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I Califfi - Fiore di Metallo CD (album) cover

FIORE DI METALLO

I Califfi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.34 | 37 ratings

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coasterzombie
3 stars I Califfi were a beat group in the late Sixties that dissolved leaving only bassist Franco Boldrini. After recruiting a new band, Boldrini and I Califfi were signed to Fonit/Cetra and unleashed this one-album-wonder before disbanding again. Fiore Di Metallo can be categorized under RPI, but is mainly Heavy Prog with a few symphonic tangents and a definite pop bent. These diverse qualities contribute to a mismatched assortment of tunes that are somehow satisfying, but not particularly challenging. I hear a Deep Purple influence on some tracks, but ELP and Yes on others; Fiore di Metallo would probably appeal to fans of both camps, but will be of primary interest to RPI collectors as all the lyrics are in Italian of course. Having said that, there are way too many RPI essentials to get through before this - it might be in my top 100, but is no where near the top 50.

The first ten minutes of Fiore di Metallo don't do much to grab your attention: "Nel Mio Passato" does have some tempo and stylistic changes, but nothing too extreme; "Fiore Finto, Fiore di Metallo" is a passable hard rock song with a few synth flourishes to whet your appetite; the beginning of "Alleluia Gente" exhibits the band's more accessible side. But by the last minute of the third track, an extended instrumental outtro permits I Califfi to embellish a simple melody with some unexpectedly elegant musicianship. This newly revealed skill is fully announced on "Varius."

If Rick Wakeman and Carl Palmer had a baby that fell from space and made music, it would sound like "Varius." This song is so completely out of left field and amazing I almost want to rate the album four stars on sheer principle. Alas, five minutes of perfection does not an album make. "Varius" is undoubtedly the highlight of Fiore di Metallo and Califfi seems like a different band entirely. Sadly, they return to a more commercial sound on "Felicita, Sorriso e Pianto" which is not terrible, but pales in comparison after "Varius." "A Piedi Scalzi" smokes through heavy riffs and offers the obligatory guitar solo. "Madre, Domani..." begins with a laid-back Prog Folk feel, but turns into what is the most symphonic cut on the album. "Col Vento Nei Capelli" rocks and shows off some sweet dual-guitar action, but feels routine by this point. A final symphonic workout, "Campane" gracefully completes the album. "Campane" like "Varius" is an instrumental, and really advertises what a good band I Califfi could have been. Instead, Fiore di Metallo offers about ten minutes of mind-blowing music, and thirty minutes of other stuff.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |

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