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Il Balletto di Bronzo - Ys CD (album) cover

YS

Il Balletto di Bronzo

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.20 | 393 ratings

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Negoba
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wonderfully Horrific Keyboard Dominated Prog

I have a strange appetite for dark, somewhat gothic music. I've acquired my share of vampiric albums over the years and alongside Comus' First Utterance, Univers Zero's Heresie, and Arachnoid's self titled album, I would put YS on the list of the best 70's horror prog. Il Balletto Di Bronzo's magnum opus, while still certainly still RPI, transcends the genre and really is one of the jewels of the dark music realm.

Singer and keyboardist Gianni Leone clearly runs the show here, with warbly synth sounds alternating time with harpsichord, nasty church organs, celeste, and even a little piano. The pace varies widely from wide open plodding sections to frenetic racing interludes. Always though is the dark mood, a sense of looming danger, of moonlight and cold. Guitarist Lino Ajello's tone is icy and sharp, and often quite chaotic. The bass tone is big and round (just the way I like mine) and occupies a big share of the mix. Drums are organic and lively.

While the tone and mood really demand attention, the compositional elements are quite strong on this album. The intertwining lines that open the Epilogo are especially tasty to this prog lovers ears. The band also clearly has some strong jazz roots with the rhythm section using walking bass over swing beats on the wonderfully deranged "Terzo." Where else could you get a baroque harpsichord simultaneous with a smoky bass line straight out of some beat poet's accompaniment?

While the whole album is good, the last two songs are easily my favorite. I exclude the throwaway bonus track which adds nothing but time to the disc. This is probably my third favorite of my 10-15 RPI albums, very very good but still not quite a masterpiece. But if you like really dark prog, this may be a must get.

Negoba | 4/5 |

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