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Le Orme - La Via Della Seta CD (album) cover

LA VIA DELLA SETA

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.58 | 87 ratings

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ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After quite a long break (7 years) from recording studio material, Le Orme is back! Although this band's pinnacle took place in 1971-1974 period, last few records were quite promising so I had rather big expectations about "La Via Della Seta". And I wasn't disappointed at all! At first I have to take note of line-up changes compared with their previous album. Long time leader of Le Orme - Aldo Tagliapietra and second keyboardist/violinist Andrea Bassato left the band. Replacement for this loss is Fabio Trentini, who plays bass, acoustic guitar and sitar, while the lead vocal duties were taken over by Jimmy Spitaleri (from Metamorfosi fame). Additionally this trio + vocalist formation is supported by guitarist William Dotto and keyboardist Federico Gava. All in all drummer Michi Dei Rossi remains as the only original member of the band, but don't worry, spirit of Le Orme is still here and surprisingly it's even more evident than during last few years of this group's existence! I'm especially fond of Michele Bon's development who gradually becomes more and more prominent member and his highly symphonic organ/synthesizers/piano passages can be easily compared with Tony Pagliuca's (original keyboardist) grandiose style.

Let's proceed to description of 12 tracks included on the disk:

1. "L'alba di Eurasia" - album begins with a BOOM! Very pompous, but energetic keyboards intro which sadly lasts only 30 seconds. After that music suddenly slows down and we can listen to soft acoustic guitar melodies. Very melancholic.

2. "Il Romanzo di Alessandro " - more dynamic instrumental with floating synthesizers, organ & surprisingly hard edged electric guitar leads/solos. William Dotto is only a guest here, but his guitar playin'' is very elaborated and makes this track to sound slightly different than your usual Le Orme's staff.

3. "Verso Sud" - first song featuring Jimmy Spitaleri is a beautiful ballad very much in the band's 70s material. You can be easily confused whether it's Jimmy's or Aldo's voice here, they are both quite similar. However Spitaleri seems to have slightly stronger singing style, especially compared with Tagliapietra's last few offerings. Anyway good song with nice piano and electric guitar background.

4. "Mondi Che si Cercano" - sounds like instrumental continuation of the previous track. It's a very melodic showcase of all musicians skills, but Bon's organ and Dotto's guitar work is the most significant. While highly symphonic piano-only ending (Bon or Gava?) shows the sheer beauty of this instrument.

5. "Verso Sud (Ripresa)" - reprise of "Verso Sud" song with melancholic Jimmy Spitaleri's vocals.

6. "Una Donna" - my favorite part of the album! Up-beat song driven by rockin'' guitar, piano & organ riffs. Spitaleri's voice perfectly suits this kind of Metamorfosi-like material. The best fragment of "Una Donna" is of course flashy Hammond solo in the vain of Pagliuca's work on "Collage" album from early 70s. Fantastic!

7. "29457, L'asteroide di Marco Polo" - continuation of previous track is an instrumental filled with more energetic guitar, organ and Moog synthesizer freak-outs. Sadly it's very short and ends too abruptly.

8. "Serinde" - rather uneven instrumental dominated by too repetitive synthesizer flights. Sounds too modern and "non-leormish" for me.

9. "Incontro dei Popoli" - gorgeous ballad led by folky acoustic guitar, flute-like synthesizer & passionate Jimmy's vocal. Truly analog Moog patterns are also superb here.

10. "La Prima Melodia" - decent symphonic prog song with nice melody, floating synthesizers, organ background and good vocal sections. Enjoyable guitar and piano solos near the end. Nothing outstanding or original but still OK.

11. "Xi'an - Venezia - Roma" - marvelous instrumental which presents us sheer beauty of vintage keyboards. Tons of classical influenced Grand piano, roaring Hammond organ runs and high-pitched Moog synthesizer solos. One of my my most beloved parts of "La Via Della Seta".

12. "La via della seta" - the longest song of this album can be described as symphonic- prog power ballad driven by Spitaleri's magnificent vocal, military-style drumming and (a bit too repetitive in fact) Hammond organ theme. All in all it's a rather catchy and ear-pleasing closing number.

"La Via Della Seta" is a very solid come back record which should satisfy all new and old fans of the band. Lovers of RPI music deeply rooted in 70s are highly advised to check this out ''cause style presented on the latest Le Orme's release clearly evokes such classic formations like Metamorfosi, Murple, PFM, Il Rovescio Della Medaglia or Il Paese Dei Balocchi and at most Le Orme's own splendid past (especially such albums like "Uomo Di Pezza", "Felona E Sorona" and the most guitar oriented "Smogmagica"). It's good to know that Le Orme remains a top notch Italian prog-rock band, while other legends like Metamorfosi, Murple and Il Rovescio Della Medaglia so far where unable to pull off equally good material in XXI century.

Best tracks: "Una Donna" and "Xi'an - Venezia - Roma"

4 stars from ozzy_tom

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |

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