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Aufklarung - D L Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere CD (album) cover




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2 stars Consorzio Acqua Potabile could take a lesson from these guys. (In fact, you should read my review of Consorzio's album Il Bianco Regno di Dooah before continuing to read this.) In this regard, if we had half-star ratings, I would give these guys two-and-a-half stars (I gave Consorzio two). Because although Aufklarung also wears its influences (early Genesis, lots of Marillion, some ELP et al) on its sleeve, they, at least, succeed (though admittedly not always) in "channeling" those influences into something resembling originality. In addition, their somewhat "disjointed" instrumental sections have a much better "flow" from one to another, and there does seem to be a sense of direction here (though I'm not always sure what direction that is...) Also like Consorzio, the band suffers from the lack of a compelling lead vocal. Still, worth a listen and, if you really like this sort of thing (i.e., shamelessly influenced European prog), maybe worth keeping.
Report this review (#1130)
Posted Sunday, February 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can we find in an Italian band with a German name and English lyrics? The answer is excellent music, very nice melodies in an obscure neo prog style. Four long tracks showing some Genesis and Marillion (era Fish) influences and some classic Italian flavour, plenty of variations, and always emphasized the melodic line. "Red Shift" is the first theme, with lots of rythmical changes and beautiful atmospheres, including a little chaotic part a la Banco, finishing with a solemn organ. "Jethro Van Hall" is an obscure song, very interesting, but "Il Funerale Della Luna" is the highlight: despite some Marillion touches, we find again continuous changes into a wonderful melody. The last track (two in one), "Eclipse/Echoes Wave" is a very calm and soft piece, a wonderful way to close the stuff. Each time I'm going to hear a neo prog album, I have several doubts about quality, originality, etc., but I must recognize that "De' La' Tempesta..." removed many prejudices I had, and it is -beside Clepsydra's "Alone"- the best neo production I ever listened.
Report this review (#1131)
Posted Sunday, February 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now this is a defintive classic which needs to adorn your hearth at Christmas time! AUFKLARUNG blend a wide range of influences giving the listener a very original offering. Imagine a blend of TANGERINE DREAM, ASGARD and old GENESIS with just a dash of KING CRIMSON and you have AUFKLARUNG. For those who like me are avid ASGARD fans, please Kikki Grosso sings throughout the CD (enough for most to buy it alone!). This is a very dark and secretive recording which is very moody and forboding... obviously not for weddings!. Musicianship is high here and they create a very surreal sound led by the use of synths and guitar. This is one the gems from Pick Up Records and is essential.
Report this review (#1132)
Posted Saturday, March 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Probably one of the best Italian symphonic albums of the nineties, characterized by such great atmospheres, plentiful of powerful music passages and an exceptional intensity as well. The production as usual is not equal to the best modern production, because probably their budget was not so high!! Anyway the simple but powerful harmonic solutions of the guitars, enriched with nice keyboards, are worth checking out!!

Highly recommended!!

Report this review (#1133)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I started "Red Shift" and was enjoying the fade in and ambient noises when (darn it!) the singing started and made me giggle. There's a PINK FLOYD influence here and there, especially in the chord progressions, and it's done with more personality and restraint than several bands I've heard. That voice, however...shades of the overly dramatic deep-throated delivery more common in 80's synth bands and goth-inspired musical theater. And then the portamento-drenched synth wackiness...oh well, I'll keep listening and hope the rest redeems them. Indeed, the classical guitar section is delicious, with a pretty flute solo on top and delicate synth pads beneath, but then the drums kick in and we're back in dramaville. Perhaps if I didn't understand the lyrics I would be more impressed...short segway (remember the opening ambience on "Close to the Edge"?) into the next piece, unfortunately titled "Jetho van Hall". Again, the instrumental parts promise pleasant listening but the vocals let it down somewhat. Bright and energetic passages, followed by heavier sections, followed by heavy and energetic sections, all of which lack real heart. Hmm, he actually refers to himself as "soulless" in this one- maybe it's all self-parody? Nope, they're probably serious. Nice guitar solo though, Michele (or Fabio). The funeral of the Moon should be a perfect topic for them, but "Il Funeralle" is less mournful and more off-Broadway experimental theater-ish. They dig into metal tones and industrial sounds a bit here, even some semi- funky guitar comping- showcasing the range of the band if nothing else. "Eclipse/ Echo's Wave" starts with some warm, flowing analog synth, with the vocals sounding more restrained (reminding me of Peter Gabriel near the end) but there's still too much pomposity in the body of the piece. I would be interested in hearing the band with a female lead singer; nothing would more dramatically compliment their backing textures. The heavier sections would probably still sound too limp, but as it is the band is almost past saving. One star for the guitars, and another for the nice intros and solo sections.
Report this review (#1138)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
The Prognaut
4 stars Authentic masterpiece of '95, this Italian group counts within their kindlinesses with a potent, convincing voice in English that despite my opinion of doesn't asking much from itself, it shows character and personality, strength and beauty that suits perfectly the versatile, exquisite taste the band expresses.

AUFKLRUNG is like a painting of rich and assorted colors, where not only each one of them is individually beautiful, but where the same colorful textures are willing to show something that in a togetherness works out even perfectly.

"Il Funeralle Della Luna", the third out of the four tracked disc; is a majestic piece that right after been listened to leaves a dazzling effect upon oneself. This song takes the best out of each instrument played there and then it fuses them into ambitious atmospheres where you just can't stop amazing yourself over and over again.

The album is quite profound, containing as true meaning the fact of getting you introduced into fabulous passages marvelously intertwined that evoke a feeling of pure, truthful pleasure within yourself.

This piece of work is among the best productions I have listened to during the 90's, that as many other recordings of unquestionable quality, haven't had reached the financial success, and given the opportunity, you oughta purchase. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Report this review (#1139)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars to submit a review for this record is a great pleasure for me. In 2003 I've been member of this band (unfortunately for a very few rehearsals) and I could appreciate the sound, the groove, and their professional approach to anything dealing with music. De' la' Tempesta... is at the same time the cause and the product of these skills. It's the essence of this ten years old band, which nevertheless several line-up switching, keeps on going on the rails of values like hard work (balancing music and personal jobs),honesty and professionality. Keep Going Guys,Good Luck
Report this review (#41786)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I bought this after listening to the free download on this site. This album is an unassuming piece which exuded surprising class. Yes, there are Genesis influences, especially the third track, where the vocals are Gabriel-like, and the keyboards reminiscent of Mr Banks. But the album stands up well in its own right. Track three is probably the strongest song here, with wonderful keyboards, and a deliciously melodic ending called "Silence In The Darkness". This is credited as an extra track on the cd, but belongs at the end of the third song. Beautiful stuff this. The opener is also strong and, in fact, there is no weak tracks here at all. Dominated by acoustic guitar, flute, and passionate vocals, this whole album should be a pleasant surprise for anyone who takes a chance on it. Yes, some of the early Italian bands come to mind as well, and even the quieter moments of King Crimson, but the group have there own identity as well. It's a pity they didn't do a second album, as anything as good, or better, than this, would have been quite special. A worthy addition to any collection. Three stars today, but, on some days, worth four.
Report this review (#44744)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I must admit,this is not pure 5 stars album(4/5),but I like it very much.This is mixture of MARILLION/GENESIS best era styles with a strong touch of Folk Prog (wonderful acoustic guitars and medieval flute).Grosso sings in very Gabrielesque way,and I like this way of singing! Despite few ordinary and boring moments,the whole album sounds very nice and pretty symphonic.That's the music I like most!!! Recommended to all Neo/New Symphonic devotees!
Report this review (#80492)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I got this album because I loved the singing of Grosso on the Asgard albums. Here, however, he is much less powerful and evocative, and I get the feeling that the band asked him to restrain his singing and to try hard to emulate Peter Gabriel from the 70's. I suppose, in that sense, he succeded somewhat. But to me, the singing lacks conviction, passion, and fire which he demostrated so brilliantly on the Asgard releases. In any case, the songs here are not bad at all. Something of a mix of Gabriel era Genesis and more modern (for the mid-90's anyway) ambient sounds, as well as some nylon string guitar and flute folkyness. I find Il Funeralle Della Luna to be the most interesting song, with the final number being also fairly strong. But the whole thing is pretty consistent. It sounds like a band that never had a chance to grow beyond their obvious influences (mainly Genesis), but still managed to develop something of their own sound. It would have been interesting to hear further albums from them, but this is the only one. Most dissapointing for me would be that this was the last I would hear of Grosso.

An average album, only required for Asgard fans and proggers with vast collection. 3 solid stars.

Report this review (#80507)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What if Genesis was played on a stormy day?

You'll end up with this record. I did enjoy it the very first time, especially the flute/ acoustic guitar segments that reminded me what would Hackett sound like on heavy clouded day. I did felt a bit of sadness when I heard the singer with his very Gabrielish style of singing...well, another one to add in the voluminous pile. Some things are what they are; and lots of singers seem happy with imitating Peter. Why moan about it anymore? Why not simply enjoying it? That's what I thought, and it paid: I enjoy this record a lot.

The mood is set for a dark and stormy afternoon, a tad depressing I might add (apart for the second track! Sunny sunny flower and bee). The singer is melancholic, and so is the acoustic guitar/mellotron/flute combo. But in that gentleness sometimes lightning strucks with great riffs and keyboard solos (reminding Contagion of Arena at moments). The whole things floats rather gently and with harmony, without rushing the ideas or feeling like bits of copy/paste instrumental segments. Hold on, this is in the no-progressive bin? Well, good classification or not, No-progressive never sounded that and profound.

I recommend this record eyes closed; it's easy to find, it's the only Italian band with a german name singing in English.

Report this review (#208402)
Posted Monday, March 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars It's kind of strange having an Italian band with a German name singing in English isn't it ? This was their sole release back in 1995. The liner notes are all in Italian except for the English song lyrics. I never thought i'd be giving this 3.5 after my first couple of listens but this really grew on me. Still not quite 4 stars in my opinion.

We have four long tracks beginning with "Red Shift". It opens with samples of someone walking and nature sounds.Thunder and rain follows. Vocals and synths before 2 minutes. Drums join in then guitar around 4 minutes. Great sound here. Drums get heavier and become the focus before 6 minutes. Lots of synths too. The guitar starts to solo. Church organ after 9 minutes. A calm follows with flute and acoustic guitar. Vocals are back 12 minutes in as it picks back up.That song is the highlight for me. "Jetho Van Hall" again opens with nature sounds and someone walking. Gentle guitar takes over as vocals join in. Drums and synths follow. It picks up 2 1/2 minutes in. A good section around 5 minutes with vocals, electric guitar and drums.The organ comes in when the vocals stop.

"Il Funeralle Della Luna" opens with acoustic guitar as reserved vocals come in. Drums after 2 minutes. It picks up after 3 minutes as it gets heavier with lots of synths. A calm with reserved vocals 5 minutes in. It's GENESIS- like when the vocals stop. Very pastoral. It then kicks back in before 7 1/2 minutes. "Eclipse / Echo's Wave" opens with what sounds like mellotron then synths. Lots of atmosphere after 2 minutes. Acoustic guitar 3 minutes in. It picks up after 4 1/2 minutes. Vocals 6 minutes in. Vocals stop when it settles and flute comes in. Vocals are back before it ends with nature sounds and someone walking.

Report this review (#283504)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Aufklarung (that means from german language, light or often used as enlightenment) is a neo prog band from Italy with only one album released in 1995, issued at small label Pick Up Records. To tell the truth I was very pleasent surprised what I heared here, is one of those neo prog albums, that are instant catchy and above all is very rich in arrangements and is more elastic in manner of composing that more then half of the neo bands on the market in last 20 years. They sung in english, even they have a german nam and are from Italy, and sung very well, the vocalist Chicco Grosso from another neo prog band from Italy Asgard done a very good job here, his voice is perfect for such music and doesn't have that italian feel to it in the singing, I could swear is a british singer, very nice. The instrumental passages are killer, really, I like it a lot, are very well performed, with plenty of intristing moments, guitar and keybords comes in front, being very well arranged. 4 long pieces, all aver 10 min long shows a very mature and carefuly arranged parts even is only the first and turned to be their last album aswell in prog world. I said before that this album is more elastic in compostions then many bands I've heared before in this field, they are not followers of '80's neo prog zoe, they have their own identity, showing a very solid musicianship on all 4 pieces. The duel between guitar and keybords are excellent, they are not useing the same formula in arrangements as many bads did before and after them only to copy the great neo british bands from mid to late '80's they infuse very solid parts, where can easy be heared fantstic and inventiv parts, both on more releaxed parts as on most up beat ones. Not a weak moment here, all 4 tracks are excellent and worth to be investigated for sure for any prog listner not only those who are more into neo prog. I like it a lot, a because of that easy 4 stars, one of the front neo prog albums that goes rather unnoticed in prog circles, even sounds 100 times better then most of the bands from this field, really great and almost forgotten jewel from Italy, recommended for sure.
Report this review (#601250)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an extremely impressive neo-prog album from this Italian one album wonder act. With Asgard's Chicco Grosso on lead vocals doing an absolutely pitch-perfect reproduction of Peter Gabriel's Genesis-era delivery, nostalgia is obviously the order of the day, but Aufklarung spice up the typical Marillion-Genesis hybrid with ideas borrowed from musical genres ranging from New Age to the very verge of heavy metal.and industrial music. With compositions packed with surprises, the album is far more inventive than many other bands' debuts, and it's a very great shame that we don't have any more music from this mysterious and enigmatic act. Very highly recommended indeed to all prog fans, unless Genesis influences are a complete turn-off.
Report this review (#620626)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Phew! This album just blew me out immediately, so much so that I had to replay it again. It's not very common that I am sold on any work at first listen, but this one is a rare exception. I just hope that the excitement will remain - and also that the artists too, remain active in the music scene.

Undoubtedly, this work sounds like Peter Hammill is just leaving the studio to let Fish and Hackett have a great time together with Gabriel dropping in for a quick hello and all this is backed by Marillion on a very good day. No suggestion about plagiarism here, it's only the style that's perfectly re-created. Admittedly, I am not a connoisseur of Italo-Prog and generally I have a preference for instrumental music, but even the vocals here are delightfully pleasant and indeed I am looking forward to hear more from this singer and the rest of the band.

Four longish tracks (none under 10 minutes) delivered with admirable ease and precision with no hint of trying too hard, a common pitfall of many who try to impress beyond their abilities. My limited German knowledge translates "aufklarung" as "enlightenment". This music befits that term perfectly without any hint of New Age style (musical) boredom that could send you to sleep bordering on coma. Not here. Wholesome synth/organ-work supported by a great rhythm section, nice rhythm changes reminiscent of early Camel alongside the heartfelt singing keeps me alert and very receptive, yet able to lose track of time. Somewhat of a paradox adding to the magic I experience with great delight.

The production is also excellent and my only gripe is that nearly 45 minutes of playing time appears to pass so quickly that I had to check if my copy was correct. The work is that engaging and I am not quite a novice to music appreciation.

There is no way that I would offer this remarkably intelligent work anything under 5 big ones here in return for the pleasure I receive from this album. Not really groundbreaking, but seamless delivery ensures due recognition.

Anyone who is not adverse to Genesis, Marillion should check this one out before the limited copies become expensive collector's items..

Report this review (#852131)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This cult Italian band was brought together in 1990 from the merger of two different groups, the original Aufklarung of Fabio Guadalupi (guitars), Sandro D'Ammacco (drums) and Giampaolo Di Totero (bass) and The Eclipse of Marco Mancarella (keyboards) and Michele Martello (guitars).D'Ammacco and Di Totero were replaced by Massimo Mignini and Luciano Ribini respectively and with Edoardo Lecci on vocals/flutes the band recorded a first demo soon after.By the time of the recordings of their debut at Studiolab in Cascina, Lecci was stuck within his military obligations and participated only on flute.The result was the appearance of Chico Grosso on vocals, who had a respectable career with Asgard and had already begun his new challenge with Germans Ines.''De' la tempesta..... L'oscuro piacere'' was eventually released in 1995 on Pick Up Records.

Aufklarung played a GENESIS-influenced Neo Prog with evident references to the music of early MARILLION and traces of Italian legends PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI in the acoustic parts.The album offers four long tracks, around 10 minutes or more each, with notable Classical and symphonic inspirations but with a contemporary touch in general, mainly due to the heavy use of synthesizers.The musicianship is pretty rich with plenty of different segments, split nicely between melodic and more atmospheric moments.The lyrical passages along with the fiery keyboard textures recall the best of FISH-era MARILLION, while the presence of Grosso draws reasonable comparisons with the music of ASGARD, though Aufklarung are definitely less darker.The basic elements of all compositions seem to be three: The poetical mood, led by Grosso's incredible FISH-like vocals, the delicate acoustic interludes with the flutes in evidence and the overall very Italian, folky atmosphere and the bombastic keyboard-based instrumental parts with the discreet use of organs and the loads of synthesizers and melodic guitars.Originality is an issue.All aforementioned groups come to mind listening to the album, while at moments the music flirts dangerously with some of the most familiar MARIILION tunes.Still there is plenty to like in here, from the well-crafted melodies to the great keyboard runs to the mellow waves of the folky tunes.

Aufklarung were not destined to play much longer.The lack of a secure contract seems to have affected the band, which left no further traces after this release.''De' la tempesta..... L'oscuro piacere'' is definitely a fantastic listening for any dedicated Neo Prog fan, but the absence of personality might bother some listeners.Yet the contained music is pretty cool and thus the album comes as warmly recommended.

Report this review (#1019158)
Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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