Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Il Babau & i maledetti cretini - La Maschera Della Morte Rossa CD (album) cover


Il Babau & i maledetti cretini


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.90 | 13 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars Intense phonodrama!

Centered around Damiano and Franz Casanova, Il Babau e i Maledetti Cretini have returned after a ten year hiatus and have released their album, "La Maschera della Morte Rossa: Dall'omomino racconto di Edgar Allan Poe." The album is short, at only 24 minutes, which is brief even by 1970s RPI standards. But the content and packaging make up for the brevity!

As it was conceived as a "phonodrama," essentially program music for Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Mask of Red Death," the music is best appreciated in conjunction with the packaging. The album comes with a beautiful booklet containing several beautiful images along with a slightly altered version of the story, both in English and Italian, the images following the narration. The musical ideas are somewhat sparing; of the six tracks, three are instrumental and three contain a dramatic reading of the story (in Italian) with dramatic mood music as a backdrop, waxing and waning according to the drama of the story. The instrumental tracks are wonderful, though the musical ideas are limited. The melody of the first track, "Danza Macabra," is based on the Gregorian chant "Dies Irae." The track builds from a mellow guitar superimposed on pastoral sounds (the setting of the story), gradually building as bass, keyboards, and drums enter the mix. My favorite track, "La Balla Mascherata," is similar in structure to the first track but is less gloomy, mirroring the attempts of those in attendance at the masked ball to forget the horror surrounding them. The final track, "Dissoluzione Finale," depicts the bleak darkness after all the revelers have fallen victim to the plague, so understandably the music is darker, denser, less structured. The music on the three narrated tracks is similar in style but evocative and brooding, accentuating the narrative and only occasionally eclipsing it.

This album is billed as "Fonodramma 1" in a "Trilogia di Misterio e del Terrore." So I admit I'm looking forward to the next two installments! The album is more disciplined than their debut ten years earlier--sometimes that's good, sometimes I miss the youthful exuberance of "Dio Dio Mio." But this is a wonderful album, especially when experienced in company with the libretto. I encourage you to seek it out--it's available at the time of writing from BTF and in the US from Synphonic. Four stars! (Gnosis 11/15)

Todd | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.