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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Darwin! CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.37 | 1138 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars Darwin continues the extravagant and chaotic sound of Banco's debut album, with more focused songwriting to yield a more cohesive and enjoyable album. While the intricate instrumental passages, operatic vocals, and overall tight musicianship are still present, the slightly over-ambitious nature of the debut is mostly not, making this a bit easier to follow.

The album opens with the 14-minute 'L'Evoluzione.' This is pretty similar to the 18-minute track on the debut, except the ideas on this one are more diverse and melodically satisfying, and the arrangement is a bit more coherent. Though I still believe Banco are at their best with the shorter songs in the 5-9 minute range.

'La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta' is a good example of this. In its nearly nine-minute length, it accomplishes more than most of Banco's 10+ minute works, and is one of the band's best. The song mostly confines to the bands darker and dramatic edge, and fools extensively with synth to give it a rather symphonic atmosphere with changing intensity levels throughout.

'Danza Dei Grandi Rettili' is a fun instrumental with a very gentle jazz sound. A great juxtapose to the overall intense and fast-paced sound the band usually tries to achieve.

But this soon changes with the chaotic 'Cento Mani E Cento Occhi' and it's brief all-over- the-place opening. The main theme is great, and in between repetitions are some interesting keyboard interludes, some of which remind me greatly of ELP.

The remaining tracks don't quite meet the same level as the first few, but are far from uninteresting. '750.000 Anni Fa... L'Amore?' Is mostly a mid-tempo piano based song. 'Miserere Alla Storia' starts off with some bouncy synth shenanigans (which return later in the song) before settling into a mid-tempo with clarinet work.

The final 'Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde... Non Ne Ho!' is a baroque-tinted song with harpsichord, and an almost marching, anthem like feel with an obvious Italian inflection.

Overall, this is a delightfully adventurous album with tons of crazy moments, but never gets too out of hand. Controlled chaos is what I'd call it, and works perfectly for this album.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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