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Osanna Landscape of Life album cover
3.55 | 100 ratings | 12 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Il castello dell'es (8:55)
2. Landscape of Life (6:00)
3. Two Boys (3:43)
4. Fog in My Mind (7:45)
5. Promised Land (1:32)
6. Fiume (4:05)
7. Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime (4:15)

Total Time 36:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Lino Vairetti / vocals, electric, slide, acoustic & 12-string guitars, Mellotron, organ, harmonium, ARP synthesizer, pedals
- Danilo Rustici / electric & 12-string guitars, organ, ARP synthesizer, Mellotron, pedals, vocals (5)
- Elio d'Anna / alto, tenor & baritone saxophones, flute & electric flute
- Lello Brandi / bass, Fx
- Massimo Guarino / drums, tambourine, timpani, percussion, vibraphone

- Corrado Rustici / vocals & acoustic guitar (5), 12-string guitar (6)
- Enzo Vallicelli / percussion (4,5)

Releases information

Artwork: Massimo Guarino

LP Fonit - LPX 32 (1974, Italy)

CD Fonit Cetra - CDLP 424 (1991, Italy)
CD Vinyl Magic - VMCD127 (2007, Italy) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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OSANNA Landscape of Life ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OSANNA Landscape of Life reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Compared to "Milano calibro 9", this record has a more free style; it reminds me some experimental stuff of Jimi Hendrix, except there are some keyboards here. The involved style is very complex progressive hard rock; there are tons of strange saxophones and guitars sounds. Many bits seem improvised, but you feel all the instruments are really synchronized and not played in a chaotic manner. The vocals here are omnipresent. Unfortunately, the sound is not very good. There are some good flutes reminding Focus or Jethro Tull. The last song has great keyboards parts: there is a very intense mellotron arrangement among others!
Review by Proghead
4 stars I bought this LP in Eugene, Oregon at the Eugene Hilton in February 1995 the same time I bought "Milano Calibro 9". And like that LP, this was too was an American pressing on Peters International.

This is perhaps the most inconsistent OSANNA album I have heard. The band was obviously wanting to return back to the style they done on "L'Uomo". Here the music is more simple, less complex and less challenging. The title track, although has some good ideas, get's bogged down with repetitive singing. "Two Boys" is a more or less straight- ahead hard rock that sounds like it came off "L'Uomo". But actually this is a great piece, and lots of great flute. "Il Castro Dell'e" harkens to the best moments of "Palepoli" with the mysterious flutes and equally mysterious Mellotron. Here the band chose to sing in Italian, which also really benefits big time. "Fog on my Mind" starts off rather crappy. The bad English really detracts, and it starts off rather poppy. But then the music gets more aggressive and improves, and then you get a bunch of ethnic percussion. "Promised Land" features some even poorer English. Although not credited on the American release, apparently it was Corrado Rustici (younger brother of Dalino Rustico) handling the vocals. It seemed that he was about ready to join OSANNA because his previous band CERVELLO (who released the album "Melos", which is a totally essential prog album, as far as I'm concerned) apparently disintegrated, but then OSANNA went the way of CERVELLO after "Landscape of Life" came out. But then the album rebounds big time with "River/Somewhere, Somehowe, Sometime" (the Italian LP uses an Italian title).

Again the band goes back to singing in Italian, and this is where they really soar. Again, it's reminiscent of the best of "Palepoli", lots of mysterious flute, great vocals, and aggressive passages. Two cuts with Italian vocals really show the best in the band, the English vocals cuts really need some improving. Though "Landscape of Life" has worthwhile material, this should be the last of their four albums you should worry about.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Last one I heard from them, this one generally comes down under heavy criticism but it is still worthy and i certainly will not shoot it. True ! Some of the English singing is not good ( sometimes even dreadfull ) and Two Boys is really sub-par , but Castello and Fiume are rather good . This would still be considered a big classic from them had this been sung entirely in italian . Landscape is fine and Fog average for Osanna standards.
Review by andrea
4 stars Osanna's fourth album, "Landscape Of Life", was released in 1974 and is the last album recorded by the original line up featuring Lino Vairetti (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Danilo Rustici (guitars), Elio D'Anna (sax, flute), Lello Brandi (bass) and Massimo Guarino (drums, percussion) although during the recording sessions they were helped by Corrado Rustici, Danilo's younger brother and Cervello's guitarist, and by percussionist Enzo Vallicelli. At the time there were contrasts inside the band about the musical directions to follow and as soon as "Landscape For A Land" was released, Osanna disbanded: Danilo Rustici and Elio D'Anna joined forces with drummer Enzo Vallicelli and went to England forming a new band called Uno, while Lino Vairetti and Massimo Guarino reformed their old band called Cittą Frontale with new musicians. In some way the music and lyrics capture the spirit of doubt and incertitude hanging over the recording sessions...

The long, complex opener "Il castello dell'Es" (The castle of Es) begins softly, then turns into a wild jazzy finale expressing doubts and fears about life and future and a strong need for freedom, freedom to love, freedom to dream, freedom to live and to believe in God... "I am fire / I am Time / I am water / Perhaps I am nothing...".

Next come the title track, an acoustic ballad featuring English lyrics and a nice flute work... "The long road before me / Lie ragged watchin' my body die / Feel like dying / My mind is overcrowded with fat thoughts...". Well, I think that this could be a wonderful track but the vocals and lyrics do not match the beautiful music. Well, this album was conceived for the foreign markets but in my opinion Osanna seem not at ease when they sing in English and I prefer by far here the two tracks sung in Italian.

The following "Two Boys" is a hard rock track with English vocals and a strange flute and sax work and in my opinion it's not completely convincing. The lyrics are about diversity and tell of two twins who painted their faces to differentiate one from each other. One of them painted his face in green, the other in yellow and as time passed by the colour of their skin changed too... "Two boys, they lived in the garden of the world / One day they were playing...".

The long, complex "Fog In My Mind" begins with just organ and English vocals in "Motown style", then the rhythm rises and turns first into "hard jazz-rock", then into samba with a great percussion work and finally back into hard rock... "I hate my hands / I hate my voice / I hate everything / That has created / Fog in my mind...". The following "Promised Land", features Corrado Rustici on vocals and guitar and is a short, weak acoustic ballad with English lyrics describing the hope for a happier world where children can grow up in peace and everyone can sing. In my opinion this is the weakest moment of the album.

Then comes "Fiume" (River), a wonderful, dreamy ballad with vocals in Italian and a great flute work... "Cathedrals of rocks / Horizons of lights and sounds / A landscape of white snow / Spaces without limits, smell of grass / Colours of hope: joy...". The music melts in the instrumental conclusive track "Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime", featuring a guitar sound that reminds me a little bit of Carlos Santana.

Well, on the whole I think that "Landscape of Life", though not at the same level of Osanna's previous album "Palepoli", is a good work and could be an excellent addition to any Italian prog collection. Not only is it worth listening to but it features a remarkable art work as well. The album cover was painted by Massimo Guarino and the inner gatefold drawing by Lino Vairetti.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Like several other Italian bands, "Osanna" released a bilingual album. I'm not sure it was absolutely essential to do so.

In terms of music, the pieces here are more accessible than their previous album ("Paleopoli").

The opening number is a fine travel in the world of flute and mellotron but combined to more complex parts in which heavy sax and dark riffs give another angle to this very good song. Vocals during "Il Castello Dell“Es" are also truly "Italian".

Which is not the case for "Landscape Of Life". Still, they are more than average in this song; the melody is superb and the musician do a great job as always. The background sax is particularly welcome and the guitar work from Danilo Rustici is just amazing. Did I mention the sweet mellotron?

But things are leaving the good territories with "Two Boys". A very poor rocking number. Noisy, poorly produced and frankly unbearable. Press nextT. After a gospel type of intro, "Fog In My Mind" kicks off again on a more rocking side. Hard beat, weak melody and rather weird music, almost improvised. Far from the lovely Italian symphonic music.

.which we are brought back into with the fine ballad "Fiume". At last, another subtle and beautiful song. Fluting of course is so pleasant. Such a joyful feeling is conveyed while you listen to these type of songs. Again, only the Italian genre can produce little gems like this. Give me more, please!

This album is too inconsistent for the four star rating. Its middle part is especially weak (from Two Boys through Promised land). The closing and instrumental number features a solid guitar break which is worth to listen to. And how can I depict the sublime mellotron during the closing section?

Three stars. A good album.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Really good album...but not essential for Osanna...this is my impression.

On the album at the next of Palepoli, it's a little pity for my impression, there's not so much craziness and aggressiveness. At that time, perhaps, Osanna got to be worldwide and tried to make their style easier to listen and someone says, it's an American style. But to be not Italian progressive (I must say except at the first track) should be dissappointed for some of Osanna freaks.

Okay, the first track is exactly Osannalism! This aggressiveness, bombasticism, and rampancy...whatever we will listen, that's it. However...from the second one, there are pop songs that can be cut as a single record. They are indeed easy to hear and not hard to understand. No full stomach. Pardon me but I wanna say I wanna be stomachache by Osanna. :P

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Want to mention a group that gets me going...really revved up. Honestly... if I had to pick a favorite band from Italian prog. Battiato aside.. it would have to be this formidable group from the hotbed of music that is Naples. Their previous album Palepoli was a masterpiece not just of Italian prog.. but all of prog. All groups are thus vexed.. how do you follow a masterpiece up. Landscapes of Life was their attempt two years later.

One thing you can be sure of, that album was not going to be a Palepoli pt 2. Osanna as has been mentioned around the forums is a very hard group to stick into a nice tidy box. Each album has been quite different from each of the previous albums. Can you call them symphonic.. of course not... heavy prog?... no they were much more eclectic than that. Much as Raffaella mentioned with Sicily in her wonderful 'Sulle corde di aries' review. Naples was a crossroads of many cultures and musical styles. Previous albums were building blocks to Palepoi What they did masterfully on Palepoli was to fuse that in an avant-guard/quasi-symphonic/heavy as HELL cauldron that reflected exactly what I saw on a trip to Naples last year. A city so vibrant .. so alive.. a mass of kinetic energy unparalleled to none. Unfortunately this album did not catch the band at the best of time.. in the best of moods. The group was hit with strife coming from differences in direction which of course led to temporary break-up of the group for the next couple of years after this album. So after an album that defined them.. their city... their countries contribution to the world of prog, they tried to make an album to top their masterpiece. Sadly they failed, but still left a damn good album for us to chew on.

Landscapes of Life opens with 'Il castello dell'es' which hit you right SQUARE in the chest out of the gate. A song that easily could have been on Palepoli. both in sound and in fury of sumptuous mellotron, blaring saxophone, and fast and furious charges with the stellar rhythm section. It would be no surprise to say that this is my favorite on the album. Simply rocks and progs with a passion few groups approach. Especially the wimpy stuff so popular with many proggers. Imagine my surprise though, the first time I listened to this album, when I hit the second track. The title track, Landscapes of Life, yep.. big spoiler alert. Vocals in English. Repeat after me.. English is as musical a language as the dog across the street barking at the mailman. Big thumbs down from me on that. Musically.. the song is the first thing you have heard from them literally.. in years on record that is mellow and laid back. You know.. if the term AOR had existed in Italy at that time. Some wag would have thrown that tag at this song. Is it a bad song?.. no it's not. If anything it is a nice stylistic shift. It is nice anthem like song. I could see the kids flicking their zippos at the chorus of this song haha. Next please....

As if knowing their audience would want something more meaty. We get Two Boys up next. More English lyrics again which are so low in the mix, and really unintelligle due to the heavily Italian-accented English we are listening to here. The great thing again though... is we are listening to prog.. not pop. The music is what is boss here... Two Boys is an uptempo driving song with Elio D'Anna giving us swirling flute and dissonant saxophone blaring. Rustici let's it rip with a great guitar solo as well. Rather typical.. thus great example of Osanna's avant sounding bone crushing prog, minus any symphonic trappings. Again.. not the greatest thing they did, but good stuff. Fog in my Mind is up next. A stately organ introduces the song with Varietti singing...again in english. Lyrics that ...damn.. I have to say it would have been much better in Italian hahah. After two minutes akin to slow torture.. the band kicks in and all hell breaks loose.. YES.. someone has returned the Osanna I love hahha. A stuttering rhythm with powerful drumming by Massimo Guarino. All the elements that make them great are on display here. Including the wild and crazy. The complete divergence into a avant sort of percussion section was totally unexpected and yet I think really worked. We are brought back to sound and fury by the saxophone and Rustici's guitar and we crash headlong into anything in our way on the road till the whole thing breaks down at the end in a mass of twisted steel and broken bodies. If that isn't prog... what is.

I guess the band, and the audience needed a break after that high-speed car crash so what do we get. Yep.. break out the zippos and fire up a smoke. We get a minute and a half throwaway called Promise Land. Here though.. the album fails. Having set the mood to have the listener ready to be taken away we get a mid tempo number featuring acoustic guitar, slide guitar and flute called Fiume. Actually a very nice song. A good one, but as a listener to this group. I wanted to hear crunching metal and screams of fright and be taken on a wild ride. Oh well. Like I said, they probably didn't want to deliver a Palepoli pt.2 and they did not. They wanted to showcase another side of the group, don't get me wrong, it is very good. It simply is not what I wanted to hear. Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime brings the album to a close and really is an interesting track. More laid back, but musically rather interesting with some nice synth work along with some crackling guitar playing by Rustici. It moves along a nice pace till we get the cherry on top .. a fabulous mellotron section which true to the way they used it on Palepoli is out of this world. Many groups use the mellotron. Osanna is one of my favorites in the WAY they use it. The spots and places they decide to whip it out are always for maximum emotional effect. Who here doesn't have the hair on their arms stand up during an effective mellotron section. A great album closer.

Rating the album..ooohhh.. that is tough. I do love this group. However this was the weakest I think of their first 4 albums. Yes.. the english vocals do have a large part to do with it. You can not seperate the music from the singing. In so many cases the vocals can add to the overall experience of the album. Some times though.. it can detract. I do really like this album but for one checking out Osanna. This one ranks 4th of the 5 ones they issued in the 70's. For the site. 3 stars. For me somewhere in between 3 and 4... like that matters hahha.

Micky (aka Michael)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Osanna exude a rather VDGG like sound without the Hammill poetry. There are inventive melodies and mood shifts throughout. The opening track is an absolute blast and I was immediately pleased I had discovered such a stunning RPI band.

'Il castello dell'es' generates many moods, with wild manic sax, soft harmonious Italian vocals, and a diverse compositional structure. Elio d'Anna is the real star for me, playing an amazing emotional sax, the emotion is out of control at times and you have to love that. The time sigs are off the chart in places, and it all hangs together with sporadic rhythmic drum and bass shades.

'Landscape Of Life' is the title track and I expected a very serene soundscape and it begins likewise, with beautiful flute, acoustics and lead guitar embellishments. The vocals are soft and not multitracked on this song making a nice change in direction. The song builds into a heavier feel with a moderate beat and gorgeous woodwind playing. The lead break is excellent and showcases the talents of Danilo Rustic even becoming a twin lead solo in places. This track certainly feels more like a commercially viable song than the opener.

'Two Boys' is a shorter track at 3:43, but by no means less progressive, in fact the sax and flute trade offs are off kilter, and Danilo Rustic's vocals are more aggressive. The heavy guitar crashes are very effective, and a blistering lead break squeals out violently, and it shows what a band can achieve in a short space of time; musical innovation and magical structures.

'Fog In My Mind' begins side 2 of the vinyl with a longer song at 7:45, and an elongated cathedral organ as some heartfelt singing is heard in English this time. The melancholy atmosphere is punctuated by sudden cloudbursts of sax and a wild percussion beat locks in. This is the band at their best when they are allowed to stretch out with chaotic patterns and fast paced staccato beats. The guitars are fast and furious in the lead break, and the sax tries hard to catch up. The band are extremely tight, stopping and starting in unison. The sax begins to shriek as though in pain and it all ceases with some tribalistic percussion, with tom tom drums and wood blocks. The chimes and vibes are wonderful in Massimo Guarino's percussion solo; lots of jingly sounds, and atmospherics. The guitars strike up again to end the piece with another verse and there ends another treasure on this album. 'Promised Land' is a short little blast, with acoustics, strange melodies on English vocals, and finally a serene sax over tom tom percussive metrics. It is a pleasant transition into 'Fiume' that features lots of guitars overlayed, acoustics and wah-wah. The Italian vocals are gentle and harmonised nicely. The twin flutes are playful and sweet over the scape of tranquil acoustic vibrations. The slide guitar is effective in the breaks. It leads into 'Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime' with a building lead break, some powerful arpeggios and glorious string bends and note changes. The album ends with a strange outro with huge Mellotron washes and celestial synths.

So I was delighted with this Osanna album, especially the manic sax and overall atmospheres. Admittedly it is all over the place in terms of styles but that is what makes it appealing to my ears. It is captivating music, though perhaps I need to hear some of their more celebrated material to compare. This is an excellent intro to the band, in any case, and made this progger quite thirsty for more of this innovative RPI treasure.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1974 Osanna headed for the studio to record their fourth album ''Landscape of life''.During the recordings conflicts between the band members not only were a sign of the upcoming demise of Osanna, but Corrado Rustici (Danilo's younger brother from Cervello) and drummer Enzo Vallicelli had to be recruited in order to finish the album's recording procedure.Eventually this was released on Fonit for the Italian market and Peters International for the US one.

Five out of the seven compositions were sung in English, indicating the band was in search for some foreign success.Musically half about of the album is still grounded in the very complex approach of ''Palepoli'', though the symphonic and folky parts are very limited and the band focused on promoting the attacking saxes and heavy flute solos of Elio D'Anna (strongly influenced by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR) through the complicated guitar-based Hard/Psychedelic Rock tracks, which contain powerul rhythms and plenty of breaks.Organs and Mellotron are used on the softer moments of the tracks (like on the opening minutes) and even these remind a lot of PETER HAMMIL's company.The English vocals are well delivered, still I miss the Italian taste of Rustici's voice.The surprise comes from the closing tracks ''Fiume'' and ''Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime'', where Osanna show their more emotional side.''Fiume'' is actually a nice ballad, based on the mellow acoustic guitars of Corrado Rustici and the delicate flute of D'anna to go along with sensitive vocals, while ''Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime'' is a totally new ground for the band, sort of a mix between Hard/Blues Rock and Space/Fusion with great synths on the opening theme, nice bluesy solos on the middle part and a grandiose Mellotron-drenched farewell outro, definitely the album's best cut.

While ''Landscape of Life'' does not contain any of the most intricate moments of Osanna's career, it still is a well-crafted Progressive Rock album with some nice and complex ideas, just a bit uneven on the whole.Recommended overall.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars OSANNA was certainly one of the Italian prog bands of the 1970s that stood out for its eccentric approach for crafting quality prog. By blending a mix of hard rock, folk, blues, jazz and Mediterranean folk flavors, this band not only stood out from the crowded scene with its eclectic hard driving idiosyncrasies but was known for putting on wild theatrical shows that actually predated Genesis with all the face paint stuff. The band was equally known for its fiery performances which placed them in the forefront of Italy's explosively creative progressive rock scene of the early 1970s.

Since the band's formation in 1970, guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Lino Vairetti and his buddies found that perfect middle ground between the world of early heavy rock, progressive folk and the more pastoral Genesis inspired symphonic prog but always had a knack for inserting bizarre avant-garde outbursts which made these guys one of the most unpredictable bands that was a crowd pleaser for the intensity in the live shows and was a favorite at events such as the Avant-garde Music Festival and New Trends in Viareggio.

The band catapulted to the top of the Italian scene with its first two albums "L'uomo" and the unfinished soundtrack music of "Milano Calibro 9" but with the third album "Palepoli" which showed the band firing on all prog firepower, OSANNA crafted one of the most stunning masterpieces of the entire progressive rock scene of the 70s much less that of Italy. The album has well stood the test of time and remains highly influential for its audacious approach of fusing the local folk flavors of its native Napoli into the incessant prog workouts with hard rock heft however it seems the band wasn't destined to carry on such greatness and began to falter with its fourth album LANDSCAPE OF LIFE which followed two years later in 1974.

This was a tumultuous time for the band as the various members started to squabble over the direction of where the music should go and therefore instead of crafting a proper followup to the perfection prog known as "Palepoli," OSANNA retrograded back to the less progressive hard rock band that incorporated jazz, blues and folk flavors on LANDSCAPE OF LIFE. Luckily the band hadn't quite lost all its creative mojo yet and was still able to craft satisfying prog rockers that implemented all the tricks and trinkets of heavy guitar riffs alternating with more pastoral symphonic prog sounds along with jazzy saxophone squawks, folky flute runs and plenty of organ, piano and mellotron.

While clearly a major step down from "Palepoli," LANDSCAPE OF LIFE isn't a terrible album in its own right and more comparable to the band's debut "L'uomo" only a little looser and less cohesive in quality. Unlike its predecessor that featured two side-swallowing single tracks and only a short intermission to separate them, OSANNA's fourth album is a collection of seven shorter tracks that rely on hard rock compositional dynamics as the blueprint to build upon. There seems to be two versions with the same tracks but different track order depending on if you have the original vinyl LP or the CD reissues and i have to say that it was wise to change the order because opening with the mopey pastoral title track belied OSANNA's rock and roll energetic drive.

For the most part LANDSCAPE OF LIFE is pretty good with only a few clunkers like the short but pointless "Promised Land." There is definitely a feeling of devolution on this album though as it's a weak followup to "Palepoli" and it certainly took a while for this one to sink in but after more careful attentive listens, LANDSCAPE OF LIFE is a decent album albeit in a more straight forward hard rock style with a few proggy moments as opposed to the unabashed prog jugular of the predecessor however it was clear that OSANNA had lost its momentum and it would only get worse from here.

3.5 but i'll round up cuz damn this is OSANNA!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Landscape of Life is the more ecletic work of the classical line-up of Osanna. At the peak of their form, they allow themselves to play a little of other things of chords and music arreanging. Heavily electric, full of distortions, the album highlights the distorted flute of Elio Danna and the guita ... (read more)

Report this review (#962777) | Posted by GKR | Monday, May 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The fourth work released in 1974 "Landscape Of Life". OSANNA was already in acting dormant when this work was released. It is not a progressive rock but is becoming, and an orthodox style. Peculiar music to OSANNA is only "Il Castello Dell'es". However, the song is wonderful.Moreover, the endi ... (read more)

Report this review (#68133) | Posted by braindamage | Friday, February 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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