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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero CD (album) cover

IO SONO NATO LIBERO

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.41 | 687 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

coasterzombie
5 stars Along with the debut from Celeste, Io Sono Nato Libero is my all-time favorite progressive rock album. Banco del Mutuo Socorrso absolutely hit this one out of the park, setting the tone for a multitude of Italian bands to follow, and creating a precedent impossible to top. Along with Yes' Close To The Edge and King Crimson's notorious debut, this is one of three critically essential albums in the genre and a necessity for anyone serious about music and even art in general. Io Sono Nato Libero is that important, and while this is only my opinion, there are many others that share it.

"Canto Nomade Per Un Prigionero Politico" may be the defining moment in all of Rock Progressivo Italiano - a sprawling 16-minute epic, dense and difficult, yet jubilant and spirited. From the dual-keyboard introduction to the bombastic finale, you will be captivated for its entirety. Don't let the Italian lyrics scare you away; if nothing else, the high-level musicianship that unfolds is breathtaking and more than enough to hold your attention even if the vocals don't. Drummer Pier Luigi Calderoni does this thing about halfway through the song that is simply inhuman: Basically, the bass drum is playing off-beat eighth notes while he hits the snare on every downbeat..all while playing straight eighths on the high-hat...did i mention the time signature was 7/8? I am convinced this is either a) two people; or b) a robot. Rodolfo Maltese contributes some significantly more restrained, yet equally impressive, classical guitar throughout. The entire band is firing on all cylinders for what seems like an eternity, yet never outstay their welcome or allow the song to turn into a twenty minute mistake.

If you wonder how Banco could possibly follow such a definitive opening statement, look no further than "Non Mi Rompete." Perhaps taking a cue from Le Orme, Banco gives the drums and bass a break in order to deliver a gorgeous serenade. Quite unlike anything in their entire catalog, "Non Mi Rompete" would be a successful hit for Banco, and still to this day is frequently their encore performance in concert. But how can you top that? Well, unfortunately Banco never quite attains the brilliance of the first side, but the remaining album is still incredibly strong, painstakingly produced, and incredibly rewarding. "La Citta Sottile" is the most accessible song on side two, but not exactly standard pop fare. "Dopo...Niente e Piu Lo Stesso" revisits some of the themes from "Canto Nomade Per Un Prigionero Politico," and its expanse allows Banco to entertain some more avant-garde material. The playing is somewhat reminiscent of Gentle Giant in its wildness, but rooted in the Italian tradition and never deviates too much from what got Banco here. "Dopo...Niente e Piu Lo Stesso" will most please fans of the band's first two albums, as the poly-rhythmic and technically challenging bits are all here.

Another concert favorite, "Traccia II" closes out the disc. A lively instrumental, "Traccia II" is grandiose and stately. It is the perfect conclusion to a perfect album. Sorry guys, but listening to Io Sono Nato Libero on YouTube is not gonna cut it...you need to buy this thing right now, and allow it to completely redefine the way you look at progressive rock. I don't mean to exaggerate, but this album is so indispensable, there's no other way to describe it.

coasterzombie | 5/5 |

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