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Osanna - Landscape Of Life CD (album) cover

LANDSCAPE OF LIFE

Osanna

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.52 | 84 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Osanna exude a rather VDGG like sound without the Hammill poetry. There are inventive melodies and mood shifts throughout. The opening track is an absolute blast and I was immediately pleased I had discovered such a stunning RPI band.

'Il castello dell'es' generates many moods, with wild manic sax, soft harmonious Italian vocals, and a diverse compositional structure. Elio d'Anna is the real star for me, playing an amazing emotional sax, the emotion is out of control at times and you have to love that. The time sigs are off the chart in places, and it all hangs together with sporadic rhythmic drum and bass shades.

'Landscape Of Life' is the title track and I expected a very serene soundscape and it begins likewise, with beautiful flute, acoustics and lead guitar embellishments. The vocals are soft and not multitracked on this song making a nice change in direction. The song builds into a heavier feel with a moderate beat and gorgeous woodwind playing. The lead break is excellent and showcases the talents of Danilo Rustic even becoming a twin lead solo in places. This track certainly feels more like a commercially viable song than the opener.

'Two Boys' is a shorter track at 3:43, but by no means less progressive, in fact the sax and flute trade offs are off kilter, and Danilo Rustic's vocals are more aggressive. The heavy guitar crashes are very effective, and a blistering lead break squeals out violently, and it shows what a band can achieve in a short space of time; musical innovation and magical structures.

'Fog In My Mind' begins side 2 of the vinyl with a longer song at 7:45, and an elongated cathedral organ as some heartfelt singing is heard in English this time. The melancholy atmosphere is punctuated by sudden cloudbursts of sax and a wild percussion beat locks in. This is the band at their best when they are allowed to stretch out with chaotic patterns and fast paced staccato beats. The guitars are fast and furious in the lead break, and the sax tries hard to catch up. The band are extremely tight, stopping and starting in unison. The sax begins to shriek as though in pain and it all ceases with some tribalistic percussion, with tom tom drums and wood blocks. The chimes and vibes are wonderful in Massimo Guarino's percussion solo; lots of jingly sounds, and atmospherics. The guitars strike up again to end the piece with another verse and there ends another treasure on this album. 'Promised Land' is a short little blast, with acoustics, strange melodies on English vocals, and finally a serene sax over tom tom percussive metrics. It is a pleasant transition into 'Fiume' that features lots of guitars overlayed, acoustics and wah-wah. The Italian vocals are gentle and harmonised nicely. The twin flutes are playful and sweet over the scape of tranquil acoustic vibrations. The slide guitar is effective in the breaks. It leads into 'Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime' with a building lead break, some powerful arpeggios and glorious string bends and note changes. The album ends with a strange outro with huge Mellotron washes and celestial synths.

So I was delighted with this Osanna album, especially the manic sax and overall atmospheres. Admittedly it is all over the place in terms of styles but that is what makes it appealing to my ears. It is captivating music, though perhaps I need to hear some of their more celebrated material to compare. This is an excellent intro to the band, in any case, and made this progger quite thirsty for more of this innovative RPI treasure.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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