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Le Orme - Felona E Sorona CD (album) cover

FELONA E SORONA

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 619 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
1 stars Standing somewhere between plain, boring and underwhelming

For a very long time, since the inception of progressive rock itself, Italy has been a powerhouse of that genre of rock on continental Europe, giving birth to a considerable number of well-regarded bands on these circles. Le Orme is one of such bands. Starting as a psychedelic/baroque rock band in the late 1960's and evolving to a power trio formation in the vein of Emerson, Lake and Palmer on the turn of the decade, the band experienced some moderate success during their early days.

As a lover of progressive rock music, I, of course, go in search of good music wherever it's from and, with the due time, Felona and Sorona reached my hands as I was shuffling through a second-hand shop. It is quite an old CD, by the way, being manufactured in Italy back in the late 1980's, but it is still in great shape overall. In spite of all that, I approached this album with some caution because I had no idea what was waiting for me and, even so, I was left disappointed. Actually, the only thing that did impressed me about this album is the fact that it is the best rated release by Le Orme, one of the best of the genre reserved for the (most part) symphonic bands from Italy and among the 100 top rated album of Prog Archives.

Since the introduction is finished, let's get to the good (or should I say bad?) part: the music.

First of all, Le Orme's formation, despite being exactly the same as other power trios such as the mentioned ELP, Triumvirat and Trace (and somewhat also related with Finch), the Italian band's music has no relation, nothing at all to do with mentioned bands because, for one, their music has no energy at all, it is impressively stagnant, having very little progress and innovation at all; for two, which is related with the former reason, they take no risks with their instruments: with so many possibilities and "what if"s, they manage to keep it at the most basic form of progressive rock composition; for three, if they don't make an effort to innovate how they use their instruments, everything will (as it does throughout the album) get immensely boring because that formation (rhythm, bass line and melodic line), albeit being dome with other instruments, has existed since the inception of the most basic forms of music, so nothing will sound quite new,

Second of all, the vocalist's voice is quite plain, average and indistinguishable from the voice of every other Italian singer. There is not anything redeeming about his singing abilities; he does not sing out of tune or anything in the like, but there is nothing quite positive about how he sings as well: it's just simple, unoriginal, it simply can't stand out from the crowd. Coupled with the equally underwhelming music, everything becomes one mass of uninteresting sound.

Third of all, the compositions are also far from being anything close to entertaining. Every songs seems like a collage (pun intended) of different melodic lines with close to no transition at all. their music sounds quite disjointed at many times, specially in the only song (besides All'Inuori del Tempo) they were able to write that clocks over 3 minutes. The opener, actually, is the hardest song to sit through exactly because of that reason, only individual melodic lines sound coherent within themselves, but they have no relation among themselves. The other songs do suffer from this problem, but in a lesser degree because, after all, just how can you make a 3 minute song as disjointed?

Moreover, the individual parts of each song, with very few exceptions, are not inspired as well. You can see their next move (within each part of each song, because you can never know what will come next since there is nothing between, there's no transition of musical ideas) even before they play it. Before this album, I imagined that one could only feel that one album lasts less than what it does (because it is so good you don't want it to end), but Felona e Sorona was able to prove that even an album with barely half-an-hour in length seemed longer than the QUADRUPLE ALBUMS about Dante's Inferno released by Musea. Truly an outstanding feature that few can do, even more in the progressive rock circles, where music is supposed to be interesting and innovative.

With all that considered, I must say that not everything is lost. Eventually a glimpse of a redeeming moment appears. However, a split second later they change the melody completely, with no transition, allow me to make myself clear, and then everything goes back to sounding bland. It really strikes me as unbelievable how can they drown their interesting ideas in oceans of musically uninteresting ideas; interesting content is indeed few and far between.

Rating and Final Thoughts

The Italian prog scene never struck me as being quite special and even though it has some very powerful and notable exceptions, such as Premiata Forneria Marconi, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Locanda delle Fate, among others, most of the scene has nothing interesting to present at all. In my search for good progressive rock, however, I always tend to make concessions, try new bands, give an album many spins in order to cement my opinions about it, anyway, I try and evaluate it the best I possibly can.

Having listening to this piece for a little more than two years, I don't believe my views on Felona e Sorona will change any time soon, so I believe it is time to put it out. It is all around a truly bad release. The only memorable thing about it for me is how terrible it sounds, how difficult it is to listen to it. For all that, 1 star is the most appropriate rating for it.

CCVP | 1/5 |

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