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

IL PASSO DEL SOLDATO

Nuova Era

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.13 | 150 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Mute is the battlefield, naked weapons over the helmets..."

Wow!, this one is huge italian symphonic prog from the nineties!! What a pity is also Nuova Era's last record...that's strange thing, in my opinion. Il Passo del Soldato (The Soldier's Step) is a wonderful concept album based on war, from degenerated relationship between two great countries to armistice and epitaph. Lyrics were provided by Ivan Pini who wrote them in the vein of a poems' old "raconteur". A sort of epic poem in which the main character (and only winner) is death.

The music and its arrangements are really awesome example of one of the most powerful keyboard driven symphonic prog you can listen to! This is not very representative of the Nuova Era's previous works since this is their only one record to feature the absence of a guitar player. Guitarist and singer Alex Camaiti left the line-up in September of 1993. The singer Claudio Guerrini took his place. Whithout guitar, the band probably reached a more polished and incisive style, in a similar vein to such classic bands as Le Orme, Banco, ELP ...even heard some references from Il Balletto di Bronzo.

At the time the band was free from any contract and, after receiving many offers from the main italian independant labels, signed with Pickuprecords in April 1995...curiously that is a company settled in my town (Bassano del Grappa - Italy). It is the main sorce for my progressive records!

All'Ombra di un Conflitto (In the Shadow of a Conflict) is subtitled La Dichiarazione (Declaration...obviously referred to war). The song opens with the sound of a military march fading into a martial drumming work provided by the superb Gianluca Lavacchi. Then keyboards come well driven by the master hands of Walter Pini. 6,43 mns of pure pleasure. Two great nations who hate each other, the tall generals plan the massacre only by moving pawns over the map.

Lo Spettro dell'Agonia sul Campo (Death Throe's Spectre on the Battlefield) is subtitled Costernazione (Consternation). It describes in 7,29 mns, the night that precedes the battle throught he eyes of a simple soldier whose mind refuse to think this is his last hours on earth, hoping that someone or something stop his tremendous destiny. In vain, obviously. Awesome work from the band: real power! Great also the bass player Enrico Giordani.

La Parata dei Simboli (Symbols' Parade) is a shorter instrumental track (about 3,00 mns). The sad march of the battalions towards their emplacements.

Il Passo del Soldato is the centre of gravity of the whole album. It opens with a delicate and classical piano sounding then the it is clear martial power of Nuova Era! The song is subtitled Verso la Battaglia (Towards the Battle) and descibes the battalions' banners being face to face just before the generals give the order "fire!". Then starts the battle and the blood is all around. The band at its best for 12,15 mns!

Armicrazia (Weaponcracy) is subtitled I Pensieri di un Cecchino (Thoughts of a Sniper) is the continuation of the previous one focusing on the single soldier's cold blood in shoting the enemy. More shots, more minutes to live (7,43 mns). Another impressive track. Really that band deserves more attention by any good prog lover!

L'Armistizio(Armistice) is subtitled Le Decisioni dei Generali (The Generals' Decisions). After the swords, it's up to the negotiation. For the soldiers alive it' time to pray. Not more for the terrifying fight.

Riflessi di Pace (Peace's Reflections) is subtitled Oltre il Confine (Beyond the Border). Finally a little bit of muscles' relaxation. Some bells erupt from behind the hill, hope strikes again the hearts of the simple man who took part to the many killings.

Epitaffio (Epitaph) aka La Morale (The Moral) as the title itself demonstrates the crude truth: the only winner is always Death. The soldier sacrified his life between tons of other unknown lives and only there, under the cold murble he finds that peace he felt just before the fight.

The last track is titled Nuova Era Atto Secondo and is another impressive instrumental one that summarizes well the band's musical talent and virtuosism.

This album was a wonderful surprise for my ears, me didn't think italian prog of nowadays was so able to capture vitality and creativity that made the seventies so great! Il Passo del Soldato is not the banal reproduction of someone who preceded, but the modern try of the most harder keyboard driven symphonic prog. Really impressed by what I've listened to, I have to tell all the people there is another mastepiece concept album to buy!!

P.S. Ah, I almost forgot to mention the nice cover: soldiers of all the times moved like puppets by two hands over them.

Andrea Cortese | 5/5 |

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