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Il Rovescio Della Medaglia - Contaminazione CD (album) cover


Il Rovescio Della Medaglia


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.17 | 303 ratings

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5 stars Contaminazione is a concept album based on a fictitious Scottish guitarist who is driven to insanity by his obsession with J. S. Bach. However, what is probably of greater relevance to non-Italian speaking listeners is that the music is inspired by preludes and fugues by the said composer. From ORA NON RICORDO PIU (Prelude No. 1 in C major) to LA GRANDE FUGA (Prelude from the cello suite No. 1 in G major), and pretty much everything in between, the tracks blend familiar Bach melodies with the band's original material. All 13 tracks are short but they segue seamlessly, and the band's instruments combine perfectly with Luis Enriquez Bacalov's orchestral arrangements. For example, the dreamy MI SONO SVEGLIATO E... contrasts dramatic strings and timpani with Hendrix-inspired guitar while IL SUONO DEL SILENZIO, where the protagonist questions if he is the illegitimate son of Bach, features a fine meshwork of Baroque and rock elements.

Although Bach had 20 children by his two wives, he apparently has no known descendants living today. JOHANN concerns the protagonist's false belief that he is Bach's 21st child, abandoned by him in Scotland, and this track leads into SCOTLAND MACHINE. This features a squelching synthesizer intro that sounds like soggy bagpipes, and the main riff reinforces the Scottish flavour with the synth mimicking the skirl of the pipes to wonderful effect. CELLA 503 begins with classical guitar that introduces a seemingly flamenco-inspired passage, and closes with an organ solo as the character is confined in a mental institution. I don't know what happens to him thereafter, but I do know there's some glorious music here. LEI SE TU is built around a nimble-fingered harpsichord continuo and a simple but effective snare drum pattern. The romantic LA MIA MUSICA features wonderful strings and organ, and ALZO UN MURO ELETRRICO is a great rocker with shades of Martin Barre in the lead guitar.

As a rule, I tend to dislike albums that fuse orchestral and rock music. However, Contaminazione wipes the nose of albums like Days Of Future Passed and in my opinion is *the* greatest work of this kind.

seventhsojourn | 5/5 |


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