccorso released "Come in un'ultima cena" (As in a last supper), a concept album featuring nine beautiful tracks and introspective lyrics. The line up featured Francesco Di Giacomo (vocals), Vittorio Nocenzi (organ, synthesizers, harpsichord, solina), Gianni Nocenzi (acoustic and electric piano, synthesizers, clarinet, recorder), Rodolfo Maltese (electric and acoustic guitar, trumpet, French horn), Renato D'Angelo (bass, acoustic guitar) and Pierluigi Calderoni (drums, percussion). The overall sound was enriched by the collaboration with the Italian "minstrel" Angelo Branduardi that appeared on the album as a special guest playing violin. Despite an art cover that apparently is full of references to the gospels, the subject matter of this work is not religion at all as the band pointed out in the liner notes. Here a simple supper with friends is the starting point of a spiritual path that leads to the discovery of a new perspective to life, to another spiritual dimension. During the supper the protagonist let drop his usual human mask and asks for help expressing all his confusion, his lack of true relationships, his needs... Tension rises and someone says "it seems to be as in a last supper". The beautiful inlay drawing was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting "L'ultima cena" (exactly the same painting that inspired Dan Brown in his novel "The Da Vinci Code") and it's full of symbolism. The members of the band appear disguised as disciples, on the left there's a peacock with a crown of thorns in the beak and on the table you can notice a gun...

The opener "... a cena per esempio" (... at supper for example) set the atmosphere. It begins softly , then unquiet melodic lines depict the spiritual troubles and the pain of the protagonist and his need for help. "I set out the last fire to give relief to my eyes... But the scream of the earth keeps on whipping my heart / I'm nailed here to listen to it... Now I'm here among you, my dearest friends... It's to you that I'm asking for help...". The music in the middle section, where the protagonist unravels his thoughts, is tense and dramatic while the end is more relaxed and melodic. Once the protagonist has delivered his weight silence falls down and for a while the hope for a new day seems to hang in the air... "My tiredness is stretched on my shoulders... My throat is trembling waiting for the dawn / Outside a new day comes to life / And we are dying...".

"Il ragno" (The spider) depicts a hard reaction, full of rage and cynicism... "I've come here walking on the highest walls / To have a party and celebrate with you / But I was wrong / You're talking about life and death / I don't like it...". The first friend stigmatizes the attitude of the protagonist, moaning about himself like an old broke thief while you have to be shrewd and pitiless to be successful in life... "I'm the spider who looms along the darkest holes / I lay a snare for the ones who are astonished by my skilled tricks...". The rhythm is frenzy, then suddenly there's break and the protagonist answers to his cynical friend that he can't stand it, he couldn't walk following his wicked tracks towards a labyrinth with no way out. But the break is short and rhythm takes off again with the reply of the spider... "I run fast up and down / Everyone thinks I'm a wise man... In my precious shrouds I delicately cradle my preys... Take this thread! / I never bestow anything to anyone / Follow this thread and you won't lose yourself...".

"E' cosė buono Giovanni ma..." (Giovanni is so good but...) is about false and conditioned love. The music is sweet and delicate featuring piano and acoustic guitar. The second friend makes sweet and allusive promises to the protagonist but wants something in exchange (sex?). "I'll give you the honey for your lips... I'll pick up your fears / And I will be the amphora where you will drop your tears but...".

"Slogan" (Slogan) is about crowd control. The rhythm goes up and the atmosphere becomes tense and heavy like lead... "Slogan, slogan, slogan, shout up your slogan / Slogan, slogan, defend you slogan...". The third friend is an opportunist and a merciless political leader who doesn't cares even about deaths because martyrs can be useful. He is a crowd rider ready to sell out his own father to reach his goal. He can't understand the feelings of the protagonist and his reply is disdainful... "Like an albatross that's gone insane / You are looking for a space where you can fly on your own / While I have tore off my wings to breath the earth along with other people / I can't accept your troubles / Your mean thoughts are only yours!".

"Si dice che i delfini parlino" (They say that dolphins can speak) is a wonderful introspective track. The dolphins with their instinct of survival seem to show the way to the protagonist telling him that you don't have to fear the waves of life and that you must never give up. The atmosphere here is dreamy, the bass lines pulse beating like a heart... "After the storm I've been wondering for a long time among the corals / On my skin I was feeling the weight of the sea / And I feared I could never jump towards the sun again / But the desire of immensity was shaking my veins / And I came up from the abyss again...".

"Voilā Mida (Il guaritore)" (Here comes Mida, the healer) is about charlatans, preachers and false magicians. After a short introduction the rhythm becomes frenzy, colourful and bright. Lyrics describe a man boasting that he can heal every pain in exchange of money. Mida the healer comes on a chariot dragged by peacocks on the market square and sells things like pieces of personality, bomb proof ideals or hair spray to fix the ideas... "For your soul to heal / You have found the right man, my friend...".

"Quando la buona gente dice" (When good people say) is a beautiful short and lively track featuring strummed acoustic guitar and percussion in the forefront. It's about the role of the appearances... "Do not open too much yourself / Take care of the appearances, they are the sign of respect / Do not show yourself to the others when you are injured / Or they will hit you to death... Tie your thoughts to the thread of the night / You will be alone and nobody will see / When you'll be alone in the night untie you breaths / And nobody will hear...".

"La notte č piena" (The night is full) is a delicate acoustic piece featuring strong classical influences. It describes a night full of desires and frustrations... "The night is full of desperate screams / You will recognize all of them, one after another / If you carefully listen to the silence / You can hear them tearing to pieces each other...".

"Fino alla mia porta" (Up to my door) begins with an hypnotic crescendo of keyboards. It marks the conclusion of an introspective spiritual path leading to the enlighten. The protagonist had to go through himself to discover a new awareness, climbing over the refusals of his friends to recover and experience a new dimension for his life... "On the steps of your refusal / I'm coming up to my door / This time the nocturnal harp / Is playing the song of the fears in vain...". Eventually tension melts in a solemn ethereal melody. A beautiful finale for an excellent album!

andrea | 5/5 |

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