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Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno - Il Pittore Volante CD (album) cover

IL PITTORE VOLANTE

Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.78 | 90 ratings

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andrea
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In 2008 Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, one of the many one shot bands of the Italian progressive scene of the early seventies, came to life again on the initiative of singer and guitarist Luciano Regoli and in 2010 they released a new album on the independent label BTF, "Il pittore volante" (The flying painter). Along with Luciano Regoli the line up on this work features the veterans Roberto Gardin (bass, guitar), Nanni Civitenga (bass, guitar, keyboards), Walter Martino (drums) and some prestigious guest musicians like Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli, Lino Vairetti, Nicola Di Staso, Maurizio Pariotti and Carl Verheyen just to name a few. Anyway "Il pittore volante" is mainly the brainchild of Luciano Regoli who wrote music and lyrics and conceived it as a concept album inspired by a book with the same title, a kind of travelogue that he wrote and published some years ago and that he dedicated to the late Iginio Gonni, a painter and a friend, dead in 2003. The basic idea was that of an old painter who flies and look at his life from above. On the booklet you can find not only the lyrics but also a picture for every piece painted by Luciano Regoli himself. As for the music, the overall sound is not stuck in the seventies and on this work you can perceive even metal influences along with a more typical Italian progressive style. Well, during the nineties Luciano Regoli had been a member of the prog metal band DGM and he don't disown this experience...

The opener "Il cambiamento" (The changing) tells of a spiritual metamorphosis. It starts softly with a mystical atmosphere, then hard guitar riffs and harmonica introduce the changing... "It happened in those days / Something revolted inside me / Fast as a blizzard... Alone in that room I fell asleep / Dark dreams / Alone in that room I woke up in discomfort... Ah! I was changing and I didn't want it / But I was coming to life again / Yes! I was coming to life again...".

"Il vecchio" (The old man) begins with a piano solo introduction. It's a tense and melancholic track depicting the meeting with an old friend who has just had a stroke... "They had cut off his hair / That old madman was trudging up the hill / Marked by the paralysis that had darkened his mind, his limbs, his fingers / I remember him just a few months before / Enormous, disdainful, with a magnificent beard...They had cut off his hair".

"Il fuoco" (The fire) features a duet with sweet and dreamy female vocals and an ethereal and suggestive nocturnal atmosphere. Lyrics and music depict fire as a metaphor of fear in front of a natural impending event, a fire burning false fairy tales, pains, fears, desires and thoughts... "The night was over there, in front of me / Some rocks were burning / Above me gentle wings were flying away / They were flying high, they moved the air with a deaf noise / So I followed them, with the light behind my shoulders / Towards dark clouds...".

"Eagle Mountain" is a long and complex track that tells about a journey through the desert in North America. A good acoustic guitar intro by Nicola Di Staso (former member of Libra and in the line up of Daemonia) leads to new horizons and spectacular panoramas where two friends enjoy the quiet and strange atmosphere of the desert until, in the middle of a magnificent and silent landscape, they find an old truck. There's a sudden change of mood. The truck stands still but the engine is running, the driver is naked and... dead! "He let us staring at him while the night was falling in us / They day after in a café people were whispering about him / But the air was clear / We went out / I switched the engine on...".

"La mente" (The mind) features a dark and nervous mood. It's a kind of dive into madness and lyrics draw images that seem coming out from a Stephen King's novel. An enormous wasp trying to enter the room, an agoraphobic scene in the subway... "My God! What is happening to me? I'm alone, with my only enemy / I'm alone, with my ego...".

"L'uomo nuovo" (The new man) is another beautiful track. It features the arrangement by Claudio Simonetti and it seems conceived as a thriller score. It is about fear, the fear that a man has to overcome to reach knowledge. "At the beginning of the tunnel, under the subway / That noise of water running, under the subway tunnel / I paid attention but I couldn't understand the origin of that noise...".

"Le anime" (The souls) features a slow pace and a haunting mood. It depicts a nocturnal landscape. It's midnight on Elba Island and while the protagonist walks back home along a narrow street he can see the people that used to live there when he was a child and that now are nothing but shadows. "They can't see me / But I recognize them all...".

"Raoul" is settled in Paris. It's a complex piece that starts as a strange mix of hard rock and Italian melody (a peculiar blend between Aerosmith and Quartetto Cetra I dear say), then rhythm calms down and the atmosphere becomes dramatic. Music and lyrics depict a drunken clochard who's sleeping under a cardboard... "What made him still appear like a man was just a name / That name tattooed on his wrist / Only that name, Raoul...".

"La spiaggia" (The beach) is settled in Portugal. It's an amazing short ballad featuring a swirling flute and a vocal style that could remind of the Italian minstrel Angelo Branduardi. It tells of a strange meeting on a solitary beach on the Atlantic Ocean with a threatening sea that seemed like dog on the chain, desperately barking because it couldn't go any further, blocked by the high cliffs... "I felt like I couldn't breath on the beach / The rocks behind me and the thundering sea in front of me / All night long with that deaf noise...". A good finale for an excellent album, one of the best releases of 2010 so far.

By the way, a special box set edition containing the album and the book was released for collectors and die hard fans. You can read the book (in Italian) also on the official website of the artist.

andrea | 5/5 |

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