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Il Rovescio Della Medaglia - La Bibbia - 50th Anniversary CD (album) cover


Il Rovescio Della Medaglia

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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4 stars Fifty years after Il Rovescio della Medaglia's debut album, "La bibbia", the band's founder member, guitarist and main composer Enzo Vita gathered around him a group of talented musicians and completely re-arranged and re-recorded it with the new line up featuring, along with the leader, also Marco Pisaneschi (drums), Davide Pepi (guitars, backing vocals), Nicola Costanti (keyboards, lead vocals) and Nicola Castelli (bass) plus the guest Caterina Costanti (flute). The new album, entitled "La bibbia 50th Anniversary", was released in 2021 on the independent Jolly Roger Records label and stems from the work of accomplished, experienced musicians familiar with up to date recording techniques while the debut album was the fruit of the passion of young inexperienced youth. If compared with the original old LP it sounds far better and gives new life to compositions that were filled with enthusiasm but penalized by the hurried recording sessions and an approximative production...

The instrumental opener "Nothingness (Il nulla)" is shorter and completely different from the original from 1971 (in fact it's credited to new guitarist Davide Pepi). It's an atmospheric, spacey track that leads to "La creazione" (The Creation) where you can appreciate the great keyboards work and creative drumming that reshape this piece about the creation of World, Man and Woman as told in the Genesis. The sound is richer, clearer and more refined than on the 1971 album. The new vocalist is perfectly up to the task, as in the following "L'ammonimento" (The warning), a piece dealing with the powerful reaction of God against the claims of the Devil...

The instrumental "Sodoma X Y" takes the place of the old "Sodoma e Gomorra" re-elaborating the old piece representing the busy, ruthless contemporary civilization. The new version adds colours and spacey flavours while maintaining the same raging energy. Then it's the turn of the brilliant rendition of "Il giudizio" (Judgement Day), a piece where the music and words depict Man waiting for the sentence of God on his final day on Earth. The last track, "The Great Flood (Il diluvio)", is a brand new piece (credited to Nicola Costanti) that replaces the original finale. It ends the album with a dark, gloomy atmosphere evoked by the church-like organ in the forefront while the English lyrics describe a great deluge and the waters sweeping away the Evil from the world...

The CD version of the album is completed by three bonus tracks, "The Creation", "The Warning" and "Judgement Day", alternative versions of "La creazione", "L'ammonimento" and "Il giudizio" sung in English.

On the whole, an excellent work.

Report this review (#2858265)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2022 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the second half of the Nineties I discovered the captivating and varied Classic Italian Prog, due to the fact that more and more Italian labels started to put rare LP's on CD, as a reissue, from Zarathustra by Museo Rosenbach and DNA by Jumbo to Inferno by Metamorfosi, and Contaminazione (1973) by Rovescio Della Medaglia, generally considered as one of the gems of Classic Italian Prog. But their debut album La Bibbia (1971) is a totally different story, to me it sounds like a quirky blend of hardrock, psychedelia and experimental, with a lot of raw guitars and vocals, and without keyboards.

In 2011 guitar player Enzo Vita gave new life to RDM releasing a new album Microstorie with Roberto Tiranti (New Trolls) on vocals. In 2016 the new RDM (with Enzo as the only original member) released a new album entitled Tribal Domestic, a return to a progressive and symphonic rock sound as the third album Contaminazione. In 2017 Enzo Vita contacted bassist Andrea Castelli to form also a live-band to bring on stages once again RDM music. From this collaboration they released Contaminazione 2.0, recorded live in San Galgano and totally focused on their album Contaminazione. And now RDM presents a completely re-recorded and re-arranged version of the La Bibbia album from 1971, in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

Listening to this new version of La Bibbia I am pleasantly surprised how this new RDM line-up has changed that quirky blend of hardrock, psychedelia and experimental into a captivating Heavy Prog sound, well done! And everything on this 50th anniversary version is superior to the 1971 effort: the sound, the recording quality, the compositions, the interplay and the musical ideas. But the main difference between the 1971 and 2021 effort is the presence of keyboards.

Il Nulla (3:05) starts with sound effects and soaring keyboards, this is tasteful electronic music, topped with spectacular sequencing in the end.

La Creazione (6:21) delivers a lot of powerful rock guitar and vocals, but now blended with the distinctive Minimoog synthesizer sound.

L'ammonimento (5:51) features an interesting instrumental part with interplay between piano and guitar riffs. Sodoma XY (4:23) contains fiery guitars, blended with soaring keyboards

Il Giudizio (7:49) turns out to be the most varied and exciting compositon. From mellow with spacey synthesizers to a bombastic eruption with howling guitar, topped with powerful Italian vocals. Halfway an instrumental interlude featuring delicate interplay between the guitar and bass, obviously inspired by Toccata In D-Fuga(Bach).

Il Diluvio (5:50) is another strong upgraded track by the use of keyboards, this time a church organ sound, then an accelaration with the Minimoog, next the sound of a male choir, wonderful keyboard orchestrations and sparkling Grand piano runs, this is topped with emotional vocals, the final minute is total silence?.

This reissue also features 3 bonustracks, these are English versions of La Creazione (The Creation), L'ammonimento (The Warning) and Il Giudizio (Judgement Day), a nice addition to this very interesting renewed prog effort!

Report this review (#3033409)
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2024 | Review Permalink

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