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Il Balletto Di Bronzo - Ys CD (album) cover


Il Balletto Di Bronzo


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.23 | 544 ratings

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4 stars Before anyone checks out Il Balletto Di Bronzo's Ys for the first time I'd recommend that they be in full control of their senses because this album crosses the line between neurosis and psychosis. I recently saw a message in the ProgArchives forums that described the RPI genre as ''wishy washy''. I wouldn't want to lambaste anyone for saying that, but I think it's fair to say the person that posted that message maybe hasn't heard this album.

Ys is definitely not on the romantic, melodic side of RPI. The overall atmosphere is dark, oppressive and menacing; it hardly represents the pastoral idyll that some may associate with the genre. I know from other reviews that Ys concerns three encounters with representations of Death; while I don't understand the Italian lyrics, the florid storytelling and highly-strung, declamatory style of vocalist Gianni Leone help to create a suitably intense mood. Add to that the turbulent nature of the music, which at times seems out of control, and Ys can seem like musical bedlam. There are a few moments of relative calm spread thinly throughout the album but these moments do little to really lessen the agitated, unnerving atmosphere.

Ys is an eclectic mix of styles. It's very heavy with some robust bass and drums, it's symphonic at times though full of dissonance, and it incorporates elements of Baroque and Avant-garde. In addition to singing, Leone plays a variety of keyboards, and Ys is a very keyboards-orientated album. There are swathes of sinister-sounding Mellotron, but Moog, piano and organ all feature heavily. Leone even adds some celeste and spinet; the spinet is actually quite prominent and provides much of the album's nervous tension. Guitarist Lino Ajello is no slouch either but basically he's relegated to a fairly auxiliary role, and in fact the guitar is absent on recent live performances of the suite.

Ys is dramatic, intense, and chaotic, and pretty much like nothing else I know. Recommended, but with the one caveat that this album is not for the faint-hearted.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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