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Syndone - La Bella  la Bestia CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian project SYNDONE is the creative vehicle of composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio, initially a short lived venture in the early 90's that led to the release of two albums before it was terminated. But in 2010 Comoglio revived this project formally with the release of "Melapesante", and two years later the fourth full length production issued under the Syndone moniker appeared in the shape of "La bella e la Bestia", released on the Italian AMS/BTF label.

If you tend to like Italian progressive rock, and in particular if you have a soft spot for artists exploring material of a fairly challenging nature within a symphonic art rock framework, then Syndone is a band worth taking a closer look at, especially if you find the inclusion of jazz and classical symphonic oriented passages to be regarded as a positive feature.

Report this review (#807289)
Posted Sunday, August 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Syndone is an Italian band that has its story divided into two parts: the early 90's and the reborn in the 2010's. La Bella La Bestia (2012) is their second album from the new phase.

Led by Nik Comoglio (keyboards) the trio is completed by Francesco Pinetti (vibraphone, marimba and tubular bells) and Riccardo Ruggeri (vocals). Session musicians include Pino Li Trenta (drums), Federico Marchesano (bass) and as a very special guest Ray Thomas (The Moody Blues) on flutes.

La Bella La Bestia (2012) is a concept album that re-tells the famous Beauty And The Beast tale, (written by Leprince De Beaumont and first published in 1756), in their own style. Before going into the music it is necessary to mention the fabulous artwork of the CD that was released by AMS in mini-LP replica.

The main sound on La Bella La Bestia (2012) is a fantastic Symphonic Prog led by Nik's vintage keyboards and orchestrations. Though we have some surprises here and there like the unusual sound on 'Il Fiele E Il Limite' this is what expects for you here, Symphonic Prog! Riccardo's vocals are something else! He interprets all the different characters in the story with different voices, which gives the album a strong feeling of the story that is being told. You can see it on 'Rosa Recisa' and 'Complice Carnefice' for instance (both with a heavy Genesis influence). We also have our share of classical piano on La Bella La Bestia (2012) with the short instrumental 'Piano Prog Impromptu', that's very Keith Emerson influenced.

'Tu Non Sei Qui' is a desperate piano ballad where the 'Beast' wonders about its own existence. A wonderful work by Riccardo. Track seven, 'Orribile Mia Forma', has Riccardo once again stealing the show with his vocal performance. But the whole song, full of breaks and great pianos, keyboards and vibraphones, is just amazing. Probably my favorite on the album! But not just that, this track also has a flute solo (from Concerto Per Flauto E Orchestra by Carl Nielsen) played by Ray Thomas (from The Moody Blues).

'Mercanti Di Gioia' is a bit of a minor track on the album and it doesn't really shine through, but Riccardo's vocals make it at least interesting. The following two songs are more classical. 'Bestia!' has a very weird tempo and is more Symphonic. Great bass sound! 'Ora Respira' continues the Symphonic path with piano and strings. But Nik's synthesizers are the best bit here.

The final two tracks on La Bella La Bestia (2012) are the instrumental 'La Ruota Della Fortuna' that plays on the classic side of Prog and is very pretty, and 'Canto Della Rosa' that finishes the album almost as in an Opera.

La Bella La Bestia (2012) is a brilliant introduction (at least for me) to Syndone's music. Lyrical, theatrical and epic! Not just that, it has one of the best singers I've ever heard in the Prog world! This is a perfect 'intro' before going to their brand new album Odyssas (2014) released by Fading/AltrOck (that soon will be reviewed here too)!

Highly recommended!

(Originally posted on

Report this review (#1161311)
Posted Monday, April 14, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's pretty few and far between when I hear a band that I find to be truly fascinating. Syndone, with their album La bella la bestia, proved to be one of those truly unique musical presentations, one that will stick in my head and my collection for a long time. Just to get this out of the way, don't let the album cover fool you into thinking this is a metal album. That was my first impression of the cover, and it couldn't be further from the truth. La bella la bestia presents a compelling and distinct retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story, mixing jazz and avant-garde with symphonic prog in ways that make total sense yet sounded far from generic. La bella la bestia stands out for its purposeful composing; the various sections of songs are meaningful and memorable, as are the singers and the vocal lines. With a variety of voices giving very distinctive and 'in character' presentations of the various protagonists, the singing is simply stunning, ranging from soft and emotive at times to harsh and passionate, all the while delivering a variety of modalities from avant-garde to rock. What's more is the first class music that accompanies them. While this album is, to a certain degree, defined by the story and the singers' presentation of it, that hardly means that it is a voice driven album. There's plenty of instrumental brilliance to satisfy any progger's appetite. For me, what makes the music itself stand out is that it seems to be very narrative as well. Syndone delivers, through the music, a great soundtrack for this story, making use of unique tonalities and haunting choices in matching melody to instrumentation. All of these aspects, melded together create La bella la bestia, a near perfect oratorio of progressive rock. Once again, my Italians have done me proud.
Report this review (#1290512)
Posted Sunday, October 12, 2014 | Review Permalink

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