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FELONA E SORONA

Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Le Orme Felona E Sorona album cover
4.25 | 620 ratings | 74 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sospesi Nell'Incredibile (8:43)
2. Felona (1:58)
3. La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (1:57)
4. L'Equilbrio (3:47)
5. Sorona (2:28)
6. Attesa Inerte (3:25)
7. Ritratto Di Un Mattino (3:29)
8. All'infuori Del Tempo (4:08)
9.Ritorno Al Nulla (3:34)

Total Time: 33:39

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Aldo Tagliapietra / vocals, bass, guitar
- Toni Pagliuca / keyboards
- Michi Dei Rossi / drums

Releases information

LP Philips 6323 023 (1973)
Late 70's Philips / Successo (6323 023)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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Uomo Di PezzaUomo Di Pezza
Import
Mercury Italy 1999
Audio CD$5.60
$9.98 (used)
Felona E SoronaFelona E Sorona
Import
Mercury Italy 1996
Audio CD$5.46
$2.33 (used)
ContrappuntiContrappunti
Import
Mercury Italy 1996
Audio CD$8.37
$5.44 (used)
SmogmagicaSmogmagica
Import
Mercury Italy 1996
Audio CD$5.60
$5.44 (used)
Universal Music CollectionUniversal Music Collection
Box set · Import
Universal Italy 2009
Audio CD$86.09
$149.99 (used)
CollageCollage
Import
Mercury Italy 1997
Audio CD$4.99
$4.99 (used)
Ad GloriamAd Gloriam
Ams 2014
Vinyl$26.33
$45.88 (used)
L' Aurora Delle OrmeL' Aurora Delle Orme
Import
Akarma Italy 2007
Audio CD$15.99
$6.98 (used)
FlorianFlorian
Import
Mercury Italy 1996
Audio CD$5.73
$7.00 (used)
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LE ORME Felona E Sorona ratings distribution


4.25
(620 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
50%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (11%)
11%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

LE ORME Felona E Sorona reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If somebody wants to know what Italian symphonic rock was, this conceptual album is the perfect definition. One of the best of the prog music ever. The story tells about the people from two planets, one sad, another happy, but music -since the first second- can transport the listener to a full emotions world. Sometimes pompous, sometimes soft, and always emotive. Lots of keyboards, powerful drums, magnificent bass and impressive clear voice conforming a really beautiful work. "Sospesi Nell'Incredibile" open the album, and when you'll hear it by the first time, you'll know you are in front of a masterpiece. With "Ritorno Al Nulla", the last track, you'll confirm it. I don't have words to describe such beauty, I just can say that this would be one of those six stars rated albums. A must!

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#17869) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is considered by many to be the pinnacle Le ORME recording of all time and I must agree. Gorgeous organ/mellotron led symphonic prog with great musicianship aka Le ORME. Like so many great recordings Le ORME use sound to its fullest creating some unbelievable proggy moments with a heavy emphasis on the classic sound of piano and song structure. Like all Le ORME recordings this is far too short in length and is really a let down when it ends. The songs are very well constructed and written which do not sound dated really considering the age of the recording. "Felona E Serona" is a moody piece and seems to cover a wide spectrum of emotions!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#17871) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Another classic, with the contribution by Peter HAMMILL and the best dark imprinting by Le ORME; a beautiful suite, sometimes prolix, but often memorable too. The work at his bass guitar, well supported by the rhythmical section, is excellent and let Aldo Tagliapietra stand like an Italian version of Greg LAKE - among so many stars within the progressive scene - (except on the vocals which are different), whose production was aligned to those ones from the seventies and quite good anyway. However it should be worth as a "4 stars issue" once again, but its importance as a secure standard reference for such Italian "Dark Progressive", makes this album essential.

Recommended dark "GIFT"...!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#17873) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 03, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I remembered the first Le ORME album I ever bought. It was "Ad Gloriam", an odd pick given that album isn't what you call progressive (it was psychedelic pop). The next Le ORME album I got was "Felona e Sorona", and I couldn't be more surprised how different this album sounded. They had already released two albums in the prog vein ("Collage", which seems to only get a lukewarm response, and "Uomo di Pezza", where response is much greater), with just three guys, Aldo Tagliapietra, Michi dei Rossi, and Toni Pagliuca (the two guys from the early years had long since left the band). Without a doubt, "Felona e Sorona" is Le ORME at the top of their game, going for a concept about two opposing planets.

The album opens up with "Sospesi Nell'Incredibile", which is by far one of the best things Le ORME had ever done. There are some lengthy instrumental passages here, plus some electronic effects played on Pagliuca's Moog, while Michi dei Rossi goes wild on his drums. The next piece is "Felona", an upbeat acoustic piece, with that tone, you can be sure the inhabitants of the planet Felona are upbeat. "La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" is simply a piano-oriented piece with Tagliapietra's unmistakable voice. I, for some reason, especially the piano section, got reminded of ENYA's soundtrack album to "The Celts" (her debut, that is), which is weird, since neither of them hardly sound alike, not to mention the more than one decade gap (Le ORME used Moog and string synths, while ENYA used lots of mid-80s digital synths, Le ORME being prog, ENYA being New Age with Celtic trappings). "L'Equilibrio" is the closest to them sounding like ELP on this album, especially the piano section.

By the way, on this album, don't buy in to Le ORME as being an Italian ELP, as much of the ELP influences of their previous two albums have all but disappeared. "Sorona" has a more somber tone, every time I hear this, I can't help but be reminded of PULSAR's "Halloween", although that album wouldn't appear until 1977. You can be certain that the inhabitants of the planet Sorona tend to be downbeat and somber, judging on the tone of the song. "Attesa Inerte" tends to be a more experimental piece, with some disturbing use of synths. "All'Infuori del Tempo" is another acoustic piece in the vein of "Felona". A bit repetitive, I took me a bit to get used to. The final piece is the instrumental "Ritorno al Nulla" is an all-instrumental piece dominated by synthesizers. Without a doubt, "Felona e Sorona" is an essential Italian prog album, and definately the album to start if you're not familiar with Le ORME.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#17875) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 03, 2004

Review by The Prognaut
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I definitely can't care less about thinking over how many stars I'm supposed to give to this album and without hesitating, not once, I came up with the whole five stars. It's not about being relentless about my opinion, it's just that I just couldn't leave out a single detail from this masterful album.

The first album I ever got from LE ORME was "Florian" and then "Ad Gloriam" came to my hands; "Felona E Sorona" is completely different from that psychedelic yet absurd style LE ORME seized upon to get known in the prog world. This album mustn't be compared to some other pieces from this band or other Italian prog bands whatsoever, I think this recording is a medullar point to compare most of the bands who encouraged themselves to play symphonic prog rock.

"Attesa Inerte" is a gem within another, so moody and powerful, provocative and enticing. I usually end up my reviews recommending those bands appealed to the one I'm reviewing at the time, but for the first time I won't. LE ORME's work cannot be compared to anything, many of you will say maybe close to BMS or PFM, but I'll totally disagree. "Felona E Sorona" is outstanding, incredible, a must in any italo prog rock fan collection.

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Send comments to The Prognaut (BETA) | Report this review (#17876) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2004

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an interesting idea: a concept album about two contrasting planets, a sort of yin and yang (except that, from the album cover, the female is the lighter side and the male the darker side, which is the opposite of yin and yang). The fascinating cover - which has obviously had some thought put into it - clearly illustrates the contrast, with haunting blue-tint male and female figures shown from the front and back. Even though I understand very little Italian, the lyrics sound fascinating - I can clearly hear Aldo Tagliapietra telling a fluid story, and you really get the feeling of an epic being recounted.

This is melodious keyboard-centric music, but the guitars, drums and other percussion provide critical support and on several occasions come to the fore. There is reasonably frequent, very electronic synth but it does not sound gratuitous or out of place, just atmospheric. Given the relative sophistication of the music, it's somewhat of a surprise that just three musicians were involved. It's not the sort of flowing, rich melodious music of LOCANDA DELLE FATE (which is also haunting, but in a more romantic way) or PFM though - the atmospheric melodies sounding deeper in the most part, but not depressing or heavy in my opinion.

The first track ('Sospesi Nell'Incredibile') is often mentioned in the same breath as the album, and is touted as its best track. However to me it's just the start of the feast, as the rest of the album - to me at least - is just as good if not better. A long 'marching' intro on the first track preludes the pleasant, clear singing voice of Aldo Tagliapietra, which is not rough at all (unlike some male Italian rock and pop singers). Towards the end of the track the tune gets a bit repetitive and is less sophisticated.

The short second track ('Felona') is brilliant - I just love it and couldn't care less that it was the obvious single. It's happy, bright, starts with a peel of bells, has lovely vocals with some flute coming in later, and sounds a bit like an Italian folk tune. I can more or less follow the lyrics on this one, and they're poetry. It's LE ORME's 'È Festa'. This song makes me think of going for a walk on a sunny morning. I just can't help whistling along to it.

The remaining tracks flow one into the other as the story is told, and it's just one long trail of good music which feels very tied to the story. I wish I could get my hands on a good English translation of the Italian lyrics so that I could follow it properly. I'm not going to analyse here each track individually, precisely because they feel so unified. But I will say that the keyboards (often synth), acoustic and electric guitar, drums and other percussion are just as pleasing and symphonic throughout these tracks as on the first track, with vocals usually right up front telling the story.

Well, if any album can be called symphonic Progressive Rock, it's this one. It's not in the four-part format of a classical symphony, but it does have the feel of a symphony and the last track even ends in a drawn out, very classical symphony sounding way, albeit with lots of synth. If I had to compare LE ORME on this album to any of the Anglo-Saxon Progressive Rock bands then it would not be EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, that's for sure, but early GENESIS - I'm reminded of "Foxtrot" in places, even to the mood of the music.

How to rank this album? Although I like it very much, it's just a sliver short of perfect for me. Although there are several exquisite moments, I would have liked the music to have a few more memorable moments - a few more peaks, and there are just a couple of less sophisticated musical parts that I don't like quite so much. I would have really liked to rate this at 4.5 stars if such a thing were possible, but will go with 4 stars instead of 5 (probably regretting it later). Nevertheless, don't hesitate to get it if you want to experience really good Italian Progressive Rock. It oozes quality in my opinion.

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Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#17877) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Footprint (le orme) is a trio that souldn't be a quartet. We like it like that. Like Rush or ELP...you can taste the competence in every song. The keyboard is leading the march, but not like ELP. This is spacey, galaxianesque, interstellar keyboard. It reminds me the feel of old 70's movies with a spaceship in a travelling perspective (think of the beginning of Star Wars). I really can imagine myself in the cockpit of an intergalactical ship with a disco shirt. The drumming is superior and kinda flashy by moments, but it does not ruin anything, hopefully. The story, in my point of view, is interesting despite the opinion of everyone else. This is the first italian album that the singer's voice don't get on my nerves. In fact, he sings simply and from the heart. And his voice is a pleasure to be heard. He don't overdo anything and it's full of emotions. At many times, we feel clearly the urge or the despair or the joy from the singing AND the keyboards. The vocal part of the first track is heart-wrenching. But not sad...just melancholic. Talk about a joyful ride with the track Felona. Inspiring, to say the least. Simple but VERY effective. The last track is intense. Lots of emphasis on the synths and it feels like a countdown of self-destruction device on a spaceship, with a feminine voice informing you how much time you have to escape...just like in the first Alien movie.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#17879) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 23, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars I fear for my life just being the first to give a three star to this album but I don't understand why everyone points to this album as Le Orme's ultimate and best work. It seems (I don't know their discography and history well ) that this is their sole album where they are down to a trio (Kb trio). And unfortunately for me, I am not a great fan of Kb trio (ELP, Triumvirat , Egg , Refugee , Nice etc...) so this is the reason for that rating. What I heard on this album is ELP-ish and requires too much my forced intellectual involvment (some more complicated and destructured music require less effort in listening for this weird guy) and actually this album slides-by without my noticing it if I let my attention slip away, si I decided to try one more album - but not as a trio - before making a decision whether to like this band or not. Progressive , this album is certainly and it is also full of virtuosity but is that last one used advicely?

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#17880) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 15, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is Le Orme at their most chilling and mesmerizing: I am with the majority at indicating "Felona e Sorona" as this Italian former trio's masterpiece album. This is a concept album about two twin planets (the bright, joyful Felona, and the somber, hopeless Sorona), which stand located on both extremes of the Cosmos in order to keep the balance of the Universe the way that the Supreme God had created it. The metaphysical implications of this concept is perfectly related to the ethereal air conveyed by most of the synth sounds (for instance, 'Attesa Inerte') and the somewhat mystic drive that is used in some of the most explosive passages of the album (the best example is 'Ritorno al Nulla'). Being as they were a keyboard-based power trio, it is only natural (or almost) the ELP thing happened to be certainly influential in the maturation of Le Orme's sound, but the result was not properly ELP- ish. On the contrary, Le Orme managed to keep a distinct Mediterranean sensibility in their softer, bucolic numbers, as well as a homeland Baroque spirit in their most pompous ones - this is something they could call their own, while maintaining a link to the symphonic prog movement that was taking place in the British scene (I also notice some touch of Genesis as another major Anglo-Saxon influence on them). The superb musicianship and the fluid interplay that is continuously exposed help to build a strong connection between the repertoire and the listener: the inventiveness of the musical ideas and the cleverness of the arrangements are perfectly complemented by an emotional richness portrayed in both Tagliapietra's singing and the threesome's instrumental performances. My only personal complaint is concerning the sound production, which is a bit tiny: perhaps the strength of the material doesn't show its full potentiality. The opening track is one of the most impressive ones: 'Sospesi nell'Incredibile' comprises a combination of rocking energy, reflective mood, and an exuberant closure where power trio prog and jazz rock melt together in a sonic nucleus - amazing (but only moderately pyrotechnical) drum solo by Dei Rossi included. The folkish kind simplicity of 'Felona' and the dark melancholy of 'Sorona' serve as accurate portraits of the characters previously described. 'L'Equilibrio' and the spectacular, bombastic closure 'Ritorno al Nulla' are the closest thing to ELP that Le Orme ever created; on the other hand, 'Ritratto di un Mattino' and 'All'Infuori del Tempo' are constructed under a typically Italian-symphonic frame, creating an exhibition of sheer beauty. Not only because all tracks are linked in a continuum, but also and mostly because there is a unitary integrality functioning all throughout the repertoire, "Felona and Sorona" must be enjoyed as a whole. This wholeness is accomplished with a that makes this album a definitive classic in Italian prog - in Prog Archives language, this is 5-star material.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#17881) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars During the Seventies Le ORME turned from a very ELP inspired band into a more refined prog rock formation with a distinctive sound. The concept-album "Felona E Sorona" is their acclaimed 'magnum opus' featuring nine alternating and elaborated compositions with lush and varied keyboards (piano, organ, synthesizers and string-ensemble), wonderful changing climates and a strong and dynamic rhythm-section. The final part is one of the most compelling 'grand finales' I've ever heard: slow and fat Moog runs, repetitive organ chords, a powerful drumbeat, again slow and fat Moog sounds, then a propulsive rhythm- section, culminating in a very moving sumptuous climated featuring dazzling Moog flights and great string-sounds, what a mind blowing experience, This is the amazing Italians Seventies prog rock at its best!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#17882) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 06, 2004

Review by slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'Felona E Sorona' is pretty much flawless. I only wish there was a guitar in the mix, as their material would have benefited further from a Steve Hackett type player, but that's an obviously futile wish. Just a matter of taste. Not every prog/rock band needs a guitarist either-most of Van Der Graaf Generator's best material actually benefited from the lack of a guitar. And it's hard to hold anything against Le Orme, as this album is insanely good. This Italian trio has the same instrumental set-up as ELP: keyboards at the forefront, active bass holding down the foundation, and nimble, jazz-inflected, aggressive-yet-fluid drumming.with the bassist doing vocals. And sure enough, some of this stuff sounds like ELP's more eclectic moments on 'Tarkus' and 'Trilogy'. Otherwise, they forge a sound that bears minor similarities to Italian brethren P.F.M. and Banco.but you'll know every time you hear a Le Orme song that it's Le Orme. Delicate vocal lines, a huge array of keyboard sounds and approaches, unpredictable arrangements, shades of romantic/baroque music, crashing climactic elements, and a mastery of dramatic, theatrical songwriting.just another genius prog act from Italy!

Like Banco's opening to the 'Darwin' album, Le Orme utilizes nearly every single element of their trademark approach on blowout opener "Sospesi Nell'Incredibile". This epic firmly lays down the atmosphere of the album, followed by two fairly short interludes before arriving at second highlight "L'equilibrio". A mixture of frightened panic and wide pastoral landscapes, this song is an excellent showcase of the chemistry between the three members, bass lines creating a sinister undertow, held in check by spellbinding keyboard sounds, not to mention the gorgeous vocals that lift this song up even higher. It ends too soon, but since the album flows as if one long song, the promise of "L'equilibrio" is concluded with the gorgeous ambience of "Sorona". Immediately after that, "Attesa Inerte" attacks with a combination psychedlic/sinister rhythmic interplay while the keyboards phase and shift and hypnotize. More cosmic journeys await on "Ritratto Di Un Mattino", which is yet another song in a connected, seamless string of songs that bring this album to a close. Genesis circa 'Selling England By The Pound' is loosely referenced on this track, full of triumphant melodies and piles of lush keyboards. "All'Infuori Del Tempo" is the most conventional song here, a gentle, folk-ish sway that gives way to a medieval feeling thanks to some well-chosen keyboard melodies from master Toni Pagliuca. The Italian language is one of the few non-English languages that was made to be sung, and bassist Aldo Tagliapietra hypnotizes with his gentle but confident midrange, showcased to good effect on this song. Things come to a satisfying finale with an orgy of keyboards and frenetic rhythms in album closer "Ritorno Al Nulla", a chaotic storm of cosmic beauty. All in all, 'Felona E Sorona' is a high mark in Italian progrock, probably the most consistently written and arranged album this band would ever offer.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#17887) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Underwhelmed. I was looking forward to this album after their appearence at NEARfest. I bought the CD hoping to relive their headline act. It's just not as energetic. And, I miss the guitars. I know there's two track with acoustic guitars, ('Felona", "All Infuori Del Tempo") but overall, it's a fantastic keyboard fest with excellent drumming. But I still miss the coloring of the guitar. And, to make matters worse, Aldo's voice is in a flat tone practically throughout the album. I give it four stars for the super drumming and keyboards, but it misses the mark as a masterpiece because of the flatness and some dated sound. Although, if you're a keyboard fanatic, it's 5 stars.

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#41396) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Review by Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I had a tought choice to make when the time came to rate this album. Definitely more than a three stars, Probably more than a four, but not quite a 5. So this leads to a 4.5/5 But as the star system goes, you can only give albums full stars, and so I had to decide between afour and five stars. I felt that four stars was a better choice, as it is not perfect, but it tore my heart not to give it a five. Still, I went with the foru stars. Here is why.

This album is pure Italian Prog and one of the most representative of the genre. The keyboards under all their forms are omnipresent, and as a power trio, Le Orme thrives. Of course, the ressemblance with Emerson, Lake and Palmer cannot be denied(The simple yet melodic bass, the overpowering drums and the huge variety of tone from keyboardist Toni Pagliuca), but they definitely have a sound of their own, maybe less bombastic than ELP, but a bit more melodic and even theatrical at times(it is, after all, a conceptual album).

An excellent crescendo is created on the first side of the album, starting with Sospesi Nell Íncredibile, a song that is highly influenced by ELP, maybe the most of the album, along of course the closer Ritorno Al Nulla but it is still excellent and creat a great feeling to the album. Than the nice acoustic felona enters, an absolutely beautiful little pastoral song. The vocals are as good as they would get on the album. This is the first problem of the album: the vocals are not always working with the music. Yet, on the 2 acoustic pieces of the album( Felona and All Ínfuori Del Tempo), it works perfectly.

As high as it is rated in the prog universe, you have to have high expectations when you listen to it. This is my advice: try to listen to the album for what it is than what you would want it to be. So, a great 4.5/5 for this great Italian album.

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Send comments to Philrod (BETA) | Report this review (#50183) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "No changes outside of time, two planets exist side by side. Neither aware of the other though they are intertwined like branches of a tree." (Peter Hammill's English adaptation).

From the beginning to the end, from the form to the content, this 1973 album is really impressive! Great inventive concept about the Opposites' Theory! Le Orme imagine two planets (spheric form), Felona and Sorona, which are each the contrary of the other! The figurative representation is really catching and fascinating, quasi-ethereal with all those keyboards and mellotronic effects.also theatrical in the music's progression structure of drums and bass' parts! Many are the explanations listener often tells on this ambitious work! I think that intellectual reconstructions can be divided in two categories: philosophic one and sentimental one. In the second, always rejected as too simple, could be included all the opinions of whom think that the album is about man and woman relationship and uncommunicability! The first one theory could be divided in two further parts: reality's OBJECTIVE vision (metaphysical theory); reality's SUBJECTIVE vision (existentialist or psychological theory). These last two are not really excluding each other! The OBJECTIVE reconstruction has references with the ancient greek philosophers Parmenides and Heracletos. Parmenides was born in then greek southern Italy (in 515 B.C.) and was founder of a medicals-priests dynasty, submitted to the Apollos' cult! He thought Truth and To Be were, metaphysically, of a SPHERIC SHAPE! What's out of that SPHERE? The question is a non-sense question, for Parmenides, because saying there's Nothing, would be thinking at it as it's something!!! Heracletos was born in Ephesos (now Turkey) and teached that reality, in all its apparent motionless state and equilibrium, it's only the result of hardest and neverending conflict between the opposites!! Ying and Yang theory is the Far East's version!

Sospesi Nell'Incredibile (eng. "Suspended In The Incredible" - Peter Hammill's adaptation: "In Between") is an impressive 8,40 mns long track with many shifting moods and classical influence. The lyrics introduce the listeners to that outer space worlds: ".two planets in harmony, of opposition. The supposition is that when one is serene, then the other is sad. What of the Man in between ? He smiles on one and it's life is happy. His back is turned on the other and a shadow is cast..." (from the Peter Hammill adaptation).

Felona (the first planet) is played in bells' starting happy sound and in nice acoustic guitar: ".the house - spheres are so mobile powered by the wind, they move without discomfort to the families within. Moving as the wind blows over hill and vale, bouncing through the countryside like elastic whales! And finally when evening comes and the winds die down, the spheres are left as villages and new neighbours are found... the wind creates communities tomorrow they'll be gone, but the people just make holiday and join in happy songs." (Peter Hammill's adaptation).

La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (Solitude Of Whom Protects The World - Peter Hammill changed the title in: "The Maker". Like the previous is a 2 mns short one, but with a soft played piano and sad vocals by Aldo Tagliapietra. The lyrics show good imagination from the band: ".it's serenity.Good makes forget who is at the origin, from whom derives. Solitude is a shadow revealing itself to all who feels himself unuseful!...".

L'Equilibrio (Equilibrium; Peter Hammill changed the title in "Web Of Time") is one of the best tracks, with stunning contribution from all the members! Thanks for piano and synth, Mr. Pagliuca! ".each one takes care of itself."; ".the soap balls disappeared. The land was scarred, no longer spherical. The houses became hard like the hearts of the men who walk the streets in despair..." (Peter Hammill's adaptation).

Sorona is one of my favourite songs.soft sad sound with the horrible description of the second unlucky planet: ".in this grey land there's place for nothing but dark marshes.rare trees by now with all the weight of Anguish.there's place for nothing but lava's rivers.bright reflections are changed into viscid scales.".

Attesa Inerte (Inert Waiting) has beautiful bass guitar from Aldo Tagliapietra (Cutstone, in eglish!): ". faces that neverending Trouble changes into masks, voices that ancient Silence makes without any noise, meet theirselves to say hello to the darkness!"

Ritratto Di Un Mattino (A Morning's Portrait) is another gem here! Warm instrumental passages, nice orchestral movements: "happiness you'll not find in yourselves, but in all the love you'll give to everybody else.".

All'Infuori del Tempo (Outside Time): another wonderful acoustic based song with also good keyboards and angelic voice! ".but when Sorona's exulting, Felona's start its slow decline. Inexorable Night comes and Equilibrium soon finishes.".

Ritorno Al Nulla (Return To Nought) maybe the best track of the album, within the opener! Very strong, with a great chorus from all keyboards' such sounds! What an impressive conclusion to this album! ".Two perfect worlds for a moment exist. Sorona of happiness, Felona of bliss. If there is an ending, it surely comes here. Sorona in happiness, Felona in fear...But endings are circular and life is the line, it goes on for ever, no change outside time !" (Peter Hammill's adaption).

Felona and Sorona.don't kow exactly what they represent, probably we'll never know it ('till the moment we'll ask it to Aldo), but together in this album are the main characters of such a sublime music, such a deep concept prog album!!! The five stars are the natural consequence!!

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#50792) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 08, 2005

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "Felona e Sorona" was released in 1973 by Le Orme's "classical" line up featuring Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar), Toni Pagliuca (keyboards, organ) and Michi Dei Rossi (drums, percussion) helped in studio by producer Gian Piero Reverberi. It's usually considered the highest point in the whole Le Orme's career and one of the best releases of the Italian prog movement in the seventies: it's absolutely magnificent and it is still regularly performed in concert (often the band plays the whole of it!). It's a concept album and it's structured as a long suite telling the story of two planets. The lyrics are very poetic and I think you have to understand their meaning to completely enjoy this work.

The long and complex opener "Sospesi nell'incredibile" (Hanging in the incredible) sets the atmosphere. The incipit is powerful and tension immediately rises. Close your eyes and set off on an intergalactic journey, imagine another solar system where two twin planets are spinning... "Where the sky hides behind a jewelry of a thousand stars, behind the gold dust of another universe / Two planets in harmony are spinning together in their kingdom / Where everything does not change but Time...". Well, the twin planets are very different from each other. On the first one a perennial happiness rules while the other one is a gloomy place where you can't find anything but sorrow and hope. Their destiny is like sand running through the bulbs of an hourglass... "Behind forests of coral, behind sighs of true lovers / Two twin roses do not die together...". The final section of this track features an intense drum solo. Light spreads a breath of life and tears melt at the sound of bells...

Tubular bells announce that you have just landed on "Felona", the planet of dream and happiness. The track describing this place is a lively ballad featuring a strummed 12 string guitar. A clear light slowly rises and you can see many big white bubbles. The people who live in the bubbles go everyday from party to party. There are no secrets in these transparent spheres, joy seems to be contagious, serenity rules, women and cicadas talk about love all day long. The crystal houses move carried by the wind, they run down the valleys, fly over the mountains and bounce on the sea leaving behind them trails like comets... "At sundown the wind takes a rest / The spheres stop and form a village / People meet again and run towards each other for a new party / While the day is dying...".

"La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo" (The loneliness of the one who protects the world) is a short ethereal interlude featuring soaring vocals and delicate piano patterns. Happy people frequently forget to pray and to thank God for what they have. "The good makes you forget who is at the origin, who is the maker...". Beware! Even the maker, the one who protects the world, can feel the burden of loneliness if no one addresses to him. Well, loneliness is a dark shadow which turns out to those who feel useless...

"L'equilibrio" (The balance) is tense track full of dark energy. There's a big void between the two planets. Felona ignores the existence of Sorona and vice-versa. The enormous abyss separates the two worlds and everyone minds his own business. The destinies of the two planets are different as well, one doesn't know the night, the other doesn't know the day... Then tension melts. The maker ends up to turn his gaze to whom is waiting for his acts to give a meaning to his life... "The balance has its focus in time / And it will be established sooner or later / When Sorona will light up from the sky...".

"Sorona" describes the gloomy planet of eternal sorrow. Here you can find old cities without gardens lost into oblivion, enveloped in a thick fog as between the threads of a silkworm. Life seems trapped into the dark and even the rare plants carry the burden of anguish... "From days gone by, lost in time / In this grey land there's no room for anything but black swamps...".

"Attesa inerte" (Inert waiting) is another track describing the life on the dark planet of sadness. Faces that an eternal pain has transformed in masks and voices that an ancient silence has made soundless gather together in a peculiar concert to greet the darkness as in a never ending ritual. Sorrow rules but in everyone there's faith and hope for a miracle. Helpless people rise their hands towards the sky waiting for better times, hope keeps them alive... "A sudden light is getting closer / Now it's here!". "Ritratto di un mattino" (Portrait of a morning) begins with an hypnotic keyboards pattern. Then soaring vocals and a warm organ sound show up... "You can't find happiness in your ego / But in the love that one day you will give to the others...". Sometimes hope and faith make dreams come true...

"All'infuori del tempo" (Except time) starts with a joyful strummed guitar pattern. Now in the kingdom of darkness the light shines. In every body a blaze lights up and love shines all over the land. The sun rays dry a frightened fog while early leaves greet the wind. The future on Sorona is not so dark anymore! For a while the two worlds are both happy and a new life can begin. But as Sorona is still celebrating the new light, Felona begins a slow decline and darkness starts spreading on it. Soon the balance comes to an end and what is joy for Sorona is death for Felona. "The end is a circle, the circle is the life / You have to destroy and then to build up / We are all waiting for our day / Nothing changes but time...".

The instrumental finale "Ritorno al nulla" is like a wild ride into the space leading to an explosion. The intergalactic journey ends here. Open your eyes and wake up now. Try to face your day with a new awareness...

A very suggestive story indeed. Peter Hammill was charmed by it and wrote an interesting English version of the lyrics in 1973 (very far from literary, indeed) for an English release of the album on the label Charisma. None the less the English version, "Felona & Sorona", in my opinion is not at the same level of the Italian one. The music is the same since the only difference are the vocal parts sung by Aldo Tagliapietra but the singer does not seem at ease with English and the final result could appear almost clumsy...

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#73567) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Until I joined the Prog Community on Internet I believed Italian Progressive started with PFM and ended with BANCO DEL MUTUIO SOCCORSO, how wrong I was, probably the country with more Symphonic bands is Italy and one of the best is LE ORME (The Footstep) and their masterpiece is "Felona e Sorona" the peak of Italian conceptual albums that tells the story of two planets controlled by one same God that lives in the middle of both, almost as the center of a sand clock

Both have opposite realities, one represents the light and happiness, the other the darkness and sadness, some sort of Mediterranean version of the Ying & Yang (Aldo Taglapietra seems to be influenced by Eastern culture and is a great sitar player so I believe it's clear where the influence comes from).

If most Italian bands are soft and warm with splendid melodies, LE ORME goes further, of course the melody has great importance but is much more aggressive than bands like PFM or BANCO, you can clearly perceive the influence from YES, GENESIS and ELP but also of less friendlier bands like KING CRIMSON. Not as easy to get into as the other Italian icons, but once you capture the interest is absolutely rewarding.

I will try to use the real translation (Of course limited by my rudimentary Italian knowledge) of the titles not the ones used by Peter Hammill in the English version.

The album starts with "Sospesi Nell' Incredibile" ( "Suspended in the Incredible"), a song that starts extremely complex and reminds me of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic) with radical changes not only of timing but also of mood and volume, the keyboard performance by Antonio Pangliuca is outstanding, around the middle the haunting voice of Taglapietra surrounded by an atmospheric organ marks a first radical change is absolutely creepy and full of drama but that's not the only change, the song ends in a more melodic mood reminiscent of ELP with some keyboard pyrotechnics clearly inspired Keith Emerson.

The second track tells the story of one of the planets "Felona" almost the paradise, people lives in transparent spheres that float with the wind during the night and touch ground in the day for the people to gather and celebrate because all their basic needs are provided. The music is absolutely descriptive, warm and happy almost as a feast with bells and drums, an almost Folk Medieval flute helps to get the idea better, typical example of Italian Symphonic, not as complex as the previous but important for the concept.

"La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" (The Loneliness of He Who Protects the World") is a very short an oneiric song with dreamy vocals surrounded by a soft piano that describes the loneliness of the maker.

"L'Equilibrio" (The Balance) Is a track about how in certain moment the things will be balanced, Sorona was happy once, now is the turn for Felona, an excellent track, vibrant, strong again with heavy ELP influence and an excellent drumming by Michi dei Rossi but ends softer and calmed as telling us that things may and will in some moment change when God turns his face to the other side, but the secret of the balance is that none of the planet knows the existence of the other.

"Sorona" is the story of the other planet, once happy, now sad and dark, the people have tormented faces because of the suffering and the music is simply perfect, one of the most obscure pieces of music I ever heard, almost a shout of desperation, fear and loneliness.

"Attesa Inerte" (Inert Expectation) is a song almost in the dark vein of the previous but almost narrated instead of being sung and describes how the inhabitants of Sorona gather to pray for the miracle but without doing anything, the organ sounds almost religious to make the perfect atmosphere.

"Ritratto di un Mattino" (Portrait of a Dawn) starts as another somber and dark track with keyboard effects and in the middle a short verse that says something like "You can't find the happiness in yourself but in what you give to others in one morning" and in that moment the music dramatically changes into a soft and beautiful melody with a classical Italian flavor.

"All' Infuori del Tempo" (With the Exception of Time) starts with an acoustic guitar performance by Aldo Taglapietra that soon is joined by the keyboards and drums, describes how the things are getting better in Sorona, but to keep the balance the happiness also starts to vanish in Felona. The music describes this situation perfectly, the first part is soft and gives a sense of tranquility as things change in Sorona but the second part of the song despite it keeps the same melody has a darker mood, slower and ends completely haunting with a magnificent organ solo.

"Ritorno Al Nulla" (Return to Zero), I guess the things are balanced for one instant in time, Sorona returning to happiness and Felona in the way to the dark fate that once had the other planet, the song is incredible, surely one of the best closers I ever heard, the band hits us with everything the have, the Baroque sound is glorious and pompous, hardly heard anything so spectacular, Symphonic Prog at it's best.

I have only heard part of the English version, but please stay with the original and search for a translation, as in the case of Classical Opera, Felona E Sorona shouldn't be listened in other language than Italian, the phonetic structure is absolutely perfect.

There's absolutely no problem in rating the album, 5 stars without any question.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#88822) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 02, 2006

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Felona E Sorona" isn't an album for LE ORME beginners - for those trying to initiate with the band I recommend their two previous albums, much more accessible, of course. Anyway, it doesn't mean that "Felona E Sorona" isn't great or even tasteful - it is, but if you know the band history and backgrounds it'll sound better and much more appreciable.

Here we have a typical concept album where songs/tracks work better or in their plenitude if heard along the context, I mean, when hearing the album from one point to another. It's hard to pick an individual song and play it separately - "Felona E Sorona" could even have no groove to divide the tracks. Also a bit astonishing is to realize that some of the most ingenious sound achievements are found within the shortest tracks herein (taking in consideration the track division provided for the album).

'Sospesi nell'incredible' opens the album in a weird, astounding and sometimes thrilling approach: a cornucopia of different sounds ranging from symphonic rock to space-psych, with traces of experimental, avant-garde, jazz, folk and erudite tunes. Vocals are soft and cool like doing a kind of introduction to the tale of the two entities to be told, but counterbalanced by strong and decisive drumming and remarkable keyboard action.

'Felona' is short and delicate, with its flutes and acoustic guitars, spinning totally the feelings proposed by the previous track while 'La solitudine di chi protege il mondo' brings a beautiful melodic line which is able to carry the listener to a dream in less than 2'. With 'L'equilibrio' the impacting sensation left by the opener track returns grandiosely; evidence of EL&P and YES influences isn't capable to demean the work.

'Sorona' is sorrowful and poignant standing musically much like a romantic song. 'Attesa inerte' continues the balladesque melody of antecessor track but soon the atmosphere is replaced by odd sounds that catch the hearer attention. Ritratto di un matino' acts like a symphonic interlude where the nice tunes heard in 'La solitudine.' return briefly to decorate the scene. 'All'infuori del tempo' brings back the delicacy seen previously this time impregnated with more powerful arrangements but the tenderness is lost somewhere along the way making this track a bit boring. 'Ritorno al nulla', the ending track, starts with excessive synth presence very reminiscent of the EL&P features which provides a feeling of déja vu that contributes few to the track and the album in general. Anyway, the massive and imposing final segment supplies the album with a fine last impression.

"Felona E Sorona" is truly a great output and once one is used to LE ORME I'm quite sure that the amusement will be attained. However, when talking about rating my heart swings between the pure masterliness and the excellence per se - this time I'll choose the last one. Total: 4 stars.

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Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#141228) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007

Review by FruMp
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Underwhelming and lacking substance.

This is one of those occasions where my opinions go against the generally widely accepted ones of an album, Felona E Serona just feels as if it is lacking to me, it does have its share of good moments but they are few and far between. The album starts off strongly with the 8 minute Sopesi Nell'incredibile with some compelling synth and organ work but it is spoiled somewhat by the weak high-pitched vocals, the song ends well though with some appropriately 'incredibile' (couldn't resist) drum soloing. From there on things are fairly mundane with a more pop based approach plagued by poor vocals and boring acoustic guitar, 'Attese Inerte' is a definite highlight though with strong harmony and a triumphant chorus. The album ends on a fairly strong note too with the instrumental Ritorno al Nulla invoking emotion with a classically inspired dramatic approach.

Felona E Sorona is decent but it is quite flawed, it lacks depth, the vocals are weak and it departs a little too often from the symphonic prog parts into pop territory plus it is a mere 33 minutes long. Recommended only to fans of Italian Symphonic Prog.

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Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Le Orme released a succulent album a year prior this one. Uomo Di Pezza surely belongs to their best work ever written

I feel that this one lacks some of the grandiose vocal harmonies, poignant songs of its predecessor. This is also a very much less ELP oriented album (actually it is not). Of course, I'm missing some more guitar work (but I felt exactly the same during Uomo.).

There are really too many short songs on this album. Not the ideal format to develop powerful ideas and to demonstrate how great a prog songwriter you are. But this cost already the five star rating toUomo..

There are no weak song featured on this album, but I am lacking the brilliance, the extremely melodic feeling, the excellence of Uomo. It was of course difficult to do better.Felona & Sorona is a good album but I am somewhat disappointed with this work.

I know that comparison is no reason, but I really believe that Aldo Tagliapietra was much more lyrical, passionate and truly phenomenal during their previous album. He added so much feeling to this work. In this release, he is good. No shivering track, not that same emotion that could be felt on Uomo.

Of course there are some great moments on this album (the finale of Ritratto Di Un Mattino for instance. But so short...There are no highlights as such IMHHO on this album. Just a sum of good track. Iam not very sensible to the concept that is supposed to drive this effort either.

Three stars for this good album.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#158969) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It may take you a while (as it did me), or it may be instantaneous, but eventually you'll come to appreciate this fine album from Le Orme. As the black-white contrast on the cover hints, there are impressive contrasts in moods, from happy, major-chord-dominated songs, to spacey and menacing bits. This album still has that cute, unmistakable charm of Italian symphonic prog, but some of the happier parts seem quite folksy to me (similar to Harmonium perhaps). Either way, Felona e Sorona is a fine album.

The highlights: Sospesi Nell 'Incredible, L'equilibrio, Ritorno al Nulla. These songs are the faster and heavier songs on the album, and Sospesi and Ritorno open and close the album, respectively. Based on my limited exposure to Le Orme, they apparently know how to put their best material in the most important places. Sospesi opens with classic prog playfulness and countermelodies, and then merges into a grandiose chorus, and finishes with an excellent spacey freak-out. L'equilibrio may be the highlight of the album for me, particularly the inspired, 5/4 piano bridge. Closing out the album on a high, Ritorno cranks up the intensity with a key and synth-dominated, menacing build. If the whole album was equal in quality to these three tracks, it would be a five-star in my book any day.

The rest. I must emphasize that there are no bad songs on this album, as you might expect. These songs are generally simpler, and to my ears largely less interesting, than the others. For those whom the charming aspect of Le Orme is a highlight, then you will be very pleased. Of course, even I have to acknowledge the remaining brilliance of this album, including the irresistibly catchy Felona and the gorgeous climax of Rittrato di un Mattino.

In short, I prefer music with a little more bite than much of this album offers, but objectively I certainly appreciate the beauty of this album in its entirety. I certainly don't mind that it's relatively short: if it's consistently good and coherent, then it's much better by me than an album packed with filler. Although I would not consider these guys to be virtuosos, they have created an alternatingly beautiful and eerie album that really works.

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#162670) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 25, 2008

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Continuing with my exploration in the world of RPI, the turn has now come the second of its three giants, namely Le Orme. Blinded by the light that PFM turned out to be, I was eagerly anticipating more Italian prog, and in retrospect I might have expected just a little to much. At first I actually found Felona E Sorona hugely disappointing, and I constantly lost attention during the first listens.

But with so many glowing reviews and recommendations, you're always left with this feeling that you must be mistaken, that the rest of the world stands laughing at your ignorance, leaving you confused and frustrated wondering what's wrong. So luckily, I gave it more time. And that changed, if not all, at least a great deal of my opinions considering the album.

Le Orme plays a very keyboard-oriented kind of prog and just as with ELP, the occasional guitar is more an exception than a rule. But the sharp angularity that often riddles the works of Keith Emerson is transformed into a more mellow, melodic and melancholic form by Le Orme. Being a mixture of darker and lighter songs, it still is the melancholia that stands out. Compared to PFM's Per Un Amico, this is a very, very gloomy album, almost disturbing at times. Lonely. This is something the band achieves with great skill and success, making use of all you can get from the keys at that time. Pompous, soaring organ for atmosphere and texture, intricate melodies, classically arranged piano and spaced-out effects form the basis, or rather, IS Felona E Sorona. Even the sometimes flamboyant, skillfull and heavy drumming of Michi Dei Rossi or the times when Aldo Tagliapietra's bass enters from its place somewhere down in the massive keys' undergrowth can't prevent that.

When listening to the album you realise that there are very few highlights among the nine songs. And since this equals consistency and sticking to the concept of the album it is in some way a good characteristic. But it's just the same thing that, together with the clear, smooth voice of Aldo's that make the album very concentrated and hard to grasp. It seldom rises from the mellow mid-tempo, songs lack clear hooks and crescendos and it just gets a little blurry after a while. Aldo never reaches emotional peaks, his phrasing remains innocent, emotional and sad, even though he's got a fantastic voice I immediately accepted and praised. It's no wonder then that my two stand-out tracks are the opening and the closer, Sospesi Nell Íncredibile and Ritorno Al Nulla respectively. Because these tracks are the ones that adds some true dynamics to the album, with some much desired action and surprising changes. The latter of the two is one of the most stunning album finals I've heard so far, which says a lot. Ending with an unrivaled feeling of feverish uncertainty.

Just as with PFM's L'Isola Di Niente I feel some amount of irritation and slight disappointment after hearing Felona E Sorona. Perhaps with more time and in the right mood I'll learn to appreciate it fully, but as it is right now, it doesn't stand out as a masterpiece. 3,5 stars, going for 3.

//LinusW

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Send comments to LinusW (BETA) | Report this review (#166049) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is probably Le Orme´s most prestigious record ever. And rightly so. It took me a long time to get this album, although it was very popular among progheads in Brazil during the 70´s. Even though I share with Sean Trane a certain dislike for this kind of trio (Keyboards - bass - drums), Le Orme´s work is so powerful I always had to make an exception (along with Triunvirat).

Le Orme´s greatness lies basicly in the fact that the band has a unique chemistry: band members are extremely skillful, but the sum is bigger than its parts. And the songwriting is the focal point: far from just fooling around showing off their technique, they are much more concerned in producing fine music together. Besides, the group also have in Aldo Tagliapietra a stunning singer, which makes all the difference from many other trios.

The Music in Felona E Sorona is not as accessible as their earlier work, it takes some time to get used to, but once you get it, you´re hooked. The melodies are memorable, it´s a labor of love and inspiration. The arrangements are great and the band´s sound is very tight. It´s really hard to believe it´s only 3 guys playing. It may be a little short for today´s standard (only 33:39), but what a beautiful short piece of music! The quality is absolutely top notch. The right production also helps a lot.

One of the best releases of the 70´s, no less. It helped stabilish Italy as one of the best sources of prog music in the world. Even today Felona E Sorona stands as a major piece of world´s prog rock. A classic album that anyone interested in symphonic prog music (italian or otherwise) should have.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#167246) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Colliding universes, the realities of a life that has conflicting emotions where the fine, fine line between pleasure and pain seem to keep the blood flowing, forever on the verge of falling down the endless abyss. Alter egos, yin and yang, polar opposites and Murphy's Law, it's all about the simple complexities that can be found when art imitates life. Le Orme really soared to celestial heights when putting this concept masterstroke together, deliberately choosing the epic battle between light and dark. "Felona e Sorona" are two planets at extreme ends of the universe and can be a metaphor for a vast quantity of players, from man and woman to good and evil. The musical tone can also go from somber and aggressive symphonics to sweet and pastoral quasi-Italian folk music, befitting the story of the never-ending feud. Few records anywhere will initiate such a rush as the first notes of "Sospesi nell'Incredibile", a spooky and dense sonic holocaust with Toni Pagliuca's devastating organ and synthesizer, initially with a similar feel to Ange's Le Cimetiere des Arlequins, Aldo Tagliapietra poking massive bass markers and the savage drum assault by the "Bonhamesque" Miki Dei Rossi. When Aldo introduces his instantly recognizable voice, the piece luxuriates in such a groove, that it's hard not to swoon in delight, his reptilian bass slurping malevolently as the synth whistles in frenzy. There is a slight ELP hint which should come as no surprise but the pastoral contrasts take this into another galaxy, as "Felona" sounds more like a "canzione", a brisk, joyously limpid ballad that elicits a sense of "insouciance". "La Solitudine." is a brief piano propelled interlude, with Aldo's voice ascending to a higher plane introducing the shimmering "L'Equilibrio" with slashing organ blasts, bubbling bass, dancing synths and incensed drumming , all conspiring with the rollicking jazzy piano. "Sorona", the reverse mood to the bucolic "Felona" is created by proposing a somber dirge, with Tagliapietra's beseeching vocals evoking a sense of despair and harrowing melancholia. "Attesa Inerte" gradually returns to more overt symphonics, the elastic bass whooping sardonically and the buzz of the synth jousting with the strident organ. "Ritratto di Un Mattino" has a more pious feel to it, with a grandiose theme adorned with some electric guitar, piano and tubular bells. The gentle touch of "All'Infuori del Tempo" suggests a simpler almost medieval melody, acoustic guitar and flute-toned organ endowing the theme with a halo of peace. "Rottorno alla Nulla" is exactly that, the hypnotizing loop is complete, the full orbit is done, back into the clashing synths and the thrashing cymbals universe of the two planets at opposing ends of the spectrum. A short blazing supernova and a necessary monument in the ISP landscape. 4.5 moons

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#170636) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008

Review by Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars While the cover art has you expecting some stimulating music, you will find that such is not the case with Le Orme's masterpiece, Felona e Sorona. While the band possess a charming Italian sound with a plesant vocalist, their work lacks some musical depth. Ideas tend to be underdeveloped and instrumentals tend to be foregettable. One glaring exception is "L'Equilibrio," which in a mere 3 and 3- quarter minutes flows from a rockin' synth lead with impassioned vocals to another rockin' synth lead backed by a solid tom beat which unexpectedly moves into jazzy instrumental section and out into a melodic and climactic ending. It's hard not to sample that track and not buy the record (such was my mistake).

The band does have a nice balance to their sound. They have heavier passages among passages that approach pop territory, and it all feels natural. They have some good hooks, and the opening number gives them a lot of room to strut their stuff, which indeed they have. The problem is the album lacks development. All of the songs seem to end without closure, or without really expanding on any good ideas the band presented, and next thing you know you're on to the next song. However, while they may have stuff to strut, that opening number is actually overlong. It's almost 5 minutes longer than the next longest song on the record, but that time difference is mostly due to a large jam section in the second half. It has a couple of cool basslines, but the solos are unfortunately forgettable. To make matters worse, the production is semi-fuzzy and devoid of any punch.

Fans of the Italian prog rock sound will be swept up at the start of this one, but a closer look at this album will reveal incompletions, though it may not bother some. Obviously a multitude of prog fans love this disc, but for those not as easily taken with the Italian symphonic sound, ownership of the album may result in a dusty case and a pristine disc.

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Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I really didn't expect this to impress me as much as "Uomo Di Pezza" but it did. This one is spacier and darker, probably to suit the cosmic concept of this record. And so we get a lavish array of synths on this one.

"Sospesi Nell'Incredibile" is a song that cannot be propery described because of how moving and uplifting it is. It opens with a very impressive drum / organ passage before that section stops 2 minutes in and then those gorgeous vocals of Aldo come in with waves of organ. Gulp. Stronger vocals 4 minutes in are followed by some great drumming and synth work. This is truly amazing ! The drumming is just so impressive. It gets spacey after 7 minutes. "Felona" features strummed guitar with vocals.This is fun and light until the fuzz organ arrives a minute in. Flute late. "La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo" is spacey with distant sounding vocals to open. Aldo then sings beautifully as piano joins him. It's spacey again to end it.

"L'Equilibrio" features organ, synths, vocals, piano and drums that all come and go making this song a great and interesting ride. "Sorona" is a 2 1/2 minute song that features mournful vocals with synths and gentle guitar. "Attesa Inerte" opens with orchestral-like sounds before string-synths come in with vocals a minute in. I love when the beat comes in before 1 1/2 minutes. Organ 2 minutes in. This is such a cool track. Themes are repeated. "Ritratto Di Un Mattino" is spacey to start with. Vocals join in around 1 1/2 minutes. A gorgeous melody comes in before 2 minutes. This is so uplifting. It settles right down with piano 3 minutes in to end it. "All'Infuori Del Tempo" opens with strummed guitar as reserved vocals join in. Organ comes and goes. Drums and a fuller sound after 3 minutes. It's spacey to end it. "Ritorno Al Nulla" is the closing instrumental. Synths and drums dominate in impressive fashion.

I do prefer "Uomo Di Pezza" (I think) but both are masterpieces in my opinion.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#179869) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a masterpiece Italian progressive rock album by Le Orme (one of three progressive acts from Italy with other acts were Banco & PFM). The music is original in style even though there are styles that remind me to bands like The Nice, ELP, Refugee, Genesis and Yes. The key elements of the composition comprising keyboard as major act while bass guitar is also quite dominant, followed with drums. They wrote the music with tight composition, dynamic time signatures, quite complex yet the melody has been maintained catchy and there are heavy influences of classical music.

Melodic Symphonic Prog, in Dark Mood ..

The album opener, "Sospesi Nell Íncredibile (In between)" (8:43), is an inspiring and challenging to observe. It starts with ambient yet energetic organ work in symphonic style reminiscent of ELP or the Nice or Refugee followed with drumming in dynamic way plus bass guitar work. The first 2 minutes plus, the music deals with acrobatic nature of organ work until at approx minute 2:25 when the vocal enters in dark mood. The organ follows the music at background. In the middle of the track there is stunning organ work augmented by tight bass lines .and later, the drumming enters dynamically and combined together they make great progressive sound. It's one of my favorite tracks.

"Felona" (1:58) is basically an acoustic guitar, accompanying vocal, while the next track "La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (The maker)" (1:57) which has catchy melody demonstrated by vocal, backed up beautifully by piano touches in classical music style. The organ solo at the end of the track is really a great embarkation point to higher energy track "L'Equilbrio (Web of time)" (3:47) which flows brilliantly at the end of previous track, seamlessly. This is another great composition as the music style changes from one segment to another. The keyboard work at approx minute 0:38 demonstrates symphonic nature of the song. And the bass guitar plays dynamically here. The keyboard work at minutes 1:22 is quite similar with Genesis "The Fountain of Salmacis". Influenced? It might be . as "The Fountain of Salmacis" is from "Nursery Cryme" album released in 1971. But overall, this track is superb!

"Sorona" (2:28) is a very melodic and nice song in acoustic version, no drumming, with dark mood. I like the way how simple keyboard work augmented by simple guitar fills provides great foundation for "melodic" vocal to enter the music. It's so sad in nuance, dark, but it's truly a nice melodic vocal line. Especially, because it's said in Italian language and I think Italian is the best language for progressive music. It's better than English, really. Just compare this track with ELP's "The Sage". I think you will honestly say that "Sorona" is much better. Don't believe with me? Try it now!

"Sorona" flows wonderfully to next track "Attesa Inerte (The plan)" (3:25) which starts ambient with great symphonic multi-layered keyboard sound augmented by nice bass guitar work. At 0:48 the music changes the style and .. oh my God! The vocal line enters brilliantly here, in similar vein like "Sorona". Again, the use of Italian language has made the song sounds so solid. The music turns to ELP-like with its keyboard-driven work. The song moves seamlessly to "Ritratto Di Un Mattino (The Balance)" (3:29) which the first half is an acoustic keyboard work and the later half comprises drums and other instruments.

"All Ínfuori Del Tempo (Return to naught)" (4:08) sounds like different style than the previous tracks even though still in the corridor of Italian typical prog. It uses acoustic guitar and vocal in straight forward composition. Full music only appears at the end of the track. The album concludes with "Ritorno Al Nulla" (3:34) through the sound of long sustain keyboard followed with brilliant organ work and drumming that reminds me to The Nice or Refugee. This last track is a nice instrumental.

Overall, what can I say about this masterpiece work with killing melody in almost all individual track? Considering the year of release, you might compare this album with Genesis "Selling England By The Pound" or ELP "Brain Salad Surgery" and this album is at par excellent with those two legendary albums. I consider the music of this album is a melodic symphonic prog with dark mood. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#183262) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 22, 2008

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
5 stars 01. Sospesi Nell'incredibile Keyboards! Time broken! That breaks that arise, and bells ...! Nice way to show the impact in another way. Enter the voice. Aldo beautiful voice, and the spaces fill the music. Yes! spaces, as would Roger Waters, the secret is in the time that you do not touch and not on what you play. Low battery and the front with the keyboard as a secondary role of melodist. The only great song on the disc (8'43), all others are short and interconnected. Syntetizadores come and change the tone music with the battery in an unusual time (emphasis on the excellent Michi Dei Rossi).

02. Felony Felony already open or you realize that without Sospesi Nell'incredibile ended, guitar and vocals give this song superb tone. Almost a folk is not the meeting of synthesizers that permeate the music, percussions expert gives a special flavor, a small section of flute and ...

03. La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo The trip back, with beautiful arpegios of keyboards and vocals in space. In the end everything changes preparing ground for another beauty that comes.

04. L'equilibrio Urgency is the word that comes to mind listening to this song, a small portion of the disk of desperation in making haste to think of everything. Great emphasis on the bottom row. Keyboards come with tremolo and sounds unusual, to then lead to the piano and time again broken reign, only a preparation for the end of a more beautiful song already seen.

05. Sorona Opening to what would be the next 2 to LP, a melody begins bucolic fella 's of things that do not live Aldo sings with the heart, the soul. Beautiful!

06. Attesa Inerte We started with an unusual timbre of keyboard and (Toni garimpava sounds with certainty, which for a progressive band is amazing), you then make the tone synthesizers' F1 'to the song (listen and understand what I mean) while Aldo sings in different time of the rest.

07. Ritratto Di Un Mattinò Strange, a little scary! Thus begins almost as Endless Enigma Trilogy Part 1 of the band Emerson, Lake & Palmer (without wanting to compare), the movie soundtrack of suspense / horror, which you then toast us with a sweet melody, almost holy. A short epic and beautiful. Bells and piano warn us that it is the time ...

08. All'infuori Del Tempo To that All'infuori Del Tempo pulled start of guitar and voice interspersed body of a keyboard type of church, increasing the feeling of 'holiness' and the disc becomes calm.

09. Ritorno Al Nulla Instrumental single disk, a kind of End of the World, an urgent keyboard gives the signal. Actually it is not the end of World but the outcome of a classic and beautiful heady.

This disc has to be heard by any lover of progressive sentiment, if you like the music that touches your soul, get this disc sit and enjoy!

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#196916) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 02, 2009

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A masterful composition of mood and color

Review #600 should be marked by something special. We finally arrive at the pinnacle of the Orme brand, or so we've been told. I admit to being in a state of great anticipation over this album after reading the reviews and soaking up the wonderful album cover, wonderful not because of the nudity but because the style is so European. I love the profile view of the face at the right side of the cover which reminds me of an old Antonioni film.... "L'Avventura" anyone?

While their previous album was a huge advancement over "Collage" this album does not make the same grand leap in quality or technique over "Pezza", but it does make changes in mood and composition. You still have the dependable and formidable Orme attributes: the warm and melancholic vocals, the comforting bass presence, the keys over guitar paradigm, and the crisp and fluent drumming. But here some of the arbitrary bombast and obvious melody of the previous album is replaced by a murkier, artier, more esoteric listening experience. As Linus brilliantly noted this music is "lonely" and also distant.....detached somehow. Yet it remains full of the substantive intricacies that make Orme so appealing. Tommy Schönenberg from VintageProg.com calls this one "their most original-sounding album, as Pagliuca now had taken full advantage of the synths (both Moog and string-synths) and made them one of the most important features in the sound of the record. Even many of the organ-chords had been layered with the synths, often making it hard to distinguish the two keyboards apart from each other, resulting in a very unique sound." I am mystified at reading several reviews that suggest "Felona" has no highlights to be found, as I hear them in every track. The entire work suggests the highlight of a career, and to date I've not been more impressed by an album from the "Big 3" of Italian prog (although there are still some Banco titles I need to hear.) You will also read that this album is an ELP clone and while there are stylistic similarities, Orme succeeds by focusing on mood and detail over fireworks. I've never been moved by ELP melodies to the extent I've been here.

For me this is the best Orme title I've heard thus far, very close to a masterpiece by any measure. Whereas "Uomo di Pezza" seemed a more benevolent face for Orme, at turns nostalgic and beautiful, "Felona e Sorona" gets under your skin in a less comfortable but more seductive way. I'll agree this one takes longer to fully assimilate, but once your brain begins to dissect the layers here you will never lose your appreciation of this music. Layered and intelligent, nearly perfected arranged, and flawlessly constructed songwriting. Much more than the previous two albums, here every note from the first track seems destined and engrossing. I believe Orme learned much from the experience of the prior albums and were able to combine that experience with what was still a firm commitment to the majestic and flowery progressive epics of the moment. They had not yet switched gears in musical thought and the result is that "Felona" is the album where it all came together for this band. Listen to the way Aldo's bass takes over as lead in the mid-late sections of "Sospesi Nell 'Incredible" or the way they can drop gears from that ferocious opener right back into a folksy, light acoustic number like "Felona" without missing a beat. Both "kinds" of tracks are equally and lovingly adorned with much care around the edges, delicate piano twinkling, bells, the crispness of the strummed acoustic, the floating mellotron. The perfect transitions of tension and release, such as from "La Solitudine" to "L'Equilbrio", and the achingly beautiful melodies throughout are so impressive to me. The quiet guitar, the spooky drapery of melancholy that opens "Sorona" on side two will stop you in your tracks, makes you close your eyes and listen. The heavenly melodic conclusion of "Ritratto di un Mattino" has to be among prog's most beautiful moments---if it doesn't move you, your heart must be offline. Another perfectly ascending, long transition follows from "All 'Infuori" into the final track which is the most extroverted of the set, a true finale! The scant 33 minute running length is often decried by people as a negative; in fact, it is never the quantity but rather the quality that we should focus on. "Felona" plays very much like one continuous suite and the length is more or less perfect to me. It also has aged very well and sounds positively fresh. While many bands have claimed on Orme influence over the years, none get close to capturing the balance of factors that made the original so great.

"Felona" in some ways is more modest and less grandiose, less "over the top" than the period giants like Topographic or The Lamb. And yet it is every bit the masterpiece because it is so perfectly adorned in its moods, composition, and superb performance. It is not the prog-rock album for those looking for excitement and guitar thrills, of that much I will give its critics. It is one for fans who prefer a more thoughtful, subdued, yet enormously fulfilling experience. It's almost a cinematic experience, like the musical equivalent of 60s European modernist film. A must for RPI fans and essential for any well-rounded collection.

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Posted Monday, September 07, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the most popular album of Italian Progresive. Perfect melodies ( as usual for Italian prog), very soft and warm sound, enough complex technique.

So, we have here one more synth/keyb driven trio, but in italian manner. Not pompastic with heavy drive as ELP, but more dreamy and well-rounded, as early Genesis. The vocal is strong enough, as well as rhythm section. I think that main problem with their music is absent of guitar sound on record. So, dominated synth-sound ( with competent bass/drums support) makes music a bit liquid, in some moments remain even new age nightmares.

Overall, the album is strong enough. Not masterpiece ( because of too high viscosity), but really pleasant. Happily, having enough sympho elements, didn't become baroque piece played by rock-band. It's important!

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Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Incredible mixture of space rock, crossover prog and electronic music

Fourth studio album by Le Orme - Felona e Sorona, is probably their artistic and musical peak and their best album as whole. Le Orme is quite different band, than it's italian fellows - PFM, BMS and others. Especially their fourth album - Felona e Sorona doesn't contains typical symphonic style of most f the italian bands and albums. And this different and uncommon style of Le Orme makes them highly interesting and attracting band. Felona e Sorona is very well structured album with perfect expressiveness collected in only 33 minutes. It tells about two planets with totally different mood and existence. It could be felt everywhere in the first and second part of the album. The sound is highly keyboards-saturated with mainly synthesizers in there. As a tradition for italians, drumming style is from outer space. Highly recommended album for space and crossover fans. Treasure of irregular prog sound from this latitudes. 4.5 stars

Italian genuine piece of progressive rock

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Posted Sunday, October 25, 2009

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars The best progressive music acknowledges the dark and light sides of humanity and of our existence on this earth and beyond. In that sense works like "The Wall" and "Tales From Topographic Oceans", as significant as they may be, are flawed in their consistent pessimism and optimism respectively, and LE ORME's oft regarded pinnacle represents the archetypal expression of life's perennial dichotomies. This is a tale of two planets, one radiant and the other eternally bitter, so far apart in space. The story itself may hardly be headline news, but the music herein and the manner in which it communicates the schism certainly are.

While the individual track lengths are mostly modest, each leads into the next such that "Felona and Serona" flows like a suite, or two suites, the first 4 tracks more or less depicting Felona and the last 5 Serona. The black cloud over the better of these 2 (Felona) is that it was reprised even more potently in 1997 at LE ORME's Progday appearance, so I only ever listen to it in that rendition. But the silver lining is that the original studio version still eclipses 99% of what was and is out there for sheer clarity of musical vision, not to mention rapturous vocals conveying scintillating melodies and keyboard, bass and percussive histrionics to draw the emotional well up within any red blooded symphonic progger. The 9 minute opening segment and the epilogue "L'Equilbrio" are the best of the best.

On the flipside, the music is more maudlin and subdued, appropriately so, but just doesn't plumb the depths one would wish to contrast with the heights of part 1. The "Serona" part is reflective and profoundly sad but doesn't draw one in enough. However, the acoustic oriented "All'infuori del tempo" and the organ and moog frenzy of "Ritorno al nulla" do come close to, and in some aspects surpass what we experienced on Felona.

LE ORME demonstrates in barely 33 minutes how the sweet loving lady and her dreary self obsessed twin each need the better part of each other for completeness, which is all but achieved in this landmark effort.

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Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Produced with the woolliest sound you could possibly obtain that far from Canterbury, Felona E Sorona manages to surpass the level of excellence that Le Orme had achieved on Uomo Di Pezza. The warm sad sound of this album gripped me from the first time I heard it and has only continued to grow over the many regular listens I gave it.

In just a bit over 33 minutes and 9 unique pieces of music, Le Orme builds a strong case that prog can rock without any guitars or other harsh sounds. Instead, they do it with smooth, melodious keyboard-driven compositions. The secret sits in the solid rhythm section that sustains their dark-romantic sound. Both the drums and the bass guitar are delicious throughout. The instrumentation is kept quite sparse at times, such as in the second half of the opening track. It makes the organ and mellotron heavy outbursts all the more powerful.

Apart from the lengthy opening track, the songs are very short, but they make up a nice suite that offers plenty of variation and still makes for one fluent listening experience. There are a number of tunes that flirt with how much mellowness and sentiment I can handle on an album. It makes me regret again I haven't got to know this music earlier when I wouldn't have minded the woolly sound and could have appreciated as much as my favourite classic Prog albums.

Le Orme deliver very convincing proof that a focused 33 minutes of constant excellent quality is so much more satisfying then any 60 minute album of which only half of the material is good. Of course 33 minutes of this continuous quality are passed before you realize it. The solution to this issue? Put it on instant repeat or continue with another vintage Le Orme album. You won't be disappointed.

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Posted Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars It's a close call as to whether I preffer Felona E Sorona or previous release Uomo Di Pezza as my favourite Le Orme album, but perhaps this does have the edge. The question is perhaps of little importance as both capture one of the finest Italian prog bands at their best.

At this time Le Orme were a three piece (they would expand to four in the mid-nineties) with a Keyboard, bass and drums line up with occasional guitar. One look at the year of release (1973) and it will not surprise vintage keyboard lovers they're in for a treat.

Felona E Sorona is a concept album based on a story of two planets, one flourishes, one doesn't and down to my ignorance of the Italian language I'm afraid that's all you're going to get on the lyrical themes. Musically the album is sophisticated symphonic prog. Whilst not the most bombastic of bands, there are nevertheless powerful moments but where Le Orme really score is in the strength and beauty of their melodies, aided by the vocal delivery of Aldo Tagliapietra who's melancholic tones are perfect for job. Felona E Sorona is an album best digested as a whole, whether you can understand the concept or not as the music flows from one track to the next, ranging from the longer opener Sospesi Nell'incredibile (In Between) with some fine instrumental work between vocal sections to shorter interludes like the acoustic guitar led Felona. A little more off the wall is the wailing siren effect that underlies Attesa Inerte (The Plan). However, it's the more melodic sounding moments, littered all over this album that really hit the spot. They save their most bombastic moment for the grand finale that is Ritorno al Nulla, a fine way to close for sure as it builds to powerful climax.

It's difficult to find fault with this masterpiece of Italian prog; while the musicianship is always of a high standard, it's always sympathetic to the requirements of the song, band members never overplaying for the sake of it making it a very mature recording. Hardly surprising, there's some fine keyboard playing from Toni Pagliuca in particular with use of piano, synths and organ overlaying the dextrous rhythm work of drummer Michi Dei Rossi and Tagliapietra's bass.

If you were to only ever buy ten RPI albums then Felona E Sorona would easily make that list of essential purchases and due the accessible and melodious nature of the material makes an excellent early entry in discovering the fascinating genre of Italian progressive rock.

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Posted Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars "Felona E Serona" by Le Orme is an infamous RPI album that has so much to offer it is impossible to ignore for serious progheads.

I was introduced to the band by those melodic keyboard strains at the beginning of Sospesi nell incredible. And what an introduction it was, such an ambient uplifting sound. The vocals are pleasant sounding and clear and Italian so I do not know the lyrics but it is positive in tone with an enriching atmosphere throughout. I was reminded of PFM or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso but Le Orme still are original in their own right. The basslines are incredible and the lengthy pads on keyboard sound similar to Rick Wakeman from Yes at times. There is a wonderful lengthy instrumental with keyboard effects with a futuristic feel, even space rock in one section. I love when there is just a bass, keys and drums, the band are really in full flight in these passages. The music seems to transport you to another place, like all good prog, and there is even an accomplished drum solo in this opening track.

The clanging bells herald the arrival of Felona and an acoustic guitar. The melody is quirky and accessible, almost like a pop track. 'Nothing really matters except to be alive and that is taken care of by the symbol of the sky'... uplifting, as I said. Although this is not as wildly experimental as the previous track, I like this a lot. There is a lilting flute at the end of this too.

La solitudine di che protegge is very melancholic and serene, with twinkling piano flourishes and soft Italian vocals. Each track is so diverse and unique it really is quite a journey that Le Orme takes the listener on.

L'equilibrio is a quiet ambient piece that capitalises on the keyboard pads and high falsetto singing.

Sorona begins very slowly with very atmospheric music and falsetto singing. It is a short piece that works as a transition between tracks and leads to the next. Attese inerte has a very intriguing bass line and begins with pads then builds to a strange ascending synth line. This feels a lot darker than the previous tracks particularly due to the droning synth motif. An agreeable Hammond sound ensues over the ascending drones. The vocals continue in time to the rhythms. A high pitched whine sounds creepy but works well and we have a passage with all these elements working against each other that somehow gels together.

Ritratto di un mattino begins with an ethereal keyboard sound that builds like a stalker creeping on its prey. The album seems to have become darker as it progresses. The clear echo vocals are very estranged over the long keyboard pads. A slow melody phrase locks in and very nice guitar work is the feature.

The next track, All infuori del tempo, is a return to master class performance with a strong acoustic rhythm. The vocals are melodic and there are some eclectic time sig changes. The minimalist approach of chords on a guitar and impressive vocal performance hold the track together, but it launches into passages of keyboard brilliance and erratic drumming. The closing track Ritorno al nulla is majestic and instrumental based. There are some incredible keyboard passages on this that lift it into the stratosphere. Of particular note is the repetitive motif that rises and falls throughout; it enters into a new level for Le Orme as one of the best instrumentals you will hear.

As musical virtuosos they were unsurpassed in their time. The drumming is frenetic at times, and then it all ends on one long note. A wonderful track and an incredible album that you should hear at your nearest convenience. 4 solid stars.

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Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
5 stars It hasn't been two month and I'm already celebrating another jubilee in my very short reviewer career. The occasion calls for an unavailing of another one of my all time favorite albums. This one is a bit different but in order to figure out the details you'll just have to keep on reading my 400th review!

After being pleasantly surprised by the 1972 release Uomo Di Pezzaz it was only natural for me to follow it up by the 1973 successor titled Felona E Sorona. Unfortunately it took a lot longer to get my hands on this album but ever since March 2010 I've been playing it like crazy. According to the play count on my MP3 player I've played the opening track Sospesi Nell Íncredibile 49 times so far and it definitely deserves the attention that I've given it. Spanning for almost 9 minutes, the opening track takes up almost a third of this album's space and it's a gorgeous ride from beginning to the end. Just like the predecessor, Felona E Sorona opens with a lengthy instrumental section followed by a vocal introduction. Although this time it's almost like if the opening of Uomo Di Pezzaz was fused together with the album's concluding instrumental Alienazione but with even more power to it.

The album marks the first time when I really appreciated a concept album without actually comprehending a single uttered word. After trying to translate the lyrics from Italian I soon gave up this attempt realizing that the album's strength was primarily in the composition work and not the themes. This album is much darker and experimental in its tone than anything else that I've experience by Le Orme. I don't know if this has to do with the period that the band was undergoing or if this mainly has to do with the album's theme but it really creates an entirely different aura surrounding the release. To me it basically sounds like a soft and beautiful Rock Progressivo Italiano release but with a lot more mystery to it.

After the lengthy first track that felt like pure bliss, the album gets even better with the dramatic L'Equilbrio followed by the sad ballad Sorona. Still it's the album's final act that completely steals the show for me, most notably with the excellent keyboard effects on Attesa Inerte and the melodic guitar solo on Ritratto Di Un Mattino which might even make Slash feel jealous! The concluding sections gives us another great instrumental outro, which at times sounds like Steve Hackett's Please Don´t Touch, completing the album's short cycle on a high note that makes us want to hear Felona E Sorona time and time again!

This is a gorgeous piece of Symphonic Prog that you'll want to have in your collection in order to give it quick half hour spins which will ultimately result in hours upon hours of indulgence. This is a quality that I definitely don't take for granted and award it the highest possible recommendations on my part. Simply a must-have album for all fans of progressive rock music!

***** star songs: Sospesi Nell Íncredibile (8:43) L'Equilbrio (3:47) Sorona (2:28) Attesa Inerte (3:25) Ritratto Di Un Mattino (3:29)

**** star songs: Felona (1:58) La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge Il Mondo (1:57) All Ínfuori Del Tempo (4:08) Ritorno Al Nulla (3:34)

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Posted Friday, May 07, 2010

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Heralded as one of the major Italian progressive rock albums but actually rather limited when compared to PFM's gorgeous 'Per Un Amico' or Maxophone's brilliant self-titled debut, 'Felona E Sorona' is an impressively-played but fundamentally flawed concept piece which starts strongly but never regains the momentum of it's imperious opening track. Featuring an almost funky, rumbling bass, stabbing keyboards and a haunting synth melody, 'Sospesi Nell'incredible' is a truly remarkable beginning that belies Le Orme's indebtedness to King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. From then on, however, the album seems to lose focus; none of the following eight tracks set the pulse racing, and it is only the epic album- closer 'Ritorna Al Nulla' that generates any excitement as the frenzied organ combines darkly with yet more thuddering bass-lines and classically-influenced piano to create a suitably epic ending. Fans looking for the real Le Orme experience will do well to seek out the excellent double-live album 'Live Orme' instead, a release that shows just what an inventive, eclectic and hard-rocking outfit they could be. 'Felona E Sorona' demonstrates the group's penchant for complex harmonics and ambitious themes, but it doesn't fully showcase Le Orme at their very best. Both Interesting and worthy then, but this is by no means the pinnacle of Italian prog. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The fourth album from Le Orme is both the group's most popular and their greatest. This is one of those rare occasions where I agree that a certain artists' most well loved album is also their best. Some people refer to these guys as an Italian ELP, which is neither accurate nor fair. Being a trio of keyboards/bass/drums, they do sometimes sound similar to other trios with that line-up. Besides this album, I have only heard the previous album and the one after this; both are good, but not as good as this. The synths sometimes sound like they are polyphonic. 1973 seems too early for the use of them, but since there is only three members maybe the synth parts were heavily overdubbed.

I don't speak Italian, so I'm not sure if there is a story to the album or not. Anyway, the first song is "Sospesi nell'Incredible". This has a nice buildup at the beginning. I like the overdubbed keyboards you hear all over around a minute in. Music changes a bit. Later on some organ and then vocals. Like the groove they go into halfway, the drumming is great here. Love the synth that comes in towards the end. Spacey. Ends with a mini drum solo. "Felona" is a short folky/poppy song. Nice but nothing special. I love the synth here though, even if it's only for just a few seconds.

"La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" is another short song. Basically classical piano and vocals. "L'equilibrio" gets back to the symph prog. Great keyboard playing here. Love the jazzy section they go into halfway. "Sorona" has a cool tremoloed bass sound. Basically a ballad with mostly vocals and keyboards. "Attesa Inerte" is a highlight. It really sounds like polyphonic string-synths at the start. I love the repeated synth drone which sounds like an engine revving up. Then an almost disco beat comes in. This sounds close to techno, very ahead of it's time. The other parts that contrast with this section are great too.

"Ritratto di un Mattino" starts with some cool horror film sounding keyboards. Then gets more anthemic and symphonic with vocals. The whole band joins in for some symphonic rock. "All'infuori del tempo" is another poppy folk song. Nice mix of organ and synth. The beginning of "Attesa Inerte" is reprised at the end. "Ritorno al Nulla" is an instrumental. Starts with a great buildup and later some Moog soloing. I wish these guys were 100% instrumental.

A classic RPI album from this trio. I really like the instrumental parts, but I'm not so big on most of the parts with singing. This would be a 5 star album to me if every song was as good as "Sospesi" and "Attesa". Highly recommended to those just starting their journey into RPI. A great album and good addition to your collection. 4 stars.

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Posted Friday, January 21, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Le Orme's much-vaunted concept album might take the group's lyrical approach into space, but you won't find space rock here - just more pastoral prog along the lines of Trespass-era Genesis with Keith Emerson sitting in on keyboards, on Le Orme's previous effort. Though it is a great little album, I don't quite consider it a full-on masterpiece - not only do I mildly prefer the group's previous album, which is a slightly fresher take on similar musical territory, but the group seem to be grasping for ideas a little here, to the point where some of the keyboard work on the opening track seems to recall Watcher of the Skies a little too closely for me to consider it a coincidence. It's still a great little listen, but I wouldn't say it's the sublime, definitive Italian prog album it's often put forward as; give it a go, but don't just the whole RPI genre on its merits.

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Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars This is the only album I've heard from this band, and therefore I can't judge it against their output, but it is easily the best known internationally, helped by the fact that it was released also with English lyrics penned by Peter Hammill. Dealing with two doomed planets, it attempted to be a concept album (a fashion at the time) but it's debatable how well it succeeds to be a coherent and unified piece of art. I get the emotion of the music but not the narrative level as I don't speak Italian. (But I believe it could be possible to sense the story better than this without understanding lyrics, with the power of music alone.) The tracks remain more or less separate instead of flowing seamlessly. The running time of 33½ minutes is sadly short (not rare with RPI!) but the music has truly deserved the classic status. Probably this would be among Top Ten of the most classic RPI albums - I mean this both objectively and subjectively.

Often Le Orme (meaning 'footprint') is described as Italy's ELP, due to being a keyboard trio featuring a singing guitar/bass player. This doesn't give credit to their genuinely Italian nature. For instance Triumvirat is Germany's ELP as much as anything can be without being a mere clone. Le Orme has an aura that couldn't be anything else than Rock Progressivo Italiano. Besides Tony Pagliuca is not at all the same kind of an eccentric keyboard virtuoso as Keith Emerson. This is a compliment, mind you. The sound is for the most part very loaded with keyboards but in a different way than ELP's. Also Aldo Tagliapietra is far from Greg Lake. He's more or less typical RPI vocalist (now forget the operatic tenor of Banco!), comparable to PFM.

The long and gorgeous opening track is followed by the sharp and bright song 'Felona' which gives the leading role to acoustic guitar. The rest of the album is mostly rather sad and dark-toned in a fine way. Even for a non-speaker of Italian the deep emotion is strong on this album. Michi Dei Rossi's drums are perhaps too buried in the mix; he's a sophisticated percussionist. So, solid four stars from me! Not five because it could be better in many levels (concept unity, production, length, even compositions that are a bit uneven against such shortness). By the way, great cover painting. I have a book "A Romance of the Equator - Best Fantasy Stories by Brian W. Aldiss" with almost similar picture.

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Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Review by CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Standing somewhere between plain, boring and underwhelming

For a very long time, since the inception of progressive rock itself, Italy has been a powerhouse of that genre of rock on continental Europe, giving birth to a considerable number of well-regarded bands on these circles. Le Orme is one of such bands. Starting as a psychedelic/baroque rock band in the late 1960's and evolving to a power trio formation in the vein of Emerson, Lake and Palmer on the turn of the decade, the band experienced some moderate success during their early days.

As a lover of progressive rock music, I, of course, go in search of good music wherever it's from and, with the due time, Felona and Sorona reached my hands as I was shuffling through a second-hand shop. It is quite an old CD, by the way, being manufactured in Italy back in the late 1980's, but it is still in great shape overall. In spite of all that, I approached this album with some caution because I had no idea what was waiting for me and, even so, I was left disappointed. Actually, the only thing that did impressed me about this album is the fact that it is the best rated release by Le Orme, one of the best of the genre reserved for the (most part) symphonic bands from Italy and among the 100 top rated album of Prog Archives.

Since the introduction is finished, let's get to the good (or should I say bad?) part: the music.

First of all, Le Orme's formation, despite being exactly the same as other power trios such as the mentioned ELP, Triumvirat and Trace (and somewhat also related with Finch), the Italian band's music has no relation, nothing at all to do with mentioned bands because, for one, their music has no energy at all, it is impressively stagnant, having very little progress and innovation at all; for two, which is related with the former reason, they take no risks with their instruments: with so many possibilities and "what if"s, they manage to keep it at the most basic form of progressive rock composition; for three, if they don't make an effort to innovate how they use their instruments, everything will (as it does throughout the album) get immensely boring because that formation (rhythm, bass line and melodic line), albeit being dome with other instruments, has existed since the inception of the most basic forms of music, so nothing will sound quite new,

Second of all, the vocalist's voice is quite plain, average and indistinguishable from the voice of every other Italian singer. There is not anything redeeming about his singing abilities; he does not sing out of tune or anything in the like, but there is nothing quite positive about how he sings as well: it's just simple, unoriginal, it simply can't stand out from the crowd. Coupled with the equally underwhelming music, everything becomes one mass of uninteresting sound.

Third of all, the compositions are also far from being anything close to entertaining. Every songs seems like a collage (pun intended) of different melodic lines with close to no transition at all. their music sounds quite disjointed at many times, specially in the only song (besides All'Inuori del Tempo) they were able to write that clocks over 3 minutes. The opener, actually, is the hardest song to sit through exactly because of that reason, only individual melodic lines sound coherent within themselves, but they have no relation among themselves. The other songs do suffer from this problem, but in a lesser degree because, after all, just how can you make a 3 minute song as disjointed?

Moreover, the individual parts of each song, with very few exceptions, are not inspired as well. You can see their next move (within each part of each song, because you can never know what will come next since there is nothing between, there's no transition of musical ideas) even before they play it. Before this album, I imagined that one could only feel that one album lasts less than what it does (because it is so good you don't want it to end), but Felona e Sorona was able to prove that even an album with barely half-an-hour in length seemed longer than the QUADRUPLE ALBUMS about Dante's Inferno released by Musea. Truly an outstanding feature that few can do, even more in the progressive rock circles, where music is supposed to be interesting and innovative.

With all that considered, I must say that not everything is lost. Eventually a glimpse of a redeeming moment appears. However, a split second later they change the melody completely, with no transition, allow me to make myself clear, and then everything goes back to sounding bland. It really strikes me as unbelievable how can they drown their interesting ideas in oceans of musically uninteresting ideas; interesting content is indeed few and far between.

Rating and Final Thoughts

The Italian prog scene never struck me as being quite special and even though it has some very powerful and notable exceptions, such as Premiata Forneria Marconi, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Locanda delle Fate, among others, most of the scene has nothing interesting to present at all. In my search for good progressive rock, however, I always tend to make concessions, try new bands, give an album many spins in order to cement my opinions about it, anyway, I try and evaluate it the best I possibly can.

Having listening to this piece for a little more than two years, I don't believe my views on Felona e Sorona will change any time soon, so I believe it is time to put it out. It is all around a truly bad release. The only memorable thing about it for me is how terrible it sounds, how difficult it is to listen to it. For all that, 1 star is the most appropriate rating for it.

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Send comments to CCVP (BETA) | Report this review (#854027) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 09, 2012

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Felona e Sorona from 1973 is considered the peak of Le Orme most creative period - first part of the '70. If previous album was a great one, this album tops it, is even more complicated, the arrangements are very well performed and the musicianship is top notch, but in same time very romantic in aproach, like on most italian prog bands. Some killer instrumental parts on opening track Sospesi nell'incredibile nearly 9 min of pure beauty, incredible organ passages, very reminescent in some parts with Genesis (Nursery cryme or Foxtrot era) but combined with Le Orme finest song writting and dexterity on instruments. Another highlight and probably my fav track from the album and one of their best from first period is L'equilibrio, impressive musicianship here, the ekyboards, bass lines, the druming is more then excellent, top notch piece that rivals with best from Genesis , Yes or other big names from this field. The multy keyboards layers, differse organ and mellotron parts with symphonic twists combined with great voice of Also Tagliapetra make from this album a treasure in prog world and together with previous album two of the best italian prog rock albums ever made. 4 stars easy and recommended.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#886277) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Review by siLLy puPPy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A beautiful concept album of symphonic space rock by one of the more successful Italian groups of the 70s. LE ORME released FELONA E SORONA in both Italian and English but I have only heard the former. A fairly well known concept album about two planets revolving around each other but never making contact. Felona is the planet where everything works well and all is good while Sorona is darkened and suffers from plagues and catastrophes. In the second half of the album the planets experience a reversal of polarity and their fortunes become inverted.

A very pleasant listen but to me this seems like a lofty concept for just over 33 minutes of music. I'm not fluent in Italian so i'm not sure what the lyrics represent. The music is great and I really like this album but it's not really dynamic enough for me to consider this a masterpiece. If the whole album was more like the last track "Ritorno Al Nulla," I think i'd like this album more.

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1084140) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 01, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars I loved LE ORME's Uomo di pezza upon first listen and continue to do so to this day. But, try as I might, the magic that so many prog lovers feel for Felona e Sorona has completely eluded me. The recording of the electronic keyboards is unusually bad--almost painful to my ears. I have listened to th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1191987) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Friday, June 13, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What the band achieved in their previous album they perfected to form one of the most essential Italian prog albums, Felona De Sorona. It is in all respects identical in sound to their previous such that it could be considered an extension of it, yet the songwrting is even more solid. The ecle ... (read more)

Report this review (#1109236) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album was my introduction to RPI. I don't even know where I stumbled upon it, but I can say very sincerely that it has become one of my favorite albums in the repeated listens since. What I like about Le Orme, and this album in particular, is that the music feels very structured and restr ... (read more)

Report this review (#810823) | Posted by DocMagnus | Sunday, August 26, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This whole album is a bit of a non-event to my over-critical ears. It's very surprising to see this ranked so highly in the Archives. Aldo Tagliapietra's vocals sound sterile and emasculated. On the plus side - the instrumentation is pretty good with plenty of space between players. They al ... (read more)

Report this review (#501544) | Posted by Dobermensch | Thursday, August 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Many things has already been said about the concept in this album. This is an interesting story about two distant planets, Felona full of joy and Sorona full of sadness. And contrary to ours first desires, solutions goes not to the recovering of Sorona, but to both of them reaching a point of ... (read more)

Report this review (#436167) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best (but only) album I've heard from Le Orme. I guess I'll have to check out more, because this instantly become one of my favorites. Right from the first few seconds an impressive display of keyboarding and percussion can be heard, and it only gets better from there. The lyrics are beauti ... (read more)

Report this review (#277551) | Posted by CinemaZebra | Sunday, April 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second issue of Classic Rock presents Prog issue claims this is one of the best ever Italian Prog Rock albums. So I duly investigated this claim. I am not an expert on Italian Prog Rock or progressive rock in general. I therefore cannot dispute this claim. What I do not dispute is that th ... (read more)

Report this review (#241718) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, September 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For many specialists and fans of Progressive rock, this work of 1973, is the quintessence of all the long discography of Le Orme, the most algid point of their discography and the most finished album of whatever they recorded, as information of this record over the internet can be observed whe ... (read more)

Report this review (#241459) | Posted by Alberto Muñoz | Friday, September 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars More than 30 years ago "Le Orme" made me discover "progressive world", and this album is, in my opinion, their higher artistic point. Felona e Sorona is comparable to the best works of ELP, to which Le Orme evidently inspired them: they didn't have the technique of Emerson & C., but probably grea ... (read more)

Report this review (#202171) | Posted by prog61 | Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I bought this album after Uomo di Pezza and altough I find the music simpler I still think Uomo di Pezza is better to start, because it was easier for me to get into (but in the end this one is still great for beginning with le Orme). The problem with this album is somewhat similar to Uomo's : ... (read more)

Report this review (#202016) | Posted by fil karada | Saturday, February 07, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 8.5/10 Great Felona e Sorona was the first le Orme album I heard, and it blew me away. There was alot on the album that at first listen I was not too interested in, and now I enjoy it even more, but am almost more critical of it. Simply, what I love about this album is MELODY, and emotional ... (read more)

Report this review (#174593) | Posted by The Lost Chord | Friday, June 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I do not have all or most of LE ORME albums though. But I recognize at once when hearing their music and this is quite good at you. LE Orme's Felona E Sorona album I think is just one of those albums which stand out their characters, singer voice,thick of music, in such respect. In some sense a l ... (read more)

Report this review (#165574) | Posted by bspark | Thursday, April 03, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Sounds a lot like PFM's Per Un Amico to me, but not quite on the same level. Nevertheless, this is still a gem in the Italian Symphonic library. Highly recommended, but maybe it's actual rating is somewhere between 4.5 and 4.75 stars. ... (read more)

Report this review (#163227) | Posted by kabright | Wednesday, March 05, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A MASTERPIECE!!! A storm of emotions, a mix of happiness, hope, sadness, anger and whatever else all mixed in a great concept album with a great and strange storyline: a love story between two planets. The perfect definition of concepl album. The music is simply amazing, the musicians are great ... (read more)

Report this review (#130760) | Posted by Tokamak | Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ranging from very symphonic and beautiful and passive, to somewhat aggressive, though still gentle in its own way: this tiny, near-EP length classic of the genre may leave something to be wanted. If you removed Cinema Show, and Firth of Fifth from Genesis' Selling England (released the same year), ... (read more)

Report this review (#130415) | Posted by Shakespeare | Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Felona E Sorona" is the latest concept album based on the fight between good and evil ... In this case, with 2 long suites. Very psychedelic, really. For many it is a masterpiece, even the Italian Prog. I, personally, I find beautiful but heavy, perhaps because aged badly. But this is a detail. Pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#129389) | Posted by Ely78 | Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Strange how language will not affect one's admiration for great music. Through the past few years , whenever I'd be reading those ubiquitous lists at Amazon.com for some "guidance" as to what groups might be a good bet to purchase in prog music, this one came up often, & I was beguiled by its' co ... (read more)

Report this review (#115971) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Imagine if someone had found the essence of beauty (Sigur Ros comes to mind with their Agaetis Byrjun album) and then twisted it and shaped it, giving it a rougher edge. That is what Le Orme's Felona E Sorona is to me. The entire concept of beauty can be found within this album, but it won't l ... (read more)

Report this review (#115868) | Posted by Pnoom! | Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Le Orme are one of the most popular italian bands, and "Felona E Sorona" is considered by many to be their best work. They are sort of like an italian ELP, but less bombastic and more symphonic. The keyboard player has much talent and shows it well throughout the record. Bass and drums are also e ... (read more)

Report this review (#115174) | Posted by OGTL | Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In my mind, I cannot see giving Felona e Sorona anything less than five stars. Felona e Sorona is the most cohesive concept album that I have ever heard in my life! The music flows in the best possible way, and even though I don't speak a word of Italian, I can say that you can tell exactly ... (read more)

Report this review (#112518) | Posted by jfleischh | Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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