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Nuova Era - Il Passo Del Soldato  CD (album) cover

IL PASSO DEL SOLDATO

Nuova Era

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.16 | 145 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the 90s best RPI titles, a gut-wrenching keys/drum sound

Nuova Era were one of the more beloved "bridge" bands, bands connecting the classic 1970s era to the more fruitful RPI renaissance of the later 2000s. They were keeping alive a flame during a period not particularly friendly to the cause. I'm not a big fan of this era because I don't like the influence of neo-prog on many of the Italian prog bands of the 1990s. This album avoids the weak English vocals, predictable structures, and cheesy keyboard sound that some of those 90s Italian bands had. It dealt with themes of war and would unfortunately be their last project for many years.

Walter Pini summed up the album as follows in his PA interview: "there is a great keyboards work in the arrangements. Although there's no guitar I think it sounds very rock and certainly very progressive. "Il passo del soldato" is a conceptual work about war and features old and new compositions following a thread. It's not the usual album dealing with pacifism or politics but a collection of pieces about the eternal subject of war, every war in history, even if musically it could evoke the ninetieth century since the title track could remind of a Napoleonic campaign. This album sounds like I would have liked the others to sound." He notes his influences as Emerson, Minnear, and favorite albums as Paese dei Balocchi, Banco's "Darwin" and Orme's "Felona e Serona."

The music sounds as if it could have hailed from 1978 and I'm attracted most to the Orme references I hear. It's incredible since there is no guitar, but they manage to create a completely rocking, tight, muscular sound with an almost constricting tension built into it. I attribute this to the tightly fused mix of the keyboards with amazing, Orme-like drumming. It's powerful at its most dense and rocking, then it quite frequently releases the tension with softer sections, and especially with some wonderfully, pure RPI melodic piano passages. The vocals are quite good and capable of getting up there in the high registers to enhance dramatic effect. The keys come in many delicious flavors and are way-up-front and heavy in every track. From thick, hanging organs to wild Moog and gorgeous piano, the album is a keyboard lovers delight.

A very solid album from a period of time where there was not much low hanging fruit. Possibly essential for RPI fans and keyboard fanatics.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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