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Amanita - L'oblio CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.48 | 15 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Amanita: L'oblio [1997]

Rating: 6/10

L'oblio is the sole album from Italian progressive-rock sextet Amanita. Although this is listed as a prog-folk album, folk is only one of the many influences that this eclectic album incorporates. There are also heavy traces of hard-rock, symphonic-prog, and jazz. On the surface, L'oblio has pretty much everything a prog fan is looking for on an album like this, including lengthy compositions (all in the 9-14 minute range) and varied instrumentation. The majority of instrumental attention is given to Andrea Monetti Roccasanta's tasty flute playing. This man (or woman?) shreds away, adding a pastoral flavor to these six tracks. However, despite the fact that it contains more than enough ingredients for a good prog-rock album, L'oblio never really manages to be anything more than simply "good." It fails to impact me on an emotional level, and many of the tracks feel homogenous despite the eclectic compositional philosophy.

"Mistica" begins with a fairly generic hard-rock riff, but the flute and jazzy drumming save face. The excellent second-half of this track is pure jazz-fusion, with melodic sax and smooth guitar. The majority of "Quando Vera Il Tempo" is dominated by a pastoral flute motif; however, the last five minutes turn into a groovy jam with a smattering of operatic female vocals. This track is a major highlight. "Astrazione Cosmica" is quite heavy in comparison to the rest of the album. However, there's still folky flute jamming as per usual. This is a good track, but it is much weaker than the precious two. "Quinta Stagione" is the folkiest track here. The best flute playing on the album can found here, resulting in a particularly strong piece. "Il Diavolo Dentro" is the longest track on the album, but also one of the weakest. It is rather repetitive and unfocused. The excellent solo piano section at the end improves it, however. "Arjuna" is a bolero-style instrumental with strong Middle-Eastern influence. The sax and guitar are the main focus here, rather than the flute. This is a solid track, but it's a bit too long for what it is.

Amanita's sole effort is a very good album that falls just a tiny bit short of excellence. If anything, it suffers from too much ambition. This is an unusual complaint for me; I love it when prog bands try to be as flamboyant as possible. However, I find that some of these compositions bite off a bit more than they can chew. Sections tend to get needlessly repeated, and others could have been left out altogether. Also, I'm not a fan of Mario Sacco's vocals. This isn't a huge problem, considering that this album is mostly instrumental, but it does bring the album down for me. Overall, L'oblio is a good but non-essential album. Flute hounds (fluteophiles?) should check it out, as well as anyone fascinated with obscure prog. However, it shouldn't be at the very top of their lists.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |


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