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Gan Eden - Il Giardino Delle Delizie - Ritratto Di Ballerina CD (album) cover


Gan Eden - Il Giardino Delle Delizie

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars Excellent new keyboard-driven RPI!

"Ritratto Di Ballerina" is the new album by GAN EDEN/IL GIARDINO DELLE DELIZIE, which is basically the artist Angelo Santo Lombardi. On this, the third release from the artist but officially second from the band, the sound continues in a similar vein as his previous work, "Lavori in Corso." The formula is lots of keyboards, very enthusiastic drums, strong melodies, and great arrangements and instrumentation, mixed with some very occasional Italian vocals.

This album was initially based on the concept of the emerging artist struggling for recognition, but in the end not getting much reward for all the effort. In Angelo's words, "the affliction an artist proves in his fight to emerge." But during the work on the album, his father passed away, which lends the work a special kind of gravity.

In terms of points of reference for the work, if you're familiar with the last album, this one is the logical extension of that, showing more mature composition and musicianship but keeping with the same style. If you're not familiar with it, then think of keyboard-driven progressive with strong melodies--I'd say a modern METAMORFOSI but without the operatic vocals, or perhaps a more melodic, less riff-oriented ELP. Angelo is an amazing keyboard player! There are many passages that would fit well in 1970s RPI, although with better production. Occasionally the music reminds me of THE TANGENT (although more personal), and even Angelo's vocal quality is similar to that of Andy Tillison. The influences though are far-flung--the introduction of the title track even sounds like ANGLAGARD! The album contains a heavy emphasis on church organs, supplemented by thick mellotron choirs, Moog runs, and synth solos. My favorite track is "Reazioni a Catena," which is an 18 minute tour-de-force of progressive composition, stretching from solo piano to full-throated ensemble, choirs, and sudden shifts in mood and intensity. I particularly love the powerful organs accompanied by bombastic drums and keyboard ensemble.

Overall, this is a solid modern RPI album, more developed than Angelo's prior work. If you like passionate, engaging, keyboard-driven prog, especially with the kind of twist that comes with RPI, this is for you! Four enthusiastic stars.

Report this review (#245668)
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This Italian band is a duo who play a keyboard driven brand of music. Angelo plays a variety of keyboards and sings while Gabriele plays guitar and bass. He also did the programmed drums on here.

"Ritratto Di Ballerina" has some powerful organ early on then it settles in with the piano and drums standing out. More organ 2 1/2 minutes in then we get vocals for the first time after 3 minutes. A calm with piano before 5 minutes then it picks back up with synths leading the way. Vocals a minute later. Piano and drums lead again then the vocals return.

"Reazioni A Catena" opens with some atmosphere as spoken words come in. A change after 1 1/2 minutes as the piano and drums lead. The synths and organ then trade off. A dark calm follows then it picks back up after 5 minutes. It settles with piano then picks back up with organ as the tempo and mood continue to change. Piano ends it. "Impulsi Emotivi" starts out with spoken words then the piano takes over. Spoken words end it. "Epilogo / Emozion" sounds good once it kicks into gear. Church organ follows. This is pretty catchy 2 minutes in. Vocals and piano before 3 minutes. Silence for a minute then acoustic guitar and vocals take over. Strings too. Not a fan of this section.

A good album that fans of keyboards should appreciate.

Report this review (#307986)
Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Second effort by Lombardi under the moniker of Giardino delle Delizie was inspired by the attempts and difficulties of any artist to create, promote and live on his artistic work as well as the death of his father.Gabriele Paganoni is again present in an album entitled ''Ritratto di ballerina'' with BTF being again the publisher.

The album contains plenty of emotional moments, led by the intense concept ideas around its creation, and is split in three long suites, over 10 minutes each, and a short piano improvisation.It features again highly melodic, Italian-spiced Progressive Rock with a fair amount of Classical interludes and lots of bombastic organ sections, while Lombardi displays his ability to sing in passionate Italian.With him as the leading man, the sound of Giardino delle Delizie contains once more evident symphonic orchestrations with occasional guitar power, delivered in polished, elaborate arrangements with impressive piano themes, soaring synthesizers and vintage ogran-based grandieur.The focus here is on long, instrumental ideas with endless keyboard twists, which sometimes tend to sound like Classical Music, but the bulk of the album contains a steady rhythm section, while Lombardi seems fond of producing grandiose, twin keyboard lines.LE ORME, METAMORFOSI and RUSTICHELLI E BORDINI appear to be deep influences of the Italian keyboard wizard.As aforementioned, the album contains also some moving passages and when Lombardi puts his virtuosic workouts aside his music becomes sensitive and laid-back, characterized by atmospheric, melodic textures.

Plenty of material for a third album and reputedly more bombastic effort was already written, but Lombardi's lack of financial support apparently put the plans on ice.

For lovers of keyboard manifests and Italian-flavored Prog.Orchestral, cinematic and atmospheric Symphonic Rock with an emotional background.Recommended.

Report this review (#1199071)
Posted Friday, June 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Italian band Gan Eden ' Giardino Delle Delizie is the brainchild of musician and composer Angelo Santo Lombardi. The first CD entitled I Giorni Di Eurisko (2004) was released under his own name, but the second Lavori In Corso (2007) became a bestseller on the Italian Btf. Label. And this third album entitled Ritratto Di Ballerina (2009) is presented as Gan Eden : Giardino Delle Delizie.

I was very pleased with the lush vintage keyboard sound on Lavori In Corso but not every track succeeded to keep my attention, due to the experimental sounds in some compositions (3 long between 10 and 20 minutes and 1 short). Listening to this new CD I notice that Gan Eden sound more captivating and compelling than on the two previous albums, with strong symphonic rock hints. The focus is on the impressive keyboards skills of Angelo, this album is a Vintage Keyboard Heaven: a majestic church organ sound, sparkling and swinging Grand piano runs, lush Hammond organ, fat Minimoog flights and mighty choir-Mellotron eruptions, mouthwatering! The interplay between those vintage keyboards and the guitar and dynamic rhythm-section is exciting, with hints of Dutch keyboard driven band Trace. The atmospheres are often bombastic or contain fluent rhythms with propulsive guitar riffs or wah-wah guitar (Epilogi) and sumptuous keyboards. At some moments the music turns into more mellow, like a virtuosic solo piece on the Grand piano in the short Impatsi Emotivi (a kind of 'Emerson meets Rachmaninov'). Also in the epic Reazioni A Catena (a part with twanging electric guitar and powerful bass sound) and in the final (ghost) track Emozioni featuring acoustic guitar, emotional vocals and soaring classical orchestrations beautiful!

If you like Classic Italian Prog with strong native vocals and lush vintage keyboards (like early Le Orme, Metamorfosi or Rustichelli & Bordini) and you are up to some experimental interludes, this is an album to discover.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1932069)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | Review Permalink

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