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


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.59 | 116 ratings

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4 stars When I heard the news that Aldo Tagliapietra had left Le Orme I figured they'd be finished. After all he had been the distinctive voice of the band since the beginning and I couldn't imagine how anyone else could take his place. I must admit to having reservations when I heard the news that a new album was forthcoming and that Tagliapietra's place was to be taken by a new vocalist, even when that vocalist was to be Jimmy Spitaleri of Metamorfosi fame. Well I needn't have worried as La Via Della Seta has turned out to be the best album the band have released (okay I admit there's a couple of eighties albums I've not heard) since the seventies including the return to form we've seen from them on the last few.

La Via Della Seta is pretty much in keeping with the classic Le Orme sound of classics such as Uomo Di Pezza and Felona E Sorona, melodic symphonic prog of the highest quality though benefiting from modern production techniques. Le Orme were never the most bombastic of bands and that's still true to a large extent despite some powerful moments here, preferring to let lush arrangements and strong melodies do the talking. Generally regarded as a keyboard led band and that's still the case but the albums greatly enhanced by some excellent searing electric guitar work in the Andy Latimer (Camel) vein courtesy of William Dotto. Drummer Michi Dei Rossi is now the only original member and I'm greatly impressed as always by his tasteful and fluent playing along with a pleasingly organic drum sound. Michele Bon whilst not an original has been with the band for many years now and impresses with some fine keyboard work including the obligatory Hammond organ. He's aided by guest Federico Gava who's piano work deserves particular praise.

Jimmy Spitaleri can't go unmentioned and anyone who's familiar with Metamorfosi will recognise his rich voice. Whilst I'd always rather hear Tagliapietra on the vocals there's no denying he puts in a fine performance here - the band have chosen wisely. He appears to be listed as a guest so whether he's to be a full time member remains to be seen. Of course Tagliapietra also played bass along with some guitar and his replacement in this area is Fabio Trentini who's also known for his production work. He proves to be another inspired choice.

It has to be said I'm more pleased with this album than I could have ever hoped to be, the song writing is top notch, the instrumental sections beautifully played and generally captivating. On top of that the rich production is the icing on the cake. Whilst not as great as their classic seventies output and let's face it, what band from that era can match those golden years today, La Via Della Seta is an album every Le Orme fan will want in their collection.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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