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Le Orme - Felona E Sorona CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.25 | 1000 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the only album I've heard from this band, and therefore I can't judge it against their output, but it is easily the best known internationally, helped by the fact that it was released also with English lyrics penned by Peter Hammill. Dealing with two doomed planets, it attempted to be a concept album (a fashion at the time) but it's debatable how well it succeeds to be a coherent and unified piece of art. I get the emotion of the music but not the narrative level as I don't speak Italian. (But I believe it could be possible to sense the story better than this without understanding lyrics, with the power of music alone.) The tracks remain more or less separate instead of flowing seamlessly. The running time of 33 minutes is sadly short (not rare with RPI!) but the music has truly deserved the classic status. Probably this would be among Top Ten of the most classic RPI albums - I mean this both objectively and subjectively.

Often Le Orme (meaning 'footprint') is described as Italy's ELP, due to being a keyboard trio featuring a singing guitar/bass player. This doesn't give credit to their genuinely Italian nature. For instance Triumvirat is Germany's ELP as much as anything can be without being a mere clone. Le Orme has an aura that couldn't be anything else than Rock Progressivo Italiano. Besides Tony Pagliuca is not at all the same kind of an eccentric keyboard virtuoso as Keith Emerson. This is a compliment, mind you. The sound is for the most part very loaded with keyboards but in a different way than ELP's. Also Aldo Tagliapietra is far from Greg Lake. He's more or less typical RPI vocalist (now forget the operatic tenor of Banco!), comparable to PFM.

The long and gorgeous opening track is followed by the sharp and bright song 'Felona' which gives the leading role to acoustic guitar. The rest of the album is mostly rather sad and dark-toned in a fine way. Even for a non-speaker of Italian the deep emotion is strong on this album. Michi Dei Rossi's drums are perhaps too buried in the mix; he's a sophisticated percussionist. So, solid four stars from me! Not five because it could be better in many levels (concept unity, production, length, even compositions that are a bit uneven against such shortness). By the way, great cover painting. I have a book "A Romance of the Equator - Best Fantasy Stories by Brian W. Aldiss" with almost similar picture.

Matti | 4/5 |


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