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L' Ombra Della Sera - L'Ombra Della Sera CD (album) cover


L' Ombra Della Sera


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.78 | 58 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Vintage 70s styled soundtrack rock

L'ombra Della Sera are a new project from prolific Italian soundsmith Fabio Zuffanti and his cohorts Maurizio Di Tollo and Agostino Macor from the modern symphonic outfit La Maschera Di Cera. The idea was to pay homage to those groovy Italian sountracks/tv themes from the 1970s by doing new interpretations using vintage instruments and techniques. The original compositions were written by well known composers Enrico Simonetti, Berto Pisano, Romeo Grano, and Riz Ortolani, however the new arrangements are so ambitious and carefully crafted that they feel like something completely fresh.

The five pieces which range in length from four minutes to an 18 minute monster combine that spooky horror movie retro vibe with the refined professionalism of these individuals. They took this project very seriously and the results are evident. Starting with the somewhat campy and spooky-fun soundtrack backbone, which creates a dramatic and very visual feel, they draw on classical, jazz, funk, and rock to arrive at a sophisticated final piece. The moods and pace vary, sometimes sequences are relaxing and melodic with the mellotron and period keys, other times they veer into VDGG styled semi-dissonance with wailing saxophones and tortured sound welling up louder and louder.

"Gamma" features evocative ambient beginnings as strange voices hide in the shadows around rising synth fog, then it shifts a bit into a more straight ahead rock section with a mild jazzy flavor. Some of the sound choices remind me of the Jacula/Rex albums but without the heavy occult vibe. "Il Segno Della Comando" has a funky and playful sound with Fender Rhodes, Moog, Tron, and some nice flute work. The showcase piece is the 18 minute "Ho Incontrato Un Ombra." Beginning with somber brass atop the e-piano it quickly adds lovely operatic vocals though they are soft and tasteful. After about four minutes of calming introspection we get the first hints of the mania to come, a sinister and off-putting riff is introduced as the keys and drumming begin to dissolve into a chaotic soup. Enter the sax and we soon have that VDGG feel--a band in my opinion as influential to the RPI scene despite the constant Genesis proclamations. Halfway through we are stuck in a haunting sequence of wordless female vocals, trippy spooky vibes, strange percussion and string scratching noises. The track gets louder as it breathlessly lurches to conclusion.

Mostly instrumental and atmospheric, "L'ombra Della Sera" is a unique album and a flawlessly made one which should appeal to many prog fans. It's a good album but personally I can't rate it higher, for as with nearly all Zuffanti projects there is just something missing that I long for in music. If I'm ever able to articulate precisely what that is, I'll get back to you.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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