Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Il Rovescio Della Medaglia

Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Il Rovescio Della Medaglia La Bibbia album cover
2.84 | 75 ratings | 12 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Il Nulla (4:56)
2. La Creazione (5:17)
3. L'Ammonimento (5:19)
4. Sodoma E Gomorra (4:51)
5. Il Giudizio (10:15)
6. Il Diluvio (2:14)

Total Time: 32:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Pino Ballarini / vocals, flute
- Enzo Vita / guitars
- Stefano Urso / bass
- Gino Campoli / drums

Releases information

Recorded LIve in studio

LP RCA Italiana - PSL 10521 (1971, Italy)

CD RCA - ND 74112 (1989, Italy)
CD BMG - BVCM-37582 (2005, Japan) Remastered by Koji Tanaka (paper sleeve limited edition)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry


More places to buy IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA music online

IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA La Bibbia ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Carl floyd fan
2 stars A bit dated to say the least but not bad for its time. On the other hand, there is nothing special. Unless you are a die hard prog fan, just download this one. Mixes rock and classical music much like ELP but the vocals aren't very good.
Review by Proghead
4 stars You shouldn't even try to compare "La Bibbia", their debut from 1971 to their classic "Contaminazione". To me, I think this is a rather underrated progressive hard rock album. This album definately won't appeal to the symphonic crowd, or those expecting a classical/prog hybrid like that of "Contaminazione". This album, instead has a rather rough and unpolished production. The vocals are in the hard rock vein, with heavy use of guitar. No keyboardist had yet been in the band, so all sound effects are off sound generators. The lyrics are said to have Biblical themes. It's not as bad as many might say it is, and I actually enjoy the album, despite the production and the fact it don't resemble in any ways "Contaminazione".
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This work has little to share with the symphonic music that was played by some legendary bands from Italy.

The intriguing opening track is quite abstruse: it is very difficult to enter into and sounds more as an experimental piece of music.

This album sounds very much as a heavy prog one, with Italian lyrics. La Creazione fully falls under this category; but the same type of sound is repeated during most of the songs from this debut album.

There are also some psychedelic influences which lead to a satisfying album. No giant numbers are featured and the wild rocking Sodoma E Gomorra is very much in the style of Ten Years After. Demoniac guitar work, heavy and sustained bass, rolling drumming are the combination of sounds that you will discover while you would listen to this instrumental track.

We are far from the melodic Italian genre to be honest; but if you accept this album for what it is AND if you are somewhat heavy-rock oriented, this album should be OK. But production is not the strongest point.

The longest song available Il Giudizio is just a hard/heavy jam: structure less and noisy at times. These ten minutes are quite difficult to digest and it is not the short Il Diluvio that is going to raise the quality level here.

Two stars for this heavy, heavy work.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist
2 stars Four minutes of twiddling, tweaking, rumbling and other sorts of primeval fragments of music is a great setting for the nothingness the first track represents. But trying to create something out of nothing is just as difficult as it sounds, and it is with sceptically raised eyebrows that I wait for the rest of the album to unfold.

And when the crushingly loud guitar kicks in, heavy and sharp due to the rough production, my eyebrows stay raised. The initial and continuing problem with La Bibbia is that it feels out of proportion. While I most certainly get the taste of the hunger and passion, and ultimately also the goals and ideals behind this debut album, it aims for the stars by giving full throttle and then never look back instead of carefully planning out the route and possible problems that might arise along the way.

Nose-diving from thunderous drumming and wild cymbal clashes, a bass that walks all over the place and unforgiving guitar riffs into softer, almost pastoral choral parts (preferably packaged in a smooth flute wrapping, but that's not always the case) is a crude, and in my eyes not particularly successful way of adding dynamic strength to the album. One could argue that the distinct changes provides an element of surprise, which likely is what Il Rovescio Della Medaglia were aiming for, but it soon feels rather formulaic. Unlike their peers of Osanna, which master this roller-coaster approach to music, the effect is lost mostly due to the fact that the musical variation remains relatively low on La Bibbia. If you're not paying attention to the various parts closely, it's going to turn into a sequence of on-and-off explosions, tiring your ears more than refreshing them.

Sodoma E Gomorra is nothing but a long explosion, but since it's just as fiery as Deep Purple it's easier to forgive here. Surprisingly Blackmore-esque guitar, drumming that would strike Ian Paice by not being of his making and bass guitar with that Roger Glover swing is sure to please any fan of the British rock pioneers, and that's true for most of the album in general. Any big fan of heavy prog would most certainly find lots of meriting parts on La Bibbia. The problem is, as I've already explained, the disposition of them.

The longest song here is the ten minute effort Il Guidizio, and as a natural consequence this is where you find most room for variation. Focusing a little more on mood with a both menacing and gradually heavier build-up, it really feels real in its darkness. A break in the middle of the song features a great bass semi-solo, with a duelling guitar joining in now and then. Good stuff.

And then we're back to the beginning. Closing it all is another two minutes of acid effect experimentation, obnoxious guitar and amp sounds conveying the sonic equivalent of an earthquake.

In the end there's no reason to DISLIKE this record if you're in it for face-melting guitar bonanza with the odd bits and pieces of.let's call it 'sound expansion'. But fact remains that what I enjoyed the most was the always highly emotional and unapologetic Italian vocals.

Judge for yourself.

2 stars.


Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Whoa, in the early 70's, what an album this is!

IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA's debut album...Well, the sound recorded is no problem as 1971's. The point is their heavyness. Is this really Italian rock? Many many Italian albums or songs I've heard till now, this is exactly my first the basis and core of their sound is loud guitar with rhythm section. Furthermore, the rhythm section is heavy but not rigid...I always feel it's sticky and slimy at listening to their albums.

The first track is too avantgarde...noisy metalic sound goes through and around us. Oh, what...with no time for us to be surprised, immediately heavy and noisy guitar and percussion are exploded. It's maybe rare the instrumentals expect guitar and drum are completely supplementary or backing ones. Of course, the voice is as heavy as the heavy stuffs, too. :)

The highlight of this work is, I consider, the 4th track...very jazzy, very swingin', very speedy and of course deeply heavy. We can be absorbed into it. Until the last track (noise!) finished, we should get to be restricted by the soundshower...

Apart from likes or dislikes, this is one of the most progressive products in Italy in 1971.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA's first album is very much a Hard Rock album.This is rough, raw and dated. I usually like these albums but this one really felt uninspired, I had a hard time getting into it at all.

"Il Nulla" opens with strange and spacey sounds that come and go for 3 minutes.The guitar then makes some noise then a haunting calm arrives to end it. "La Creazione" is raw and fairly aggressive with vocals. Some vocal melodies before 4 1/2 minutes. It blends into "L'Ammonimento". Vocals a minute in followed by vocal melodies. It settles then the guitar comes in and start to build to a solo. Vocals are back 4 minutes in followed by more vocal melodies.

"Sodoma E Gomorra" or "Club Med" as Elton John calls it, opens with drums, a guitar solo follows as they continue to trade off. It then kicks into an uptempo melody. Nice bass here. "Il Giudizio" opens with drums as the sound builds. Vocals and a fuller sound 2 1/2 minutes in. Guitar returns after 6 minutes with bass and drums in tow. Vocals 7 minutes in. "Il Diluvio" sounds like the end of the world is upon us. Powerful sounds that vibrate the whole soundscape.

Sadly I can't even give this 3 stars.

Review by Menswear
3 stars Hard Rock Bible Study.

No, you won't learn much of the Holy Scriptures with this cookie. But on the other hand, you will hear some of the Devil's Music!

This album consists of L-O-U-D music done more or less professionally. I must insist on the cheap production and unpolished tunes they are offering. Disappointed, to say the least. Not a horrible record, but certainly not a keeper. My expectations (darn them) were high and I've been spoiled by other bands like Cream, Rush and The Who; which are using the same guitar/bass/drums approach.

I say stated earlier, the music is guitar, bass and drums. Nothing more, not the shadow of an organ or such. It shows. The guitar player is sweating from every pore, trying to shoot his best riffs at your face. His Gibson Les Paul attempt is wishy-washy; you're never sure if he's skilled or not. Sometimes it fits (Sodome and Gomorrah), many times not. On the other hand the bass player is giving a good show, Jack Bruce style. He's busy as a bee trying also to thicken the whole thing, and a good hand clap to him.

Overall, my fantasy of RDM being the 'best secret of prog rock' is damaged due to the limitations (in talent and creative aspect) of the band. No subtle for one second, this has nothing to do with the eargasm that was Contaminazione. Oh well, at least I have my health.

It's brute, it's raw and it's in your face!

Latest members reviews

2 stars It was disheartening upon finding that this is [currently] the only album available to me by this otherwise beloved Italian Prog band(?). But I move on... especially seeing it's just 33 minutes long. Thank you very much then-soon-to-be-obsolete album-length standards of the previous decade! Thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#2676187) | Posted by DangHeck | Monday, January 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The debut of Il Rovescio Della Medaglia is a raw sounding album, retaining a live feel throughout. More than full blown prog, it treads the same ground as the giants of hard rock like Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Therein lies both the strength and the weakness of the album: It is very well done ... (read more)

Report this review (#544717) | Posted by nikow | Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Italoprogrock la Led Zeppelin and Area. Many good hooks, vocalparts easy to get in, superb hard rock riffs, nice backwaters too. Pity that it's so short-lengthed album; 5 more songs would've made it better album, but i think that this album was supposed to be released as an EP. Love the song " ... (read more)

Report this review (#62311) | Posted by oravamangusti | Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The songs are quite good (heavy prog without kayboards). The problem is that they decided to record the album live in the studio and back then in 1971 in Italy there was not the technology to obtain a decent sound. This makes La Bibbia an hard work to appreciate at first listen. Those interested in ... (read more)

Report this review (#6365) | Posted by | Friday, April 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first and the best album of the group. Remarkable is the rhythm section: it's an original voice in '70s progressive music, so that many traditional progressive fans may dislike it. Feable point: vocals seem to be a little bit out of date. ... (read more)

Report this review (#6364) | Posted by mlgdominici | Sunday, February 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA "La Bibbia"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.