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Procession - Fiaba CD (album) cover

FIABA

Procession

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.81 | 41 ratings

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coasterzombie
3 stars Fiaba is Procession's second (and final) album, and a far cry from their blissfully heavy 1972 debut. By 1974 only singer Gianfranco Gaza and guitarist Roby Munciguerra remained from the original group; the twin-guitar approach from Frontiera is abandoned in favor of woodwinds, sparse percussion and walking bass lines. I prefer the first album, but Fiaba has its moments and definitely belongs in any complete RPI discussion - although the impact on progressive music as a whole is negligible. Sales for Fiaba were virtually nonexistent and Procession folded shortly upon release. Highlights include the opening "Uomini Di Vento" and somber "Un Mondo Sprecato." I tend to lose interest after those first two tracks and wish the aggressive swagger of Frontiera would kick in, but it never does.

"Uomini Di Vento" is the closest thing to 1972 Procession found here. Francesco Francica of Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno plows a funky path, laying down a solid drum beat upon which bassist Paolo D'Angelo treads assuredly. Flute and sax solos are skillfully played by Maurizio Gianotti. Gaza's voice is in top form, retaining its warbly, emphatically powerful quality. The tone shifts dramatically on "Un Mondo Sprecato," as the singer displays a seemingly new-found tenderness. The slow tempo allows Munciguerra to explore a soaring Gilmouresque solo; finally Gaza reenters and gently closes the song on verse, which creates a sense of unresolved tension. "Un Mondo Sprecato" abruptly ends and we are treated to another stylistic change on "C'era una Volta" - to Jazz Rock this time. Sizzling cymbals support a sleazy sax while guitars chug along in the background. Suddenly, the mood shifts to upbeat Neopolitan folk, sounding not unlike Citta Frontale. This middle section fades out a little too soon for my taste, as the last three minutes build to a cliché crescendo.

Side two still suffers from an identity complex as Procession try to work through various passages, impersonating a classically symphonic RPI band at times ("Notturno"), and a folk/canzone group at others ("Il Volo Della Paura"). The title track seems to finally settle on a cohesive style, but feels too little too late. I do not regret adding Fiaba to my RPI library, but the title will be largely irrelevant for most and only mildly enjoyable for Italian Prog newbies. I recommend the debut to hear Procession in its element and at the peak of their powers; Fiaba displays a shadow of that great band trying to adapt and catch a break near the end of a creative wave.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |

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