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Maury e i Pronomi / Aquael - (Ec)citazioni Neoclassische CD (album) cover

(EC)CITAZIONI NEOCLASSISCHE

Maury e i Pronomi / Aquael

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.25 | 9 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fitzcarraldo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars According to the note on the back of the CD case, this is "a fantastic journey through the archetypes of our classical past with irony, amusement and a little bit of sadness".

This is the first proper release under the name of MAURY E I PRONOMI, the Italian group lead by keyboard player Maurizio Galia. He started his group AQUAEL in 1979 and it went through various mutations, evolving into this latest incarnation in 2000. "(Ec)citazioni Neoclassiche" is really the third album: the first was "Ziqqurat Nel Canavesse" (1997) released as a private pressing by the group's precursor MAURY E I PROMEMORIA; the second album, "Tanganica, Il Passato E Il Futuro" (2000) released as a private pressing under the current group name, was a compilation of the 20-year history of Galia's group in its various guises, including three new tracks.

Anyway, what of this album? Well, it's pure Italian Progressive Rock and, although not stellar, is a worthy addition to the genre. The music is in the vein of several of the 1970s Italian Progressive Rock bands. To give you an idea, I would say it's a bit like a mixture of the symphonic sound of, say, LE ORME with the harder sound of, say, MUSEO ROSENBACH (although it does not have the darkness of the latter and the music is not as heavy).

Although piano, Hammond organ and other keyboards are used, the music is not as swamped by keyboards as some other Italian Progressive Rock, and the guitars are very noticeable and to the front in many places. Actually, the guitars on this album are what please me the most about it. I like the slightly heavy guitar work: the distorted guitar sounds pleasing and works very well with the keyboards. The guitar on several tracks even reminds me of the FLOYD, and that's not just because of the (groovy) saxophone on 'Oceano'.

On first listening I immediately picked up on the guitar and keyboard riffs, and thought the album was interesting in parts but was unsure about the overall package. After a couple more listens I was hooked though, and enjoy the music. The song writing is good and I personally enjoy the repeating sequences on both keyboard and guitar that feature quite frequently throughout the album. Some of the riffs are the business, actually ('Fiato Immortale' is a joy). Both the keyboard work and guitar work are generally of a high standard, but the singing is the weakest part of the album. Don't get me wrong: Galia's voice is not bad but neither is it remarkable and, very occasionally, it does sound strained or slightly bland. I'm glad all the singing is in Italian, as I prefer groups to sing in their native language and enjoy the sound even if I don't understand the lyrics.

Five guest musicians (not currently mentioned in Line-up above) join the four-piece band. The mix of instruments is interesting, including as it does various keyboard instruments (at least six different types), several electric and acoustic guitars, bass, saxophones, flutes and tin whistle, rock drums and three types of African drums (bougarabou, djmb and sabar-lamb). All this helps to give the music quite a full sound.

The cover and booklet paintings were done by Galia himself, as he is a professional illustrator. The "booklet" is actually a foldout sheet listing all the lyrics and the usual details of the group, instruments, photos and so on. I'll have to see if I can find a translation, as the album concept looks interesting. If you don't notice it, look at the Latin words on the cover of the book that the boy is reading on the cover painting: it's a famous palindrome called 'the Sator square' (the oldest example was found in the ruins of Pompeii).

If it were possible I'd award 3.5 stars to this album. As it isn't I'll settle for 3 stars (Good, but not essential). Although its roots are firmly in the 1970s, it doesn't sound stale. If you're a fan of vintage 1970s Italian Progressive Rock, especially with a slightly harder edge, I recommend you check out this album.

Fitzcarraldo | 3/5 |

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