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Nuova Era - Il Passo Del Soldato CD (album) cover


Nuova Era


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.18 | 174 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Nuova Era were formed in 1985 in Firenze, on the initiative of keyboardist Walter Pini. Their music was heavily influenced by Seventies prog and, going against the stream in a period when prog was completely out of fashion, the band managed to release some very interesting albums. Their fourth one, "Il passo del soldato", released in 1995 for the independent label Pick Up Records, is usually considered their best work. The line up here features Wlater Pini (keyboards), Enrico Giordani (bass), Gianluca Lavacchi (drums) and Claudio Guerrini (vocals). Claudio Guerrini took the place of former singer and guitarist Alex Camaiti but only on vocals so, on this album there's no room for guitars and the overall sound is extremely keyboards driven. Nonetheless the result is excellent. "Il passo del sodato" (The soldier's step) is a concept album about war, every war in every time. Lyrics were written by Ivan Pini, poet and brother of the keyboardist and yhe excellent art work by Riccardo Di Stasi tries to describe their content, showing soldiers of every era fighting each other like marionettes, manipulated by the hands of power... As you can read in the booklet as an introduction to the concept, "weapons always play the only role they know from the script of hatred, the audience will be always formed only by winners and losers, but no one but the Death will applaud".

The opener "All'ombra di un conflitto (La dichiarazione)" (In the shade of a conflict ? the declaration) begins with an insistent and obsessive military marching beat, then music and intense high pitched vocals express the anxiety for the impending drama. Lyrics describe two great nations that are divided by hate while powerful men are sharing out death... "White hands upon Destiny / Draw wars like in a play / Ancient songs will be anthems / And the strained blood will be violated... Today's dawn, please do not ever rise!".

"Lo spettro dell'agonia sul campo (Costernazione)" (The spectre of the agony on the field ? consternation) begins with a frenzy rhythm where you can imagine the Dark Lady dance foretasting her harvest, then the atmosphere becomes darker and heavier. Time is running out but some people can't stand the change and are scared by the gloomy clouds of war that are gathering on the horizon... "In my contracted body a fear shines through / The purity of the dreams lies in a background never seen before / My life floats in the wind with a sword into the soul...". Then there's a touching comparison between the war games that children play and the cruelty of a real war underlined by music before the final explosion...

"La parata del simboli (La truppa)" (The parade of the symbols ? the troop) is a beautiful short instrumental evoking troops manoeuvring and marching to the front that leads to the long and complex epic "Il passo del soldato (Verso la battaglia)" (The soldier's step ? towards the battle), more than twelve minutes where the battle rages on leaving death and destruction behind... "Armed ghosts defeated by Fate / Slow agony on the buried faces / Nobody seems to see the dying soldiers... And now they look just as deadly relics...". The void erases forever dull banners while the instrumental finale evokes a ghost dance...

"Armicrazia (I pensieri di un cecchino)" (Weaponcracy ? The thoughts of a sniper) describes the thoughts of a sniper wondering about the thin thread of one man's life. "I was ordered to kill / And I have many hours left to die...". The middle section features a delicate and intense passage with piano and vocals.

Next comes "L'armistizio (Le decisioni dei generali)" (The armistice ? the decisions of the generals) that after a thundering start becomes melancholic and describes a silent battlefield... "Harmless eyes in a truce / Hands up towards the sky to pray...". The survived infantrymen invoke peace...

"Riflessi di Pace (Oltre il fronte)" (Reflections of peace ? beyond the front) begins with a joyful sound of bells and keyboards, light starts to shine through the dark clouds... "When peace will grow along the days / Like a sincere tear / Springtime will come back on the first steps / And everywhere you'll go / You'll find true looks... The sky is not so dark after all...".

"Epitaffio (La morale)" (Epitaph ? the moral) sounds like an ominous warning and is dedicated to memory of an unknown soldier that sacrificed his life fighting at the front among other unknown men. Recitative vocals tell that only behind the marble of his grave he could find back the peace that he had before...

"Nuova Era atto secondo" (New Era Act Two) is a beautiful instrumental finale that tries to evoke a new era where peace can rule overdubbing hate and incomprehension. Well, an excellent conclusion for an outstanding album. I'm sure that if you like bands like Le Orme or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso you'll love it as well...

andrea | 5/5 |


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