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Ibis - Nico, Gianni, Frank & Maurizio: Canti D'Innocenza, Canti D'Esperienza... CD (album) cover



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3 stars This group was lead by Nico Di Palo, the lead vocal and guitarist of this band. Their sound here is very similar to what they played in the "UT" from the New Trolls but extracted "hard-rock oriented" part mostly. Most of tunes here are however much more straight forward rock compared to the "UT", sometimes louder and wilder. It begins with hard guitar riffs and drums, "Innocenza esperienza", where Nico sings high and loud, this is the highlight even at the beginning. The next song, "Signora Carolina" is very well- organized tune which other Italian progressive rock groups have similar flavors. At the beginning of this une, it begins with a beautiful harmony of chorus with acoustic guitars. And then it segues into a classical piano piece, which is similar to "Studio" from the album "UT". In the latter of this song, the mood changes for hard rock style. "Simona" is a lovely small song, but not so remarkable. "L'amico della porta accanto" and "Vecchia amica" are the British hard-rock style songs. Maybe Nico loved Jimi Hendrix very much - if you listen Nico's guitar riffs in the "Vecchia amica", you'll find it. The last cut, "Angelo invecchiato", is somewhat scattered and doesn't give so much impressions. Only the latter part, we can hear the symphonic sounds while it is funny modulated synthesizer dubs here. This inherits the next album, "Sun Supreme", and it becomes more sophisticated.

As a whole, this is a great work but I cannot resist that there're somewhat rough and wild.

I recommend this album for whom are well acquainted with British 70's hard rock first, and Italian rock (New Trolls, Osanna, Biglietto Per L'inferno, J.E.T, Flea, etc) fans as well.

Report this review (#63233)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars PA has the feature to rate and rank how many albums one has reviewed per specific genre. And that's how I know that this is my 108th review for the Italian Symph genre. I just mentioned this since this album has little to do with the delicate and sophisticated style that I like so much.

Musicianship is of course above average, several songs being well crafted, that's for sure. But this band just doesn't belong to the style I praise so much. If you would ever like to listen to heavy Italian rock music, this is a good entry album. But don't expect great symphonic moments, nor subtle Italian music.

Heavy keyboards la ELP, even heavier sounds la Purple, some (very) high pitched vocals and complex music are at times a great combination like during the excellent and Crimsonesque " L' Amico Della Porta Accanto" which is by far my favourite song from this album. Intricate, heavy and at the same time so inventive. The Italian style stroke again.

"IBIS" is of course the heavy reincarnation of the "New Trolls" and therefore can belong either to the heavy prog genre (more of their essence) or to the Italian symph one. Since most of the songs featured on this album are very much more inspired of the heavy sounds, I can hardly rate this album with more than three stars. A good album indeed, but not at all fitting its own shoe in the Italian Symphonic genre.

Report this review (#169039)
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Reffered incorrectly most of the times as an album under the name IBIS, ''Canti d'innocenza,canti d'esperienza'' was actually an album made by a band with no name,later known as IBIS.Found by ex-NEW TROLLS guitarist Nico Di Palo,this band was the result of the arguing between Di Palo and NEW TROLLS-leader Vittorio Di Scalzi,which led Nico and three other members of NEW TROLLS to follow a separate career.The result was this album (released on Fonit in 1973) ,presenting a big question-mark on the cover and promoted with the names of the band's members.

The sound of the album was not very far from what NEW TROLLS were realeasing on ''UT'' in 1972.Hard Progressive Rock with lots of time changes and light Classical influences with guitars on the front, multi-vocal parts and heavy Hammond organ work around.Most of the compositions are guitar-driven with fantastic breaks close to early-70's DEEP PURPLE or even ATOMIC ROOSTER and a supporting bombastic rhythm section doing an excellent work as well.Vocals are handled by three members (except keyboardist Maurizio Salvi) in a very intense style with aggresive vocal lines and harsh polyphonic arrangements.Couple of tracks feature also nice acoustic parts,while Salvi's influence definitely appears on two or three Classical-oriented instrumental parts with fine piano,organ and synth passages.This is mainly an effort for lovers of the prog rock's harder sound,Italian Prog followers,as well as most of early-70's NEW TROLLS fans.A quite good release and a recommended one.

Report this review (#252344)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Initially released by a band with no name and graced with only a stylized question mark on its cover, Canti d'Innocenza, Canti d'Esperienza was Nico Di Palo's first venture outside New Trolls. Eventually the nameless group would be identified only as Nico, Gianni, Frank, Maurizio; a magazine poll would later have fans christen the group Ibis. Ibis will forever be associated with New Trolls not just because of Di Palo's involvement but the musical similarities between the two groups, and the legal wranglings that ensued over naming rights. Vittorio De Scalzi of the New Trolls camp would title his group NT Atomic System out of necessity, as neither party would retain the New Trolls moniker during those proceedings. Semantics aside, both bands never really did much to differentiate themselves from the New Trolls sound and one wonders why they split at all...De Scalzi and Di Palo would put their differences aside a mere three years later for the creation of Concerto Grosso N.2.

Of Ibis and NT Atomic System, Ibis are perhaps more familiar and similar to New Trolls' heavy side; there are still ample symphonic moments to firmly assign them to the RPI category, but a Heavy Prog label could also be applied. Some of Di Palo's greatest riffs are contained within these 34 minutes, and also some of his more personal material ("Simona"). Unfortunately, the embarrassing vocals ruin an otherwise essential album. The falsetto timbre is bad enough but the decision to double, and in some cases triple- track, the vocals is lamentable. I hate to sound contrite or even shallow, but Di Palo's voice does rub me the wrong way enough to downgrade my recommendation. That being said, Canti d'Innocenza, Canti d'Esperienza is still first-tier material and should be somewhat high on your RPI list even given the three star grade.

"Innocenza Esperienza," like its namesake, portrays a sense of innocence and experience from a group essentially starting over. The energy and muscle of Di Palo's new band is immediately felt, particularly in the aggressive guitar and deliberate drumming; Ibis is not trying to be cute or clever - this is basically heavy metal with a prog tinge. This onslaught is then countered with the stunning "Signora Carolina." Musically, the second track is a ten but lyrically it is more like a four. This is particularly true during the second half when the vocals are simply laughable and practically unlistenable. Somehow it is still the best song on the album. The gorgeous acoustic introduction and symphonic piano touches during the first half nearly make up for the rest. The plush "Simona" follows, and its brevity is equal parts heart-stopping and heartbreaking; I get goose bumps every time I hear it, but the song is over before I have a chance to relish it.

"L'Amico Della Porta Accanto" again sees Ibis in heavy metal mode. The riff right before the three-minute mark is ridiculously thick and creamy, and haunting keyboards only further add to the considerable weight of the composition. "Vecchina Amica" is the longest song on Canti d'Innocenza, Canti d'Esperienza, and the best on side two. Though the booklet in the AMS/BTF CD reissue does not mention who actually sings on the verse, it sounds quite unlike Nico Di Palo (whose dated singing the liner notes do reference). A Hendrixian vibe permeates "Angelo Invecchiato" and brings the album to a close. The excellent Sun Supreme was only a year away and probably a better starting point for this group. Please take the three-star rating with a grain of salt, as this is about as close as you can get to four without actually earning it.

Report this review (#916055)
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Some time had passed since I last listened to this album. I had nearly forgotten how great it is. I suppose most people look to the second album, Sun supreme, if one one is to go by yhe number of ratings, but I think this one is as equally (or more) interesting. Like their fellow countrymen New Trolls Ibis performs a jazzy, classically infused hard prog that to me is very urgent and potent.

So, when the time had passed and many moons gone by I reconnected with this album, one morning on my way to work through a snowy Stockholm. It hadn't gone more than a few notes into the first track before I came to realize just how good this album really is. The blend of jazz, classical and furious hard rock is really a treat. The hard rock of the album is more prominent but the inclusion of said genres makes it an interesting listen. I sometimes think there are similarities to Rovescio Della Medaglia's Contaminazione, only more leaning towards hard rock and less of the classical bits.

The opening track "Innocenza esperienza" is classic hard rock/prog with a great drive, riff and lots of energy. The vocals are soaring and sort of takes my breath away. Very classy!

"Signorina Carolina" has a calm opening leading into a classical piece played on the piano in the middle. A very impressive piece at that. It all ends wiith a hard rock section. Then there's the respite, "Simona" which is a short ballad. Quite nice.

"L'amico della porta accanto" is again very hard rock in it's approch. This track holds a magnificent organ and intense guitar solo. Really good stuff.

"Vecchia amica" is yet again a hard rock/prog track with great variation and depth. It has everything. A great and simple riff, calm middle section, scorching organ and a jazzy ending, like icing on the cake. Terrific and one of my favorites. "Angelo invecchiato" ends it all on a mellow, spacey and dreamy note.

This album, sporting this great question-mark, is an extremely well crafted piece of art. So many things goes on and yet it never loses sight or focus. Apart from all the great musicianship, which is flawless, this album holds, which I really adore, a very raw and dirty sound. It never gets slick. The hard rock tendencies are allowed to fly the flag without restraint while the jazzy bits brings some peace to the ears. That to me is impressive and makes this album a real gem within the RPI genre.

Though time passes and other albums take the frontseat, I seem to come back to this album and it has become one of my favorite works of prog. I do not mean that only in the sense of RPI but rather in sense of prog by large. So, do take a listen. At least you won't have wasted your time entirely.

Report this review (#1325748)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2014 | Review Permalink

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