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Il Paese dei Balocchi - Il Paese dei Balocchi CD (album) cover


Il Paese dei Balocchi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.59 | 98 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is a classic prog album from 1970s Italy but one which most fans of Italian prog do not discuss much. A shame as I really liked this album but not some of the more popular RPI stuff. Il Paese Dei Balocchi is one of those Italian bands who only released one album and were never heard from again. This situation of course always makes you wonder whether these bands could have come up with something even better or if their first album was indeed their musical peak. Strings are important here and the balance of rock band and strings is well done. There are a few short instrumental interludes scattered across the album. The string parts are very symphonic and classical sounding while the rock parts are either in a 'heavy prog' vein or more mellow-rock.

The tracklist for this album really gave me a headache. Unable to find another streaming source for this album, I used YT to listen to it. This album is on a list of albums I want to get a hard copy of, but most of the prices I've seen for it are not cheap. It would be nice to hear the album as intended instead of in crappy YT sound. Back to the tracklist...every site I visited (including this one) had a different tracklisting and track times. There is also a 'hidden' song to which the YT vids make no reference. It's possible I may have gotten a few tracks confused, but I'll try my best to desribe the songs on this rather underrated album.

"Il Trionfo dell'egoismo..." starts the album off in a heavy prog direction. Then some great dramatic sounding strings take over. The strings then play the heavy riff at the beginning. The second track, which I believe is called "Impotenza dell'umilta..." (etc.) has great guitar playing and wordless harmony vocals along with some nice organ. Track 3 is called "Canzone della speranza" and has Italian lyrics for the first time on the album. Overall it's one of the more uninterersting and dull moments on the album.

"Evasione" is a song I first heard embedded on a website. I loved it so much I wanted to hear the whole album. This track sounds timeless, it could be from 40 years ago or it could have been recorded yesterday. I never heard RPI like this before. A highlight of the album for sure. It opens with some guitar arpeggios before organ, cymbals and bass join in. After 2 minutes it goes into the heart of the song which is built around a 3-note bassline, a jazzy guitar figure and a laid-back and easy-going beat. Eventually strings and atmospheric sounds get added and get louder as the band fades out. Towards the end organ brings the band back playing something different now with some cool "ahh" vocals now and again.

Track 5 which I think is called "Risveglio e visione..." has about 2 minutes of strings before it switches to a neat Prog Folk/Gentle Giant style. Later you hear a musical box or something similar. Ends dramatically with cymbals and organ. "Ingresso e incontro..." again feels like a mix of Tull and GG before it turns slightly blues-rocky. Then it sounds like a field recording of a cappella Italian singing with a little organ at the very end. The longest track, which I think is called "Verita dell'intuizione..." opens with organ and bass that increases in tempo and then is followed by some great symphonic prog. There's some kind of percussion sound you hear going back and forth in stereo before we get to some heavy prog featuring awesome drumming. Lots of unison playing as well.

Afterwards the song goes into what sounds like 9/8 time played slowly. Almost hypnotic this part. This is a very enjoyable and almost timeless album. Hard to compare it to anything since it generally sounds fairly unique. This does not sound as dated as some Italian prog from around the same time. There is also almost no trace of a Genesis influence. Not every track is a winner but the whole album flows well. I will give this 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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