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Le Orme - Felona E Sorona CD (album) cover


Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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5 stars If somebody wants to know what Italian symphonic rock was, this conceptual album is the perfect definition. One of the best of the prog music ever. The story tells about the people from two planets, one sad, another happy, but music -since the first second- can transport the listener to a full emotions world. Sometimes pompous, sometimes soft, and always emotive. Lots of keyboards, powerful drums, magnificent bass and impressive clear voice conforming a really beautiful work. "Sospesi Nell'Incredibile" open the album, and when you'll hear it by the first time, you'll know you are in front of a masterpiece. With "Ritorno Al Nulla", the last track, you'll confirm it. I don't have words to describe such beauty, I just can say that this would be one of those six stars rated albums. A must!
Report this review (#17869)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is considered by many to be the pinnacle Le ORME recording of all time and I must agree. Gorgeous organ/mellotron led symphonic prog with great musicianship aka Le ORME. Like so many great recordings Le ORME use sound to its fullest creating some unbelievable proggy moments with a heavy emphasis on the classic sound of piano and song structure. Like all Le ORME recordings this is far too short in length and is really a let down when it ends. The songs are very well constructed and written which do not sound dated really considering the age of the recording. "Felona E Serona" is a moody piece and seems to cover a wide spectrum of emotions!
Report this review (#17871)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another classic, with the contribution by Peter HAMMILL and the best dark imprinting by Le ORME; a beautiful suite, sometimes prolix, but often memorable too. The work at his bass guitar, well supported by the rhythmical section, is excellent and let Aldo Tagliapietra stand like an Italian version of Greg LAKE - among so many stars within the progressive scene - (except on the vocals which are different), whose production was aligned to those ones from the seventies and quite good anyway. However it should be worth as a "4 stars issue" once again, but its importance as a secure standard reference for such Italian "Dark Progressive", makes this album essential.

Recommended dark "GIFT"...!

Report this review (#17873)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I remembered the first Le ORME album I ever bought. It was "Ad Gloriam", an odd pick given that album isn't what you call progressive (it was psychedelic pop). The next Le ORME album I got was "Felona e Sorona", and I couldn't be more surprised how different this album sounded. They had already released two albums in the prog vein ("Collage", which seems to only get a lukewarm response, and "Uomo di Pezza", where response is much greater), with just three guys, Aldo Tagliapietra, Michi dei Rossi, and Toni Pagliuca (the two guys from the early years had long since left the band). Without a doubt, "Felona e Sorona" is Le ORME at the top of their game, going for a concept about two opposing planets.

The album opens up with "Sospesi Nell'Incredibile", which is by far one of the best things Le ORME had ever done. There are some lengthy instrumental passages here, plus some electronic effects played on Pagliuca's Moog, while Michi dei Rossi goes wild on his drums. The next piece is "Felona", an upbeat acoustic piece, with that tone, you can be sure the inhabitants of the planet Felona are upbeat. "La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" is simply a piano-oriented piece with Tagliapietra's unmistakable voice. I, for some reason, especially the piano section, got reminded of ENYA's soundtrack album to "The Celts" (her debut, that is), which is weird, since neither of them hardly sound alike, not to mention the more than one decade gap (Le ORME used Moog and string synths, while ENYA used lots of mid-80s digital synths, Le ORME being prog, ENYA being New Age with Celtic trappings). "L'Equilibrio" is the closest to them sounding like ELP on this album, especially the piano section.

By the way, on this album, don't buy in to Le ORME as being an Italian ELP, as much of the ELP influences of their previous two albums have all but disappeared. "Sorona" has a more somber tone, every time I hear this, I can't help but be reminded of PULSAR's "Halloween", although that album wouldn't appear until 1977. You can be certain that the inhabitants of the planet Sorona tend to be downbeat and somber, judging on the tone of the song. "Attesa Inerte" tends to be a more experimental piece, with some disturbing use of synths. "All'Infuori del Tempo" is another acoustic piece in the vein of "Felona". A bit repetitive, I took me a bit to get used to. The final piece is the instrumental "Ritorno al Nulla" is an all-instrumental piece dominated by synthesizers. Without a doubt, "Felona e Sorona" is an essential Italian prog album, and definately the album to start if you're not familiar with Le ORME.

Report this review (#17875)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
The Prognaut
5 stars I definitely can't care less about thinking over how many stars I'm supposed to give to this album and without hesitating, not once, I came up with the whole five stars. It's not about being relentless about my opinion, it's just that I just couldn't leave out a single detail from this masterful album.

The first album I ever got from LE ORME was "Florian" and then "Ad Gloriam" came to my hands; "Felona E Sorona" is completely different from that psychedelic yet absurd style LE ORME seized upon to get known in the prog world. This album mustn't be compared to some other pieces from this band or other Italian prog bands whatsoever, I think this recording is a medullar point to compare most of the bands who encouraged themselves to play symphonic prog rock.

"Attesa Inerte" is a gem within another, so moody and powerful, provocative and enticing. I usually end up my reviews recommending those bands appealed to the one I'm reviewing at the time, but for the first time I won't. LE ORME's work cannot be compared to anything, many of you will say maybe close to BMS or PFM, but I'll totally disagree. "Felona E Sorona" is outstanding, incredible, a must in any italo prog rock fan collection.

Report this review (#17876)
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an interesting idea: a concept album about two contrasting planets, a sort of yin and yang (except that, from the album cover, the female is the lighter side and the male the darker side, which is the opposite of yin and yang). The fascinating cover - which has obviously had some thought put into it - clearly illustrates the contrast, with haunting blue-tint male and female figures shown from the front and back. Even though I understand very little Italian, the lyrics sound fascinating - I can clearly hear Aldo Tagliapietra telling a fluid story, and you really get the feeling of an epic being recounted.

This is melodious keyboard-centric music, but the guitars, drums and other percussion provide critical support and on several occasions come to the fore. There is reasonably frequent, very electronic synth but it does not sound gratuitous or out of place, just atmospheric. Given the relative sophistication of the music, it's somewhat of a surprise that just three musicians were involved. It's not the sort of flowing, rich melodious music of LOCANDA DELLE FATE (which is also haunting, but in a more romantic way) or PFM though - the atmospheric melodies sounding deeper in the most part, but not depressing or heavy in my opinion.

The first track ('Sospesi Nell'Incredibile') is often mentioned in the same breath as the album, and is touted as its best track. However to me it's just the start of the feast, as the rest of the album - to me at least - is just as good if not better. A long 'marching' intro on the first track preludes the pleasant, clear singing voice of Aldo Tagliapietra, which is not rough at all (unlike some male Italian rock and pop singers). Towards the end of the track the tune gets a bit repetitive and is less sophisticated.

The short second track ('Felona') is brilliant - I just love it and couldn't care less that it was the obvious single. It's happy, bright, starts with a peel of bells, has lovely vocals with some flute coming in later, and sounds a bit like an Italian folk tune. I can more or less follow the lyrics on this one, and they're poetry. It's LE ORME's 'È Festa'. This song makes me think of going for a walk on a sunny morning. I just can't help whistling along to it.

The remaining tracks flow one into the other as the story is told, and it's just one long trail of good music which feels very tied to the story. I wish I could get my hands on a good English translation of the Italian lyrics so that I could follow it properly. I'm not going to analyse here each track individually, precisely because they feel so unified. But I will say that the keyboards (often synth), acoustic and electric guitar, drums and other percussion are just as pleasing and symphonic throughout these tracks as on the first track, with vocals usually right up front telling the story.

Well, if any album can be called symphonic Progressive Rock, it's this one. It's not in the four-part format of a classical symphony, but it does have the feel of a symphony and the last track even ends in a drawn out, very classical symphony sounding way, albeit with lots of synth. If I had to compare LE ORME on this album to any of the Anglo-Saxon Progressive Rock bands then it would not be EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, that's for sure, but early GENESIS - I'm reminded of "Foxtrot" in places, even to the mood of the music.

How to rank this album? Although I like it very much, it's just a sliver short of perfect for me. Although there are several exquisite moments, I would have liked the music to have a few more memorable moments - a few more peaks, and there are just a couple of less sophisticated musical parts that I don't like quite so much. I would have really liked to rate this at 4.5 stars if such a thing were possible, but will go with 4 stars instead of 5 (probably regretting it later). Nevertheless, don't hesitate to get it if you want to experience really good Italian Progressive Rock. It oozes quality in my opinion.

Report this review (#17877)
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can i add to the rest of speakings about this album, all the best you can read about it is all true, "really" true. Few years ago i saw the band in concert in Rome, i did not know what they could play, "today" is a period so far from their own. They played for 2 hours and 40 minutes, like for a very long chronological collection, in front of about 1500 people or maybe more. The 1st part was all concentrated on their first 4 albums. I still can't believe they played all this suite till the end, people astonished and screaming and crying of joy all around. They are still really great and powerfull and....I wanna thanks Tagliapietra and Pagliuca for that!
Report this review (#17878)
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Footprint (le orme) is a trio that souldn't be a quartet. We like it like that. Like Rush or can taste the competence in every song. The keyboard is leading the march, but not like ELP. This is spacey, galaxianesque, interstellar keyboard. It reminds me the feel of old 70's movies with a spaceship in a travelling perspective (think of the beginning of Star Wars). I really can imagine myself in the cockpit of an intergalactical ship with a disco shirt. The drumming is superior and kinda flashy by moments, but it does not ruin anything, hopefully. The story, in my point of view, is interesting despite the opinion of everyone else. This is the first italian album that the singer's voice don't get on my nerves. In fact, he sings simply and from the heart. And his voice is a pleasure to be heard. He don't overdo anything and it's full of emotions. At many times, we feel clearly the urge or the despair or the joy from the singing AND the keyboards. The vocal part of the first track is heart-wrenching. But not sad...just melancholic. Talk about a joyful ride with the track Felona. Inspiring, to say the least. Simple but VERY effective. The last track is intense. Lots of emphasis on the synths and it feels like a countdown of self-destruction device on a spaceship, with a feminine voice informing you how much time you have to escape...just like in the first Alien movie.
Report this review (#17879)
Posted Monday, August 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars I fear for my life just being the first to give a three star to this album but I don't understand why everyone points to this album as Le Orme's ultimate and best work. It seems (I don't know their discography and history well ) that this is their sole album where they are down to a trio (Kb trio). And unfortunately for me, I am not a great fan of Kb trio (ELP, Triumvirat , Egg , Refugee , Nice etc...) so this is the reason for that rating. What I heard on this album is ELP-ish and requires too much my forced intellectual involvment (some more complicated and destructured music require less effort in listening for this weird guy) and actually this album slides-by without my noticing it if I let my attention slip away, si I decided to try one more album - but not as a trio - before making a decision whether to like this band or not. Progressive , this album is certainly and it is also full of virtuosity but is that last one used advicely?
Report this review (#17880)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is Le Orme at their most chilling and mesmerizing: I am with the majority at indicating "Felona e Sorona" as this Italian former trio's masterpiece album. This is a concept album about two twin planets (the bright, joyful Felona, and the somber, hopeless Sorona), which stand located on both extremes of the Cosmos in order to keep the balance of the Universe the way that the Supreme God had created it. The metaphysical implications of this concept is perfectly related to the ethereal air conveyed by most of the synth sounds (for instance, 'Attesa Inerte') and the somewhat mystic drive that is used in some of the most explosive passages of the album (the best example is 'Ritorno al Nulla'). Being as they were a keyboard-based power trio, it is only natural (or almost) the ELP thing happened to be certainly influential in the maturation of Le Orme's sound, but the result was not properly ELP- ish. On the contrary, Le Orme managed to keep a distinct Mediterranean sensibility in their softer, bucolic numbers, as well as a homeland Baroque spirit in their most pompous ones - this is something they could call their own, while maintaining a link to the symphonic prog movement that was taking place in the British scene (I also notice some touch of Genesis as another major Anglo-Saxon influence on them). The superb musicianship and the fluid interplay that is continuously exposed help to build a strong connection between the repertoire and the listener: the inventiveness of the musical ideas and the cleverness of the arrangements are perfectly complemented by an emotional richness portrayed in both Tagliapietra's singing and the threesome's instrumental performances. My only personal complaint is concerning the sound production, which is a bit tiny: perhaps the strength of the material doesn't show its full potentiality. The opening track is one of the most impressive ones: 'Sospesi nell'Incredibile' comprises a combination of rocking energy, reflective mood, and an exuberant closure where power trio prog and jazz rock melt together in a sonic nucleus - amazing (but only moderately pyrotechnical) drum solo by Dei Rossi included. The folkish kind simplicity of 'Felona' and the dark melancholy of 'Sorona' serve as accurate portraits of the characters previously described. 'L'Equilibrio' and the spectacular, bombastic closure 'Ritorno al Nulla' are the closest thing to ELP that Le Orme ever created; on the other hand, 'Ritratto di un Mattino' and 'All'Infuori del Tempo' are constructed under a typically Italian-symphonic frame, creating an exhibition of sheer beauty. Not only because all tracks are linked in a continuum, but also and mostly because there is a unitary integrality functioning all throughout the repertoire, "Felona and Sorona" must be enjoyed as a whole. This wholeness is accomplished with a that makes this album a definitive classic in Italian prog - in Prog Archives language, this is 5-star material.
Report this review (#17881)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars During the Seventies Le ORME turned from a very ELP inspired band into a more refined prog rock formation with a distinctive sound. The concept-album "Felona E Sorona" is their acclaimed 'magnum opus' featuring nine alternating and elaborated compositions with lush and varied keyboards (piano, organ, synthesizers and string-ensemble), wonderful changing climates and a strong and dynamic rhythm-section. The final part is one of the most compelling 'grand finales' I've ever heard: slow and fat Moog runs, repetitive organ chords, a powerful drumbeat, again slow and fat Moog sounds, then a propulsive rhythm- section, culminating in a very moving sumptuous climated featuring dazzling Moog flights and great string-sounds, what a mind blowing experience, This is the amazing Italians Seventies prog rock at its best!
Report this review (#17882)
Posted Monday, December 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars LE ORME - Felona e Sorona.

Felona e Sorona is a "concept album", a long suite that tells the story of two planets. The lyrics are very poetic and I think you have to understand their meaning to completely enjoy this album. Anyway, if you can't understand Italian, I think it's useful to remember that Peter Hammill, the leader of Van Der Graaf Generator, made an interesting translation of the lyrics in 1973 (very far from literary, indeed) and that you can find them on the official website of this band (Le Orme are still active and surprisingly fresh on stage!). The music on this album is powerful, with great drums, keyboards and bass work (but I find the simple acoustic guitar breaks remarkable as well), which supports the lyrics and the peculiar voice of the singer and bass player, Aldo Tagliapietra, in a wonderful way. I think this album is one of the best releases of the Italian progressive - rock movement in the seventies: it's absolutely magnificent and is still performed in concert (often the band plays the whole of it!). Try it, it's worth listening to.

Report this review (#17885)
Posted Thursday, January 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'Felona E Sorona' is pretty much flawless. I only wish there was a guitar in the mix, as their material would have benefited further from a Steve Hackett type player, but that's an obviously futile wish. Just a matter of taste. Not every prog/rock band needs a guitarist either-most of Van Der Graaf Generator's best material actually benefited from the lack of a guitar. And it's hard to hold anything against Le Orme, as this album is insanely good. This Italian trio has the same instrumental set-up as ELP: keyboards at the forefront, active bass holding down the foundation, and nimble, jazz-inflected, aggressive-yet-fluid drumming.with the bassist doing vocals. And sure enough, some of this stuff sounds like ELP's more eclectic moments on 'Tarkus' and 'Trilogy'. Otherwise, they forge a sound that bears minor similarities to Italian brethren P.F.M. and Banco.but you'll know every time you hear a Le Orme song that it's Le Orme. Delicate vocal lines, a huge array of keyboard sounds and approaches, unpredictable arrangements, shades of romantic/baroque music, crashing climactic elements, and a mastery of dramatic, theatrical songwriting.just another genius prog act from Italy!

Like Banco's opening to the 'Darwin' album, Le Orme utilizes nearly every single element of their trademark approach on blowout opener "Sospesi Nell'Incredibile". This epic firmly lays down the atmosphere of the album, followed by two fairly short interludes before arriving at second highlight "L'equilibrio". A mixture of frightened panic and wide pastoral landscapes, this song is an excellent showcase of the chemistry between the three members, bass lines creating a sinister undertow, held in check by spellbinding keyboard sounds, not to mention the gorgeous vocals that lift this song up even higher. It ends too soon, but since the album flows as if one long song, the promise of "L'equilibrio" is concluded with the gorgeous ambience of "Sorona". Immediately after that, "Attesa Inerte" attacks with a combination psychedlic/sinister rhythmic interplay while the keyboards phase and shift and hypnotize. More cosmic journeys await on "Ritratto Di Un Mattino", which is yet another song in a connected, seamless string of songs that bring this album to a close. Genesis circa 'Selling England By The Pound' is loosely referenced on this track, full of triumphant melodies and piles of lush keyboards. "All'Infuori Del Tempo" is the most conventional song here, a gentle, folk-ish sway that gives way to a medieval feeling thanks to some well-chosen keyboard melodies from master Toni Pagliuca. The Italian language is one of the few non-English languages that was made to be sung, and bassist Aldo Tagliapietra hypnotizes with his gentle but confident midrange, showcased to good effect on this song. Things come to a satisfying finale with an orgy of keyboards and frenetic rhythms in album closer "Ritorno Al Nulla", a chaotic storm of cosmic beauty. All in all, 'Felona E Sorona' is a high mark in Italian progrock, probably the most consistently written and arranged album this band would ever offer.

Report this review (#17887)
Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was just watching BJH dvd and man, what a great drummer they had, what a style, a band between genius ideas and Moody Blues copy cat, but what a. oh I forgot, we are talking about LE ORME, Felona e Sorona One of the most beautiful records I ever heard, (I guess I've say it before), I'm sure this was a golden age in the music history, something that started and ended very soon to give place to prowlers and mercenaries, but lets stop crying and talk about the record. Something you will realize in their songs is that they are romantic and nostalgic, (remembering another planet? Who knows?) And along with Paul McCartney and Greg Lake, Aldo Tagliapietra has one of the most cool and pleasant vocals of all the times and with his magic acoustic guitar, the haunting keyboards and the competent drums this band is able to make a record a religious and psychedelic trip to other dimensions and of course, my master Peter Hammil, gave the idea of the two planets, I love this record and this band. Dark atmospheres, excited themes, artistic moments, heavenly inspirations, drums solos, visits to other planets, church bells, time changes,...
Report this review (#17888)
Posted Friday, March 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of course a masterpiece.

... and I don't understand some reviewers (whose comments I usually read) have perplexities about it (...even though after reading their reviews it is quite easy to understand -and guess- their evaluations...). But, thinking about "prog rock", it is better to concentrate on the "real" meaning of it: this is the quintessence of "prog rock": it is not jazzy, not space, not canterbury, not art, not (...): it is simply "prog rock".

Everything is OK. Musicianship, solos, instrument interplay, voice, lyrics, ...

Plus, this is not a sum of different pieces, but one piece only, the division between parts is a mere convention, since in this case it is not divisible. In this sense this is Le Orme top, since many other CDs are at the same level in the conception of "prog rock": Collage, Uomo di pezza, Contrappunti, Verità Nascoste, Il fiume, Elementi. But this is a unique opera, those are 4 or 5 stars fantastic albums (but with different pieces and a... "separation" between them!).

A note. This is not the only album made by a trio.

The only 2 reason for giving less than 5 stars are: you like more other "prog (rock)" genres, or you have a preference for guitars not for piano/organ.

Report this review (#37983)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Maybe the best work of this Italian Prog band... well, meybe the best work of Aldo Tagliapietra, the brain behind this great band. 33 minutes of pure prog, delicate keyborads, notorius classical influence and a real interesting story. A real masterpiece made by a trio that sounds as an orchestra. If you're a prog fan, this album is essential in your collection... well,a lmost every Le Orme album is essential to any prog fan collection, but "Felona" is maybe the best...
Report this review (#40012)
Posted Friday, July 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Underwhelmed. I was looking forward to this album after their appearence at NEARfest. I bought the CD hoping to relive their headline act. It's just not as energetic. And, I miss the guitars. I know there's two track with acoustic guitars, ('Felona", "All Infuori Del Tempo") but overall, it's a fantastic keyboard fest with excellent drumming. But I still miss the coloring of the guitar. And, to make matters worse, Aldo's voice is in a flat tone practically throughout the album. I give it four stars for the super drumming and keyboards, but it misses the mark as a masterpiece because of the flatness and some dated sound. Although, if you're a keyboard fanatic, it's 5 stars.
Report this review (#41396)
Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like the description says, this album is Essential if you want to have a complete world idea of progressive music. I found Le Orme when my father travel to Italy and he buy my first LP, and it was this!! thanks dad :) Le Orme are incredible, each song of each album are differentt and make you feel new sensations. If someday somebody wants to leave me in a lonely island I will ask only one favor, pls leave me my Le Orme cd`s, cause Im sure that in their music I will find one song for each moment, for all my life, for my everyday.
Report this review (#43595)
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I had a tought choice to make when the time came to rate this album. Definitely more than a three stars, Probably more than a four, but not quite a 5. So this leads to a 4.5/5 But as the star system goes, you can only give albums full stars, and so I had to decide between afour and five stars. I felt that four stars was a better choice, as it is not perfect, but it tore my heart not to give it a five. Still, I went with the foru stars. Here is why.

This album is pure Italian Prog and one of the most representative of the genre. The keyboards under all their forms are omnipresent, and as a power trio, Le Orme thrives. Of course, the ressemblance with Emerson, Lake and Palmer cannot be denied(The simple yet melodic bass, the overpowering drums and the huge variety of tone from keyboardist Toni Pagliuca), but they definitely have a sound of their own, maybe less bombastic than ELP, but a bit more melodic and even theatrical at times(it is, after all, a conceptual album).

An excellent crescendo is created on the first side of the album, starting with Sospesi Nell Íncredibile, a song that is highly influenced by ELP, maybe the most of the album, along of course the closer Ritorno Al Nulla but it is still excellent and creat a great feeling to the album. Than the nice acoustic felona enters, an absolutely beautiful little pastoral song. The vocals are as good as they would get on the album. This is the first problem of the album: the vocals are not always working with the music. Yet, on the 2 acoustic pieces of the album( Felona and All Ínfuori Del Tempo), it works perfectly.

As high as it is rated in the prog universe, you have to have high expectations when you listen to it. This is my advice: try to listen to the album for what it is than what you would want it to be. So, a great 4.5/5 for this great Italian album.

Report this review (#50183)
Posted Wednesday, October 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "No changes outside of time, two planets exist side by side. Neither aware of the other though they are intertwined like branches of a tree." (Peter Hammill's English adaptation).

From the beginning to the end, from the form to the content, this 1973 album is really impressive! Great inventive concept about the Opposites' Theory! Le Orme imagine two planets (spheric form), Felona and Sorona, which are each the contrary of the other! The figurative representation is really catching and fascinating, quasi-ethereal with all those keyboards and mellotronic effects.also theatrical in the music's progression structure of drums and bass' parts! Many are the explanations listener often tells on this ambitious work! I think that intellectual reconstructions can be divided in two categories: philosophic one and sentimental one. In the second, always rejected as too simple, could be included all the opinions of whom think that the album is about man and woman relationship and uncommunicability! The first one theory could be divided in two further parts: reality's OBJECTIVE vision (metaphysical theory); reality's SUBJECTIVE vision (existentialist or psychological theory). These last two are not really excluding each other! The OBJECTIVE reconstruction has references with the ancient greek philosophers Parmenides and Heracletos. Parmenides was born in then greek southern Italy (in 515 B.C.) and was founder of a medicals-priests dynasty, submitted to the Apollos' cult! He thought Truth and To Be were, metaphysically, of a SPHERIC SHAPE! What's out of that SPHERE? The question is a non-sense question, for Parmenides, because saying there's Nothing, would be thinking at it as it's something!!! Heracletos was born in Ephesos (now Turkey) and teached that reality, in all its apparent motionless state and equilibrium, it's only the result of hardest and neverending conflict between the opposites!! Ying and Yang theory is the Far East's version!

Sospesi Nell'Incredibile (eng. "Suspended In The Incredible" - Peter Hammill's adaptation: "In Between") is an impressive 8,40 mns long track with many shifting moods and classical influence. The lyrics introduce the listeners to that outer space worlds: ".two planets in harmony, of opposition. The supposition is that when one is serene, then the other is sad. What of the Man in between ? He smiles on one and it's life is happy. His back is turned on the other and a shadow is cast..." (from the Peter Hammill adaptation).

Felona (the first planet) is played in bells' starting happy sound and in nice acoustic guitar: ".the house - spheres are so mobile powered by the wind, they move without discomfort to the families within. Moving as the wind blows over hill and vale, bouncing through the countryside like elastic whales! And finally when evening comes and the winds die down, the spheres are left as villages and new neighbours are found... the wind creates communities tomorrow they'll be gone, but the people just make holiday and join in happy songs." (Peter Hammill's adaptation).

La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (Solitude Of Whom Protects The World - Peter Hammill changed the title in: "The Maker". Like the previous is a 2 mns short one, but with a soft played piano and sad vocals by Aldo Tagliapietra. The lyrics show good imagination from the band: ".it's serenity.Good makes forget who is at the origin, from whom derives. Solitude is a shadow revealing itself to all who feels himself unuseful!...".

L'Equilibrio (Equilibrium; Peter Hammill changed the title in "Web Of Time") is one of the best tracks, with stunning contribution from all the members! Thanks for piano and synth, Mr. Pagliuca! ".each one takes care of itself."; ".the soap balls disappeared. The land was scarred, no longer spherical. The houses became hard like the hearts of the men who walk the streets in despair..." (Peter Hammill's adaptation).

Sorona is one of my favourite songs.soft sad sound with the horrible description of the second unlucky planet: ".in this grey land there's place for nothing but dark marshes.rare trees by now with all the weight of Anguish.there's place for nothing but lava's rivers.bright reflections are changed into viscid scales.".

Attesa Inerte (Inert Waiting) has beautiful bass guitar from Aldo Tagliapietra (Cutstone, in eglish!): ". faces that neverending Trouble changes into masks, voices that ancient Silence makes without any noise, meet theirselves to say hello to the darkness!"

Ritratto Di Un Mattino (A Morning's Portrait) is another gem here! Warm instrumental passages, nice orchestral movements: "happiness you'll not find in yourselves, but in all the love you'll give to everybody else.".

All'Infuori del Tempo (Outside Time): another wonderful acoustic based song with also good keyboards and angelic voice! ".but when Sorona's exulting, Felona's start its slow decline. Inexorable Night comes and Equilibrium soon finishes.".

Ritorno Al Nulla (Return To Nought) maybe the best track of the album, within the opener! Very strong, with a great chorus from all keyboards' such sounds! What an impressive conclusion to this album! ".Two perfect worlds for a moment exist. Sorona of happiness, Felona of bliss. If there is an ending, it surely comes here. Sorona in happiness, Felona in fear...But endings are circular and life is the line, it goes on for ever, no change outside time !" (Peter Hammill's adaption).

Felona and Sorona.don't kow exactly what they represent, probably we'll never know it ('till the moment we'll ask it to Aldo), but together in this album are the main characters of such a sublime music, such a deep concept prog album!!! The five stars are the natural consequence!!

Report this review (#50792)
Posted Saturday, October 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This one is for the memories. The excellent times we share together. my prog friends and I listening to this record over tons of beers. Now I don´t even drink anymore but I am still in love with Sospesi nell Incredible. What a wonderful song! good vocals and the keybords so melancholic. And I don´t know about you but the grand finale of Ritorno al Nulla it is worthy of Genesis or classical music. All in all one of the best italian progressive rock records of all time.
Report this review (#61709)
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without a doubt one of the most innovative and creative albums not only in the italian prog scene. This album is a must have for all the ones who love progressive rock in general, because this one has everything, you have first an interesting concept album, you have very thoughtful and beautiful compositions, variety of songs, and a lot of innovative sounds courtesy principally of Mr. Pagliuca's keyboards. This album has nothing to envy to the well known prog gems of the british scene.
Report this review (#67632)
Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Album released in 1973 "Felona E Serona". Great board of total album. A mysterious exoticism drifts. Is this because of the melody?There is a violent performance to consider ELP, too. A symphonic euphoria is enough. It is an album of LE ORME to which I listened for the first time. The jacket filled with a dark romance is also good. A beautiful, sad melody is a masterpiece album of full loading. The entire tone is dark and sad. It is a work of a delicate, simple music.
Report this review (#68514)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars this is, in my opinion, the best italian prog album... who thinks that le orme are an "italian solution of elp", hasn't heard this album very well... the keyboard style is completely out of common kind of playing, and tagliapietra's voice is absolutely profetic..

the lyrics are the best i have ever heard, and create a masterpiece of the concept albums.. the "crisis" moments of events are underlined perfectly by music, and by sound atmospheres in general..

Report this review (#69419)
Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Felona e Sorona" was released in 1973 by Le Orme's "classical" line up featuring Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar), Toni Pagliuca (keyboards, organ) and Michi Dei Rossi (drums, percussion) helped in studio by producer Gian Piero Reverberi. It's usually considered the highest point in the whole Le Orme's career and one of the best releases of the Italian prog movement in the seventies: it's absolutely magnificent and it is still regularly performed in concert (often the band plays the whole of it!). It's a concept album and it's structured as a long suite telling the story of two planets. The lyrics are very poetic and I think you have to understand their meaning to completely enjoy this work.

The long and complex opener "Sospesi nell'incredibile" (Hanging in the incredible) sets the atmosphere. The incipit is powerful and tension immediately rises. Close your eyes and set off on an intergalactic journey, imagine another solar system where two twin planets are spinning... "Where the sky hides behind a jewelry of a thousand stars, behind the gold dust of another universe / Two planets in harmony are spinning together in their kingdom / Where everything does not change but Time...". Well, the twin planets are very different from each other. On the first one a perennial happiness rules while the other one is a gloomy place where you can't find anything but sorrow and hope. Their destiny is like sand running through the bulbs of an hourglass... "Behind forests of coral, behind sighs of true lovers / Two twin roses do not die together...". The final section of this track features an intense drum solo. Light spreads a breath of life and tears melt at the sound of bells...

Tubular bells announce that you have just landed on "Felona", the planet of dream and happiness. The track describing this place is a lively ballad featuring a strummed 12 string guitar. A clear light slowly rises and you can see many big white bubbles. The people who live in the bubbles go everyday from party to party. There are no secrets in these transparent spheres, joy seems to be contagious, serenity rules, women and cicadas talk about love all day long. The crystal houses move carried by the wind, they run down the valleys, fly over the mountains and bounce on the sea leaving behind them trails like comets... "At sundown the wind takes a rest / The spheres stop and form a village / People meet again and run towards each other for a new party / While the day is dying...".

"La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo" (The loneliness of the one who protects the world) is a short ethereal interlude featuring soaring vocals and delicate piano patterns. Happy people frequently forget to pray and to thank God for what they have. "The good makes you forget who is at the origin, who is the maker...". Beware! Even the maker, the one who protects the world, can feel the burden of loneliness if no one addresses to him. Well, loneliness is a dark shadow which turns out to those who feel useless...

"L'equilibrio" (The balance) is tense track full of dark energy. There's a big void between the two planets. Felona ignores the existence of Sorona and vice-versa. The enormous abyss separates the two worlds and everyone minds his own business. The destinies of the two planets are different as well, one doesn't know the night, the other doesn't know the day... Then tension melts. The maker ends up to turn his gaze to whom is waiting for his acts to give a meaning to his life... "The balance has its focus in time / And it will be established sooner or later / When Sorona will light up from the sky...".

"Sorona" describes the gloomy planet of eternal sorrow. Here you can find old cities without gardens lost into oblivion, enveloped in a thick fog as between the threads of a silkworm. Life seems trapped into the dark and even the rare plants carry the burden of anguish... "From days gone by, lost in time / In this grey land there's no room for anything but black swamps...".

"Attesa inerte" (Inert waiting) is another track describing the life on the dark planet of sadness. Faces that an eternal pain has transformed in masks and voices that an ancient silence has made soundless gather together in a peculiar concert to greet the darkness as in a never ending ritual. Sorrow rules but in everyone there's faith and hope for a miracle. Helpless people rise their hands towards the sky waiting for better times, hope keeps them alive... "A sudden light is getting closer / Now it's here!". "Ritratto di un mattino" (Portrait of a morning) begins with an hypnotic keyboards pattern. Then soaring vocals and a warm organ sound show up... "You can't find happiness in your ego / But in the love that one day you will give to the others...". Sometimes hope and faith make dreams come true...

"All'infuori del tempo" (Except time) starts with a joyful strummed guitar pattern. Now in the kingdom of darkness the light shines. In every body a blaze lights up and love shines all over the land. The sun rays dry a frightened fog while early leaves greet the wind. The future on Sorona is not so dark anymore! For a while the two worlds are both happy and a new life can begin. But as Sorona is still celebrating the new light, Felona begins a slow decline and darkness starts spreading on it. Soon the balance comes to an end and what is joy for Sorona is death for Felona. "The end is a circle, the circle is the life / You have to destroy and then to build up / We are all waiting for our day / Nothing changes but time...".

The instrumental finale "Ritorno al nulla" is like a wild ride into the space leading to an explosion. The intergalactic journey ends here. Open your eyes and wake up now. Try to face your day with a new awareness...

A very suggestive story indeed. Peter Hammill was charmed by it and wrote an interesting English version of the lyrics in 1973 (very far from literary, indeed) for an English release of the album on the label Charisma. None the less the English version, "Felona & Sorona", in my opinion is not at the same level of the Italian one. The music is the same since the only difference are the vocal parts sung by Aldo Tagliapietra but the singer does not seem at ease with English and the final result could appear almost clumsy...

Report this review (#73567)
Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Until I joined the Prog Community on Internet I believed Italian Progressive started with PFM and ended with BANCO DEL MUTUIO SOCCORSO, how wrong I was, probably the country with more Symphonic bands is Italy and one of the best is LE ORME (The Footstep) and their masterpiece is "Felona e Sorona" the peak of Italian conceptual albums that tells the story of two planets controlled by one same God that lives in the middle of both, almost as the center of a sand clock

Both have opposite realities, one represents the light and happiness, the other the darkness and sadness, some sort of Mediterranean version of the Ying & Yang (Aldo Taglapietra seems to be influenced by Eastern culture and is a great sitar player so I believe it's clear where the influence comes from).

If most Italian bands are soft and warm with splendid melodies, LE ORME goes further, of course the melody has great importance but is much more aggressive than bands like PFM or BANCO, you can clearly perceive the influence from YES, GENESIS and ELP but also of less friendlier bands like KING CRIMSON. Not as easy to get into as the other Italian icons, but once you capture the interest is absolutely rewarding.

I will try to use the real translation (Of course limited by my rudimentary Italian knowledge) of the titles not the ones used by Peter Hammill in the English version.

The album starts with "Sospesi Nell' Incredibile" ( "Suspended in the Incredible"), a song that starts extremely complex and reminds me of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic) with radical changes not only of timing but also of mood and volume, the keyboard performance by Antonio Pangliuca is outstanding, around the middle the haunting voice of Taglapietra surrounded by an atmospheric organ marks a first radical change is absolutely creepy and full of drama but that's not the only change, the song ends in a more melodic mood reminiscent of ELP with some keyboard pyrotechnics clearly inspired Keith Emerson.

The second track tells the story of one of the planets "Felona" almost the paradise, people lives in transparent spheres that float with the wind during the night and touch ground in the day for the people to gather and celebrate because all their basic needs are provided. The music is absolutely descriptive, warm and happy almost as a feast with bells and drums, an almost Folk Medieval flute helps to get the idea better, typical example of Italian Symphonic, not as complex as the previous but important for the concept.

"La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" (The Loneliness of He Who Protects the World") is a very short an oneiric song with dreamy vocals surrounded by a soft piano that describes the loneliness of the maker.

"L'Equilibrio" (The Balance) Is a track about how in certain moment the things will be balanced, Sorona was happy once, now is the turn for Felona, an excellent track, vibrant, strong again with heavy ELP influence and an excellent drumming by Michi dei Rossi but ends softer and calmed as telling us that things may and will in some moment change when God turns his face to the other side, but the secret of the balance is that none of the planet knows the existence of the other.

"Sorona" is the story of the other planet, once happy, now sad and dark, the people have tormented faces because of the suffering and the music is simply perfect, one of the most obscure pieces of music I ever heard, almost a shout of desperation, fear and loneliness.

"Attesa Inerte" (Inert Expectation) is a song almost in the dark vein of the previous but almost narrated instead of being sung and describes how the inhabitants of Sorona gather to pray for the miracle but without doing anything, the organ sounds almost religious to make the perfect atmosphere.

"Ritratto di un Mattino" (Portrait of a Dawn) starts as another somber and dark track with keyboard effects and in the middle a short verse that says something like "You can't find the happiness in yourself but in what you give to others in one morning" and in that moment the music dramatically changes into a soft and beautiful melody with a classical Italian flavor.

"All' Infuori del Tempo" (With the Exception of Time) starts with an acoustic guitar performance by Aldo Taglapietra that soon is joined by the keyboards and drums, describes how the things are getting better in Sorona, but to keep the balance the happiness also starts to vanish in Felona. The music describes this situation perfectly, the first part is soft and gives a sense of tranquility as things change in Sorona but the second part of the song despite it keeps the same melody has a darker mood, slower and ends completely haunting with a magnificent organ solo.

"Ritorno Al Nulla" (Return to Zero), I guess the things are balanced for one instant in time, Sorona returning to happiness and Felona in the way to the dark fate that once had the other planet, the song is incredible, surely one of the best closers I ever heard, the band hits us with everything the have, the Baroque sound is glorious and pompous, hardly heard anything so spectacular, Symphonic Prog at it's best.

I have only heard part of the English version, but please stay with the original and search for a translation, as in the case of Classical Opera, Felona E Sorona shouldn't be listened in other language than Italian, the phonetic structure is absolutely perfect.

There's absolutely no problem in rating the album, 5 stars without any question.

Report this review (#88822)
Posted Saturday, September 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've barely had the CD a week, and it's probably been played on my MP3 player at least once a day since! Reason: it REALLY is GOOD!

The comparisons to ELP and PFM are justified - but the album has to be taken on its own merits as well. Keyboards are dominant throughout the album, but are never as overbearing or flashy as Emerson. Same goes for the drums too - technical but restrained. Quite a relief, actually.

Musically - fantastic. A great, precise performance with some very grand, epic moments at what would be the end of each side of vinyl. Aldo Tagliapietra's vocals are really expressive and are best heard on the song "Felona" - a beautiful 2-minute interlude filled with acoustic guitar and mellow synth.

Although the album is a concept album, my non-existent knowledge of the Italian language (and the fact that the English version isn't available on CD) prevents me from understanding the story. But, to me, that doesn't really matter anyway. The majority of prog-rock lyrics make no sense even if they're written in English (shining, flying, purple wolfhounds anyone?) so you appreciate Tagliapietra's finer qualities - his phrasing, tone and delivery.

At a mere 33½ minutes, it's a very concise album with no filler whatsoever - and plenty of first-rate music that will get you buying two copies... just in case one of them gets worn out! If you like PFM, ELP or even Italian prog in general, the album will fail to disappoint and is definitely worth hearing.

Report this review (#94050)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I looked forward to hearing this after reading so many glowing reviews. Just goes to prove that pople have very different opinions.

For me, I've tried to like this but frankly I can't listen to the whole thing and maintain my concentration. To my ears the production is poor even by the standards of the day. This is 1973 and Genesis were producing work with the clarity of "Selling England". This by contrast sounds muddy and lacking definition. Whether this is due to transferring from the original to CD I can't say.

I dare say the concept is very interesting but unfortunately the music does nothing to help me imagine it, and I think part of the reason is down to the lack of variety in the keyboard sounds (it seems to be principally organ and moog). A bit of guitar would not have gone amiss. Even more unfortunately still, the opening track has a riff in it that reminds me of the title tune to a UK TV children's cartoon called Roobarb and Custard.

Very disappointed

Report this review (#104348)
Posted Sunday, December 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my mind, I cannot see giving Felona e Sorona anything less than five stars. Felona e Sorona is the most cohesive concept album that I have ever heard in my life! The music flows in the best possible way, and even though I don't speak a word of Italian, I can say that you can tell exactly what Le Orme is singing about. The range of emotions is incredible. You will hear happiness, sadness, hope, anger, and frustration. This album also shows off the talents of all of the band members. The music seems much more complex than Uomo di Pezza. Also, in comparing Uomo... with Felona..., there is a nice contrast between these two albums. The music in Uomo... is coorful and varied as the album cover suggests. Felona on the other hand is dark and brooding with small glipses of hope and happiness as the cover suggests. Extremely high musicianship, excellent song writing, nice flow from song to song, what else could you want. If you like any type of progressive rock you should own this album. There is not a single weak track here. What are you waiting for, GO GET IT NOW!
Report this review (#112518)
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Le Orme are one of the most popular italian bands, and "Felona E Sorona" is considered by many to be their best work. They are sort of like an italian ELP, but less bombastic and more symphonic. The keyboard player has much talent and shows it well throughout the record. Bass and drums are also excellent. However, this album was ruined by the poor, poor vocals. They are very strained and have a low range, and since the italian language isn't the most beautiful language to start with, it doesn't work at all to my ears. In many instances it seems like the vocalist is singing in a totally different band, because the music is gentle and lush, while the vocals are strained and overly dramatic.

Songs like "Sospesi Nell Íncredibile" and "Felona" are of the best and show what Le Orme is capable of. However the record suffers short comings in the vocals and awkward arrangements. Like most of the Italian bands of the time, they were two years behind, and less talented. I think it could be greatly enjoyed if you can get past the terrible vocals. A Good addition to a progressive music collection.

Report this review (#115174)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Imagine if someone had found the essence of beauty (Sigur Ros comes to mind with their Agaetis Byrjun album) and then twisted it and shaped it, giving it a rougher edge. That is what Le Orme's Felona E Sorona is to me. The entire concept of beauty can be found within this album, but it won't let you just sink back into it. It will keep you on edge for the duration, making sure it sticks in your mind and doesn't fade away as "just another mellow album." This album is an Italian Symphonic Prog classic, and earns its status through and through.

I don't know much about the band, I only own this album by them, and I don't speak Italian, so I find it hard to give background information regarding this album, meaning I'll have to cut right to the music. On Felona E Sorona, Le Orme display an incredible knack for melody, as each song is chock-ful of delightful melodies that will win you over from the first listen. As I said in the first paragraph, however, there is much more to this album. There is a distinct edge to this album, notably in the drumming (which is excellent), that can keep you on your toes throughout. I also detect some mildly avant-garde influences here and there, if that appeals to you (as it does to me). The music is generally happy and uplifting, making this a good album when you aren't feeling your best.

Each musician gives his best here, but, unlike traditional British bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, it doesn't sound like extended solos throughout (to be honest, Yes and ELP don't always sound like that, but it is a big part of their music), but rather as one group of dedicated musicians who really come together and give their best as a cohesive whole. The keyboardist creates beautiful textures around which the songs build, the guitar furthers this effect, and the drums give the album the edge I described earlier. On top of these beautiful but edgy soundscapes the band creates come floating in the ethereal and dreamy vocals the singer imparts, which truly give the album the final touch it needs to be truly amazing.

This album is a concept album (reviews by our Italian members explain it much better than I could ever hope to), and you can truly feel that even if you don't speak Italian, simply by observing how the tracks flow together. This album would work as well as a single continuous song as it does divided into parts. Many times while listening I have missed when the tracks change from one to the next, something that rarely happens when I listen to music.

In addition to sounding good (really, really, really good), this album was quite influential (and not just in the Italian Prog scene), or at least it sounds that way based on my experience with progressive rock. I can here snatches of this album in Yes' Relayer, to name one rather famous example. This is an album that has everything I look for in music, from beauty (however disguised it may be) to edginess, from the ability to suck me in to the ability to hold me at a distance, from ethereal dreaminess to a down-to-earth type attitude, all rolled up into one brilliant album without a single extraneous moment. Some might complain about the length of this album, and it is true that it's short (only about 35 minutes), but there's really nothing left to add to it. Le Orme took all the good ideas they had and condensed them into a bite sized album, and what a bite it was. One of my favorites from the Italian Prog scene, a classic album worth remembering. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#115868)
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Strange how language will not affect one's admiration for great music. Through the past few years , whenever I'd be reading those ubiquitous lists at for some "guidance" as to what groups might be a good bet to purchase in prog music, this one came up often, & I was beguiled by its' cover. When I stumbled onto PA, and read more about the group, I finally went out & bought it. In a battle for my heart concerning Italian prog bands, this is the album that tips the scales in favour of Le Orme vs PFM. ANd I love PFM. Let yourself listen to it in the background a few times while you read or relax , so as to sink in, then give your full attention to it in one whole listening session.
Report this review (#115971)
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Felona E Sorona" is the latest concept album based on the fight between good and evil ... In this case, with 2 long suites. Very psychedelic, really. For many it is a masterpiece, even the Italian Prog. I, personally, I find beautiful but heavy, perhaps because aged badly. But this is a detail. Probably it is very self indulgent. But generally good.
Report this review (#129389)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ranging from very symphonic and beautiful and passive, to somewhat aggressive, though still gentle in its own way: this tiny, near-EP length classic of the genre may leave something to be wanted. If you removed Cinema Show, and Firth of Fifth from Genesis' Selling England (released the same year), then they would be about the same length. The concept, which has been described in detail by many (and you need only to scroll up to read them), is in (very) short the story of two people from two contrasting worlds. The presence of piano, keyboards, synthesizers is very strong, and it is the main tool used to portray the many beautiful melodies. Bass playing, vocals and drumming are not at all in the background, either.

Le Orme are known to abruptly change from "aggressive" (but not really aggressive) symphonic rockers to the passive acoustic pieces, but on this release, things are a bit smoother, and there are actually less acoustic pieces (frankly, I don't mind). It's atmospheric, at times, musically and - if you understand Italian, or have acquired a translation - lyrically as well.

It unquestionably lacks a spice, and it isn't stimulating at all. It's not overly intriguing, and there's very little musical storyline. By that, I mean that the tension doesn't rise, there's not dynamics (with the exception of the very end, which is rather climatic). Production, as well, is only halfway decent. Though the melodies are always beautiful, there's something - something - missing. I find myself unable to hand it a four star review, simply because I am not struck by this album, I am not moved at all. Despite the it factor, it is a very entertaining album.

Report this review (#130415)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A MASTERPIECE!!!

A storm of emotions, a mix of happiness, hope, sadness, anger and whatever else all mixed in a great concept album with a great and strange storyline: a love story between two planets. The perfect definition of concepl album. The music is simply amazing, the musicians are great. I think this is the best LE ORME's album and also one of the best Italian Symphonic Prog albums of ever. There isn't any weak point in all the 33 minutes of "Felona & Sorona".

A MUST, you Have to get it if you don't have.

Report this review (#130760)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Felona E Sorona" isn't an album for LE ORME beginners - for those trying to initiate with the band I recommend their two previous albums, much more accessible, of course. Anyway, it doesn't mean that "Felona E Sorona" isn't great or even tasteful - it is, but if you know the band history and backgrounds it'll sound better and much more appreciable.

Here we have a typical concept album where songs/tracks work better or in their plenitude if heard along the context, I mean, when hearing the album from one point to another. It's hard to pick an individual song and play it separately - "Felona E Sorona" could even have no groove to divide the tracks. Also a bit astonishing is to realize that some of the most ingenious sound achievements are found within the shortest tracks herein (taking in consideration the track division provided for the album).

'Sospesi nell'incredible' opens the album in a weird, astounding and sometimes thrilling approach: a cornucopia of different sounds ranging from symphonic rock to space-psych, with traces of experimental, avant-garde, jazz, folk and erudite tunes. Vocals are soft and cool like doing a kind of introduction to the tale of the two entities to be told, but counterbalanced by strong and decisive drumming and remarkable keyboard action.

'Felona' is short and delicate, with its flutes and acoustic guitars, spinning totally the feelings proposed by the previous track while 'La solitudine di chi protege il mondo' brings a beautiful melodic line which is able to carry the listener to a dream in less than 2'. With 'L'equilibrio' the impacting sensation left by the opener track returns grandiosely; evidence of EL&P and YES influences isn't capable to demean the work.

'Sorona' is sorrowful and poignant standing musically much like a romantic song. 'Attesa inerte' continues the balladesque melody of antecessor track but soon the atmosphere is replaced by odd sounds that catch the hearer attention. Ritratto di un matino' acts like a symphonic interlude where the nice tunes heard in 'La solitudine.' return briefly to decorate the scene. 'All'infuori del tempo' brings back the delicacy seen previously this time impregnated with more powerful arrangements but the tenderness is lost somewhere along the way making this track a bit boring. 'Ritorno al nulla', the ending track, starts with excessive synth presence very reminiscent of the EL&P features which provides a feeling of déja vu that contributes few to the track and the album in general. Anyway, the massive and imposing final segment supplies the album with a fine last impression.

"Felona E Sorona" is truly a great output and once one is used to LE ORME I'm quite sure that the amusement will be attained. However, when talking about rating my heart swings between the pure masterliness and the excellence per se - this time I'll choose the last one. Total: 4 stars.

Report this review (#141228)
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Underwhelming and lacking substance.

This is one of those occasions where my opinions go against the generally widely accepted ones of an album, Felona E Serona just feels as if it is lacking to me, it does have its share of good moments but they are few and far between. The album starts off strongly with the 8 minute Sopesi Nell'incredibile with some compelling synth and organ work but it is spoiled somewhat by the weak high-pitched vocals, the song ends well though with some appropriately 'incredibile' (couldn't resist) drum soloing. From there on things are fairly mundane with a more pop based approach plagued by poor vocals and boring acoustic guitar, 'Attese Inerte' is a definite highlight though with strong harmony and a triumphant chorus. The album ends on a fairly strong note too with the instrumental Ritorno al Nulla invoking emotion with a classically inspired dramatic approach.

Felona E Sorona is decent but it is quite flawed, it lacks depth, the vocals are weak and it departs a little too often from the symphonic prog parts into pop territory plus it is a mere 33 minutes long. Recommended only to fans of Italian Symphonic Prog.

Report this review (#145215)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Le Orme released a succulent album a year prior this one. Uomo Di Pezza surely belongs to their best work ever written

I feel that this one lacks some of the grandiose vocal harmonies, poignant songs of its predecessor. This is also a very much less ELP oriented album (actually it is not). Of course, I'm missing some more guitar work (but I felt exactly the same during Uomo.).

There are really too many short songs on this album. Not the ideal format to develop powerful ideas and to demonstrate how great a prog songwriter you are. But this cost already the five star rating toUomo..

There are no weak song featured on this album, but I am lacking the brilliance, the extremely melodic feeling, the excellence of Uomo. It was of course difficult to do better.Felona & Sorona is a good album but I am somewhat disappointed with this work.

I know that comparison is no reason, but I really believe that Aldo Tagliapietra was much more lyrical, passionate and truly phenomenal during their previous album. He added so much feeling to this work. In this release, he is good. No shivering track, not that same emotion that could be felt on Uomo.

Of course there are some great moments on this album (the finale of Ritratto Di Un Mattino for instance. But so short...There are no highlights as such IMHHO on this album. Just a sum of good track. Iam not very sensible to the concept that is supposed to drive this effort either.

Three stars for this good album.

Report this review (#158969)
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars It may take you a while (as it did me), or it may be instantaneous, but eventually you'll come to appreciate this fine album from Le Orme. As the black-white contrast on the cover hints, there are impressive contrasts in moods, from happy, major-chord-dominated songs, to spacey and menacing bits. This album still has that cute, unmistakable charm of Italian symphonic prog, but some of the happier parts seem quite folksy to me (similar to Harmonium perhaps). Either way, Felona e Sorona is a fine album.

The highlights: Sospesi Nell 'Incredible, L'equilibrio, Ritorno al Nulla. These songs are the faster and heavier songs on the album, and Sospesi and Ritorno open and close the album, respectively. Based on my limited exposure to Le Orme, they apparently know how to put their best material in the most important places. Sospesi opens with classic prog playfulness and countermelodies, and then merges into a grandiose chorus, and finishes with an excellent spacey freak-out. L'equilibrio may be the highlight of the album for me, particularly the inspired, 5/4 piano bridge. Closing out the album on a high, Ritorno cranks up the intensity with a key and synth-dominated, menacing build. If the whole album was equal in quality to these three tracks, it would be a five-star in my book any day.

The rest. I must emphasize that there are no bad songs on this album, as you might expect. These songs are generally simpler, and to my ears largely less interesting, than the others. For those whom the charming aspect of Le Orme is a highlight, then you will be very pleased. Of course, even I have to acknowledge the remaining brilliance of this album, including the irresistibly catchy Felona and the gorgeous climax of Rittrato di un Mattino.

In short, I prefer music with a little more bite than much of this album offers, but objectively I certainly appreciate the beauty of this album in its entirety. I certainly don't mind that it's relatively short: if it's consistently good and coherent, then it's much better by me than an album packed with filler. Although I would not consider these guys to be virtuosos, they have created an alternatingly beautiful and eerie album that really works.

Report this review (#162670)
Posted Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sounds a lot like PFM's Per Un Amico to me, but not quite on the same level. Nevertheless, this is still a gem in the Italian Symphonic library. Highly recommended, but maybe it's actual rating is somewhere between 4.5 and 4.75 stars.
Report this review (#163227)
Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I do not have all or most of LE ORME albums though. But I recognize at once when hearing their music and this is quite good at you. LE Orme's Felona E Sorona album I think is just one of those albums which stand out their characters, singer voice,thick of music, in such respect. In some sense a little boring to me their most music, so I like their COLLAGE album most. COLLAGE album is a little different from others of theirs. Anyway Felona E Sorona is quite good 3 or 4 stars I guess , thanks.
Report this review (#165574)
Posted Thursday, April 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Continuing with my exploration in the world of RPI, the turn has now come the second of its three giants, namely Le Orme. Blinded by the light that PFM turned out to be, I was eagerly anticipating more Italian prog, and in retrospect I might have expected just a little to much. At first I actually found Felona E Sorona hugely disappointing, and I constantly lost attention during the first listens.

But with so many glowing reviews and recommendations, you're always left with this feeling that you must be mistaken, that the rest of the world stands laughing at your ignorance, leaving you confused and frustrated wondering what's wrong. So luckily, I gave it more time. And that changed, if not all, at least a great deal of my opinions considering the album.

Le Orme plays a very keyboard-oriented kind of prog and just as with ELP, the occasional guitar is more an exception than a rule. But the sharp angularity that often riddles the works of Keith Emerson is transformed into a more mellow, melodic and melancholic form by Le Orme. Being a mixture of darker and lighter songs, it still is the melancholia that stands out. Compared to PFM's Per Un Amico, this is a very, very gloomy album, almost disturbing at times. Lonely. This is something the band achieves with great skill and success, making use of all you can get from the keys at that time. Pompous, soaring organ for atmosphere and texture, intricate melodies, classically arranged piano and spaced-out effects form the basis, or rather, IS Felona E Sorona. Even the sometimes flamboyant, skillfull and heavy drumming of Michi Dei Rossi or the times when Aldo Tagliapietra's bass enters from its place somewhere down in the massive keys' undergrowth can't prevent that.

When listening to the album you realise that there are very few highlights among the nine songs. And since this equals consistency and sticking to the concept of the album it is in some way a good characteristic. But it's just the same thing that, together with the clear, smooth voice of Aldo's that make the album very concentrated and hard to grasp. It seldom rises from the mellow mid-tempo, songs lack clear hooks and crescendos and it just gets a little blurry after a while. Aldo never reaches emotional peaks, his phrasing remains innocent, emotional and sad, even though he's got a fantastic voice I immediately accepted and praised. It's no wonder then that my two stand-out tracks are the opening and the closer, Sospesi Nell Íncredibile and Ritorno Al Nulla respectively. Because these tracks are the ones that adds some true dynamics to the album, with some much desired action and surprising changes. The latter of the two is one of the most stunning album finals I've heard so far, which says a lot. Ending with an unrivaled feeling of feverish uncertainty.

Just as with PFM's L'Isola Di Niente I feel some amount of irritation and slight disappointment after hearing Felona E Sorona. Perhaps with more time and in the right mood I'll learn to appreciate it fully, but as it is right now, it doesn't stand out as a masterpiece. 3,5 stars, going for 3.


Report this review (#166049)
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars This is probably Le Orme´s most prestigious record ever. And rightly so. It took me a long time to get this album, although it was very popular among progheads in Brazil during the 70´s. Even though I share with Sean Trane a certain dislike for this kind of trio (Keyboards - bass - drums), Le Orme´s work is so powerful I always had to make an exception (along with Triunvirat).

Le Orme´s greatness lies basicly in the fact that the band has a unique chemistry: band members are extremely skillful, but the sum is bigger than its parts. And the songwriting is the focal point: far from just fooling around showing off their technique, they are much more concerned in producing fine music together. Besides, the group also have in Aldo Tagliapietra a stunning singer, which makes all the difference from many other trios.

The Music in Felona E Sorona is not as accessible as their earlier work, it takes some time to get used to, but once you get it, you´re hooked. The melodies are memorable, it´s a labor of love and inspiration. The arrangements are great and the band´s sound is very tight. It´s really hard to believe it´s only 3 guys playing. It may be a little short for today´s standard (only 33:39), but what a beautiful short piece of music! The quality is absolutely top notch. The right production also helps a lot.

One of the best releases of the 70´s, no less. It helped stabilish Italy as one of the best sources of prog music in the world. Even today Felona E Sorona stands as a major piece of world´s prog rock. A classic album that anyone interested in symphonic prog music (italian or otherwise) should have.

Report this review (#167246)
Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Colliding universes, the realities of a life that has conflicting emotions where the fine, fine line between pleasure and pain seem to keep the blood flowing, forever on the verge of falling down the endless abyss. Alter egos, yin and yang, polar opposites and Murphy's Law, it's all about the simple complexities that can be found when art imitates life. Le Orme really soared to celestial heights when putting this concept masterstroke together, deliberately choosing the epic battle between light and dark. "Felona e Sorona" are two planets at extreme ends of the universe and can be a metaphor for a vast quantity of players, from man and woman to good and evil. The musical tone can also go from somber and aggressive symphonics to sweet and pastoral quasi-Italian folk music, befitting the story of the never-ending feud. Few records anywhere will initiate such a rush as the first notes of "Sospesi nell'Incredibile", a spooky and dense sonic holocaust with Toni Pagliuca's devastating organ and synthesizer, initially with a similar feel to Ange's Le Cimetiere des Arlequins, Aldo Tagliapietra poking massive bass markers and the savage drum assault by the "Bonhamesque" Miki Dei Rossi. When Aldo introduces his instantly recognizable voice, the piece luxuriates in such a groove, that it's hard not to swoon in delight, his reptilian bass slurping malevolently as the synth whistles in frenzy. There is a slight ELP hint which should come as no surprise but the pastoral contrasts take this into another galaxy, as "Felona" sounds more like a "canzione", a brisk, joyously limpid ballad that elicits a sense of "insouciance". "La Solitudine." is a brief piano propelled interlude, with Aldo's voice ascending to a higher plane introducing the shimmering "L'Equilibrio" with slashing organ blasts, bubbling bass, dancing synths and incensed drumming , all conspiring with the rollicking jazzy piano. "Sorona", the reverse mood to the bucolic "Felona" is created by proposing a somber dirge, with Tagliapietra's beseeching vocals evoking a sense of despair and harrowing melancholia. "Attesa Inerte" gradually returns to more overt symphonics, the elastic bass whooping sardonically and the buzz of the synth jousting with the strident organ. "Ritratto di Un Mattino" has a more pious feel to it, with a grandiose theme adorned with some electric guitar, piano and tubular bells. The gentle touch of "All'Infuori del Tempo" suggests a simpler almost medieval melody, acoustic guitar and flute-toned organ endowing the theme with a halo of peace. "Rottorno alla Nulla" is exactly that, the hypnotizing loop is complete, the full orbit is done, back into the clashing synths and the thrashing cymbals universe of the two planets at opposing ends of the spectrum. A short blazing supernova and a necessary monument in the ISP landscape. 4.5 moons
Report this review (#170636)
Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8.5/10 Great

Felona e Sorona was the first le Orme album I heard, and it blew me away. There was alot on the album that at first listen I was not too interested in, and now I enjoy it even more, but am almost more critical of it. Simply, what I love about this album is MELODY, and emotional passages, which it has alot of. BUT, it doesn't have enough of it to warrant being a true classic album...there are certainly a few tracks that are classics for me now, but as a whole I am still skipping some of it when I play it through.

I must say, the first part of this album is by far my favorite stuff. Aldo Tagliapietra has an absolutely amazing vocal, and he is one of the big reasons I love this band. Felona as a song is peaceful, emotional and melodic and I love top it off it transitions into the best moment of the entire album, the beginning of La Solitudine......absolutely magical is all you can say, this great transition and song are both just incredible. The next track, L'Equilibrio is again just awesome, returning the Solitudine melody TWICE heavier and powerful, and then steady but climactic. This melody is just brilliant and the album continues strong afterward. Sorona is an OK bit bringing in a little too much dark and drab atmosphere, and then I get a bit annoyed with Attesa, I could do without this one and it really isn't all that great. BUT!! The album picks up again with Ritratto un Mattino, which, need I mention it again, brings back the magical melody from before. We are lifted out of the drab darkness and brought to the heavenly beauty again.

Now, I love dark to light transitions, and I would credit the tracks I dislike more had they been of the right darkness. I just don't really get the same feeling out of this transition, I really feel the whole album should have just circled around pure beauty and melody, there really is no need for any kind of eerie atmosphere here. Ritratto proves it! The song is completely brilliant, peaceful and just downright awesome. In my opinion, it should have ended the album. The next track is great as well, All 'Infuori..., but maybe should have come before Ritratto and let Ritratto end it. Ritorno, the true final track, doesn't cut it. Kind of like a movie where you are dying for good closure and you are given nothing but some artsy fartsy climax to let you decide what actually is going on in the craziness (No Country For Old Men)...Ritorno is a good rocking song with some great synth explosion and power, but it isn't a song I go back to often for goosebumps or great closure to Felona e Sorona.

Still, overall this album is great. Some incredible moments and a recurring melody to die for. A little bit mixed up and some misplaced music, but I love this album and it definitely deserves your good listen!

Report this review (#174593)
Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars While the cover art has you expecting some stimulating music, you will find that such is not the case with Le Orme's masterpiece, Felona e Sorona. While the band possess a charming Italian sound with a plesant vocalist, their work lacks some musical depth. Ideas tend to be underdeveloped and instrumentals tend to be foregettable. One glaring exception is "L'Equilibrio," which in a mere 3 and 3- quarter minutes flows from a rockin' synth lead with impassioned vocals to another rockin' synth lead backed by a solid tom beat which unexpectedly moves into jazzy instrumental section and out into a melodic and climactic ending. It's hard not to sample that track and not buy the record (such was my mistake).

The band does have a nice balance to their sound. They have heavier passages among passages that approach pop territory, and it all feels natural. They have some good hooks, and the opening number gives them a lot of room to strut their stuff, which indeed they have. The problem is the album lacks development. All of the songs seem to end without closure, or without really expanding on any good ideas the band presented, and next thing you know you're on to the next song. However, while they may have stuff to strut, that opening number is actually overlong. It's almost 5 minutes longer than the next longest song on the record, but that time difference is mostly due to a large jam section in the second half. It has a couple of cool basslines, but the solos are unfortunately forgettable. To make matters worse, the production is semi-fuzzy and devoid of any punch.

Fans of the Italian prog rock sound will be swept up at the start of this one, but a closer look at this album will reveal incompletions, though it may not bother some. Obviously a multitude of prog fans love this disc, but for those not as easily taken with the Italian symphonic sound, ownership of the album may result in a dusty case and a pristine disc.

Report this review (#177960)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars I really didn't expect this to impress me as much as "Uomo Di Pezza" but it did. This one is spacier and darker, probably to suit the cosmic concept of this record. And so we get a lavish array of synths on this one.

"Sospesi Nell'Incredibile" is a song that cannot be propery described because of how moving and uplifting it is. It opens with a very impressive drum / organ passage before that section stops 2 minutes in and then those gorgeous vocals of Aldo come in with waves of organ. Gulp. Stronger vocals 4 minutes in are followed by some great drumming and synth work. This is truly amazing ! The drumming is just so impressive. It gets spacey after 7 minutes. "Felona" features strummed guitar with vocals.This is fun and light until the fuzz organ arrives a minute in. Flute late. "La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo" is spacey with distant sounding vocals to open. Aldo then sings beautifully as piano joins him. It's spacey again to end it.

"L'Equilibrio" features organ, synths, vocals, piano and drums that all come and go making this song a great and interesting ride. "Sorona" is a 2 1/2 minute song that features mournful vocals with synths and gentle guitar. "Attesa Inerte" opens with orchestral-like sounds before string-synths come in with vocals a minute in. I love when the beat comes in before 1 1/2 minutes. Organ 2 minutes in. This is such a cool track. Themes are repeated. "Ritratto Di Un Mattino" is spacey to start with. Vocals join in around 1 1/2 minutes. A gorgeous melody comes in before 2 minutes. This is so uplifting. It settles right down with piano 3 minutes in to end it. "All'Infuori Del Tempo" opens with strummed guitar as reserved vocals join in. Organ comes and goes. Drums and a fuller sound after 3 minutes. It's spacey to end it. "Ritorno Al Nulla" is the closing instrumental. Synths and drums dominate in impressive fashion.

I do prefer "Uomo Di Pezza" (I think) but both are masterpieces in my opinion.

Report this review (#179869)
Posted Sunday, August 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a masterpiece Italian progressive rock album by Le Orme (one of three progressive acts from Italy with other acts were Banco & PFM). The music is original in style even though there are styles that remind me to bands like The Nice, ELP, Refugee, Genesis and Yes. The key elements of the composition comprising keyboard as major act while bass guitar is also quite dominant, followed with drums. They wrote the music with tight composition, dynamic time signatures, quite complex yet the melody has been maintained catchy and there are heavy influences of classical music.

Melodic Symphonic Prog, in Dark Mood ..

The album opener, "Sospesi Nell Íncredibile (In between)" (8:43), is an inspiring and challenging to observe. It starts with ambient yet energetic organ work in symphonic style reminiscent of ELP or the Nice or Refugee followed with drumming in dynamic way plus bass guitar work. The first 2 minutes plus, the music deals with acrobatic nature of organ work until at approx minute 2:25 when the vocal enters in dark mood. The organ follows the music at background. In the middle of the track there is stunning organ work augmented by tight bass lines .and later, the drumming enters dynamically and combined together they make great progressive sound. It's one of my favorite tracks.

"Felona" (1:58) is basically an acoustic guitar, accompanying vocal, while the next track "La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (The maker)" (1:57) which has catchy melody demonstrated by vocal, backed up beautifully by piano touches in classical music style. The organ solo at the end of the track is really a great embarkation point to higher energy track "L'Equilbrio (Web of time)" (3:47) which flows brilliantly at the end of previous track, seamlessly. This is another great composition as the music style changes from one segment to another. The keyboard work at approx minute 0:38 demonstrates symphonic nature of the song. And the bass guitar plays dynamically here. The keyboard work at minutes 1:22 is quite similar with Genesis "The Fountain of Salmacis". Influenced? It might be . as "The Fountain of Salmacis" is from "Nursery Cryme" album released in 1971. But overall, this track is superb!

"Sorona" (2:28) is a very melodic and nice song in acoustic version, no drumming, with dark mood. I like the way how simple keyboard work augmented by simple guitar fills provides great foundation for "melodic" vocal to enter the music. It's so sad in nuance, dark, but it's truly a nice melodic vocal line. Especially, because it's said in Italian language and I think Italian is the best language for progressive music. It's better than English, really. Just compare this track with ELP's "The Sage". I think you will honestly say that "Sorona" is much better. Don't believe with me? Try it now!

"Sorona" flows wonderfully to next track "Attesa Inerte (The plan)" (3:25) which starts ambient with great symphonic multi-layered keyboard sound augmented by nice bass guitar work. At 0:48 the music changes the style and .. oh my God! The vocal line enters brilliantly here, in similar vein like "Sorona". Again, the use of Italian language has made the song sounds so solid. The music turns to ELP-like with its keyboard-driven work. The song moves seamlessly to "Ritratto Di Un Mattino (The Balance)" (3:29) which the first half is an acoustic keyboard work and the later half comprises drums and other instruments.

"All Ínfuori Del Tempo (Return to naught)" (4:08) sounds like different style than the previous tracks even though still in the corridor of Italian typical prog. It uses acoustic guitar and vocal in straight forward composition. Full music only appears at the end of the track. The album concludes with "Ritorno Al Nulla" (3:34) through the sound of long sustain keyboard followed with brilliant organ work and drumming that reminds me to The Nice or Refugee. This last track is a nice instrumental.

Overall, what can I say about this masterpiece work with killing melody in almost all individual track? Considering the year of release, you might compare this album with Genesis "Selling England By The Pound" or ELP "Brain Salad Surgery" and this album is at par excellent with those two legendary albums. I consider the music of this album is a melodic symphonic prog with dark mood. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#183262)
Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars 01. Sospesi Nell'incredibile Keyboards! Time broken! That breaks that arise, and bells ...! Nice way to show the impact in another way. Enter the voice. Aldo beautiful voice, and the spaces fill the music. Yes! spaces, as would Roger Waters, the secret is in the time that you do not touch and not on what you play. Low battery and the front with the keyboard as a secondary role of melodist. The only great song on the disc (8'43), all others are short and interconnected. Syntetizadores come and change the tone music with the battery in an unusual time (emphasis on the excellent Michi Dei Rossi).

02. Felony Felony already open or you realize that without Sospesi Nell'incredibile ended, guitar and vocals give this song superb tone. Almost a folk is not the meeting of synthesizers that permeate the music, percussions expert gives a special flavor, a small section of flute and ...

03. La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo The trip back, with beautiful arpegios of keyboards and vocals in space. In the end everything changes preparing ground for another beauty that comes.

04. L'equilibrio Urgency is the word that comes to mind listening to this song, a small portion of the disk of desperation in making haste to think of everything. Great emphasis on the bottom row. Keyboards come with tremolo and sounds unusual, to then lead to the piano and time again broken reign, only a preparation for the end of a more beautiful song already seen.

05. Sorona Opening to what would be the next 2 to LP, a melody begins bucolic fella 's of things that do not live Aldo sings with the heart, the soul. Beautiful!

06. Attesa Inerte We started with an unusual timbre of keyboard and (Toni garimpava sounds with certainty, which for a progressive band is amazing), you then make the tone synthesizers' F1 'to the song (listen and understand what I mean) while Aldo sings in different time of the rest.

07. Ritratto Di Un Mattinò Strange, a little scary! Thus begins almost as Endless Enigma Trilogy Part 1 of the band Emerson, Lake & Palmer (without wanting to compare), the movie soundtrack of suspense / horror, which you then toast us with a sweet melody, almost holy. A short epic and beautiful. Bells and piano warn us that it is the time ...

08. All'infuori Del Tempo To that All'infuori Del Tempo pulled start of guitar and voice interspersed body of a keyboard type of church, increasing the feeling of 'holiness' and the disc becomes calm.

09. Ritorno Al Nulla Instrumental single disk, a kind of End of the World, an urgent keyboard gives the signal. Actually it is not the end of World but the outcome of a classic and beautiful heady.

This disc has to be heard by any lover of progressive sentiment, if you like the music that touches your soul, get this disc sit and enjoy!

Report this review (#196916)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this album after Uomo di Pezza and altough I find the music simpler I still think Uomo di Pezza is better to start, because it was easier for me to get into (but in the end this one is still great for beginning with le Orme).

The problem with this album is somewhat similar to Uomo's : short songs. Altough its comprehensible with this album because its a concept album with a history (about 2 planets: one happy and one dark and somber) and most of the songs flow into each other. Many songs even share some melodic phrases but this album should be listened to as a whole so its ok (even though everybody has favorite songs including me).

Another problem here is lack of consistence. And by lack of consistence I mean that you wont hear music like ,for example, PFM plays, because with PFM you will many times hear 5 or more instruments at the same time, and anyway that would be hard since Le Orme is formed only by 3 musicians.

One thing I love in this album is that it ranges from happy to sad, it has many moods, but I still consider this album mostly somber (not in a bad way).

Sospesi nell'incredibile- Great intro with organ and drums. It has a kind off dark feeling but after a while it gets happier. Then begins the typical Le Orme's vocals (which I initially didnt like) that I love, very sweet, accompanied by the organ and after a while the music gets dark again. The vocals end and a until the end its instrumental. The organ solos while you can hear some very good and crazy drumming (only wish the organ was louder compared to the drums, seems to have a secondary role here) and then the music turns in a jazzy part, 1st with the dark feeling but then more uplifting (some parts reminding me of Camel). Aldo begins playing with the synth here while the excellent drumming goes on and the end of the music is simply crazy with some drums demonstration right at the end (which I dont like very much but its almost irrelevant to the music in general). Like you'll hear in the last track, Le Orme's deliver everything they've got here, each of the member showcasing their skills.Still I can't rate above 8/10 because I dont like the whole music. 8/10

Felona- From what I've read this track is one of the favorites in this album to many people. Ok, its very uplifting, very merry. But it isnt that good. It has a good acoustic guitar and the vocals are intercaled with very short instrumental parts. I guess in the context of the story this track makes all sense. For me the best part, altough the song like most of the other is very short, its the end with the flute and then the track flows beautifully into the next. 6/10

La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo- This track starts very beautifully with one of the most smooth vocals I've heard (this melodic phrase will be repeated sometimes allong the album, thank god for that). Altough this song is mostly piano and vocal based its still very beautiful and very nice. Almost at the end the track turns sadder (also using a melodic phrase very used in this album) and flows into the next one. 7,5/10

L'equillibrio- A highlight. Stars with great organ playing soon joined by the vocals. Its one of the tracks with the best instrumentations with the organ deliverin some great work. The vocal parts are intercaled with instrumental parts that I love. I would have to say the base of this song is mostly drums and organ/piano. The piano also impresses here. There's some kind of keyboard solo and then the part I love (the initial phrase from the last track) ending with the beautiful piano. 9/10

Sorona- With this track starts the most somber part of the album. Its a kind off contrast with the album so far but I think it works perfectly. The vocals arent that much of a hightlight in this track (being still very good) being this track a description of the 2nd planet. This track is a very dark and quiet one. Its more of a transition and a mood-setting track. But still, a good one. 7/10

Attesa inerte- I dont think this track is very much apreciated by other reviewers but I like it very much. I love the synth effects in this music, beat made by the bass and drums and the sad vocals over all that. This track gives me a feeling of torment (probably describing the life of the inhabitants of Sorona). Its a short track like almost all other but the track its excellent fom beginning to finish. The song by itself isnt that much progressive but its excellent. 8,5/10

Ritratto di un mattino- The last track flows into this one with the somber feeling of the last two songs. But here things change. The planet starts to change. The organ plays that angelic phrase and the vocals begin to sing (still the melodic phrase of the 3rd and 4th song). And then begins a great instrumental part. Great guitar solo, great organ and great drums. The solo isnt very technical, its very emotional and fits perfectly in the song. The song ends with the piano again. 9/10

All'infuori del tempo- I face this track as a sadder Felona its also mostly acoustical but not that much happy. Still in between some vocal parts this track features good keyboard playing. Some mood organ in the end and then we get to the grand finale track. 7/10

Ritorno al nulla- This track reminds me a little of Alienazione. The drums and keyboard playing are just crazy. The track begins a little quiet. Slowly it begins growing and then begins the tireless drums and the mind-blowing keyboard playing. I mean mind-blowing!!! This track must have really been something from another world in those days. I can barely hear the bass because of that drumming!. And the finale its just great. They've really pushed themselves in this one. 8,5/10

My rating: 7,83/10 = 3,92/5 rounded up to 4 stars.

Report this review (#202016)
Posted Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars More than 30 years ago "Le Orme" made me discover "progressive world", and this album is, in my opinion, their higher artistic point. Felona e Sorona is comparable to the best works of ELP, to which Le Orme evidently inspired them: they didn't have the technique of Emerson & C., but probably greater compositional imagination, and capacity, especially by Aldo Tagliapietra, to create beautiful and original melodies. This is one of the first Italian concept album: the story of two complementary and parallel worlds, told through dreamy and ethereal music, full of exciting keyboard sounds and unforgettable melodies. Important is the contribution to piano and production of master Reverberi, which has helped to pack one of the best works of Italian music scene.
Report this review (#202171)
Posted Monday, February 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A masterful composition of mood and color

Review #600 should be marked by something special. We finally arrive at the pinnacle of the Orme brand, or so we've been told. I admit to being in a state of great anticipation over this album after reading the reviews and soaking up the wonderful album cover, wonderful not because of the nudity but because the style is so European. I love the profile view of the face at the right side of the cover which reminds me of an old Antonioni film.... "L'Avventura" anyone?

While their previous album was a huge advancement over "Collage" this album does not make the same grand leap in quality or technique over "Pezza", but it does make changes in mood and composition. You still have the dependable and formidable Orme attributes: the warm and melancholic vocals, the comforting bass presence, the keys over guitar paradigm, and the crisp and fluent drumming. But here some of the arbitrary bombast and obvious melody of the previous album is replaced by a murkier, artier, more esoteric listening experience. As Linus brilliantly noted this music is "lonely" and also distant.....detached somehow. Yet it remains full of the substantive intricacies that make Orme so appealing. Tommy Schönenberg from calls this one "their most original-sounding album, as Pagliuca now had taken full advantage of the synths (both Moog and string-synths) and made them one of the most important features in the sound of the record. Even many of the organ-chords had been layered with the synths, often making it hard to distinguish the two keyboards apart from each other, resulting in a very unique sound." I am mystified at reading several reviews that suggest "Felona" has no highlights to be found, as I hear them in every track. The entire work suggests the highlight of a career, and to date I've not been more impressed by an album from the "Big 3" of Italian prog (although there are still some Banco titles I need to hear.) You will also read that this album is an ELP clone and while there are stylistic similarities, Orme succeeds by focusing on mood and detail over fireworks. I've never been moved by ELP melodies to the extent I've been here.

For me this is the best Orme title I've heard thus far, very close to a masterpiece by any measure. Whereas "Uomo di Pezza" seemed a more benevolent face for Orme, at turns nostalgic and beautiful, "Felona e Sorona" gets under your skin in a less comfortable but more seductive way. I'll agree this one takes longer to fully assimilate, but once your brain begins to dissect the layers here you will never lose your appreciation of this music. Layered and intelligent, nearly perfected arranged, and flawlessly constructed songwriting. Much more than the previous two albums, here every note from the first track seems destined and engrossing. I believe Orme learned much from the experience of the prior albums and were able to combine that experience with what was still a firm commitment to the majestic and flowery progressive epics of the moment. They had not yet switched gears in musical thought and the result is that "Felona" is the album where it all came together for this band. Listen to the way Aldo's bass takes over as lead in the mid-late sections of "Sospesi Nell 'Incredible" or the way they can drop gears from that ferocious opener right back into a folksy, light acoustic number like "Felona" without missing a beat. Both "kinds" of tracks are equally and lovingly adorned with much care around the edges, delicate piano twinkling, bells, the crispness of the strummed acoustic, the floating mellotron. The perfect transitions of tension and release, such as from "La Solitudine" to "L'Equilbrio", and the achingly beautiful melodies throughout are so impressive to me. The quiet guitar, the spooky drapery of melancholy that opens "Sorona" on side two will stop you in your tracks, makes you close your eyes and listen. The heavenly melodic conclusion of "Ritratto di un Mattino" has to be among prog's most beautiful moments---if it doesn't move you, your heart must be offline. Another perfectly ascending, long transition follows from "All 'Infuori" into the final track which is the most extroverted of the set, a true finale! The scant 33 minute running length is often decried by people as a negative; in fact, it is never the quantity but rather the quality that we should focus on. "Felona" plays very much like one continuous suite and the length is more or less perfect to me. It also has aged very well and sounds positively fresh. While many bands have claimed on Orme influence over the years, none get close to capturing the balance of factors that made the original so great.

"Felona" in some ways is more modest and less grandiose, less "over the top" than the period giants like Topographic or The Lamb. And yet it is every bit the masterpiece because it is so perfectly adorned in its moods, composition, and superb performance. It is not the prog-rock album for those looking for excitement and guitar thrills, of that much I will give its critics. It is one for fans who prefer a more thoughtful, subdued, yet enormously fulfilling experience. It's almost a cinematic experience, like the musical equivalent of 60s European modernist film. A must for RPI fans and essential for any well-rounded collection.

Report this review (#237950)
Posted Monday, September 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the most popular album of Italian Progresive. Perfect melodies ( as usual for Italian prog), very soft and warm sound, enough complex technique.

So, we have here one more synth/keyb driven trio, but in italian manner. Not pompastic with heavy drive as ELP, but more dreamy and well-rounded, as early Genesis. The vocal is strong enough, as well as rhythm section. I think that main problem with their music is absent of guitar sound on record. So, dominated synth-sound ( with competent bass/drums support) makes music a bit liquid, in some moments remain even new age nightmares.

Overall, the album is strong enough. Not masterpiece ( because of too high viscosity), but really pleasant. Happily, having enough sympho elements, didn't become baroque piece played by rock-band. It's important!

Report this review (#239702)
Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars For many specialists and fans of Progressive rock, this work of 1973, is the quintessence of all the long discography of Le Orme, the most algid point of their discography and the most finished album of whatever they recorded, as information of this record over the internet can be observed when looking for. Nobody can be indifferent before the fact by these excellent musicians, who, conserving the alignment formed by Pagliuca, Tagliapietra and Dei Rossi, offer a work that in truth can be summarized like the crystallization of all their musical knowledge, the acquired influences and their huge imagination, a work where it express the love and the glory is raised and that without a doubt this is descriptive music, dramatic and symbolic.

In this recording Le Orme uses a more colorful, but human and tormented language, that becomes plenty of melodic and harmonic forms, with texture and timbre; additionally this suite has a very interesting concept, that is about the life in two planets that have an identical structure, but that the difference is in which one is favored by the Creator and the other simply can do what they can, the same lyrics reflect epic and mythological characters that try to understand to the listener and thus to be transported to this universe, enchanted and suggestive, obviously the music contributes largely to understand the ruling atmosphere in these two worlds which they have been named Felona and Sorona and they are inhabited, by a form of life similar to the human one.

The lyrics have several meanings as i point early, elements that are present in any ancient mythology or religion of the different civilizations have used. Here fits here the Biblical example of Caín and Abel, where God benefit and watch with more affability towards Abel that to Caín strived and that finally, unlike this work, Caín kills Abel, nevertheless we can find parallelisms of this brotherhood murder in Felona and Sorona, since the creator when turning around to take care of Sorona, Felona initiates a decay, which to "approximately" could represent a "crime".

Following this line of thought, also taken from root philosophical elements, like the representation of two moments during a day, the day (Felona) and the night (Sorona), and the different forms from life between both, as well as the change of humor in the human beings depending what mood pleases more to them. In the animal kingdom they are animals that only have activity at night and others animals that do have activity during the day. Reasons why we must understand this work of a arquetypical way, that is to say looking within the history of the religions and the philosophy the answers, since almost all the gnoseologic and ontological theories (it on the matter sees the theories of philosopher A. Kojeve), these, have deal with to explain that a struggle with a twin brother and them represent a "Sacred Unit", but this are "horse of another color".

In fact history turns I said earlier, on two planets in which are identical to each other, created by a divine unit that only favored to one of them (Felona) and to it neglected the other it (Sorona), and it assumes that in one the people are happy and realized like human beings whereas in the other could be the hell itself, where only lives sadness and bitterness, and asking for to the divine unit aid, and throughout this admirable work, illustrate that the creator maintains a precarious balance, at the cost of one of worlds (Sorona), to be able to continue providing the quality of life that has the other (Felona), but something happens that within the indulgence melancholy of the creative divine unit, and thinks that it is time to see towards the other side (Sorona) and then something unique in the life of this worlds takes place, and for a moment, they were illuminated from the being in simultaneous ways and that would bring about the almost simultaneous transformation of worlds, having changed places and therefore Sorona became the privilege place and Felona little by little would be fail, and have to happen later to reform and an apocalyptic end, where all one mixed and returned to the divine primary unit, that is to the Creator, what it makes us above confirm the theories already indicate above lines.

The music created in the album is from very high quality standards and that has dated very well, and it places to this magnificent group in the heights of Progressive heaven and a place reserved in the pantheon of the progressive rock.

The edition for the English market, which the leader did of Van der Graf Peter Hamill on this work and tour by England confirms the internationalization of this great Progressive group. As far as music, Tony affirms once again like the great master of the keyboard that he is, giving us good doses of Hammond, Mellotron and synthesizer, and showing us his great varied style and whose solid writing indicates their greatness. On the other hand Aldo delights to us with that prodigious voice that is the delight of many of us and who, aside from Francesco Di Giacomo of Banco, is one of the most identifiable of Rock Progressivo Italiano, where he speaks a colored language and also shows an inexhaustible verb, as well as the use of the acoustic guitar of a rare and shady refinement and his bass where it finally maintains a sovereign and a unquestionable balance in between the other instruments and finally Michi displays the knowledge and the technique that shows with the percussion instruments, mainly the drumkit, and the rhythm with which overwhelm the melodies and he owns a seal of incontestable greatness.

Derivative of the previous thing, we can support that as well as the lyrics of this work, takes to us to that universe animated and suspended in a strange time, music do the own thing showing like the nature of the feelings are perfectly compatible with the musical notes that are constructing a unique and continued structure and that are passing of the simple joy (e.g. Felona) to an evident sadness and desolation (e.g. Sorona, Attesa Inerte), to the hope that gives a life spark (e.g. Ritratto I gave a mattino), and to the chaos and return to the absolute null (e.g. Ritorno to nulla), there is no doubt that the work characterizes by a capable and prodigious structure where showcases the melody and where the group is pleased in valorizing the different sonorous planes, the games and the timbres of their instruments.

This work is made up of 9 musical pieces that go interlaced with others, in the style of a great Suite and also they use of intelligent way, to unite the songs of longer time with short intervals, where in the majority of the songs, Taglapietra use of his voice do in a very great way, and the simple but effective chords of his acoustic guitar, to obtain in a skillful way a unique work and, which remembers a little to me in how operates in the theater of Euripídes, and similar aspects that was used in those arts (e.g the function of the choir fro example), these songs are of variable time and contain the rare virtue that also is possible to listen to them individually and in this way it does not discredit in anything to all the work; also the experience assimilated in its previous work Uomo Di Pezza is also clear, and the musical elements that they developed there are used in a exhaustive way in this great work, but with the difference that the subject is more concise here, concrete and more organized than in that one.

Finally it is necessary to mention the art contained in the album and that assumes it represents worlds at issue, Felona represented by the woman and Sorona who in this case is a masculine figure, and that shows a surprising similarity with the works that realize his countryman Giorgio de Chirico, at the beginning of the XX century, who is of an exquisite and mysterious surrealism, as well as exhausting and enigmatic., without a doubt a very shady art, showing a nostalgic pessimism that few works, in the covers art of records have managed to transmit and to be consistent with the music contained in them, in this case absolutely and totally integrate with music developed here by Le Orme.

1. Sospesi nell' incredibile. Like in the previous work of this great group, they initiate with a long musical piece and with exquisite changes that they are only able to realize, a piece that serves as perfect introduction to which will be this Suite; Is undeniable "the classic" influences and note by miles the use that Tony do about the flexibility of the melody in his keyboards, combined with rigorous the counterpoint, that is marking the bass guitar of Tagliapietra and the incessant and frenetic rhythm of the Drumming of Michi, to create an superior and envy art, but at the same time majestic and glorious, like music of angels, mainly when Aldo begins to sing first verses of the lyrics of the song; without a doubt is a time of absolute sublimation and that anyone that does not feel that, definitively it would not have to listen to any music at all. The change to a more dynamic rhythm is notorious, but also with a bit of nostalgic, as of the minute 5:30 and that thanks to the Hammond of Pagliuca and the ethereal line of the melody of the bass, makes feel that state of brings back to consciousness, which it is of an abandonment or a species of stumped affliction, but that serious adorned with extraordinary musical shades of the Moog of Tony and the decided rhythm of Michi, doing a show of his meticulousness as a percussionist, without hesitation is a passage with much melancholy and ends with a mini drum solo, nevertheless is a rare finish of a song.

2 Felona. Immediately start this pleasant song, played by Taglapietra with an extraordinary freedom and on the basis of a very simple harmony, it reflects the benefit by the life and the joy that assumes lives the inhabitants on Felona, adorned with small but effective motifs in the part of Tony and the percussion used by Dei Rossi with a great care of exactitude and extreme, like a Swiss clock, but living! This one is in fact a single for the Italian market with a good success; and with a subtle rate and a fresh sensation, it infects by his simple structure, a sound that seems to appears as a flute almost at the end of the musical piece, to embellish the festive character even more than it contains.

3. La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo. One of the melodies that denote the influence that "the classic" musicians as Scarlatti or Chopin exerts in the form of playing of Pagliuca, a full piano of majesty, plenty of notes and that accompany by an effective way in the brief but effective vocal line that realizes Aldo, that with his impressive loaded voice of a discreet dramatic quality and which I believe would envy any vocalist of Progressive rock, emphasizes this brief but showy musical creation, very evocative and fantastic, also notices a little caterbury inspiration (Mike Ratledge).

4. L'equilibrio. A Song where Pagliuca uses his well-known technique like "Walls of Sound", that used before with great effectiveness the saxophonist John Coltrane, and that, combined to the phenomenal use of the drums of Michi and to the poetic voice of Taglapietra, offers to us one of the best pieces of the record, that describes the relation that unites both worlds (Felona and Sorona) as well as reflecting the effective use of the synthesizer and combined to it the enchantment, the fantasy and a series of verses of rigorous purely polyphonic progressive style and, mainly as of the minute 1:40 where the dominion of the Moog is listened to in order to happen immediately to the use of a piano with ascending and descendent notes, that when listening of an emergency feeling and balanced urgency (for that reason the song L'equilibrio. is named), and an end with delicate notes, verses and a great use of musical silence.

5. Sorona. Without a doubt this is one of the saddest songs composed by Le Orme. It is emaciated, devastating, somber and shattering the description than it is the world of Sorona, (one sees for example what causes the contamination of the planet, or the indiscriminate slaughter of some animal species or the extreme hunger and extreme poverty in some parts of our planet and we will not be far someday of this description), really Taglapietra causes that the tragic force of its interpretation causes that one wanes of discouragement and affliction by the unjust destiny of the inhabitants of Sorona, and can be breathed through all the work a scent to destruction, pain and death, and that Tony accompanies with a series of musical notes very similar to which it is transmitted with the lyrics of the musical piece, (and to make mention that those same notes will serve to be the final theme of the album, but touched on a faster way), really chilling! But here the group reaches the height until incredible levels that would not return to do. So this is a serious contender to be the best song of the entire album

6. Attesa inerte. The sixth song of this work and that with descriptive bass guitar playing, that shows an elegant execution of Aldo, is taking to us through the song, that would come to be most experimental from all, with an atonal time and a series of dissonances on the play of Pagliuca, and that alternates with the synthesizer and the rhythmic of Dei Rossi. They are describing what the lyrics, through the interpretation of Taglapietra, happen to the inhabitants of Sorona (which finally they see his realised desires), and that the urgency of the composition gives to understand that something is going to change? for good or evil.

7. Ritratto di un mattino One delicate melody in which, Tagliapietra delights to us with a brief but effective vocal line that says thus translated the English: "the happiness you cannot find it in itself, but in the love that to the other to the day you will give!" With the use of the synthesizer on the play of Tony with a very eloquent way and that alternates passages of joy with downhearted passages, and which they demonstrate that the group has feature artists of mobility and matchless talent, and that they have compositions, like this that are very deep, combined with an harmonic and rhythmical flexibility.

8. - All' infuori of the tempo. - One delicate and pastoral melody based on two spontaneous chords in the acoustic guitar of Taglapietra, very similar to Felona, but more slowed down and with a different dynamism, also the excellent voice of Aldo returns here to shine in the firmament with the description of the work that communicates the change of situation in worlds, as Sorona begins "to live up" and Felona to decay, Tony creates with the use of synthesizers and the distinguishing mastery of the instrument, passages of incredible melodies and timbres that give a colored and elegant language, and Michi playing what it seems a strange rhythm within the musical structure of the song, but that it connects in a categorical way in the final product. There is no doubt that these baroque passages that create a wealth of sounds, and that in this case is with base in a frank rhythm maintained by the guitar, are one of the aspects that this album is considered by many the best of Le Orme, is really a marvelous melody and with a matchless mystic.

9. Ritorno to nulla. The theme that close the suite that presented Le Orme and the most vibrant, dynamic and delirious melody of all the album, and that really reflected what the title says to us, a end of anthology, tremendous, superb, and that show to us the different sonorous levels, the games and the timbres of the instruments which they use, with a dominant rhythm, with a take no prisoners onslaught to the listener, Tony shining the use of practically all their harmonic, melodic and contrapuntist arsenal, and shows the virtuous quality that always have own in the control of his keyboards, you only listen the principle of the song for a sharp example. Aldo with his obstinate and furious bass, taking the reins from the rabid and chaotic rhythm with sober and mastery, and Michi finally multiplying the hands to play in a sovereign, overflowing way and with a tremendous, ecstatic and colossal rhythm, (showing how we have to play a double bass drum), that leaves to the listener in state of shock by the majestic and superhuman end. The musical piece reflects the return to the primary, the original state in which everything is one and is absolute (to the purest Hegelianism), and that finally thence becomes to begin and for me remembers, to a cosmic black hole, which absorbs and destroys everything of inexorable way, precise and final and that until to the same it turns aside it light, leaving everything totally annihilated. It is possible to assume that it is t one of the best songs of the entire repertoire of Le Orme, really tremendous and non for the faint hearted!

Then we have analyzed 34 minutes of the best and higher Progressive rock albums than any group has given us and serious more than to say than this conceptual work is one of the most finish examples about the music of Le Orme, and RPI and his place in a first absolute Level between those groups whose science of the instrumentation, creativity, fantasy, lyrical and musical genius only can ask for our astonishment and admiration.

Report this review (#241459)
Posted Friday, September 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second issue of Classic Rock presents Prog issue claims this is one of the best ever Italian Prog Rock albums. So I duly investigated this claim.

I am not an expert on Italian Prog Rock or progressive rock in general. I therefore cannot dispute this claim. What I do not dispute is that this album is a piece of very beautifully crafted progressive rock. I sincerely hope this album is typical for the Italian scene.

This album comes as two long pieces of music. It is about two different planets; one good and one bad. That is as far as I know. Anyway; the music is the one that matters here. The music is generally pretty dark and pastorial. It is also very beautiful throughout. The music is as whole keyboards dominated. Keyboards and this wonderful vocals which weaves around the music in a perfect manner. In other words; the vocals are perfect or even better than that. I have stated this before and I say it again: The Italian language is perfectly suited to symphonic prog. I do not understand a word of what the vocalist sings so the vocals is for me "just" another instrument in Le Orme's sound. Perfect ! The sound is as stated above pastorial with changing themes. From pretty hard to very mellow. Mostly mellow and melodic. The keyboards sometimes creates some very grand and majestic pieces of music here. Pieces of music that has etched itself into my head and will probably forever be among my favorite music.

The quality is excellent throughout. My only small gripe is the last minutes with this techno rhythm like pieces. I do not feel they have any place on this album. But besides of that; this is perfect album. If this is Italian symphonic prog at it's best; I will raid Amazon and Ebay for more of the same. Viva Le Orme !

4.75 stars

Report this review (#241718)
Posted Sunday, September 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Incredible mixture of space rock, crossover prog and electronic music

Fourth studio album by Le Orme - Felona e Sorona, is probably their artistic and musical peak and their best album as whole. Le Orme is quite different band, than it's italian fellows - PFM, BMS and others. Especially their fourth album - Felona e Sorona doesn't contains typical symphonic style of most f the italian bands and albums. And this different and uncommon style of Le Orme makes them highly interesting and attracting band. Felona e Sorona is very well structured album with perfect expressiveness collected in only 33 minutes. It tells about two planets with totally different mood and existence. It could be felt everywhere in the first and second part of the album. The sound is highly keyboards-saturated with mainly synthesizers in there. As a tradition for italians, drumming style is from outer space. Highly recommended album for space and crossover fans. Treasure of irregular prog sound from this latitudes. 4.5 stars

Italian genuine piece of progressive rock

Report this review (#246234)
Posted Sunday, October 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars The best progressive music acknowledges the dark and light sides of humanity and of our existence on this earth and beyond. In that sense works like "The Wall" and "Tales From Topographic Oceans", as significant as they may be, are flawed in their consistent pessimism and optimism respectively, and LE ORME's oft regarded pinnacle represents the archetypal expression of life's perennial dichotomies. This is a tale of two planets, one radiant and the other eternally bitter, so far apart in space. The story itself may hardly be headline news, but the music herein and the manner in which it communicates the schism certainly are.

While the individual track lengths are mostly modest, each leads into the next such that "Felona and Serona" flows like a suite, or two suites, the first 4 tracks more or less depicting Felona and the last 5 Serona. The black cloud over the better of these 2 (Felona) is that it was reprised even more potently in 1997 at LE ORME's Progday appearance, so I only ever listen to it in that rendition. But the silver lining is that the original studio version still eclipses 99% of what was and is out there for sheer clarity of musical vision, not to mention rapturous vocals conveying scintillating melodies and keyboard, bass and percussive histrionics to draw the emotional well up within any red blooded symphonic progger. The 9 minute opening segment and the epilogue "L'Equilbrio" are the best of the best.

On the flipside, the music is more maudlin and subdued, appropriately so, but just doesn't plumb the depths one would wish to contrast with the heights of part 1. The "Serona" part is reflective and profoundly sad but doesn't draw one in enough. However, the acoustic oriented "All'infuori del tempo" and the organ and moog frenzy of "Ritorno al nulla" do come close to, and in some aspects surpass what we experienced on Felona.

LE ORME demonstrates in barely 33 minutes how the sweet loving lady and her dreary self obsessed twin each need the better part of each other for completeness, which is all but achieved in this landmark effort.

Report this review (#250623)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Produced with the woolliest sound you could possibly obtain that far from Canterbury, Felona E Sorona manages to surpass the level of excellence that Le Orme had achieved on Uomo Di Pezza. The warm sad sound of this album gripped me from the first time I heard it and has only continued to grow over the many regular listens I gave it.

In just a bit over 33 minutes and 9 unique pieces of music, Le Orme builds a strong case that prog can rock without any guitars or other harsh sounds. Instead, they do it with smooth, melodious keyboard-driven compositions. The secret sits in the solid rhythm section that sustains their dark-romantic sound. Both the drums and the bass guitar are delicious throughout. The instrumentation is kept quite sparse at times, such as in the second half of the opening track. It makes the organ and mellotron heavy outbursts all the more powerful.

Apart from the lengthy opening track, the songs are very short, but they make up a nice suite that offers plenty of variation and still makes for one fluent listening experience. There are a number of tunes that flirt with how much mellowness and sentiment I can handle on an album. It makes me regret again I haven't got to know this music earlier when I wouldn't have minded the woolly sound and could have appreciated as much as my favourite classic Prog albums.

Le Orme deliver very convincing proof that a focused 33 minutes of constant excellent quality is so much more satisfying then any 60 minute album of which only half of the material is good. Of course 33 minutes of this continuous quality are passed before you realize it. The solution to this issue? Put it on instant repeat or continue with another vintage Le Orme album. You won't be disappointed.

Report this review (#274964)
Posted Sunday, March 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's a close call as to whether I preffer Felona E Sorona or previous release Uomo Di Pezza as my favourite Le Orme album, but perhaps this does have the edge. The question is perhaps of little importance as both capture one of the finest Italian prog bands at their best.

At this time Le Orme were a three piece (they would expand to four in the mid-nineties) with a Keyboard, bass and drums line up with occasional guitar. One look at the year of release (1973) and it will not surprise vintage keyboard lovers they're in for a treat.

Felona E Sorona is a concept album based on a story of two planets, one flourishes, one doesn't and down to my ignorance of the Italian language I'm afraid that's all you're going to get on the lyrical themes. Musically the album is sophisticated symphonic prog. Whilst not the most bombastic of bands, there are nevertheless powerful moments but where Le Orme really score is in the strength and beauty of their melodies, aided by the vocal delivery of Aldo Tagliapietra who's melancholic tones are perfect for job. Felona E Sorona is an album best digested as a whole, whether you can understand the concept or not as the music flows from one track to the next, ranging from the longer opener Sospesi Nell'incredibile (In Between) with some fine instrumental work between vocal sections to shorter interludes like the acoustic guitar led Felona. A little more off the wall is the wailing siren effect that underlies Attesa Inerte (The Plan). However, it's the more melodic sounding moments, littered all over this album that really hit the spot. They save their most bombastic moment for the grand finale that is Ritorno al Nulla, a fine way to close for sure as it builds to powerful climax.

It's difficult to find fault with this masterpiece of Italian prog; while the musicianship is always of a high standard, it's always sympathetic to the requirements of the song, band members never overplaying for the sake of it making it a very mature recording. Hardly surprising, there's some fine keyboard playing from Toni Pagliuca in particular with use of piano, synths and organ overlaying the dextrous rhythm work of drummer Michi Dei Rossi and Tagliapietra's bass.

If you were to only ever buy ten RPI albums then Felona E Sorona would easily make that list of essential purchases and due the accessible and melodious nature of the material makes an excellent early entry in discovering the fascinating genre of Italian progressive rock.

Report this review (#276588)
Posted Tuesday, April 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars "Felona E Serona" by Le Orme is an infamous RPI album that has so much to offer it is impossible to ignore for serious progheads.

I was introduced to the band by those melodic keyboard strains at the beginning of Sospesi nell incredible. And what an introduction it was, such an ambient uplifting sound. The vocals are pleasant sounding and clear and Italian so I do not know the lyrics but it is positive in tone with an enriching atmosphere throughout. I was reminded of PFM or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso but Le Orme still are original in their own right. The basslines are incredible and the lengthy pads on keyboard sound similar to Rick Wakeman from Yes at times. There is a wonderful lengthy instrumental with keyboard effects with a futuristic feel, even space rock in one section. I love when there is just a bass, keys and drums, the band are really in full flight in these passages. The music seems to transport you to another place, like all good prog, and there is even an accomplished drum solo in this opening track.

The clanging bells herald the arrival of Felona and an acoustic guitar. The melody is quirky and accessible, almost like a pop track. 'Nothing really matters except to be alive and that is taken care of by the symbol of the sky'... uplifting, as I said. Although this is not as wildly experimental as the previous track, I like this a lot. There is a lilting flute at the end of this too.

La solitudine di che protegge is very melancholic and serene, with twinkling piano flourishes and soft Italian vocals. Each track is so diverse and unique it really is quite a journey that Le Orme takes the listener on.

L'equilibrio is a quiet ambient piece that capitalises on the keyboard pads and high falsetto singing.

Sorona begins very slowly with very atmospheric music and falsetto singing. It is a short piece that works as a transition between tracks and leads to the next. Attese inerte has a very intriguing bass line and begins with pads then builds to a strange ascending synth line. This feels a lot darker than the previous tracks particularly due to the droning synth motif. An agreeable Hammond sound ensues over the ascending drones. The vocals continue in time to the rhythms. A high pitched whine sounds creepy but works well and we have a passage with all these elements working against each other that somehow gels together.

Ritratto di un mattino begins with an ethereal keyboard sound that builds like a stalker creeping on its prey. The album seems to have become darker as it progresses. The clear echo vocals are very estranged over the long keyboard pads. A slow melody phrase locks in and very nice guitar work is the feature.

The next track, All infuori del tempo, is a return to master class performance with a strong acoustic rhythm. The vocals are melodic and there are some eclectic time sig changes. The minimalist approach of chords on a guitar and impressive vocal performance hold the track together, but it launches into passages of keyboard brilliance and erratic drumming. The closing track Ritorno al nulla is majestic and instrumental based. There are some incredible keyboard passages on this that lift it into the stratosphere. Of particular note is the repetitive motif that rises and falls throughout; it enters into a new level for Le Orme as one of the best instrumentals you will hear.

As musical virtuosos they were unsurpassed in their time. The drumming is frenetic at times, and then it all ends on one long note. A wonderful track and an incredible album that you should hear at your nearest convenience. 4 solid stars.

Report this review (#276793)
Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best (but only) album I've heard from Le Orme. I guess I'll have to check out more, because this instantly become one of my favorites. Right from the first few seconds an impressive display of keyboarding and percussion can be heard, and it only gets better from there.

The lyrics are beautiful and deep, but even if they were complete gibberish, (which they are for the more lazy listeners) the album would still have to get nothing less than a perfect score. It's in music. That's the best way I can describe it. Listen to it for yourself and you'll understand what I mean, I highly recommend it.

Report this review (#277551)
Posted Sunday, April 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars It hasn't been two month and I'm already celebrating another jubilee in my very short reviewer career. The occasion calls for an unavailing of another one of my all time favorite albums. This one is a bit different but in order to figure out the details you'll just have to keep on reading my 400th review!

After being pleasantly surprised by the 1972 release Uomo Di Pezzaz it was only natural for me to follow it up by the 1973 successor titled Felona E Sorona. Unfortunately it took a lot longer to get my hands on this album but ever since March 2010 I've been playing it like crazy. According to the play count on my MP3 player I've played the opening track Sospesi Nell Íncredibile 49 times so far and it definitely deserves the attention that I've given it. Spanning for almost 9 minutes, the opening track takes up almost a third of this album's space and it's a gorgeous ride from beginning to the end. Just like the predecessor, Felona E Sorona opens with a lengthy instrumental section followed by a vocal introduction. Although this time it's almost like if the opening of Uomo Di Pezzaz was fused together with the album's concluding instrumental Alienazione but with even more power to it.

The album marks the first time when I really appreciated a concept album without actually comprehending a single uttered word. After trying to translate the lyrics from Italian I soon gave up this attempt realizing that the album's strength was primarily in the composition work and not the themes. This album is much darker and experimental in its tone than anything else that I've experience by Le Orme. I don't know if this has to do with the period that the band was undergoing or if this mainly has to do with the album's theme but it really creates an entirely different aura surrounding the release. To me it basically sounds like a soft and beautiful Rock Progressivo Italiano release but with a lot more mystery to it.

After the lengthy first track that felt like pure bliss, the album gets even better with the dramatic L'Equilbrio followed by the sad ballad Sorona. Still it's the album's final act that completely steals the show for me, most notably with the excellent keyboard effects on Attesa Inerte and the melodic guitar solo on Ritratto Di Un Mattino which might even make Slash feel jealous! The concluding sections gives us another great instrumental outro, which at times sounds like Steve Hackett's Please Don´t Touch, completing the album's short cycle on a high note that makes us want to hear Felona E Sorona time and time again!

This is a gorgeous piece of Symphonic Prog that you'll want to have in your collection in order to give it quick half hour spins which will ultimately result in hours upon hours of indulgence. This is a quality that I definitely don't take for granted and award it the highest possible recommendations on my part. Simply a must-have album for all fans of progressive rock music!

***** star songs: Sospesi Nell Íncredibile (8:43) L'Equilbrio (3:47) Sorona (2:28) Attesa Inerte (3:25) Ritratto Di Un Mattino (3:29)

**** star songs: Felona (1:58) La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (1:57) All Ínfuori Del Tempo (4:08) Ritorno Al Nulla (3:34)

Report this review (#280852)
Posted Friday, May 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Heralded as one of the major Italian progressive rock albums but actually rather limited when compared to PFM's gorgeous 'Per Un Amico' or Maxophone's brilliant self-titled debut, 'Felona E Sorona' is an impressively-played but fundamentally flawed concept piece which starts strongly but never regains the momentum of it's imperious opening track. Featuring an almost funky, rumbling bass, stabbing keyboards and a haunting synth melody, 'Sospesi Nell'incredible' is a truly remarkable beginning that belies Le Orme's indebtedness to King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. From then on, however, the album seems to lose focus; none of the following eight tracks set the pulse racing, and it is only the epic album- closer 'Ritorna Al Nulla' that generates any excitement as the frenzied organ combines darkly with yet more thuddering bass-lines and classically-influenced piano to create a suitably epic ending. Fans looking for the real Le Orme experience will do well to seek out the excellent double-live album 'Live Orme' instead, a release that shows just what an inventive, eclectic and hard-rocking outfit they could be. 'Felona E Sorona' demonstrates the group's penchant for complex harmonics and ambitious themes, but it doesn't fully showcase Le Orme at their very best. Both Interesting and worthy then, but this is by no means the pinnacle of Italian prog. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#303831)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The fourth album from Le Orme is both the group's most popular and their greatest. This is one of those rare occasions where I agree that a certain artists' most well loved album is also their best. Some people refer to these guys as an Italian ELP, which is neither accurate nor fair. Being a trio of keyboards/bass/drums, they do sometimes sound similar to other trios with that line-up. Besides this album, I have only heard the previous album and the one after this; both are good, but not as good as this. The synths sometimes sound like they are polyphonic. 1973 seems too early for the use of them, but since there is only three members maybe the synth parts were heavily overdubbed.

I don't speak Italian, so I'm not sure if there is a story to the album or not. Anyway, the first song is "Sospesi nell'Incredible". This has a nice buildup at the beginning. I like the overdubbed keyboards you hear all over around a minute in. Music changes a bit. Later on some organ and then vocals. Like the groove they go into halfway, the drumming is great here. Love the synth that comes in towards the end. Spacey. Ends with a mini drum solo. "Felona" is a short folky/poppy song. Nice but nothing special. I love the synth here though, even if it's only for just a few seconds.

"La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" is another short song. Basically classical piano and vocals. "L'equilibrio" gets back to the symph prog. Great keyboard playing here. Love the jazzy section they go into halfway. "Sorona" has a cool tremoloed bass sound. Basically a ballad with mostly vocals and keyboards. "Attesa Inerte" is a highlight. It really sounds like polyphonic string-synths at the start. I love the repeated synth drone which sounds like an engine revving up. Then an almost disco beat comes in. This sounds close to techno, very ahead of it's time. The other parts that contrast with this section are great too.

"Ritratto di un Mattino" starts with some cool horror film sounding keyboards. Then gets more anthemic and symphonic with vocals. The whole band joins in for some symphonic rock. "All'infuori del tempo" is another poppy folk song. Nice mix of organ and synth. The beginning of "Attesa Inerte" is reprised at the end. "Ritorno al Nulla" is an instrumental. Starts with a great buildup and later some Moog soloing. I wish these guys were 100% instrumental.

A classic RPI album from this trio. I really like the instrumental parts, but I'm not so big on most of the parts with singing. This would be a 5 star album to me if every song was as good as "Sospesi" and "Attesa". Highly recommended to those just starting their journey into RPI. A great album and good addition to your collection. 4 stars.

Report this review (#384346)
Posted Friday, January 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Many things has already been said about the concept in this album. This is an interesting story about two distant planets, Felona full of joy and Sorona full of sadness. And contrary to ours first desires, solutions goes not to the recovering of Sorona, but to both of them reaching a point of balance. So, the concept is good to appreciate, but what about the music ? What about the follow up of a masterpiece named Uomo Di Pezza ?

I consider Felona E Sorona related to Uomo Di Pezza in the same way Tangerine Dream's Rubycon relates itself with Phaedra. Both are masterpiece that followed a prior masterpiece without a great change in musical direction. A band that performs this MUST be a first line one !

Felona E Sorone does not sound like repeating Uomo Di Pezza, neither seems to be its second lp of a double album. Compositions go on being superb, singular musical mark of Le Orme is perfectly here to be recognized. It is like their bag of creativity was not emptied they got internal resources to yield us another truly masterpiece that could not be left unknown for any music fan, doesn't matter the style in question. If we consider all of this and add another superb cover art, we get another easy five star rating.

Report this review (#436167)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars This whole album is a bit of a non-event to my over-critical ears. It's very surprising to see this ranked so highly in the Archives. Aldo Tagliapietra's vocals sound sterile and emasculated.

On the plus side - the instrumentation is pretty good with plenty of space between players. They also sound far larger than a three piece band. The tunes themselves are pretty standard fare for the early 70's and are nothing to get excited about. In fact, it's really all quite forgettable by the time you reach the end of this album.

There are one or two adventurous passages in "Felona E Sorona" in the form of Toni Pagliuca's keyboards - but you'll forget what they sounded like as soon as the record ends. It really is one of those albums you've heard so much about, want to like, but basically goes in one ear and out the other.

A dull listen but a well recorded album that understandably has an army of followers. It just doesn't cut the mustard for me at all. I find it really dull...

Report this review (#501544)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Le Orme's much-vaunted concept album might take the group's lyrical approach into space, but you won't find space rock here - just more pastoral prog along the lines of Trespass-era Genesis with Keith Emerson sitting in on keyboards, on Le Orme's previous effort. Though it is a great little album, I don't quite consider it a full-on masterpiece - not only do I mildly prefer the group's previous album, which is a slightly fresher take on similar musical territory, but the group seem to be grasping for ideas a little here, to the point where some of the keyboard work on the opening track seems to recall Watcher of the Skies a little too closely for me to consider it a coincidence. It's still a great little listen, but I wouldn't say it's the sublime, definitive Italian prog album it's often put forward as; give it a go, but don't just the whole RPI genre on its merits.
Report this review (#505416)
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the only album I've heard from this band, and therefore I can't judge it against their output, but it is easily the best known internationally, helped by the fact that it was released also with English lyrics penned by Peter Hammill. Dealing with two doomed planets, it attempted to be a concept album (a fashion at the time) but it's debatable how well it succeeds to be a coherent and unified piece of art. I get the emotion of the music but not the narrative level as I don't speak Italian. (But I believe it could be possible to sense the story better than this without understanding lyrics, with the power of music alone.) The tracks remain more or less separate instead of flowing seamlessly. The running time of 33½ minutes is sadly short (not rare with RPI!) but the music has truly deserved the classic status. Probably this would be among Top Ten of the most classic RPI albums - I mean this both objectively and subjectively.

Often Le Orme (meaning 'footprint') is described as Italy's ELP, due to being a keyboard trio featuring a singing guitar/bass player. This doesn't give credit to their genuinely Italian nature. For instance Triumvirat is Germany's ELP as much as anything can be without being a mere clone. Le Orme has an aura that couldn't be anything else than Rock Progressivo Italiano. Besides Tony Pagliuca is not at all the same kind of an eccentric keyboard virtuoso as Keith Emerson. This is a compliment, mind you. The sound is for the most part very loaded with keyboards but in a different way than ELP's. Also Aldo Tagliapietra is far from Greg Lake. He's more or less typical RPI vocalist (now forget the operatic tenor of Banco!), comparable to PFM.

The long and gorgeous opening track is followed by the sharp and bright song 'Felona' which gives the leading role to acoustic guitar. The rest of the album is mostly rather sad and dark-toned in a fine way. Even for a non-speaker of Italian the deep emotion is strong on this album. Michi Dei Rossi's drums are perhaps too buried in the mix; he's a sophisticated percussionist. So, solid four stars from me! Not five because it could be better in many levels (concept unity, production, length, even compositions that are a bit uneven against such shortness). By the way, great cover painting. I have a book "A Romance of the Equator - Best Fantasy Stories by Brian W. Aldiss" with almost similar picture.

Report this review (#781969)
Posted Wednesday, July 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was my introduction to RPI. I don't even know where I stumbled upon it, but I can say very sincerely that it has become one of my favorite albums in the repeated listens since. What I like about Le Orme, and this album in particular, is that the music feels very structured and restrained. I am almost reminded of Pink Floyd when I listen to it, not by how it sounds, but by the attitude I hear in the music. Felona e Sorona doesn't get too out there, it is orchestrated and precise, never doing more than it needs to in a song. Whereas other RPI albums shine because of their dynamic, jazzy, exciting sound, the true beauty in FeS lies in how unified the album feels. For fans of a less-is-more approach to songmaking, FeS is an essential album to add to your collection.
Report this review (#810823)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
1 stars Standing somewhere between plain, boring and underwhelming

For a very long time, since the inception of progressive rock itself, Italy has been a powerhouse of that genre of rock on continental Europe, giving birth to a considerable number of well-regarded bands on these circles. Le Orme is one of such bands. Starting as a psychedelic/baroque rock band in the late 1960's and evolving to a power trio formation in the vein of Emerson, Lake and Palmer on the turn of the decade, the band experienced some moderate success during their early days.

As a lover of progressive rock music, I, of course, go in search of good music wherever it's from and, with the due time, Felona and Sorona reached my hands as I was shuffling through a second-hand shop. It is quite an old CD, by the way, being manufactured in Italy back in the late 1980's, but it is still in great shape overall. In spite of all that, I approached this album with some caution because I had no idea what was waiting for me and, even so, I was left disappointed. Actually, the only thing that did impressed me about this album is the fact that it is the best rated release by Le Orme, one of the best of the genre reserved for the (most part) symphonic bands from Italy and among the 100 top rated album of Prog Archives.

Since the introduction is finished, let's get to the good (or should I say bad?) part: the music.

First of all, Le Orme's formation, despite being exactly the same as other power trios such as the mentioned ELP, Triumvirat and Trace (and somewhat also related with Finch), the Italian band's music has no relation, nothing at all to do with mentioned bands because, for one, their music has no energy at all, it is impressively stagnant, having very little progress and innovation at all; for two, which is related with the former reason, they take no risks with their instruments: with so many possibilities and "what if"s, they manage to keep it at the most basic form of progressive rock composition; for three, if they don't make an effort to innovate how they use their instruments, everything will (as it does throughout the album) get immensely boring because that formation (rhythm, bass line and melodic line), albeit being dome with other instruments, has existed since the inception of the most basic forms of music, so nothing will sound quite new,

Second of all, the vocalist's voice is quite plain, average and indistinguishable from the voice of every other Italian singer. There is not anything redeeming about his singing abilities; he does not sing out of tune or anything in the like, but there is nothing quite positive about how he sings as well: it's just simple, unoriginal, it simply can't stand out from the crowd. Coupled with the equally underwhelming music, everything becomes one mass of uninteresting sound.

Third of all, the compositions are also far from being anything close to entertaining. Every songs seems like a collage (pun intended) of different melodic lines with close to no transition at all. their music sounds quite disjointed at many times, specially in the only song (besides All'Inuori del Tempo) they were able to write that clocks over 3 minutes. The opener, actually, is the hardest song to sit through exactly because of that reason, only individual melodic lines sound coherent within themselves, but they have no relation among themselves. The other songs do suffer from this problem, but in a lesser degree because, after all, just how can you make a 3 minute song as disjointed?

Moreover, the individual parts of each song, with very few exceptions, are not inspired as well. You can see their next move (within each part of each song, because you can never know what will come next since there is nothing between, there's no transition of musical ideas) even before they play it. Before this album, I imagined that one could only feel that one album lasts less than what it does (because it is so good you don't want it to end), but Felona e Sorona was able to prove that even an album with barely half-an-hour in length seemed longer than the QUADRUPLE ALBUMS about Dante's Inferno released by Musea. Truly an outstanding feature that few can do, even more in the progressive rock circles, where music is supposed to be interesting and innovative.

With all that considered, I must say that not everything is lost. Eventually a glimpse of a redeeming moment appears. However, a split second later they change the melody completely, with no transition, allow me to make myself clear, and then everything goes back to sounding bland. It really strikes me as unbelievable how can they drown their interesting ideas in oceans of musically uninteresting ideas; interesting content is indeed few and far between.

Rating and Final Thoughts

The Italian prog scene never struck me as being quite special and even though it has some very powerful and notable exceptions, such as Premiata Forneria Marconi, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Locanda delle Fate, among others, most of the scene has nothing interesting to present at all. In my search for good progressive rock, however, I always tend to make concessions, try new bands, give an album many spins in order to cement my opinions about it, anyway, I try and evaluate it the best I possibly can.

Having listening to this piece for a little more than two years, I don't believe my views on Felona e Sorona will change any time soon, so I believe it is time to put it out. It is all around a truly bad release. The only memorable thing about it for me is how terrible it sounds, how difficult it is to listen to it. For all that, 1 star is the most appropriate rating for it.

Report this review (#854027)
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Felona e Sorona from 1973 is considered the peak of Le Orme most creative period - first part of the '70. If previous album was a great one, this album tops it, is even more complicated, the arrangements are very well performed and the musicianship is top notch, but in same time very romantic in aproach, like on most italian prog bands. Some killer instrumental parts on opening track Sospesi nell'incredibile nearly 9 min of pure beauty, incredible organ passages, very reminescent in some parts with Genesis (Nursery cryme or Foxtrot era) but combined with Le Orme finest song writting and dexterity on instruments. Another highlight and probably my fav track from the album and one of their best from first period is L'equilibrio, impressive musicianship here, the ekyboards, bass lines, the druming is more then excellent, top notch piece that rivals with best from Genesis , Yes or other big names from this field. The multy keyboards layers, differse organ and mellotron parts with symphonic twists combined with great voice of Also Tagliapetra make from this album a treasure in prog world and together with previous album two of the best italian prog rock albums ever made. 4 stars easy and recommended.
Report this review (#886277)
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars A beautiful concept album of symphonic space rock by one of the more successful Italian groups of the 70s. LE ORME released FELONA E SORONA in both Italian and English but I have only heard the former. A fairly well known concept album about two planets revolving around each other but never making contact. Felona is the planet where everything works well and all is good while Sorona is darkened and suffers from plagues and catastrophes. In the second half of the album the planets experience a reversal of polarity and their fortunes become inverted.

A very pleasant listen but to me this seems like a lofty concept for just over 33 minutes of music. I'm not fluent in Italian so i'm not sure what the lyrics represent. The music is great and I really like this album but it's not really dynamic enough for me to consider this a masterpiece. If the whole album was more like the last track "Ritorno Al Nulla," I think i'd like this album more.

Report this review (#1084140)
Posted Sunday, December 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars What the band achieved in their previous album they perfected to form one of the most essential Italian prog albums, Felona De Sorona. It is in all respects identical in sound to their previous such that it could be considered an extension of it, yet the songwrting is even more solid. The eclectic nature of the band is still present, combing the sounds of symphonic rock, jazz, and the intensity and beauty of RPI.

Like the previous album, the songs are for the most part consistent, and cover a plethora of styles and sounds. The opening song is example enough, switching from high energy prog, to beautifully defined themes, to delicate yet brooding atmospheres. Besides this, the band can slow the intensity a bit to achieve the melodic fun of songs like 'Felona.' Each song is a constant surprise, yet nothing out of the realm of the band's sound. Perhaps the most astonishing fact is that it is all achieved in only 33 minutes. The succinct nature of the album is probably its strongest point, as it could have easily gone for another 10 minutes, but it needn't.

Perhaps the only weak point is in the middle, with the two song series of 'Serona' and 'Attesa Inerte,' whose song structures are a bit repetitive and without any real dynamic melodies. But this can be overlooked with the strength of the rest of the album.

Overall, Felona De Sorona is a great follow up to their previous, and is a good example of an album that achieves dramatic intensity and melodic prowess, all while retaining that classic Italian prog sound.


Report this review (#1109236)
Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars As someone who doesn't know any Italian vocabulary whatsoever, I have mixed emotions towards this masterpiece. On the one hand, I am blown away by Le Orme's ability to alter the mood of their album so successfully. On the other hand, I am saddened that I will most likely never get to fully appreciate the lyrical value of the story of "Felona E Sorona". I am told it is about two planet's who fall in love, and when I listen to the music I find it easy to believe. Here we have one of the most well-renowned and respected bands of the progressive Italian scene and what's more is they have outdone themselves with a concept album that explores practically all conceivable emotions (in the known universe). There is an airy presence at times as though one is gliding through the cosmos; the true love that only planets know. All the elements of RPI are here, and everything is executed at the exact time it should be executed. I cannot find one complaint on this entire album, and it is no surprise to me why it is so highly rated on this site.

Breaking the boundaries of the foreign language, there is an unquestionable respect I have for bands that can achieve such a concept for people like me who don't even understand what they're saying.

Report this review (#1145056)
Posted Sunday, March 9, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I loved LE ORME's Uomo di pezza upon first listen and continue to do so to this day. But, try as I might, the magic that so many prog lovers feel for Felona e Sorona has completely eluded me. The recording of the electronic keyboards is unusually bad--almost painful to my ears. I have listened to this album for almost six years. I even went so far as to buy it about a year ago--in hopes that the physical presence might help win me over. But it just doesn't work. The drums and bass are so elementary. The vocals don't have any of the melodic hooks that I fell for in Uomo di pizza. Sure, there are awesome, memorable moments or passages, but overall, in my opinion, it does not maintain the highs of a prog classic. The opening number makes me feel as if I'm at cheesy county fair--though it does have a wonderful final two minutes. The second number is best for its recorder at the end. The third song is best in its sparseness--the piano accompanying Aldo. The upbeat fourth song is most remarkable for its keyboard beginning--which is similar to, and predates, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by a year or more. The fifth song is sparse with guitar supplanting keyboards but really goes nowhere. "Attesa" is scarred (to my ears) by the odd sliding bass riff repeating itself over the disco drumming. "Rittrato" is simple and anthemic (and has the album's best drumming and best overall mix--until the L channel el gtr starts to get louder). "All'infuori" is the most daringly experimental on the album with its unusual drum opening, quick organ flourish and then guitar foundation all eventually coming together in a very medieaval sounding presentation--and then breaking down into a spacious gap of nothingness mid song. Again, simplicity and procession seem to reign here. The album's best song is its finale, "Ritorno" (from which, understandably, La Maschera de Cera found their inspiration to create their 2013 Felona e Sorona 'continuation,' La Porte del Domani), an instrumental which finally uses all of its band members' sounds in interesting and innovative fashion. Anyway, perhaps if I knew Italian the impact of the lyrics would boost this one for me. Otherwise, this is but a three and a half star production for me: better than good but not an album that I'm going to rave about on a "highly recommended" list.
Report this review (#1191987)
Posted Friday, June 13, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars I knew that someday I would have to discover for myself what all the fuss was about with Rock Progressivo Italiano. That day came about two years ago now when I decided for my first foray into RPI "Felona E Sorona" would have to come home. From the first listen I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. For an album that is basically keyboards, bass and drums along with vocals (only some acoustic guitars and no electric guitars), I enjoy this album quite a bit.

The concept has been discussed before but in brief it is the story of two planets, one prosperous and glorious the other destitute and plague-ridden, whose fates become inverted. Though I don't understand Italian more than the odd word, I like Aldo Tagliapietra's vocals and so I don't care about the language barrier. More so, I'm glad to hear him sing in his native tongue.

Largely keyboard-based, there's an array of sounds produced by synthesizers, organ, and piano. The drums are also pretty intense at times, especially near the end of "Sospesi nell'incredibile" where I swear the drummer is seeing ants crawling over his kit and trying to smash each one!

Acoustic guitar makes its appearance on "Felona", a cheerful song describing, I presume, the glorious planet. It's a short but very uplifting song that segues into "La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo". Most of the songs are pretty short, around three minutes or even shorter, but there's a variety of music and good use of keyboard sounds (I find "Attesa inerte" interesting for its 1980's video game synthesizer effect).

The whole album is actually rather short but well thought out. I have found that my enjoyment depends a lot on my mood. Sometimes I think this is an exciting and brilliant piece of work while other times I find parts a bit vacuous with rather empty parts. It's all part of the mood in some of the songs. From every bit of sparseness comes something beautiful or rewarding.

I don't know if this is the best album to hear for an introduction to Italian prog but it impressed me enough to go out and check out two more bands. Recommended!

Report this review (#1527119)
Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2016 | Review Permalink

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