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Progenesi - Ulisse: L'Alfiere Nero CD (album) cover

ULISSE: L'ALFIERE NERO

Progenesi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.06 | 79 ratings

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Todd
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars Another great 2013 RPI release

In what is becoming a banner year for Rock Progressivo Italiano, another excellent entry is new band Progenesi. Their debut is a concept album centered around Ulysses, entitled "Ulisse: L'Alfiere Nero" (the Black Bishop). This ambitious album is entirely instrumental, but surprisingly the narrative stays strong throughout the work, even without words. But regardless, the music is special--as my friend and RPI team member Aussie- Bird-Brother commented, "there's never a weak moment." And it is true! The heart of the work is 1970s RPI (the band states on their website that Le Orme and PFM are influences, but I can also surely catch Banco in there), mixed with the work of 1970s English bands (specifically ELP and Genesis, with some Pink Floyd). But there are also classically inspired themes (Bartok especially plays a role on the second track) and jazz passages-- but despite the great musicianship of the band members, virtuosity never eclipses melody and theme on this album. And the melodies are strong--like any great RPI band. All of the musicians share the stage, with no one in particular dominating--and guest musicians provide violin and cello to wonderful effect, greatly enhancing the mood and feel of the album. Perhaps two contemporary references that come to mind are Ego (especially their "Evoluzione delle Forme" album) and the recent debut by Soulengine (as pointed out by my friend and RPI team member seventhsojourn). But in my opinion, Progenesi is a few steps ahead of those worthy bands, particularly on the strength of the melodies and themes.

Visit the band's website, where there are links to YouTube videos of several of the songs on the album, as well as photos on Facebook that are contained in the CD booklet, photos that add to the narrative sense of the work. Enjoy this wonderful band! Four solid stars, and climbing! (Gnosis 12/15)

Todd | 4/5 |

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