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Il Paese dei Balocchi - Il Paese dei Balocchi CD (album) cover


Il Paese dei Balocchi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.59 | 98 ratings

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3 stars A cult early name of the 70's Italian Prog scene,this quartet from Rome was born out of the ashes of the beat group Under 2000,which was formed in mid-60's and released a few singles,after bassist Aldo Parente (aka Franco Maria Giannini) left the band.The remaining members were accompanied by (later main leader) keyboardist Armando Paone and bassist Marcello Martorelli.Producer Adriano Fabi helped them record their debut,which was pressed in 1800 copies,an album which meant to be the first and last one for this obscure act.

STYLE: At the same time flirting with complex organ-driven prog and dark/romantic Classical music,''Il Paese dei Balocchi'' is a dangerous listening for non-mystified proggers.Spotted by many reviewers as a calm and very relaxed release,I can only say that this is half true.You will find yourself often after trully complicated heavy prog musicianship with definite symphonic elements,guided by remarkable guitar sounds and bombastic organ.Other themes include hypnotic musicianship with smooth guitars (both acoustic and electric),mysterious choirs,deep basses,spacey synths and soft vocals.The high educational level of the band is in front of you at the strong amount of Classical passages,dominated by vocals,dark organ,intense string parts and grandiose piano.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Forget about the folkier side of Italian Prog and focus on the most obscure parts of the Italian Symphonic scene.Best comparison would be ALPHATAURUS if you add a strong amount of pure Classical music.Other reference points could be ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA,MUSEO ROSENBACH,NEW TROLLS or even PHOLAS DACTYLUS and JACULA.

PLUS: Certainly originality!I cannot think of another old Italian band which blends organ- driven prog with so many crystalline Classical parts.Excellent work by Paone on organ,which is the bands biggest weapon.The album emits a bizzare but attractive blend of romanticism, mysticism and darkness in its every section.Excellent choir parts as well.The rocking parts are of top class with balanced complexity and a high level of musicianship.

MINUS: Yes,''Il Paese dei Balocchi'' is much of a calm listening (yet with a high emotional level) and a liitle bit rocking intensity wouldn't hurt.Actually those not into Classical music may have some problems following this album.Male vocals are not that good,average stuff at least.

WILL APPEAL TO: People ,whose nights are torn between( prog) rock and Classical music may find this album in their top 10!RPI fans will definitely like this one too.For the rest,you should try some samples first.

CONCLUSION/RATING: 3.5 stars.An excellent example of early Italian Progressive Rock with a huge musical quality and a very personal sound...but this is not your album for every night I have to admit.Worth purchasing.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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