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Il Giro Strano - La Divina Commedia CD (album) cover


Il Giro Strano


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.40 | 36 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Like Buon Vecchio Charlie, this monster rarity from 1973 never saw release until 1992, and has never been issued on vinyl. In fact, the Mellow CD has never been reprinted and this obscure nugget risks drifting into forgotten territory. So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to refresh the memory of those that have heard it, and perhaps pique the interest of those that haven't. Il Giro Strano were a precursor to Corte dei Miracoli, as keyboardist Alessio Feltri was the driving force behind both bands. Don't expect any crazy synths on this one though, as La Divinia Commedia is a mostly organ-driven production, supplemented amply by sax and flute, with the typical heavy prog sound of the day. But Il Giro Strano were an above average group, and the last three tracks on the disc indicate the band had some very interesting ideas. Unfortunately, those songs were never properly recorded, and we are left with a historical document in the form of a hastily made demo.

Fortunately, the band was properly documented on the first two tracks, totaling 24 minutes. "Il 13 Transistor" begins eerily, evoking the sound of E.A. Poe or J.E.T. and briskly picks up the tempo as the song chugs along. A majestic half-time section offers some respite from the break-neck repeating figure. An extended sax solo adds yet more variation, then a swirling organ break gives way to a reprise of the intro theme. While nice, "Il 13 Transistor" is far from groundbreaking or sophisticated. "Il Corridoio Nero" allows a bit more progress, converting from jazz-rock, to prog folk, to a psych jam - all in the first five minutes. The latter half of the song is a technical workout, gradually increasing in tempo, and features both sax and drum solos.

I refrain from a review of the remaining tracks, as the sound quality is so bad it does not warrant one. However, you will want to listen to them at least once, as they do provide a glimpse of what the band may have accomplished. Viewing them in the proper context (as bonus tracks) does not prevent Il Giro Strano from earning a three-star recommendation, as the preceding studio work is undoubtedly good, but regrettably non-essential. Perhaps one day La Divinia Commedia will be reissued or at least sold digitally...until that day, it is not worth the $40-60 it is currently fetching.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |


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