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Oscillazioni Alchemico Kreative (O.A.K.) - Giordano Bruno CD (album) cover

GIORDANO BRUNO

Oscillazioni Alchemico Kreative (O.A.K.)

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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4 stars After current Italian progrock sensations Andrea Orlando and DAAL here's another stunning new Italian progrock effort, named O.A.K. (Oscillazioni Alchemico Kreative). The prime mover, composer and musical brainchild is multi-instrumentalist Jerry Cutillo. In the early Seventies he witnessed Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Yes and Frank Zappa in the legendary Roman venue PalaEUR, as a young adolescent. This inspired him to learn to play organ, acoustic guitar and flute, his first bands was Albergo Intergalattico Spaziale when he was 15. In the Eighties he had a hit single with We Just, under the name Moses. Early 1993 Jerry founded O.A.K., in 2015 the band released their debut entitled Viandanze and in 2018 the second album Girodano Bruno.

Giordano Bruno was born as Filippo Bruno in 1548, in the Kingdom of Naples, Italy, as a son of a soldier. He studied at a monastry (he was taught about Aristoteles) and became a priest in 1572. His taste for free thinking and forbidden books soon caused difficulties and in 1573 he fled from Italy and Giordano started a long journey through Europe. When he finally returned to Italy a few months later he was arrested for blasphemy and heresy, and put in prison in 1593. After seven years of trial Pope Clement VIII declared Bruno a heretic and the Inquisition issued a sentence of death in 1600. He was hung upside down naked before he was finally burned at the stake. A very cruel and sad end for a man who nowadays is considered as a 'courageous free thinker' and a 'martyr for science'. Because his daring and innovative ideas and work had much influence on later scientists and philosophers.

This awesome musical project named O.A.K. has succeeded to translate Giordano Bruno his fascinating and eventful life in a captivating, varied and dynamic musical journey. And isn't that what genuine progressive rock is about?! Especially the variety in the 14 tracks, and within the songs is incredible. The one moment dreamy with warm twanging acoustic guitars and strong Italian vocals (evoking Jethro Tull's Aqualung era) or tender piano and delicate flute traverse. The other moment bombastic with fat synthesizer flights, powerful Hammond organ runs and majestic Mellotron layers or a mid-tempo featuring a propuslive rhythm-section. The variety in styles is also a very pleasant element: from obvious acoustic Jethro Tull inspired atmospheres or Classic Italian Prog (echoes of PFM) to avant-garde with swirling flute traverse and sumptuous Mellotron violins or hints from the Italian troubadour Angelo Branduardi (in Sandali Rossi, including a beautiful Mellotron choir sound). And O.A.K. delivers a superb rendion of Camille Saint Saens his Dance Macabre: a cheerful and dynamic climate with sparkling flute play and dreamy Mellotrons, blended with the sound of cynical laughs, classical meets prog, how exciting!

The instrumentation on this album is breathtaking, not only Jerry Cutillo as a very versatile multi-instrumentalist, from guitars and keyboards to flute, mandolin, tubular bells and tin whistle. But also his wide range of guest musicians: David Jackson (VDGG) with powerful saxophone work, Sonja Kristina (Curved Air) with a celestial vocal contribution (reminding me of The Great Gig In The Sky from Pink Floyd) in Diana/Morgana, Maartin Allcock (Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention) his solid bass in Dance Macabre and Richard Sinclair (Caravan) with tender piano and melancholical vocals in the wonderful Dreams Of Mandragora. In order to emphasize the international journey by Giordano Bruno, Jerry has written the compositions not only for Italian vocals but also English (in Dreams Of Mandragora and The Globe) and even German (in the exciting and alternating Wittenberger Fuchstanz, also feauring passionate English vocals by Jenny Sorrenti).

I am glad this band is finally on Prog Archives, highly recommended!

The first edition of this review was published a while ago on Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

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Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | Review Permalink

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