Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Alan Sorrenti

Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alan Sorrenti Come un Vecchio Incensiere all'Alba di un Villaggio Deserto album cover
2.80 | 32 ratings | 5 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Angelo (4:32)
2. Serenesse (3:53)
3. Una Luce Si Accende (5:29)
4. Oratore (5:09)
5. A Te che Dormi (3:53)
6. Come un Vecchio Incensiere all'Alba di un Villaggio Deserto (23:17)

Total Time 46:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Sorrenti / vocals, acoustic guitar and synthesizer (track 6)
- Antonio Esposito / percussions, drums, cymbals and bells
- Ron Mathienson / contra bass
- Francis Monkman / synthesizer, piano and electric guitar
- Mario D'Amora / piano
- Toni Marcus / violin and viola
- Victor Bell / cello

And, as a special guest, David Jackson on flute (track 2 and 4)

Releases information

Recorded at the London's "Island Studios".

Harvest (3C064-17878)

Mellow (MMP 192)
EMI (72438 60270 2)
Vinyl Magic (VM 076)

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy ALAN SORRENTI Come un Vecchio Incensiere all'Alba di un Villaggio Deserto Music

More places to buy ALAN SORRENTI music online

ALAN SORRENTI Come un Vecchio Incensiere all'Alba di un Villaggio Deserto ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALAN SORRENTI Come un Vecchio Incensiere all'Alba di un Villaggio Deserto reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With his second album to date, Alan Sorrenti reached the most complex and brutal vocal experiment in all his career. The album's structure is similar to the previous Aria, a little bit extended being over 46 minutes of music and divided between the whole side's self titled epic (side two - 23 mns) and shorter and simpler songs.

For the recording sessions of the album he went to London and was helped by other famous guest musicians as VDGG's sax hero David Jackson, who played flute and by Curved Air's member Francis Monkman on synthesizer, piano and electric guitar. Differently from Aria, his voce appears more nervous and complicated passing through stronger dissonances and unusual noises and strange sounds.

The epic is an absurd journey - avantguard prog - into pure musical madness, I think. Irritating and fascinating at the very same time. Obscure lines based upon acoustic instruments (guitar and percussions, mainly) plus some interesting synthesizer's sound. Many italian prog lovers see in this opus a clear inspiration and model for Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's Canto Nomade per un Prigioniero Politico, but, hey people: do not expect something similar to that! Sorrenti is a peculiar prog artist who builded his prog credentials upon an innovative (for Italy, at least) singing that can hardly please the mainstream listener. His music cannot be everybody's cup of tea. Nevertheless is so strange, particular and inventive that cannot be forgotten by any italian prog lover.

Despite some very good gems, as the sweet "Serenesse", "Una Luce Si Accende" and "A Te che Dormi", this album appears somehow weaker than the debut one. Somehow unispired and pretentious, even if it rapresented his most ambitious project.

3.50 stars.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Sorrenti's second album is best called Desert Village instead of its original lengthy Italian title. If you thought Aria was a difficult album, then don't even look here: Desert Village is definitely weirder, stranger, innovative and inventive album than Aria was. But it loses some of its initial appeal because it is a lot less melodic and is much rawer than its predecessor. Again a gatefold album, but presenting a bizarre post-nuke atmosphere, it fits rather well the music. Built on a reverse blueprint of Aria, the sidelong title track suite is on the flipside, while the sorter song (5 instead of 3 and none above 5- min30) come first, then comes the pièce-de-résistance

Opening on the acoustic folky Angelo, resembling a bit early Tim Buckley (Goodbye & Hello) with the congas (the great Esposito) and added effects and I Never Wanted To Be Your Mountain is not far away, only a piano making the difference. The flute-laden (by Graaf's Jaxon, no less) Serenesse also "benefits" from a seemingly out-of-tune violin, courtesy of Mareux (makes you wish for Ponty in the previous album). The same violin opens Lucce Si Accende with acoustic guitar strumming, but Sorrenti's voice is not picking up the song, it forces the song to wait for it, and once it has been subdued, then Alan unleashes with the piano and we're gone for a typically Italian overblown piece until amid cymbal scrapes and crashes, Sorrenti throws his voice on hot coals and we just have to suffer its screaming, but this is nothing that Buckley hasn't got you used to either. In Starsailor or Lorca, sorrenti being a tad less melodic but a tad more dramatic.

The return of Jaxon (more discreet, this time) in Oratore is not the only feature, as Sorrenti is again up on crazy Buckley-type of antics and crosses it with Hammill's own tricks, probably in Jaxon's honour. Oratore is also violinist Mareux's best contribution to this album. Te closing A Te Che Dormi has Sorrenti trying a few Robert Wyatt, just himand his guitar and voice, the latter getting some multi tracking.

Obviously the main attraction is the 23-mins+ title track suite filling the flipside of the album and that it's in here than Alan pushes his vocal talents to the extreme. Less than a minute into the track, you're fighting vocal drones that even Matching Mole in Instant Pussy wasn't daring. At one point, you'd swear that Buckley, Wyatt and Hammill are on the same microphone and competing for most bizarre intervention. This track is probably Curved Air's Monkman's weirdest he ever participated in, and his synth interventions have nothing to envy to the rest of the musos present. As ambitious as it gets, it fails to captivate throughout, but Desert Village has its moments, generally in the more accessible passages, like between the 10th and 13th minute. At others it sounds much improvised but then the Krautrock pioneers do a better job (Tangerine Tempel Vuh Klust-Werk) at building semi-cosmic ambiances. Actually if you look at the artwork, it's a fair visual description for its track.

There is no question, in my mind that Deserted Village is just as stunning as the debut and for experimental progheads, I find it superior. If you're more in the traditional prog, you'll prefer Aria, although I'll be the last to call this album or Aria traditional. Not for everyone, start with Aria then see if you want to go further.

Review by andrea
3 stars Alan Sorrenti's second album "Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto" was recorded in London in 1973 with the help of some special guests like Francis Monkman (Curve Air) on synthesizer, piano and guitar and David Jackson (Van Der Graaf Generator) on flute. The follow-up of the beautiful "Aria" is not as good as its predecessor but it's not without good moments. Alan Sorrenti's experimental vocals are still in the forefront exploring new territories while the music doesn't reach the same peaks of intensity of "Aria" and lyrics are less inspired.

The opener is a dark acoustic ballad "Angelo" featuring flute and suggestive percussion. Lyrics describe in a visionary way a painful waiting and a broken promise. The second track, "Serenesse", is about the difficult to communicate with other people. Hate and fear are like ditch that you have to cross trying to walk on a thin bridge to reach the other side where you can find love. This song was chosen as single and probably is the most accessible on the album featuring a joyful violin and a flute that counter point vocals.

"Una luce si accende" (A Light turns on) is a melancholic ballad featuring delicate violin passages... "A light turns on / And already you can hear a lover's kiss / And what am I if I have not the boldness to love / What have I if I haven't got the courage to love?". It's not exactly a love song but a song about the emptiness provoked by lack of love...

"Oratore" (Speaker) is an experimental acoustic track featuring good melodic hints and foggy lyrics... "The sun was looking at us from the other side of the motorway / While you, speaker, where speaking...". Well, sometimes speeches can be meaningless and this track in my opinion is not completely convincing.

Next comes "A te che dormi" (For you who are sleeping), where on an acoustic strumming guitar background soaring unquiet vocals draw a troubling lullaby... "Sleep, you'll find me deep inside the lake / While I'm playing with the moon / That hides herself when you arrive...".

The final title track is a long suite, somehow confused, too experimental and almost pretentious, despite the excellent work of percussionist Toni Esposito and some good melodic lines. It's about death and rebirth from the ashes, a mystical patchwork that lacks of melodic coherence and risk to lead to boredom.

On the whole this is a good album, but not an essential one.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Alan Sorrenti's trip into the Experimental Rock fields continued a year after ''Aria'' with the album ''Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto'', again released on Harvest and recorded at the Island Studios in London between February and March 73'.A very special line- up surrounds Sorrenti, like drummer/percussionist Toni Esposito, Curved Air's Francis Monkman on synths, piano and guitar and Van Der Graaf Generator's David Jackson on flutes.

Despite the upgraded line-up the music remains in the same vein of Sorrenti's debut as well as the album's structure, including the sidelong eponymous 23-min. track.The first side is atonal, depressive and very lyrical Experimental/Folk Rock, highlighted by Sorrenti's unique vocal workouts.In this album Sorrenti's approach comes even closer to the emotional side of PETER HAMMILL and the music is mainly driven by his acoustic guitars.There are though plenty of piano exercises, smooth flute parts and haunting violin strings, that ensure to create a very cosmic and almost frightening atmosphere.The sidelong suite of the second side finds Sorrenti at his more extreme phase.This is not actually what I would call music, this is a completely dissonant and cacophonous collection of sparse sounds, full of Sorrenti's wordless vocals and cries along with dominating percussion and acoustic guitars, while the few singing parts have a cosmic theatrical approach with floating synths, pianos and flutes, which add a sporadic orientation to the composition, that as a whole is a rather painful experience.

From this point pn Sorrenti's career took slowly a more commercial approach from album to album, resulting to a succesful career until the mid-90's, even including a performance at the Eurovision song contest.His second album lacks the balanced delicacy of ''Aria'', the first side is listenable with some interesting moments, the second one though is sure to please only fans of extreme Experimental/Avant-Garde expreriences...2.5 stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars A double face album. Alan Sorrenti was fully in his experimental phase, but the achievement is different on the two sides of the vynil. Side A is made of regular songs. the problem is that they seem to be made of random sequences of chords on which Alan sings lyrics with no metrics trying to stay tuned in the passages.

Of the songs present on side A, the shortest, "Serenesse" is the most similar to a proper song, but it's really nothing special. After many attempts I still dislike the side A.

Side B is a completely different story. It's a side long track which despite the unusual vocal experiments is balanced between experimental instrumental parts with a chamber rock flavor, close to RIO, and melodic parts on which Alan sings with his high pitched voice respecting the rule of metrics a bit more, on a quite good melody, even if he sometimes exceeds in taking and holding dissonant high pitched notes. The most noisy and experimental parts are interesting enough. Nothin to do with what people means as RPI, anyway. This is an experimental album closer to the free format of AREA than to bands like PFM or Le Orme.

On both the sides, the effort of NAPOLI CENTRALE's percussionist Tony ESPOSITO is an added value. I have no idea of what the lyrics are about even if I'm Italian. If it was for side B only I'd rate it at least with 3 stars, but the side A is too poor in my opinion.

2 stars only, sorry.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of ALAN SORRENTI "Come un Vecchio Incensiere all'Alba di un Villaggio Deserto"

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.