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5 stars Filoritmia is an Italian prog band that was founded in Milan in September 1993. Anyway, it was only in 1997 that the band found the ideal line up, when Roberto Riccardi (guitars) and Matteo Scarparo (bass), joined the historical nucleus formed by Angelo D'Ariano (keyboards), Antonio Mazzucchelli (drums) and Giorgio Mele (vocals). In September 2000, after many years of live performances and pauses dedicated to composition, Filoritmia released their first eponymous album, completely self-produced but featuring an excellent recording quality. All along the album tracks you can find a wide range of sources of inspiration (from classic prog bands like PFM, BMS and Genesis to funky and jazz) but the song-writing is always fresh and original and the result is definitively good.

"There's a man who's walking on my tongue..."... The opener "Al buio" (In the dark) begins like a nursery rhyme on a sound of carillon but after two minutes the music turns into a more dramatic mood. The song was inspired by the worming feeling of racism that was spreading all over Italy after the first waves of illegal immigration in the nineties and tries to shout out the necessity to keep open your mind to different cultures: in the dark you can't perceive the differences in the colour of the skin... "Will the time come at last, when people are not compelled to turn off the light to understand they are all human beings?"

"Rapporto occasionale" (Chance meeting) is another great track featuring vintage sounds that swing from mellow symphonic to hard rock. Lyrics are about the difficulties to communicate with people we don't know because of our hidden fears. According to the band "the music tries to express this idea of deep uneasiness: sudden changes in rhythm and an upbeat-based melody which makes the first listening hard and unnatural..."

"Il mago" (The Wizard) is a "charming" mini suite featuring evocative vocal parts and excellent instrumental breaks. It reminds me every now and again of some works of BMS but the music is original and the sound is up to date. Lyrics are about the charm of words, sweet and easy promises, disillusion and broken dreams... "Come with me, I'm the wizard!". Definitely one of my favourites tracks on this album.

"Fiato sul collo" (Breath on the neck) is long complex track featuring shifting tempos and an excellent guitar solo finale. Lyrics are about the urge to run away from what we don't know and unconsciously fear, because sometimes ill fantasies compel us to prey and "blindly jump" forward...

"La mappa del tempo" (The map of the time) is simpler, light and fresh. It features a funky and swinging mood while ironic lyrics deal with a way of life without any plans for the future...

"Dirti di no" (Saying no to you) is an interesting track that blends reggae patterns to "classic progressive rock" parts with keyboards in the forefront . "I want tyres for exceptional performances / And the sensuality of a man who never needs to ask..."... Lyrics are sarcastic and according to the band this is "a song full of rage that expresses a strong intolerance towards a deep-rooted inclination to superficiality"...

"Per essere felici" (To be happy) is a very good symphonic track featuring a dramatic mood. Lyrics have been inspired by a poem of Fernando Pessoa and are about the meaning of happiness.

"Questo inferno" (This hell) begins with a delicate piano arpeggio, than an obsessive bass line brings an atmosphere of uneasiness. The song is about depression and, according to the band, here "the music is meant to create a dreadful, gloomy atmosphere". All along the nine minutes of the song you can appreciate the excellent musicianship of the band and their ability to create original musical patterns.

"Anima" (Soul) is an energetic and melodic ballad that reminds me of some recent works of Nomadi (with Danilo Sacco on vocals). Lyrics try to describe a kind of quest for the true meaning of life where melancholy is a "mask of fire burning out one's feelings"...

The last track "Epoca lontana" reminds me every now and again of BMS and PFM. Lyrics are about alcohol addiction and the music underlines the moments of crises described by the lyrics...

On the whole an excellent album without weak moments all along more than seventy minutes of music... At the moment the band is in stand by, on account of the difficulties of the prog market... I really hope that this album could be re-released and adequately promoted in the future. In the meantime it can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band... In my opinion this is an essential listen for every Italian prog lover, but have a try and judge by yourselves!

Report this review (#165840)
Posted Sunday, April 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Although FILORITMIA have been rather lately introduced to the prog audience,they're not a new band around.They were formed in Milan by keyboardist Angelo D'Ariano, drummer Antonio Mazzucchelli and singer Giorgio Mele in 1993.It wasn't until 1997 when they secured a stable line-up with the addition of guitarist Roberto Riccardi and bassist Matteo Scarparo. FILORITMIA toured and performed live in furious rhythms and 2000 sees the band releasing their self-titled debut as a private press.

It is a great feeling to see a band producing rock music in a trully artistic point of view with so many influences and different styles.The ten tracks of this album are varied and range from complex, almost jazzy progressive rock and straight heavy rock to keyboard-driven instrumental and ballad-like passages.Unlike many of their compatriots, who try to recapture the 70's essence of Italian progressive rock, FILORITMIA leave the past behind, filtering their influences, and present some modern progressive rock music.Sometimes theatrical,sometimes heavy and sometimes adventuruous, ''Filoritmia'' is based on the very tight yet complex rhythm section,the strong guitar work of Riccardi and the sensitive piano/driving organ of D'Ariano.Really hard to compare with a specific band.Sounds and influences' sources start from 70's classic rock and end-up in both modern progressive rock and heavy rock.A wonderful listening and a decent start for this unknown band,heading mainly to anyone who likes the modern side of prog blended with classic rock elements and tight musicianship.Judge by yourself by giving FILORITMIA a chance.

Report this review (#226063)
Posted Sunday, July 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars FILORITMIA i'm sure would be listed under Heavy-Prog if they weren't Italian. This is their debut album from the year 2000. I'm not a fan of long albums and this hits at around 79 minutes. My thoughts are if your going to make a double album or one this long it better be really good all the way through. Rarely is that the case. And this is no exception. Lots to like here though, especially the drumming, bass and guitar work. The vocals are ok but nothing more.

"Al Buio" opens with a music box as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in before a minute. Contrasts continue until it settles in around 2 minutes to a fairly powerful soundscape. I like the organ and bass 4 1/2 minutes in. "Rapporto Occasionale" features music that sort of stutters if you know what I mean. Love the bass. Again the music is powerful. Theatrical vocals after 4 minutes and the guitar before 6 minutes is excellent. "Il Mago" is my favourite. It opens and closes with this crazy laughter. The heaviness kicks in quickly with piano. A calm with acoustic guitar after 2 minutes and reserved vocals join in. Piano then takes over before it kicks back in. Some nice guitar after 5 minutes and some passionate vocals too. More great guitar later along with organ and drums.

"Fiato Sul Collo" opens with melancholic paino as fragile vocals join in. It kicks in with drums before 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound 3 minutes in. Fantastic guitar before 6 1/2 minutes that goes on and on until the song ends. "La Mappa Del Tempo" opens with some incredible bass and the drums and guitar are intricate. Vocals and organ follow. Bass and paino 3 1/2 minutes in then the guitar rips it up. "Dirti Di No" opens with some atmosphere. The tempo picks up after a minute with vocals. Nice organ section before 6 minutes. "Per Essere Felici" begins with reserved vocals and piano before it kicks in around a minute. It settles as contrasts continue. I like the drums and bass here. "Questo Inferno" is a top three for me. It opens with piano until the bass takes over. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes as vocals join in. Some good guitar and organ on this one. I like the drumming late. "Anima" has quite the drum intro before we get a full sound with vocals. Nice laid back guitar 2 minutes in. The tempo continues to shift. "Epoca Lontana" opens with about 2 1/2 minutes of instrumental music before the vocals arrive. The drums stutter like on the second track. Piano 4 minutes in. Check out the drumming 5 minutes in and the bass a minute later.

A good album but nothing special.

Report this review (#259848)
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am quite charmed when I listen to the opening number "Al Buio". It is a strong song that features some delicacy; but it is combined with very powerful passages as well. Dramatic vocals, theme changes, heavy guitar and wild parts are the mix. Add some heavy organ and you'll get the whole picture. Amazing!

The heavy feel is consolidated during "Rapporto Occasionale" which offers a complex rhythm and a solid beat. Musicianship is excellent and vocals pretty decent, even if nothing from the other world.

It is true to say that the band is leaning on the heavy angle; not as much as "Wicked Minds" but not too far either. The next song is also in line: some sort of similarities with "Black Widow" are noticeable (mostly in the mood of the song): dark, heavy and at times scary. Another very good song from this very good work so far.

Even if the global sound is quite similar, this work is quite varied: some great guitar solo while "Fiato Sul Collo" is being played adds another great layer to their debut album. It is also true to say that I quite like this style of music (heavy prog, I mean).

Wildness is going on here with another fine rocking moment: "Dirti Di No" is such a piece featuring a symphonic opening (for a short while), off-beat rhythm, moving guitar and pumping organ to conclude. As you can read, this is quite a solid mix!

Most of the songs are on the long side (which makes this album pretty long, but with no consequences about the quality). One of the longest is "Questo Inferno": it embraces again the "Black Widow" mood which I like so much. Dark, heavy, skilled. In one word: great.

To be honest, these seventy-three minutes of music are quite enjoyable, and I didn't see the time passing by while listening to this album for the first time (which is a good sign). Of course, not all songs are great ("La Mappa Del Tempo") but as a whole, this debut is quite encouraging. After this, the band will enter in some sort of hiatus (eight years) before releasing their follow-up.

Four stars for this one, that closes on the bombastic "Epoca Lontana" which leans towards the jazzy atmosphere and provides some break of style. It starts with an oppressive instrumental opening, some frenetic beats and juicy maestria (drumming, piano).

This Italian band deserves your attention. Be aware though that the music that you will discover is more heavy oriented than ISP.

Report this review (#277095)
Posted Friday, April 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This band is one of the many good new RPI bands which has emerged in the last decade.

Style wise, they are more heavy than the more softer bands from this genre. Biglietto Per Inferno springs to mind of those old RPI bands which can be compared to Filoritmia. There is plenty of good RPI feeling on this, Filoritmia's debut album. This album also have some influences from the more contemporary rock scene too. But mostly, this is RPI.

Quality wise, I am not very impressed although this album is good. The tracks tends to be a bit anonymous and does not have any great melodies. But this album really livens up now and then. This album is sufficient interesting though to warrant a recommendation. I believe it is a free download too from their website or a budget price album. Good, but not great.

3 stars

Report this review (#301273)
Posted Friday, October 1, 2010 | Review Permalink

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