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Il Balletto di Bronzo - Ys CD (album) cover

YS

Il Balletto di Bronzo

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.19 | 384 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars One of the legendary and darker Italian Prog bands of all-time, Il Balletto di Bronzo came from Napoli and were formed as Battitori Selvaggi inl ate-70's.Marco Cecioni on guitars/vocals, Lino Ajello on guitars, Michele Cupaiuolo on bass and Giancarlo Stinga were the original line-up, that put up the ''Sirio 2222'' album in 1971 on RCA, actually a good Heavy/Psychedelic Rock album.Afterwards Cupaiuolo and Cecione left the band to be replaced by keyboardist Gianni Leone and bassist Vito Manzari.The entrance of Leone brough a significant change to style as presented on the second album ''Ys'', released in 1972 on Polydor.

Considered by many prog listeners as a masterpiece of Progressive Rock, ''Ys'' kicks off with the long ''Introduzione'', a mix of complex Symphonic Rock ala E.L.P. and typical Italian Hard Prog of the OSAGE TRIBE/JUMBO school.With absolutely angular guitar riffs and solos and a Gianni Leone spreading out all his keyboard talent, the composition is characterized by its mournful Mellotron interludes, the sudden synth breaks and the powrerful organ washes, as ''Introduzione'' changes tempos and moods in a blink of an eye, making it at the same time a rather inconsistent but strangely attractive listening at the same time.The irritating vocals of Leone, already present from the start, continue on ''Primo incontro'' with its bizzare rhythms supported by sharp, psychedelic guitars and the dreamy harsichord of Leone in another schizophenic arrangement.''Secondo Incontro'' is closer to MUSEO ROSENBACH, a passionate track where alternating Mellotron, flute strings and organs complete a frenetic trip into Il Balletto di Bronzo's adventurous skills.''Terzo Incontro'' combines the very complex Prog of the band with another poetic performance by Leone, based on loose individual performances, like Leone and Ajello work for a different direction.Another complete madness by the group.''Epilogo'' is propably the most consistent of all tracks.Incredible dual keyboard/piano parts with a pounding rhythm section meet a more theatrical and softer side of the group, although a mad atmosphere remains definitely present with over-the-top vocals and abstract jams at moments.However the magnificent piano lines next to the bombastic Mellotron notes offer one of the most unique moments of the album.

The following year Il Balletto di Bronzo split up because of personal arguments and the last single ''La tua casa comoda'' was only played by Leone and Stinga.A rather accesible track, included in many CD reissues of ''Ys'', presenting the more melodic, easy-going still proggy side of the group.Leone released a couple of albums as Leo Nero in late-70's, while the rest of the group moved to Sweden without any further traces.During the 90's Leone fronted the revival of Il Balletto di Bronzo with Romolo Amici on bass and Ugo Vantini on drums, both of Divae fame (whom he helped in their sole release ''Determinazione''), a comeback which lasted till late-00's alongside bass player Marco Capozi and drummer Adolfo Ramundo.

''Ys'' is a strange album indeed.Magnificent and masterful at moments, but maybe a bit too loose and slightly abstract, although the band could produce some really personal atmospheres.Anyway this album is highly recommended for any lover of Classic Italian Prog and strongly recommended to the rest, especially those deep into haunting, doomy and bombastic Progressive Rock...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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