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Stranafonia - Per Un Vecchio Pazzo  CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.05 | 5 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Yet another Italian 90s band that intends to revive some of the special magic of their own native 70s prog tradition, Stranafonia manages to do a very decent job at it. Solid performances, genuine energy and cohesion: these are the most notable elements that make "Per un Vecchio Pazzo" a very interesting album. This band's musical style is mostly focused on the influence of the hard rocking facet of old Italian prog (Biglietto per l'Inferno, Il Rovescio della Medaglia, "UT"-New Trolls, Alphataurus) with a tight melodic orientation, not unlike their fellow countrymen of Malibran and early Calliope. Generally speaking, the material's structure is only moderately complex, but the melodic lines and textures are noticeable demanding - in many ways it reminds me of Nuova Era's first album, albeit less somber. The namesake opening track sets the mood for all the remaining repertoire, and it serves properly as an initial showcase for the energetic interplaying between guitar and keyboard (Soriquez and lead singer Bedetti, respectively), as well as the robust rhythm section. Track 2 is a bit slower but equally energetic, while track 3 stands a bit closer to the typically frontal explosion of Deep Purple-ish hard rock with a prog twist. 'Che non sia Prigionia' brings a somewhat more ethereal mood, although Bedetti's vocal impetus and the use of some slightly dissonant chord shifts during the interlude help to maintain an unhidden harshness for the music. Tracks 5-7 lay out a fluid sequence that stands out as an epitome for Stranafonia's style. 'Sulla Baia' is a mysterious instrumental painting elaborated with synth layers punctuated by magical lines on oboe (guest Francesca Durussel does a beautiful job on this one); then, 'Il Oceano' (another instrumental) and 'Nel Buio Balla la Brace' go to more dramatic places, with the four musicians moving confidently through all mood and tempo shifts. 'Il Viaggio verso il Oriente' is a mid-tempo relaxing song in which the acoustic guitar arpeggios state the main harmonies while the mellotron layers enhance the laid-back atmosphere. The closing number brings back the frontal sonic power of tracks 1 & 3 for the stronger passages, which are seamlessly alternated with mellotron- centric languid passages for the sung parts. Just like the sequence from 'Sulla Baia' to 'Nel Buio.', this piece is paradigmatic of the album's musical outline, and as such, serves as an appropriate closure. In short, a very good prog album that deserves a 3.4 star rating.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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