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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Come In Un'Ultima Cena album cover
4.03 | 305 ratings | 28 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. ...a cena, per esempio (6:20)
2. Il ragno (4:55)
3. » cosž buono Giovanni, ma... (3:32)
4. Slogan (7:23)
5. Si dice che i delfini parlino (5:50)
6. Voilŗ Mida (Il guaritore) (6:14)
7. Quando la buona gente dice (1:57)
8. La notte Ť piena (4:14)
9. Fino alla mia porta (4:30)

Total Time: 44:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Francesco Di Giancomo / lead vocals
- Rodolfo Maltese / electric & acoustic guitars, trumpet, French horn, vocals
- Vittorio Nocenzi / Hammond organ, synthesizer, harpsichord, Solina, vocals
- Gianni Nocenzi / electric & acoustic pianos, synthesizer, clarinet, recorder
- Renato D'Angelo / bass, acoustic guitar
- Pierluigi Calderoni / drums, percussion

- Angelo Branduardi / violin

Releases information

Artwork: Caesar & Wanda Monti with Mimmo Mellino

LP Manticore ‎- MAL 2015 (1976, Italy)
LP Ricordi - ORL 8466 (1980, Italy) Different cover art

CD Virgin - MPICD 1001 (1988, Italy)
CD Strange Days Records - WAS-1036 (2005, Japan)

Look in "As in a Last Supper" entry for the version with English lyrics (by Angelo Branduardi)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Come In Un'Ultima Cena ratings distribution

(305 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Come In Un'Ultima Cena reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
4 stars I bought the English-language version of this album when it was released in 1976, and didn't really like it that much. I can't remember if it was the overtly religious theme of the album, or if I just didn't like the lyrics (I'm pretty sure it was another Marva Jan Morrow effort). I picked up the CD several years ago, and liked it quite a lot. Perhaps I focused more on the music since I couldn't understand the words. I wish I still had that LP; I'm sure it's worth a lot of money now. It's not a progressive tour-de-force, but it comes across as well-crafted and nuanced.
Review by silvertree
4 stars This album may be harder to get into than Banco's earliest. However, it is just as fantastic if not better. Classical piano mixed with moogs or Hammond organ along with great guitar (electric and acoustic) playing... not forgetting delicate recorder (on "E'cosi' buono Giovanni, ma"), clarinet ("La Notte E' Piena") as well as organ, this must be one of Banco's most accomplished albums. You'll find in this album "Il Ragno" which is a concert favorite. As regards the songs, well, they are pretty complex, but this usual with Banco (except for their period in the 80s but that's another story). Go get it if you don't already have !
Review by Proghead
4 stars This was the very first BANCO LP I ever bought. This was their third album for Manticore (their previous two for the label were "Garofano Rosso" and the 1975 "Banco" album), and if you own the LP, you want to make sure it comes with the booklet, that has the lyrics to all the songs. While I have always preferred "Darwin!" and "Io Sono Nato Libero", "Come In Un'Ultima Cena" is still a highly recommended album for those who enjoy BNACO, as the classic sound is still fully intact. The group went and recorded an English-language version of the album called "As In a Last Supper" for the international market (much like PFM's "Photos of Ghosts" and "The World Became the World" or RDM's "Contamination"). I am of course, reviewing the Italian language version. If you already enjoy their previous albums, you should not have much problem with "Come In Un'Ultima Cena". To me, I didn't think the album really gives any new surprises, and pretty much covers the same ground they already did before. That means you get the same dramatic singing from Francesco di Giacomo and the great classically-influenced keyboards from brothers Gianni and Vittorio Nocenzi. It's nice to see a band still staying true to themselves in 1976, whem many of their other great Italian brethern had disappeared (ie. SEMIRAMIS, MUSEO ROSENBACH, OSANNA, CEVELLO, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO,, etc.). Of course, by the 1980s, the band went the way many other prog bands (like GENESIS) that survived into the '80s: going pop.

Anyway, the album opens up with "...A Cena, Per Esempio", which starts off rather mellow, but then you get treated with the singing of Francesco di Giacomo. Since this was the first album I ever heard from them, I was thrown off by his singing, not used to a near-operatic singer in prog, but then he is definately an acquired taste. The next piece, "Il Ragno" is without a doubt, one of the finest pieces on the album, a totally wonderful, more rocking piece in traditional Italian prog fashion. I never cared for the next piece, "E' Cosž Buono Giovanni, Ma...", which is an overly-dramatic piano ballad, and I found it rather boring. The next piece, "Slogan" is more experimental. "Si Dice Che i Delfini Parlino" is a wonderful, mid-pace number, while "La Notte Ť Piena" is a wonderful, medieval-influenced piece, with some really trippy use of recorders and nice use of acoustic guitar and violin. The last piece, "Fino Alla Mia Porta" is more rock, a wonderful prog piece that closes the album.

Another great album from BANCO, and if you enjoyed their other albums, you'll like this one too.

Review by NJprogfan
4 stars I must admit, after their first three albums which are considered classics I was leary of this album, especially after purchasing their 1978 all-instrumental album, "di Terra". But for all you Banco fans who may not have this in their collection, take heart. It's ALMOST as good as their classics. What keeps it out of the running for 5-stars is the slightly subdued feeling and the fact that its a concept album based on the crucifixtion of Jesus Christ which tends to force them to adhere to a storyline. There are some incredible songs tho. The opener has a neat synth line that rolls nicely with Francesco's masterly voice rolling with it. "Il Ragno" has a Gentle Giant beat to it which shocked me. This is the first time I ever heard them sound like another band, but I will tell you it is absolutely awesome, my favorite track on the album...stunning! The track 'Slogan' has an industrial-sounding guitar slash thru the song with a flute playing under it in the beginning, then it forms an ELP-like beat. Excellent song! 'Si Dice Che I Delfini Parlino' is an agressive song, ala Kansas with the violin dueling with the keyboards and guitar for your attention then slows down with a horn playing while the master sings. A very modern sounding song which many Italian symphonic bands of this day and age might use as a template. 'Voila' Mida' has another Gentle Giant synth line beat. Another awesome track! 'La Notte E' Piena' is very pastoral, but not ballad-like. The album ends with a fantastic closer, 'Fino Alla Mia Porta' a classic Banco song that harkens to their early days. Two songs, 'E' Cosi Buono....' and 'Quanto la Buona Gente Dice' are the only songs that drag a bit. But overall the album is a stunner, not sounding dated whatsoever and is a peg lower than the classic first three. So pluck down some cash and buy this baby. You won't be disappointed!
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, I've had a listening tour de force with this album, lately. An english version of ‚??Come in un Ultima Cena‚?Ě was also released on Manticore label as ‚??As in a Last Supper‚?Ě. The translation was provided by Angelo Branduardi who also features as a guest musician on violin. This 1976 record stands as the last true prog classics from Banco. Its fame is all highly deserved. There are no epics or extended tracks, the longer being just over 7 minutes. Vocals of Francesco di Giacomo have a more prominent role but, as always mix perfectly with the superb arrengements. A more dramatic feel permeates the nine songs. In the most part Banco go on aggressively alternating moments of highest musical poetry and intimacy. This is self evident in the convincing opener ‚??A Cena per Esempio‚?Ě (6,29 mns).

‚??Il Ragno‚?Ě (4,55 mns) is another reason to make this record a must have. The song is a live favourite, a live classic with strong appeal, catchy rythm and climax. The only negative thing is that it ends too soon. ‚??E' Cos√¨ Buono Giovanni, Ma‚?Ě (3,32) is simply beautiful. A soft and romantic poem with delicate vocals. Acoustic guitar whispering to warm classic piano. One of the most romantic tunes by Banco.

‚??Slogan‚?Ě (7,23 mns) brings back the listener to the propulsive force of the band and really shocked me at the very first listenings 'cause its vague Magma flavour in the opening theatrical choral part! The second section goes slower in a sort of suspended animation.

Side two opens also magnifically with mellower ‚??Si Dice che i Delfini Parlino‚?Ě (5,50), classic piano and ethereal violin by Branduardi. Delicacy is the trade mark, again, but no soft, after all. Then it's up to my personal favourite: the impressive ‚??Voila Mida (Il Guaritore‚?Ě (6,14 mns). It opens with magical piano arpeggios alternating with mysterious drumming obsessive atmosphere. The listener remains breathless. Their most prog effort here. One of their best tracks ever. The second half apparently continues the same patterns but goes on with an optimistic and joyful theme in the best tradition of Banco. It's difficult to explain how they do it. But that's it. Just try. The short ‚??Quando la Buona Gente Dice‚?Ě (1,57 mns) virtually continues and closes the previous song. Choruses at first, then Francesco di Giacomo for an immidiate pleasure! ‚??La Notte E' Piena‚?Ě (4,14) features fabulous classic guitar and violin, again. Warm, inspired and nocturnal as the title itself. The closer ‚??Fino alla Mia Porta‚?Ě (4,30 mns) repeats the same formula of the harder parts: fast rythms, up-tempos and changing moods. A light touch of jazzy flavour with inspired electric guitar solos. The second half is astonishing with a wonderful melody wisely arranged with a dramatic formula. Great.

In conclusion: this is a classic, a longly forgotten gem that I never understood in the past. Now it's all clear outside my window.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars It is amazing to notice the ridiculously few amount of reviews that will be available for "Banco" albums after "Io Sono Libero". As if "Banco" ceased to exist after this one... It is one of the major reason that pushes me to review as many albums as I possibly can from a band. Some time, it will lead me to the most difficult and boring times in my reviewing life, but I believe it is a fair treat. At least it gives me a more global feeling about a band, and will avoid to provide advices upon a limited number of releases.

Now, "Come In Un'Ultima Cena" is probably not the one to start with if ever you would like to enter into their catalogue. But "Banco" 's music is not love at first sight (at least for me). There are many bands o fthe Italian Symphonic genre that please me more. But several of them are strongly "Banco" influenced. So, I really do reckon a great influence from this band on lots of other ones.

The short " E' Cosi' Buono Giovanni Ma..." is a wonderful example of the fantastic and so emotional vocal work performed by Francesco. Symphonic because of some orchestration, some good fluting and a great melody. "Banco" has not often sounded like this. I guess that most of the fans will consider this song as an easy one. But this is how I like them the most...

There won't be incredible songs featured on this concept album (IMHHO, humble and honest opinion). This Italian version will also lead to a translated work (very much in the style of what PFM delivered several years before this one, but that's is another story...). It is at times strongly influenced by ELP (but this is a Manticore release, right ?).

The album flows nicely. Nothing as such as those jazz-influenced songs of their first releases. The music is not as sophisticated, rich as before. But it pleases me at least as much. Some great violin parts in "Si Dice Che I Delfini Parlino" are so beautiful that any melody lover would almost fall part while listening to it. The contrast of course is huge with "Voila' Mida". The band gets back to its jazzy roots during the first half of the song. But once Giacomo enters into the scene, it will turn into a fantastic song. Quite hectic musically, but these vocals are so pleasant, so passionate, so sweet, so it, please !

The closing number holds all the "Banco" ambiguity : boring and jazzy first thalf and such a wonderful, emotional second one. Of course, this one features the fantastic Di Giacomo on the vocals. But at this time of their career, and if you have read some other "Banco" 's reviews of mine, you have noticed already that I am fuillly in love with his fabulous vocals.

Three stars for this good album. Too few highlights IMO to make of this one a four star album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This album seems more mature and refined than their earlier albums, but that just might be because of the subject matter. This is a concept album about Christ, from the last supper to the crucifixion. So one can understand why it's more subdued. Fancesco has a more prominant role vocally which is great news.

"...A Cena, Per Esempio" takes a while to really get going. Finally vocals and piano arrive before 2 minutes as tasteful guitar and drums join in. Synths before 3 minutes. A calm a minute later. Vocals are simply other- worldly. "Il Ragno" is my favourite song on here. Instrumentally it's just a joy to listen to, and don't get me started about the vocals. It's so cool that the Nocenzi brothers both play keyboards, as we can hear organ and piano at the same time. "E Cosi Buono Giovanni Ma..." opens with piano as reserved vocals come in and then recorder. Some mellow horns before 2 minutes. "Slogan" sounds really good once it gets going. It's kind of dark and intense. It changes before 2 minutes to an uptempo soundscape with vocals. A calm before 4 minutes. Piano and incredible vocals 6 minutes as guitar follows lighting it up 6 1/2 minutes in. Organ follows. Nice.

"Si Dice Che I Delfini Parlino" opens with some dramatic instrumental work including piano and violin for the first 2 minutes. It then settles down with vocals. What a pleasing section this is. It's almost jazzy with piano and restrained vocals. They get pretty passionate though as the contrast continues. Great track ! "Viola Mida (Il Guaritore)" opens with some beautiful piano before organ and drums join in. Awesome sound 2 1/2 minutes in, we get some guitar too. Vocals after 3 minutes. The tempo picks up later. "Quando La Buona Gente Dice" is a fantastic uptempo vocal led tune. "La Notte E Piena" opens with recorder as we can hear heavy breathing. Sad. Acoustic guitar then comes in gently. Reserved vocals 2 minutes in. Violin and some melancholic piano follows. "Fino Alla Mia Porta" is an uptempo song once it gets going. Some nice guitar in this section. Spoken words before 2 minutes. Vocals follow as it calms down some with some deep bass. Synths are prominant.

A must for BANCO fans, and for people who love Italian music.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
5 stars Welcome the Banco's world with full of their essence and Italian flavour!

We can feel the atmosphere of the last supper though we can't understand Italian lyrics. Starting with solemn ceremony on the first track ...A Cena, Per Esempio, Francesco's flat but plain voice spreads over us. I think he's not a well-skilled vocalist (sorry!), but wonder why his voice hits us strongly and sentimentally. Il Ragno, » Cosž Buono Giovanni, Ma... are exactly Giancomorld I wanna say. But we can't feel peace of mind ever. Slogan, Si Dice Che I Delfini Parlino are more avantgarde part of this album, then we should be pushed actively by the medulla of Italian rock world.

The point of this work is absolutely the 6th track Voilŗ Mida (Il Guaritore) I'm sure. This track is the real mixture of Italian avantgarde, progressive, classic, ...etc. etc. rocks. Maybe we can't enjoy an massive Italian flavourS in only one song. Very fantastic they could make such a product easily...

From start to end, we should be hit and moved by the work and story. Indeed there is not an aggressiveness of earlier Banco (like Darwin!), but there is APPLIED and MATURED Banco in front of us. I can't help saying them OOKINI (Thanks) for the wonderful album.


Review by poslednijat_colobar
5 stars BMS are entering the zone of pure art rock with self-confidence.

The development of this amazing band - Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, is totally in touch with one of their main literal themes - the evolution... BMS are going in their own astonishing way of evolution. If we start with the homonymous album (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso), with its hard rock elements, pass through Darwin and mentioned evolution with pure symphonic rock and the departed hard rock sound; it is followed by Io sono nato libero with psychedelic and art rock themes. Come in un'ultima cena is the next logical link into the biography of the band. The band departed from psychedelic sound of the previous release (Io sono nato libero) completely. The band departed from its pure symphonic sound to a great extent. All these thoughts make me think it's the logical art rock continuation of mixture for the band.

Again we have superior BMS in front of our eyes with Come in un'ultima cena. If BMS are the masters of composing and playing music, they are twice as masters if we talk about writing lyrics. Their verses are the best I have ever heard in the world of music as whole. First, their themes are exceptional and second, their abilities to create poetry. I haven't been translated the lyrics of this album yet, but just after I saw the cover art, I'm sure they are again magnificent.

The first conclusion is: another treasure in the bright Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's career!

The second conclusion: extremely underrated album!

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars While PFM was struggling to keep their music interesting on the outskirts of the standard of Italian symphonic prog that they had gracefully helped to forge themselves and Le Orme was losing its creative focus in their post-"Contrappunti" era, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso was still worthy of much consideration as a preserver of the progressive flame. "Come In Un'Ultima Cena" does not match the unspeakable grandeur of their first three studio efforts, that is sure, but the music comprised in this album is far from decadent or unfocused: it is still a revelation of the band's purest essence and it still conveys highest degrees of musical imagination, finesse and sense of adventure. The first two tracks, '...A Cena, Per Esempio' and 'Il Ragno' fully display sonic portraits that combine reasonable complexity and melodic sensibility in equal proportions, nurturing epic sonic developments without being really epic themselves. Yes, it was possible to be located in the latter half of the 70s and remain genuinely creative as a progressiev rock unit; yes, it was perfectly feasible not to become a progressive dinosaur before turning a 30 year old veteran musician. This is also the album that solidified the presence of Rodolfo Maltese as a provider of musical color: together with teh Nocenzi brothers' clarinet, violin and vibraphone input that augmented their dual keyboards, Maltese brought great guitar playing and the magnificent sounds of trumpet and horn to the band's orchestral scheme. This spectacular sonic trend will be properly emphasized in thealbum's highslights 'Slogan', 'Si Dice Che I Delfini Parlino' and 'Voilŗ Mida (Il Guaritore)'. It is such a miracle that these tracks should be placed in the middle repertoire, ince they create a consistent climax for the whole album. The first and thrid ones are significant of the band's penchant for extroverted moods, while the second one is one of many examples of how BMS was capable of incorporating contemporary jazz elements into a cohesive symphonic framework. The calmest pieces - '» Cosž Buono Giovanni, Ma...' and 'La Notte » Piena' - are extremely beautiful: they successfully mix the stylish elegance of Baroque/Renaissance music and the pastoral reflectiveness of Mediterranean folk, resulting in romantic songs that are very cleverly structured. Not your typical mainstream pop ballads, but soft songs that conquer your heart just like that. 'Quando La Buona Gente Dice' is such a lovely folky tune, jolly and consciously naive... why did it need to be so short? The closer 'Fino Alla Mia Porta' also deserved, IMHO, a longer duration so it could fully comprise the splendorous instrumentation that it incapsulated. These songs' arrangements, not their compositions, are basically the factors that prevent this album from becoming yet another BMS masterpiece, but it stands very. very close to this grade. Totally recommended as an item of any good progressiev collection.

Review by andrea
5 stars In 1976 Il Banco del Mutuo Soccorso released "Come in un'ultima cena" (As in a last supper), a concept album featuring nine beautiful tracks and introspective lyrics. The line up featured Francesco Di Giacomo (vocals), Vittorio Nocenzi (organ, synthesizers, harpsichord, solina), Gianni Nocenzi (acoustic and electric piano, synthesizers, clarinet, recorder), Rodolfo Maltese (electric and acoustic guitar, trumpet, French horn), Renato D'Angelo (bass, acoustic guitar) and Pierluigi Calderoni (drums, percussion). The overall sound was enriched by the collaboration with the Italian "minstrel" Angelo Branduardi that appeared on the album as a special guest playing violin. Despite an art cover that apparently is full of references to the gospels, the subject matter of this work is not religion at all as the band pointed out in the liner notes. Here a simple supper with friends is the starting point of a spiritual path that leads to the discovery of a new perspective to life, to another spiritual dimension. During the supper the protagonist let drop his usual human mask and asks for help expressing all his confusion, his lack of true relationships, his needs... Tension rises and someone says "it seems to be as in a last supper". The beautiful inlay drawing was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting "L'ultima cena" (exactly the same painting that inspired Dan Brown in his novel "The Da Vinci Code") and it's full of symbolism. The members of the band appear disguised as disciples, on the left there's a peacock with a crown of thorns in the beak and on the table you can notice a gun...

The opener "... a cena per esempio" (... at supper for example) set the atmosphere. It begins softly , then unquiet melodic lines depict the spiritual troubles and the pain of the protagonist and his need for help. "I set out the last fire to give relief to my eyes... But the scream of the earth keeps on whipping my heart / I'm nailed here to listen to it... Now I'm here among you, my dearest friends... It's to you that I'm asking for help...". The music in the middle section, where the protagonist unravels his thoughts, is tense and dramatic while the end is more relaxed and melodic. Once the protagonist has delivered his weight silence falls down and for a while the hope for a new day seems to hang in the air... "My tiredness is stretched on my shoulders... My throat is trembling waiting for the dawn / Outside a new day comes to life / And we are dying...".

"Il ragno" (The spider) depicts a hard reaction, full of rage and cynicism... "I've come here walking on the highest walls / To have a party and celebrate with you / But I was wrong / You're talking about life and death / I don't like it...". The first friend stigmatizes the attitude of the protagonist, moaning about himself like an old broke thief while you have to be shrewd and pitiless to be successful in life... "I'm the spider who looms along the darkest holes / I lay a snare for the ones who are astonished by my skilled tricks...". The rhythm is frenzy, then suddenly there's break and the protagonist answers to his cynical friend that he can't stand it, he couldn't walk following his wicked tracks towards a labyrinth with no way out. But the break is short and rhythm takes off again with the reply of the spider... "I run fast up and down / Everyone thinks I'm a wise man... In my precious shrouds I delicately cradle my preys... Take this thread! / I never bestow anything to anyone / Follow this thread and you won't lose yourself...".

"E' cosž buono Giovanni ma..." (Giovanni is so good but...) is about false and conditioned love. The music is sweet and delicate featuring piano and acoustic guitar. The second friend makes sweet and allusive promises to the protagonist but wants something in exchange (sex?). "I'll give you the honey for your lips... I'll pick up your fears / And I will be the amphora where you will drop your tears but...".

"Slogan" (Slogan) is about crowd control. The rhythm goes up and the atmosphere becomes tense and heavy like lead... "Slogan, slogan, slogan, shout up your slogan / Slogan, slogan, defend you slogan...". The third friend is an opportunist and a merciless political leader who doesn't cares even about deaths because martyrs can be useful. He is a crowd rider ready to sell out his own father to reach his goal. He can't understand the feelings of the protagonist and his reply is disdainful... "Like an albatross that's gone insane / You are looking for a space where you can fly on your own / While I have tore off my wings to breath the earth along with other people / I can't accept your troubles / Your mean thoughts are only yours!".

"Si dice che i delfini parlino" (They say that dolphins can speak) is a wonderful introspective track. The dolphins with their instinct of survival seem to show the way to the protagonist telling him that you don't have to fear the waves of life and that you must never give up. The atmosphere here is dreamy, the bass lines pulse beating like a heart... "After the storm I've been wondering for a long time among the corals / On my skin I was feeling the weight of the sea / And I feared I could never jump towards the sun again / But the desire of immensity was shaking my veins / And I came up from the abyss again...".

"Voilŗ Mida (Il guaritore)" (Here comes Mida, the healer) is about charlatans, preachers and false magicians. After a short introduction the rhythm becomes frenzy, colourful and bright. Lyrics describe a man boasting that he can heal every pain in exchange of money. Mida the healer comes on a chariot dragged by peacocks on the market square and sells things like pieces of personality, bomb proof ideals or hair spray to fix the ideas... "For your soul to heal / You have found the right man, my friend...".

"Quando la buona gente dice" (When good people say) is a beautiful short and lively track featuring strummed acoustic guitar and percussion in the forefront. It's about the role of the appearances... "Do not open too much yourself / Take care of the appearances, they are the sign of respect / Do not show yourself to the others when you are injured / Or they will hit you to death... Tie your thoughts to the thread of the night / You will be alone and nobody will see / When you'll be alone in the night untie you breaths / And nobody will hear...".

"La notte Ť piena" (The night is full) is a delicate acoustic piece featuring strong classical influences. It describes a night full of desires and frustrations... "The night is full of desperate screams / You will recognize all of them, one after another / If you carefully listen to the silence / You can hear them tearing to pieces each other...".

"Fino alla mia porta" (Up to my door) begins with an hypnotic crescendo of keyboards. It marks the conclusion of an introspective spiritual path leading to the enlighten. The protagonist had to go through himself to discover a new awareness, climbing over the refusals of his friends to recover and experience a new dimension for his life... "On the steps of your refusal / I'm coming up to my door / This time the nocturnal harp / Is playing the song of the fears in vain...". Eventually tension melts in a solemn ethereal melody. A beautiful finale for an excellent album!

Review by lor68
4 stars Well, it's not difficult to understand that after this work, where Banco was fully involved in the difficult task to split themelselves from their prog style regarding the first three albums, They immediately after dedicated themselves to make a "renewal" of the old sound, but without forgetting their prog roots...and naturally the music, despite being less inspiring in comparison to their best progressive works (think of their concept album "Darwin" for example...), was fully expressed anyway in this melodic "Come in...", above all as it was focused on vocals and their classic influence as well!!

In fact no one can deny there was a new change, especially concerning the "artistic" direction (talking about their compositions as well), which will bring a pop mood in the eighties; nevertheless They were still able- after the present album- to compose some very interesting instrumental works, before their definitive commercial or mainstream "Come in..." is an important step of the band's career, even though you won't find any ever-green or classic hits here, those are the "immortal" songs I mean, that still today They keep on playing live on stage!!...Nevermind, cause something important has been left to their prog fans, who will avoid the commercial hits of the eighties (a-la "Moby Dick", I mean...) but will keep on collecting their intelligent works, like the present one!!

After all it's worth checking out, at least!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It took Banco 3 years to produce new studio material. While common practice today, such a gap must have been a century back in the days. But luckily the band stuck to their trade and didn't wander off to soft-fusion or slick sympho like many other bands did.

We get a Banco album that still revolves around the wonderfull duo-keyboards of the Nocenzi brothers, the tasty lyrical melodies and Francesco Di Giancomo's emotive vocals. The music has nicely evolved from rocking sympho epics to shorter compositions with a very rich sound incorporating classical music influences and even a bit of avant garde. The quality of the songs is fantastic but somehow it doesn't connect with me like previous Banco albums did. I think this album misses the grinta that this band used to have. Another reason may be that the orchestral arrangements are probably not entirely my cup of tea.

Anyway, Banco is still at the top of their game and there is certainly no reason for stopping collecting their albums after Io Sono Nato Libero. Come En Ultima Cena is another very strong album. 3.5 stars+

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO seems to go through an overproductive period around mid- 70's,as they released no less than three albums only in 1976!But unlike ''Garofano rosso'',the full BANCO band is back on track for ''Come in un'ultima cena'' (and its English version) with Di Giacomo again behind the microphone.The expectations were really high I have to say...

The traces of the uneven ''Garofano rosso'' were not totally kept in the closet,as this work sounds a lot like the previous one but with Di Giacomo on vocals and in good shape.The massive keyboard attacks and the grandiosity of their early works are left behind for good,but noone can deny the talent of this band.The Jazz element are a basic ingredient of the new BANCO phase and the presented style twists from Symphonic to Jazz Rock in a blink of an eye.The general atmosphere alternates from smooth jazzy passages and also funky moments to sudden breaks and complex interplays.The problem is that this switch does not necessarily work fine for every track,not to mention the total absence of the old grand epics.Some of them are great but a few are rather confusing...but the final taste is positive.

For me this album marked the goodbye to the old raw symphonic BANCO sound and the start of a new era,combining elements from different styles.The talent and chemistry of the members achieved to create a nice work overall,not a surprise IMO,but I totally miss their early years' compositions.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No letdown here

Banco's first three albums are heralded by prog fans for good reason, they contain some of the finest progressive music out there. This title gets far less attention which is a shame as the usual letdown in quality some bands have after their acclaimed period is not present here. This is a solid RPI title by any definition. This album is in some ways their most accomplished to date, featuring incredible arrangements and wonderful composition. Yes the long epics have been replaced by shorter pieces but they are very engaging. Blending classical and jazz influenced jamming into their usual complex dramatic stew, at first the album can be a bit overwhelming and less accessible. It may not grab you as immediately as the earlier albums, but give it time and it will. Those passionate vocals, the dual keys which merge organ and fantastic piano, and the dynamic guitar playing. It's all there in great abundance. The songs range from the jamming "Il Ragno" to the gorgeous "Il Cose Buono," which features stunningly beautiful flute and classical guitar playing. They even retain some of the mischievous avant sound in "Slogan" though admittedly it is less wild than "Darwin." "La Notte e Piena" treats us to the sweet violin of Angelo Branduardi against light piano and flute, very delicate and emotional. The closing track returns to some of the album's earlier themes tying it up with cohesion. But I was astounded at how well-rounded and satisfying this album was so late in the classic RPI era, when many bands had packed it in already or were releasing lesser works. I only wish I had the Japan mini of this title, as the Virgin issue leaves something to be desired in both sound and packaging. 4 Ĺ stars. Great album.

Review by Warthur
3 stars The first album of all-new compositions by Banco since Io Sono Nato Libero (if you don't count Garofano Rosso, which didn't include lead singer Francesco Di Giancomo's operatic vocals), Come In Un'Ultima Cena is a concept album surrounding the last supper which features the band's usual stellar level of performance, with each of the shorter pieces coming together into a cohesive whole. Vittorio and Gianni Nocenzi, the group's synthesiser wizards, had used Garofano Rosso to experiment with incorporating more modern synths into the group's sound, and the results on here are rather enchanting, updating Banco's sound for the latter half of the 1970s capably.

At the same time, the shift in sound is a double-edged sword. There's an extent to which Banco seem to be playing to others' expectations of what prog should sound like here, and the new synthesisers make this feel like a clean break from the classic Banco sound. Whereas Banco felt as though they had a distinctive, individual sound for their first three albums, here it feels watered-down by the band worrying a little too much about keeping up with their competitors as opposed to simply revelling in what made them so unique.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the most ground-breaking Italian progressive groups of the Seventies (actually, of all time), Banco del Mutuo Soccorso had an interesting first few years of releases. Three landmark RPI works (the self-titled debut, `Darwin!' and `Io Sono Nato Libero'), an English language remake disc and an all-instrumental soundtrack work `Garofano Rosso' arrived within the five years covering 1972-1976, and the group also delivered a further work `Come in Un'Ultima Cena' (`As In a Last Supper') in both Italian and English versions. While it's not quite up to the genre-setting standard of their first three releases, it's still a hugely impressive, intelligent and varied work that more than ever before showcases the charismatic vocals of frontman Francesco Di Giacomo, more than ably backed up by dazzling instrumental prowess of the musicians around him.

Unsurprisingly, a work inspired by the spiritual themes and symbolism of one of Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous paintings `L'ultima Cena' proves to give the music a bombastic and rich drama, and opener `...a cena, per esempio' sets things up nicely, with brash keyboard bursts, ripples of doomy and ravishing cascading piano, a jazzy swing in amongst electric guitar bite, melting Moog runs and Francesco's melancholic croon purring away with dignity. `Il Ragno' has a bass-powered funky grooving saunter that perhaps brings the album the closest to a more accessible commercial piece, but it's far from radio- friendly and still full of Banco's trademark twitching instrumental bursts. The melody of `» cosž buono Giovanni, ma...' is deeply stirring thanks to Francesco's warm and sweet vocal over pretty synth trills, breezy flute, warm acoustic guitar flecks and effective sparse orchestration, and `Slogan' takes the album in a nightmarish direction with serrated buzzsaw-like cuttingelectric guitar splinters over gloomy piano and ballistic hair-tearing up-tempo symphonic bursts, a fanfare of blaring horns and thrashing drum spasms.

After a tense introduction, `Si Dice' is a frequently introspective piece that rises for a more boisterous chorus within its more compact framing, `Voilŗ Mida' arrives like a delirious call-to-arms with its runaway dark-jazz piano and creeping organ bristles, a malevolent bounce to its histrionic bursts and stop/start snapping twists before Francesco's voice arrives with a joyful and lighter swoon. `Quando la buona gente dice' is a spirited and lively vocal-led interlude with rapid little instrumental fills,`La notte Ť piena' a gorgeous ruminative recorder and gentle classical guitar ballad and `Fino alla mia porta' a wonderful final race of instrumental flourishes and symphonic pomp.

`Come in Un'Ultima Cena' remains a very underrated work with something of an ill-conceived lesser reputation from this important Italian group. The only problem is that they perhaps set their personal standard so impossibly high with their first three works (that remain benchmark Italian progressive discs to this very day), but close inspection and repeated plays reveals `Come in...' retains all the same vocally rich, lyrically thoughtful and instrumentally flamboyant work as those others, just crafted to a more melodic and focused work that stands proudly with great dignity on its own merits.

A disappointment? Not even slightly...

Four and half stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Review #189 Only Banco del Mutuo Soccorso would write a conceptual album about Charles Darwin's theories and, four years later, another one about Jesus Christ's last days. The return of Francesco Di Giacomo after the instrumental "Garofano Rosso" and the Italian lyrics that hadn't been presen ... (read more)

Report this review (#2668402) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Monday, January 3, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is strange to see how little votes this album has when compared to the first three albums which all have around 1,000 or so votes. Come In Un'Ultima Cena is as such the very definition of an underrated album. It is an excellent album that is worthy to sit alongside the classic three. So why few v ... (read more)

Report this review (#2637377) | Posted by Hrvat | Saturday, November 27, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The first proper album in 3 years sees album developed to a more down-to-earth version of progressive rock. Gone are keyboard layers, propulsive soloing and notes all over the place. Having a religious concept, the band chose quite a terrible cover for a concept prog-rock album. Vocals are good ... (read more)

Report this review (#2271377) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, October 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It wasn't too long ago that I began my foray into the world of Italian progressive rock, and one of my first listens was Banco's Darwin. It was only a matter of time before making the eventual leap to Come In Un'Ultima Cena, a quite recognizable but still changed beast relative to the releases that ... (read more)

Report this review (#292346) | Posted by Pirx the Pilot | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars On of the high points from one of Italy's top five prog bands. As the band entered their mid- period, this release finds them both stripping down their elaborate sound but at the same time firing out in a very confident manner. There's less emphasis on the heavier aspects found earlier in their ... (read more)

Report this review (#247943) | Posted by Area70 | Tuesday, November 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another Banco's great album! If you like banco then this album is good for you. At least this fact is right for me. Come in Ultima Cena is said bibical theme but I don't feel any religeon thing from this album. One of the reason is maybe I don't understand Italian anyway the music is very much goo ... (read more)

Report this review (#156763) | Posted by bspark | Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Come in un Ultima Cena" (which can be properly translated as "Acting Like being in The Last Supper") comes after a long period from the Banco's masterpiece "Io sono nato libero" and several group internal problems. It's a concept album based on relationships of the components among them ("E' cosi ... (read more)

Report this review (#147827) | Posted by progpromoter | Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It seems than "Come in un'ultima cena" isn't really known by Prog listeners because at the time I'm writing this review this excellent CD just had 20 ratings when three previous italian album (BMS, Darwin and Io sono nato libero) obtained more or less than 100 ratings. Ok this one doesn't con ... (read more)

Report this review (#147803) | Posted by H.NOT | Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I would rate "Come in un'ultima cena" as Banco's third-best effort, behind "Darwin!" and "Io Sono." but ahead of their debut. The composing abilities of Vittorio Nocenzi are still very much intact, as is the creative spirit of the group. The result is an album that's interesting, co ... (read more)

Report this review (#71551) | Posted by Pafnutij | Friday, March 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Work released in 1976 "Come Un'Ultima Cena". Work compact album composition feature. Tone quality is also good. It is a masterpiece of a profound drama. The variation of music has been enhanced, too. It is already an old-timer. "Voila'Mida(il guaritore)" is personally favorite. It is a work of ... (read more)

Report this review (#64331) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, January 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one of the less known album by Banco, although one of the tracks, "Il ragno", is one of the most famous ones. In 1976, after the instrumental pause of "Garofano Rosso", Francesco di Giacomo came back to write lyrics and sing: the result is this wonderful album (also released, only on ... (read more)

Report this review (#12500) | Posted by | Friday, November 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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