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Stefano Testa - Il Silenzio Del Mondo CD (album) cover

IL SILENZIO DEL MONDO

Stefano Testa

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.93 | 6 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review #1000. Since I'll never make 2000...

...just a quick thanks to this great site ProgArchives and to the Admin team who prove daily that no good deed goes unpunished. PA remains my favorite rock music site and the web home of so many great members and friends. Grazie all!

Reviewing a new Stefano Testa album feels like coming full circle on my little RPI journey at ProgArchives. It was the discovery of his treasured 1977 gem "Una Vita Una Balena Bianca e Altre Cose" a few years back which inspired me to interview Stefano for the site. The interview and reviews from other members have given Testa's debut the attention it always deserved and I think many RPI fans consider it an essential album in their collection. I certainly do.

At the time of Una Vita, there was a second long suite envisioned by Stefano which he attempted to record, but at the time circumstances in the Italian music scene were no longer favorable. That second progressive work is rumored to be a mixture of "prog rock" and classical overtones, and Stefano still hopes it will see release one day. In the meantime we have a more recently conceived project from Stefano. This one would be more properly categorized as art-rock/Italian pop than progressive rock, yet there is much here to love for fans of Stefano Testa and RPI.

The new album from Stefano is titled "Il Silenzio del Mondo" which translates to "The Silence of the World." The lyrics are an important part of the work so I will refer you to the informative review by Andrea Parentin who as usual will provide explanations of the lyrical themes for those of us who don't speak Italian. Musically the album is a collection of the modern Stefano Testa in shorter song form. There are certainly elements of the Una Vita sound referenced here but the longer suite with the more experimental sound is replaced by easily accessible and more conventional framing. There are melodic, standard sounding choruses and rhythm tracks amongst occasional prog tendencies.

But there is much to love! For those who don't mind following an artist down a different path, these are wonderful and melodic songs. They are dressed beautifully and with much care, with interesting things happening even within the confines of the simpler song structure. There are RPI styled operatic vocals, excursions into world music sounds, but most importantly, the almost childlike wonder and joy Stefano brings to his melodies and vocals. Here is a man well on in years who manages a true zest for music and for life (he is an avid photographer as well, sharing great shots on his FB page.) This is what makes the album for me. Despite the fact I don't understand the text I love the mood and melody of the tracks. Stefano's partner here is Remo Righetti who does a spectacular job with the instrumentation and programming.

A few of my favorites include "Domani ' festa" with its comforting lullaby feel, the warmth of piano, and those operatic vocals which are always appreciated by me. I believe I heard some harp along with strings and flute. Just a wonderful opener. Strings and piano are employed often and give the album that wonderfully warm Italian feel. "Musica" brings in some world music vibes for a unique feel, still Italian, but almost like a show tune. Testa's songwriting is so universal and approachable he really could write music for the stage with good success. "Argo soltanto" has a swooning bassline played on keys I believe, with a sampled strings or mellotron behind, closing with a nice bit of saxophone and some environmental sound. A special mention must go to Snowdonia Records and artists Alberto Scotti and Cinzia La Fauci for the fine artwork through the tri-fold digipak, complete with lyrics and notes from Marco Olivotto, who mastered the album.

While "Il Silenzio del Mondo" is not going to appease those RPI fans looking for complex progressive rock, my feeling is that anyone who enjoyed Stefano's debut, itself on the softer side of prog rock, will also enjoy the new album. Fans of the Italian singer/songwriter tradition are surely going to want to check it out. For me it is an excellent album. Welcome back Stefano and may there be more in the future!

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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