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Divae - Determinazione CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.73 | 34 ratings

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4 stars One of our friends in the Italian thread recently asked about synthesizer-oriented RPI bands and Divae was the first name that came to my mind. Their sole release 'Determinazione' is peppered with some sterling guitar work, but essentially it's a keyboards album with synthesizer as the dominant force. According to the sleeve notes Divae's main influences are the romantic rock of Camel and the rhythmic variations of Gentle Giant, plus Italian bands of the '70s such as Locanda, Banco and Le Orme.

The title of the closing track, 'Il Ritorno Del Gigante Gentile', and an endorsement by Gary Green certainly point to Gentle Giant as a major inspiration. However in spite of the allusion to Gentle Giant in the title, this multi-part instrumental seems to be based on the Mandrake the Magician comic strip and it actually sounds like ELP with some powerful Hammond organ. You might want to check out the MP3/stream here on ProgArchives and judge for yourself.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this album is an exile from the Gentle Giant catalogue as their influence is also present in the title of another track, which roughly translates from Italian as 'Gargantua blasphemes God and is turned into a stone giant and posted to guard the lair of the dragon of Altomonte... where his eyes scan the horizon for all eternity over the Sea of Sibari'. Gargantua is Pantagruel's father in Rabelais' 16th century series of novels, reflecting Gentle Giant's 'Pantagruel's Nativity' and 'The Advent of Panurge' (Panurge was Pantagruel's friend in the third book). This is another glorious instrumental piece with a bit of Camel-inspired guitar slicing though the synthesizer and Mellotron.

The album's only other instrumental, 'E Con Il Mattino Torneranno Gli Eroi', is a beautiful track that's interlaced with motifs from Grieg's 'Morning Mood'. The dreamlike ballad 'Vento Che Va' is led by flute and features guest appearances by Gianni Leone (synthesizer, organ) and Lino Vairetti (vocals), but regular vocalist Alessandro Costanzo's main influence is Ian Gillain and fortunately there are several wilder, heavier songs for Alessandro to get his laughing gear around.

Divae undoubtedly draw heavily on the raw materials of the aforementioned and other bands, with them seemingly cutting a course through the giants of UK progressive music. However 'Determinazione' is so much more than straightforward aggregation of other bands' styles; the resultant tracks are highly impressive and the album deserves a much firmer footing on PA. This is a strong 4-star work that may in time grow on me enough to light up that fifth star.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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