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Blocco Mentale

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Blocco Mentale Poa album cover
3.88 | 113 ratings | 18 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Capita (4:44)
2. Aria E Mele (4:34)
3. Impressione (8:27)
4. Io E Me (4:27)
5. La Nuova Forza (7:37)
6. Ritorno (5:34)
7. Verde (3:52)
Bonus on Mellow CD:
8. L`amore Muore A Vent`Anni
9. Lei E Musica

Total Time: 39:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Aldo Angeletti / solist vocals, bass
- Michele Arena / vocal, drums
- Gigi "Roso" Bianchi / vocals, guitar
- Filippo Lazzari / vocals, keyboards and harmonica
- Dino Finocchi / solist vocals, sax and flute

Releases information

LP Titania - BM 2301 - 1973
(Remastered by Vinyl Magic 2000 Records - a division of BTF srl - CD 032 - in 2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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BLOCCO MENTALE Poa ratings distribution

(113 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars Superb Italian Progressive rock rooted deeply in the vein of the best 70's symphonic prog. BLOCCO MENTALE create a very serene sonic environment which is littered with thier superb musicianship. In particular the flute, keyboard and percussion work is a stand-out This is a very well recorded album and is one of my favorites.
Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars "PiOA" is one of the most beautiful Italian progressive rock albums out there. BLOCCO MENTALE were really influenced by early-KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, and PFM. The music tends to alternate between heavy guitar/sax sections and softer acoustic guitar/mellotron/flute interludes. Yes, the formula is really popular (then and now), but the quality of the music here is rare. Most of the band members also provide vocals as the album develops. The richness, and variation, in the vocal sections really sets this album apart, and adds a subtle Italian theatrical influence. If you're interested in some of the lesser known Italian prog bands from the 70s, this is a great place to start.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Blocco Mentale released their only album as a conceptual work temathically centered on ecological issues. Their prog is very rooted in folkish sensibilities, but they can also create rockier passages, and by doing so, maintain the listener's interest through well crafted contrasts: these are not really too accentuated, since the rockier passages are not too overwhelming. The rhythm section supports these contrasts with ease and perfect fluency. The flute is the most recurring solo instrument, but keyboardist Lazzari manages to assume his predominat presence in his multiple organ and piano chords, mellotron layers, and occasional efective synth solos. Blocco Mentale's major influences are 70-71 Genesis, Per un Amico-PFM and New Trolls. Not only they take good care at exhibiting their skills as musicians, but they also sing most vocal parts as a polyphonic ensamble, always keeping a pastoral feel in their chanting. The most succesful prog ideas are contained in tracks 5 and 6, while the sung section in track 3 is full of serene and captivating beauty. Though not a masterpice, and not an example of particular originality either, 'Poa' still deserves to be considered a featured musical work in the context of Italian prog's history.
Review by Progbear
3 stars Like most Italian prog, it takes its time to grow on you. PFM and Banco seem to be the strongest influences of this band. This band share a tendency, like the Canadian group Harmonium, of utterly infectious singalong choruses. "Impressioni" and "Verde" in particular contain hummable melodies to die for.

Cool album. Not something that needs to be in every collection, but if you think you've run out of Italian stuff to buy, this is a worthy addition.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great!

I liked this album so much since the first time i listened to it, and it could be right now one of my favorites italian albums that i recently discovered. POA was released in 1973, when Italian prog scene was at it`s highest moments!, when progressive music was still being developed by it`s best bands named King Crimson or Genesis, when i listen to this album i can notice that those monsters bands were influential to Blocco Mentale, talking about foreign monster bands, but the main influence that it shows is PFM, being from the same country, it`s obvious that they had to follow some masters and precursors.

Here we will find a clear traditional Italian sound, and im not refering only to the vocals and language, but about the music, besides that, a brillian saxophone playing along with the exquisite druming, gives to it a touch of melodic and sensational jazz, but the most of the time and listening to the keyboards, we will find that symphonic music is what they have offered to us.

This album contains 7 great songs, as opener song we will find "Capita" which in it`s first notes we will hear the sax, reminding us a bit of VdGG and then with the guitars i clearly remember some Crimson in it`s LTiA era, but that is only a little bit, then the song turns slow and with THAT traditional Italian sound which is so beautiful to me. Also i have to tell you that Blocco Mentale doesn`t have a vocalist, but 5 vocalists, every single member of this band contributes with their vocals in some parts of the album, we can notice it since this first song.

"Aria e Miele" it`s a great short song with again a VdGG touch on it, but with the always enjoyable piano sound, i forgot to mention that the flute also plays a big role in this album, not a Thijs van Leer but Dino Finocchi made an excellent work here and i have to mention it at least. This song is very catchy and symphonic.

"Impressione" is the longest and probably the best song here, it`s beautiful it has a great soft keyboard sound, and a beautifully calmed flute sound, one thing that i love is the italian language, so it`s an extra point when the fleuntly of the vocals are present in an album, it`s so delicated an pretty, which along with acoustic guitars, gives to it nothing but beauty. The song becomes faster somewhere, again with that sax and the great drumming during, actually i think this passage it`s one of the finest moments of the album, nothing outstanding, but believe me, it`s great!

"Io e Me" has an additional instrument, the harmonica which is better used in blues than in soft songs like here, that could be something that i dislike a bit, the song is not the best really, but still good, reminding me a bit of PFM.

"La Nuova Forza" is another great song, over 7 minutes of excellent recording and the best of vocal performance could be found here. In this song when the vocals appear, my mind immediately focus on New Trolls, taking some songs of the Concerto Grosso as a valid point of comparision, but also Per un Amico`s influences are clearly shown here. The song actually it`s not that complex, but enjoyable nonetheless.

"Ritorno" follows the previous song but with a harder intro, with keyboards and drums faster, but suddenly the piano appears and takes the song for itself, about one minute it`s only for the piano, i know it`s not so much but its a pretty nice passage, then the song becomes more melodic. Maybe the electric guitar sound is not so stron in this album, but here we can find some nice solos, and finishing the song, a fusion moment! sax ,keyboards and drums making me shake my head, great!

And to finish the album, a song called "Verde" which is a short but nice song to finish an album that i have really enjoyed so much, this is kid of a happy ending, a nice soft melody with the traditional italian sound.

So , i hope not to bore you with this review, but i am simply placing my feelings about it, since as i told you above, this is one of my favorite recent discovers of a 70`s Italian album, not so known around here, but hopefully some of you may be interested on it. Despite i didn`t mention so many weak points (because it doesn`t have them) i think it is not a true masterpiece, but surely it`s great and recommendable for any prog fan. 4 stars!

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Sorry, but I'm not as enthusiastic about this album as I could spot by many other fellow reviewers. I tried hardly but BLOCCO MENTALE's debut and sole album, dubbed as "Poa", did not grow on me. The musical foundations are basically pop, in reality a mixture of soft-rock with ecologic theme dressed with some nice and mellow keyboards sections, weird noisy effects and odd instruments which give the illusion the band is playing prog; vocals help few trying to emulate some fine original Italian folk chants that sound unnatural. Here and there, parts of the tracks are enjoyable and even agreeable but these are only flashy moments, nothing more.

'Capita', the first track, is also the weakest track and frightens the hearer to the extreme; 'Aria e mele' and 'Ritorno' display segments above the average. 'Impressione', the longest track, show the possibilities the band could achieve if they had run strictly in the progressive road. The other tracks, bonus included, are stripped of grace.

An album to be heard at each 6 months, if ever; the mentioned fair moments and the splendid cover artwork rescue "Poa" from the poor classification. To be avoided by ISP beginners and to be considered by collectors and fans only.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pure pleasure, on my list of rare Italian gems

While the accomplished heavy hitters of the Italian scene get most of the buzz, it is the undiscovered artistic gems of the lesser known groups that excite me, as they toiled in obscurity to produce their one-off magnum opus likely realizing they wouldn't get another chance. Blocco Mentale is one of my favorites, blending superb musicianship, great vocals, enthusiastic flurries of ideas, good sound, and thoughtful arrangements. While certainly not hard-edged and harsh like the more daring Italprog groups, Blocco is by no means pop drivel. They instead inhabit a middle ground combining catchy and memorable melodies with playing that is not flashy but is nearly understated perfection. The album glows with a warm organic sound that stimulates emotionally and intellectually on the musical side. Lyrically of course I cannot comment on the quality and I'm happy about that as the vocals are just another color of the sound. POA stands up with my other favorite lesser known gems like Reale Accademia, RRR, and Apoteosi in providing a musical experience that is extremely accessible and yet fulfilling enough for Italian prog fans.

Gnosis2000's Peter Thelen notes "Here's an Italian band from 1973 that, instead of taking their cue from the keyboard driven sound of ELP, have more in common with the sound of Jethro Tull, early PFM, maybe Blodwyn Pig, and perhaps early Yes as well; there are near-schizophrenic outbursts of high speed sax-driven rock going right into the folky flute and guitar textures similar to Per Un Amico era PFM. Of course there are keyboards here, piano, Hammond, mellotron, and more, but it's more an integral part of the music than a dominant force and vehicle for solos. The band has two lead vocalists, Aldo Angeletti who doubles on bass, and Dino Finocchi who also plays sax and flute. One of the two sounds surprisingly similar to the vocalist in Latte E Miele. The band creates a diversity of moods and currents within their music, moving effortlessly between styles, doing fast changes from a simpler accessible folk styling straight into ripping bits of jazz-rock, with intense involvement from all."[Peter Thelen] Dr. Progresso's web review adds "The album opens with angular staccato sax riffs and then slides into a lush melody somewhat reminiscent of PFM in their early (and best) days. There are rich vocal harmonies blended with organ and flute, and once again a Mediterranean sensibility which distinguishes much of the best Italian progressive rock. Swelling Mellotrons blend into vocal harmonies, and give way to a cascading piano line. The music moves around a lot in the course of the album. The fourth track, Io E Me, is an amazing Mediterranean blues, with a wailing harmonica taking the lead. One has the sense that the group was striving to produce a well-rounded album, rather than stamping out each track with the same stylistic cookie cutter. (This was an approach much more common in sixties and early seventies rock than it is today.)" [Dr. Progresso]

Blocco Mentale were a band from Rome who released this one-off in the most orgasmic year of Italian prog, 1973. It is slightly longer than most at 40 minutes and deals with nature and the creeping realization that man was altering the environment in ways that would eventually lead to destruction. The group released another single after this album but then quickly folded which is a real shame. A message from the band in the liner notes states "We'd like to talk about nature. With these few tracks we'd like to remind the little green world that is still around us. Maybe there could be a different world than the one we've created.maybe you could discover too all the values of life that we have been lately disregarding. With love." Nothing dated about the message although the telling of the story lyrically and visually is noted by some as perhaps..well.the main character deals with these issues via conversations with a yeah. While that aspect may come off as dated or na´ve set it aside and enjoy the fine music to be had. Eventually the band would reform under another name Limousine and have some modest success with a more commercial sound. That band folded when keyboardist Lazarri, dealing with depression, attempted suicide. He died in 1991 in a car accident while heading to a gig in Rome. Like so many other quality one-shot Italian bands, drummer Michele Arena said the label signed them up upon hearing them play and then never provided any support or promotion once the album was pressed.

"Capita" begins with a guitar/sax tradeoff that instantly reminded me of Gentle Giant but soon becomes typical Italian sounding, with the romantic vocals, warm bass, acoustic, and flutes. Nice keyboard runs and good percussion accenting some choppy sounding guitar, the moods here move back and forth from contemplative to a mid-paced rock. I think it's a very good opener with lots of thoughtful instrumental choices arranged nicely together leaving the listener primed. "Aria e mele" again begins with playful saxophone that leads into a bouncy synth that soon changes to piano and bass. Soon the piano, bass, and flute are caught in a fiery jazzy section with the drummer..breaking down into a heavy harmonized vocal section leading back to a dark Crimson-like riff briefly. Much is happening very fast so it's hard to keep up typing as I listen.usually a great sign that the music is interesting! This song turns into a real maelstrom with everyone joining into this dramatic riff that stops as "Impressioni" is connected via the mellotron. The delicate opening begins with flute over a softly picked acoustic guitar and mellotron, the perfect balance to the stormy previous track. Then in walks a delightful nostalgic piano melody over the flute and tron. Yeah, it's nice. I think even those who don't like Blocco Mentale would have to admit that "Impressioni" is a fair piece of prog. Dramatic drum rolls arise and peak with cymbal crashes as the flute gets more intense. Then it falls back as the soft first vocal verse begins accompanied only by acoustic. There are several vocalists on this album and all are quite good and never annoying, and there is good balance between amount of vocal and instrumental sections. The chorus section is very nice with the mellotron coming back and a nice build-up of bass/drums. Around the 6 minute mark the sax and guitar spar for a bit with the keyboardist and they share some riffs punctuated by starts and stops controlled by the drummer. Then Finocchi lets rip with a nice front end sax solo and the song closes nicely leading into "Io e me."

Many of the tracks simply flow right into the next song giving the album a connected feeling rather than the typical fadeouts. "Io e me" starts with a bluesy harmonica section leading to the vocal and acoustic guitar strumming. Bass and hand drumming accompany the singing and harmonic until the mellotron creeps in briefly. The next section has harmonized vocals and a California sounding hippie vibe like they spent the afternoon jamming with Bobby and Pigpen. Definitely a shift in feel on this track that offers variety but is not up to the material preceding or following it. "La nuova forza" has a heavily pounded piano opening leading into a trippy keyboards sequence spiced with flute and good drumming, then a nicely altered acoustic guitar and flute play a pretty lead in to the vocals. Good sentimental melodies with catchy refrains put this close to proggy pop music but it is so well done it goes down very easily and there is enough care to the instrumental to sell it. Beautiful vocals blend with the warm bass and offer frequent guitar, flute, and piano as counterpoints. "Ritorno" is pure heaven with extended washes of lovely piano playing and amazingly well-crafted band jamming tight and focused-great track. "Verde" features a more sugary sound again over mellotron. The vocals are upbeat harmonies and the structure is standard but the playing expressive. Certainly the least proggy moment on the album but still enjoyable.

There are two CD versions, one on Mellow and one on Vinyl Magic. While the Mellow issue gives you two bonus tracks and better art reproduction, the sound quality is reported to be better on the VM release that I have. I have not heard Mellows, but I can vouch that the sound is good on the VM. Thus you can decide between sound or bonus tracks/artwork, personally I'd take the one that sounds better especially when dealing with the early 70s period.

While POA may never be hailed on the same level as the PFMs and QVLs I must recommend this album to all Italian fans. For those who like to find the gems, this one will deliver quality playing and melodic music to your ears and I think you will like it. It is not a perfect album or masterpiece but it's a damn good one. Not every attempt works and there are other moments that cry out for some special oomph that is missed. But the unabashed enthusiasm is undeniable and the results good enough to recommend to fans outside the Italian fanbase. I'd have to put this on the south side of 4 stars but I have enough affection to round up.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Amazing Italian band from early-70's,who made just one album before fading in time...though this one was a masterpiece!BLOCCO MENTALE came from near Viterbo and released their debut through Titania Label in 1973.''Poa'' (the right word is actually ''Πόα'') is a the greek work for ''grass'',indicating the ecological approach and philosophy of the band,as the album's lyrics include themes related to nature.

Most obvious influences come from early-KING CRIMSON and PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI,if you add also some superb sax parts.I do not really know where to start from,as this album is one of the most balanced releases in progressive rock ever.The vocal work is handled by most of the band members ans it's absolutely amazing,featuring great multi-vocal harmonies based on expression and emotion than technique.BLOCCO MENTALE use a mass of rock and non-rock instruments in a awesome way,including (except guitars/bass/drums) a variety of keys (mellotron and piano are the most dominant),a heavy amount flutes and saxes and some harmonica also.The emotional vocal arrangements are greatly balanced with numerous interplays between saxes/bass/drums and keyboards/piano/flutes to create imaginative pictures for the listener.The combination of delicacy (smooth flutes parts,acoustic passages,emotional vocal lines) and complexity (interplays,sudden breaks,changing tempos and moods) is absolutely unique and stunning and ''Poa'' is listed this way among my top progressive rock discoveries ever and,maybe,my favorite prog release from 1973!A must have for any serious listener!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars BLOCCO MENTALE released only one album in 1973 before breaking up.The title "Poa" is Greek for grass, no not that kind of grass ! This album is taken up with the subject of the enviroment, hence the title.I can't tell you anything else about the lyrics as they are all in Italian. There are two lead vocalists, although everyone in the band sings. I must admit i'm surprised i'm giving this 4 stars, but it really did grow on me after many listens. Still this is barely 4 stars in my opinion. I'm thankful I have the "Vinyl Magic" release, because as Finnforest points out it has better sound than the "Mellow" issue.

"Capita" has a fun intro with sax and drums that give way to a pastoral soundscape with fragile vocals. Lots of flute by the way with some great keyboard work to follow. Passionate vocals 3 minutes in as this gets quite uplifting. Back to that pastoral setting a minute later. "Aria E Mele" features some beautiful piano melodies. Vocals before 2 minutes and some raw sounding guitar. The dissonant sax after 3 1/2 minutes is a nice touch. Two excellent songs to lead off. "Impressioni" opens with a mellotron storm. Nice. Flute follows as mellotron returns. Piano after 1 1/2 minutes as the sound starts to build. Vocals before 3 minutes as it calms right back down. Strummed acoustic guitar then mellotron 4 minutes in. A full sound returns again. Great section 6 minutes in of guitar, drums and sax. The sax and organ are outstanding 7 1/2 minutes in.

"Io E Me" is interesting to start with as we get percussion, harmonica, tambourine and strummed guitar. Vocals and a calm 1 1/2 minutes in.It gets fuller with mellotron a minute later. The song becomes a catchy, vocal led tune. "La Nuova Forza" is my favourite track. It is bombastic to begin with then the keys take over. An Eastern sounding soundscape before 2 minutes. Vocals follow. This is actually very psychedelic right here. Excellent vocals after 3 minutes. The mellotron 6 minutes in is amazing. Guitar follows. "Ritorno" is very uptempo to open with pulsating synths. Flute joins in. Piano and calm take over quickly. Vocals 2 minutes in. The tempo picks up again 3 1/2 minutes in. Sax late. "Verde" opens with synths, drums and piano. Nice sound. Flute and vocals arrive as it calms down. The vocals become anthem- like with mellotron to follow.

There is a lot here that I like. A very enjoyable listen.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars What is this, this strange this Mondo Blocco Mentale...mentally broken world?

Blocco Mentale is, in English, blocked mentality (mental block?). Namely, this word means to be mentally broken out. Although we can't understand Italian and the meaning of this word, we can realize this album work is really mentally broken world with once listening. Here and there violent horn section will come and go hoppin' an jumpin', strict rhythm section will squeeze our neck, and vocal...the most important section I think...plain and passionless but lazy and rough vocal will dirtily step and trample upon our brain. Without the typical Italian progressive rock style, this another wonderland (I wanna name this as Bloccomotive Mentaland :P) should be absolutely Italian spilitual land, of course, not tranquilizer but stimulant. Very interestingly and importantly, I consider the album should construct one era.

Let's break our mentality violently together and say good bye to the present world.

Review by andrea
4 stars Blocco Mentale was an Italian prog band from Lazio that was formed in 1972 by Bernardo "Dino" Finocchi (vocals, sax, flute), Aldo Angeletti (vocals, bass), Gigi Bianchi "Roso" (guitar, vocals), Filippo Lazzari (keyboards, vocals, harmonica) and Michele Arena (drums, vocals). In 1973 they released an interesting album called "Πoa" (that in Greek means grass), featuring naives lyrics dealing with ecological subjects, in a style that could remind of bands like Le Orme, New Trolls and PFM. Despite the good quality, the album was not successful at all and, after the release of a last single, Blocco Mentale disbanded. Later they reformed with another name, Limousine, playing in a more commercial and conventional way... What a pity! Blocco Mentale's debut work is really worth listen to and the band would have deserved definitively more credit.

The opener "Capita" (It happens) starts with the sax in the forefront counter pointed by the other instruments, then an acoustic guitar comes in melting into the dark... It could happen that the scream of a flower penetrates into your mind and wake up your heart so that you can discover new colours while thousands breaths into the wind carry away your flower and you can feel a new strength and the wish to run without a goal... "Hopes and illusions are lightly floating / Confused into the colour of that wine... You're shaking and to pluck up courage / You give free play to cry / It seems that a voice is talking to you / All you have to do is listen to...".

Next track is "Aria e mele" (Air and Apples) where you can find clear influences of Nice and Gentle Giant and bucolic lyrics... "I've come into a village / I can listen to a choir / That is telling me / This is the most happy world...".

"Impressioni" (Impressions) is a long beautiful acoustic ballad featuring good harmony vocals and a nice melody... "In a while new sensations rise / The whole body shakes / Then I realize that a flower is born... I discovered it into that pool / It was born after a long while / My smiling image that was smiling inside me".

"Io e me" (Me and I) begins in a "bluesy" way, with acoustic guitar and harmonica. The harmony vocals here could remind of New Trolls... "What you can find under the blanket of leaves / That autumn spreads on the worn out paths? / Steps, only steps... My fear of the dark melts back / By now, even if I lose my way into the wood / I'm not alone / If the eyes are friendly fireflies / I can see in the dark...".

On "La nuova forza" (The new strength) the start reminds me of Le Orme, then the rhythm becomes frenzy until acoustic guitar, flute and soaring dreamy vocals come in depicting a frenzy rising morning where an ageless slow and tired wanderer tells stories and gives hope painting fantasies...

"Ritorno" (Return) try to describe in music and words the come back in a foggy city where the only green spot that you can see is the traffic light while on the last track "Verde" (Green) the wish of people longing for "green panoramas" soars light and melodic... "Big city, we'll buy a lawn for you / On your walk sides there will be the most beautiful grass".

On the whole this work is perhaps a little bit "naive" and derivative but it's quite good and it could be an excellent addition for your Italian prog collection.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars BLOCCO MENTALE ( Mental Block) was yet another one of many progressive rock bands in the Italian scene that swept the nation in the early 1970s. Like so many others, they formed, recorded a single album, disbanded and moved on to other endeavors. This band emerged from Viterbo, a city located just north of Rome. The band began in 1972 when members of the band Oleum found the addition of singer and bassist Also Angeletti who have been around since the 60s in his own band called Aldo e i Falisci. Together they crafted this one album POA which is a Greek word that means "grass." The title appears in Greek letters on the attention- getting album cover and the subject matter was rather unique in the world of progressive rock in that it dealt entirely with ecological issues, pollution and nature as well as flora and fauna.

The band was a quintet with Aldo Angeletti (who wrote the music) on vocals and bass, Michele Arena (drums and vocals), Gigi "Roso" Bianchi (guitar and vocals), Filippo Lazzari (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), and Dino Finocchi on (vocals, sax, flute). The band made use of the fact that all the members were vocalists and the music on POA has some excellent harmonic multi-vocal parts similar to bands like New Trolls. POA is characterized by lush melodic developments with the typical symphonic prog leanings of many Italian prog bands of the day with PFM inspired compositional constructs and a knack for more saxophone fueled jazzy outbursts than was typical of such bands. Mellotrons are aplenty as are great organ and flute interplay with a strong percussive backdrop and a heavy guitar presence making POA a true rocker unlike some of the contemporaries that kept things more bucolic and pastoral.

While veering into catchier than usual pop oriented grooves, BLOCCO MENTALE still had the chops to pull out the big boy prog punches with interesting dynamic shifts, tempo changes, time signature workouts and even contains some blues and a harmonica solo on "Io E Me," a combo effect that is practically absent from most prog bands due to the fact that the progressive rock movement emerged as a reaction of replacing the blues oriented roots with more classical and jazz elements. Having close proximity to Rome, the band also implement a large dose of Mediterranean traditional folk melodies which give POA an instantly addictive charm that is backed up by all the interesting progressive elements and stellar vocal gymnastics that are amplified by the entire band's participation.

Due to the glut of excellent Italian prog in the year 1973, BLOCCO MENTALE had more than a mental block and received little attention which ultimately led to their disbanding in 1975 when members were called for military duties however they would reform in the late 70s under the moniker Limousine which took a more commercial oriented route and even won them some music contests that would propel some singles to be recorded. POA is one of many amazing testaments to the high quality of Italian prog in the early 70s. While not as brilliant as the most revered bands of the era, BLOCCO MENTALE nevertheless delivered an excellent conceptually themed album with strong catchy hooks and beautiful classically inspired progressive workouts and makes an excellent album to explore once the usual suspects of PFM, Banco, Le Orme, Museo Rosenbach and the other better known bands have been thoroughly integrated into your musical world.

Latest members reviews

5 stars It may seem controversial to some to rate such an obscure and seemingly pedestrian album 5 stars, but Blocco Mentale's ΠOA has always been one of my favorites and reveals it's true beauty over time. Like its Greek namesake "ΠOA" or "grass," Blocco Mentale plant lush and vibrant musical gr ... (read more)

Report this review (#491533) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Blocco Mentale was another excellent one-album-band from Italy. This album was originally released back in 1973, got no promotion and the band disappeared. I am sure there is one or two ex members sitting somewhere in Italy, sipping wine and have vague memories about their times in the band. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#376267) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, January 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not all Italian prog was characterized by highly intricate, symphonic movements and blazing musicianship. Blocco Mentale would be an example towards the opposite end of the Italian scene's spectrum: more emphasis on straight songwriting, vocals are at the forefront and clear pop influences. In ... (read more)

Report this review (#249723) | Posted by Area70 | Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 'Poa' ('grass' in Greek)... The ecological side of RPI! Also if my previous sentence is a great truth, vice versa is another truth that this band rose by Titania Studios in 1973, recorded a good album (printed in 2000 copies) and, as it came... It was gone. If this is the story of the band ... (read more)

Report this review (#224333) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Friday, July 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A very good album expecially for ... (let me say) ... easy listening, given the good vocals and choir sections, made of easy-to-remember "refrains". Altough even the musical parts are good and pleasant, but only sometimes original (as for the harmonica of impressioni) we are a step below other ... (read more)

Report this review (#41142) | Posted by NIC* | Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Beautifull but not so shocking and agressive, this album alternates ballads with good progressive moments, although they are not so complex. PIoa, '"grass" is a conceptual album about nature. Dont expect it seems like pfm, because its not. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1335) | Posted by | Friday, September 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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