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Egonon - Risveglio CD (album) cover

RISVEGLIO

Egonon

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.22 | 115 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
4 stars One thing is certain about the composition and execution of this album's songs: There is nothing simple or easy here! Each song packs in so much subtlety and so many twists that the listener barely has time to get used to a groove or melody when it's gone. If I have one complaint about Risviglio it is that there seems a bit of a formula at work here: the blending of soft sensitive intro sections with heavier B sections and then peppering the song with quirky brief little C sections, pauses, cadences or bridges. I admire the band's bold and effective blending of instrumentation and vocals (even languages!) rock, classical, Indo-Arabian Italian, and of course heavier elements of rock and roll. Yet even at its heaviest, the instrumentalists seem incredibly sensitive to the delicacies of their sound, of their intentions. Influences could be as diverse as AREA, OSANNA, BANCO del MUTUO SOCCORSO, LUNATIC SOUL/RIVERSIDE, KING CRIMSON or even A PERFECT CIRCLE.

1. "Phosforo" (4:16). I like the muted vocals and muted trumpets of the A parts, the heavier B parts make it sound like Maynard James Keenan's PERFECT CIRCLE. (8/10)

2. "Lacrime di luce" (6:50) begins with samples from Italian television. Gorgeous acoustic guitars and mellotrons enter to set up alternating channel lead vocals. Has a bit of LUNATIC SOUL feel. Love the first two minutes. Flute and deep male voice mellotron introduce next heavier 'chorus' section. Cool to hear "heavy" parts done with acoustic guitars and mellotrons. Interesting pause near the five minute mark. Again, PERFECT CIRCLE are my best comparison/reference. (9/10)

3. "Risveglio" (4:28) begins with sitar and drone. At one minute mark enters drums, followed by electric guitar power chords, but sitar, acoustic guitars and Middle Eastern-sounding flutes accompany! Ensuing pause filled by percussive notes of a ChapmanStick with cello playing over. After another round of the harmonized vocal part a voice is singing in Arabian. Saxophone and female voice! What an odd song using such wildly disparate sounds, tempos, and incidentals! To great effect. (9/10)

4. "Alma senza virta" (4:38) begins with cello and woodwind, then deep male voice, adding rolling toms and Arabian violin-like instrument as it builds into a heavier song. At three minute mark is an odd little section of double bass, woodwind and hand percussion, before song returns to original B and A parts. (8/10)

5. "L'uomo libero" (5:24) begins with vocal, backed by piano and soft electric guitar arpeggios before cello/viola joins. Vocal harmonies are quite typical of RPI. Pause filled by trumpet and piano, then cello, piano and voice. A distinctively Spanish feel to this song's melody and singing--not unlike THE GYPSY KINGS. Beat piks up at 2:20 and transmutes into an almost B:LUE OYSTER CULT-like section (saxes make it stand out on its own). Electric guitars backed by mellotron again fill the background. As singers belt it out. Another lull at 3:50 in which plaintive voice sings over repeated electric guitar arpeggios and soloing trumpet. FRIPP-like electric guitar supplants voice for a solo along with the trumpet to end. (8/10)

6. "Voglio essere piccolo" (4:06) begins interestingly but then bleeds into a very pop-sounding B section. But the chorus section is heavier. The following vocal section is one of my favorites on the album: whispers, pleadings, great acoustic guitars. Then back to the chorus. At 2:05 a GENTLE GIANT-like multi-vocal display begins, morphing into a heavier ARJEN LUCCASSON-like section. At 3:05 drums bring us back to the lighter acoustic guitar section. Three songs in a row in which the lead guitarist has chosen a very familiar ROBERT FRIPP sound--dating all the way back to the early 70s. (8/10)

7. "Golgotha" (4:55) is begun with the sound of wind and a distant trumpet echoing from far away. Guitars usher in the heavier rock sounds, which fall away when the emotional soft vocals begin. Keening sound of an oud seems to accompany throughout (except for avant jazz section at 3:30). One of the album's heavier songs, yet as quirky and unpredictable as the rest. (8/10)

8. "Khamsin" (1:32) constitutes a lone male voice singing what sounds like an Arabic religious song. Pretty.

9. "Maya" (3:55) begins with some very typical RPI vocals but played over unusual instruments: Arabian strings (oud et al.) and female chants, flutes, bass, acoustic guitar. This could be something from an album by BANCO, AREA or OSANNA. Chorus section is built around electric guitar power chords and saxophone bursts. Excellent bass play throughout this song. What a complex weave! The Arabian themes continue, complete with some female Arabian vocals before and while the song gets heaviest (3:00). Fade with female vocalist singing in that middle Eastern keen. (8/10)

10. "Rosso asfalto" (5:41) is one of the few songs here that starts out on the heavy side and then settles back into a softer section before building. Some fast-speaking lyrics at times feeling as if they are delivering a tongue-in-cheek message. (Red asphalt?!) Ends with a phone conversation. These last two could have easily been from an AREA album. (8/10)

11. "Tra la notte e l'alba (4:03) begins rather delicately, synth and FRIPP "Moonchild"-like guitar notes, before kicking into a more evolved version of KC, say the Larks Tongue era. Less quirks and tricks on this more straightforward rock song. Not a favorite of mine. (But, then, neither is Larks Tongue-era KC.) (7/10)

12. "Tutto cia che avevo era un'anima" (3:52) is another song which makes me feel as if the band is getting a bit tired of diversity, seeking more to settle into more straightforward rock formulae. A little LINCOLN PARK, anyone? Great cello, though! The laugh at the end says it all--and I couldn't agree more. (6/10)

13. "Sul lato caldo della strada" (3:52) begins with that ominous delicacy that just shouts "Just wait: the loudness is coming!" But when the electric guitars come it is with the unexpected accompaniment of female choir and the a chorus sung in English ("Over the rainbow...") Nothing new or unexpected here. (7/10)

14. "L'abito bianco" (4:35) begins with some chanting, as if mountain monks from Eastern and Western traditions were joined together. The song that comes out of this chanting harkens back to a LINCOLN PARK/KING CRIMSON/KINKS union. (8/10)

15. "Coda 43 km!" (2:03) begins with some voices talking as if their in a highway underpass or tunnel. Pulsing reverse squeezebox and echo-treated trumpet join in as cars pass by from both right and left. By 1:10 the musical instruments have left and we are left with just the sounds of the passing cars. And then nothing.

The inventive, complicated compositions here are played and recorded incredibly well but leave me with the feeling that all is one, all are the same, no one song or melody or hook stays in my mind, haunts me, draws me back. I listen to this album from time to time--particularly since it continues to be so highly rated here on PA--but it has never been a labour of love. This music is, for me, interesting more than engaging. I find myself amused and entertained by the musicianship, creative constructs, and unpredictable instrumental combinations, but fail to come away loving this music. Recommended to all for the unusual experience each will take away, but I would not call this an essential addition to any prog lover's collection. For some it may become essential (especially RPI lovers), for others excellent, for still others only something good--a nice experience once in one's lifetime. I am probably of this latter category: once I've posted this review it is unlikely that I will ever return to this album again.

3.5 stars rated up for my appreciation of the talent and courageousness of its composers and performers.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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