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I Giganti

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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I Giganti Terra In Bocca album cover
4.22 | 135 ratings | 12 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Largo Iniziale (3:28)
2. Molto Largo (2:13)
3. Avanti (3:42)
4. Avanti Tutto-Brutto Momento-Plim Plim (4:33)
5. Plim Plim Al Parossismo-Delicato Andante (3:13)
6. Rumori-Fine Incombente (6:12)
7. Fine Lontana-Allegro Per Niente (6:04)
8. Tanto Va La Gatta Al Lardo-Su E Giu' (7:44)
9. Larghissimo- Dentro Tutto (4:14)
10. Alba Di Note-Rimbalzello Triste (1:27)
11. Rimbalzello Compiacente-Ossessivo Ma Non Troppo- Fine (3:25)

Total time 46:15

Bonus track on 2000 CD reissue:
12. Sogno Di Un Vegetale (2:50)

Bonus track on 2009 CD reissue:
12. Il Pescatore (Lungo E Disteso 1a Versione) (2:37)

Line-up / Musicians

- Giacomo "Mino" Di Martino / guitar, vocals
- Francesco "Checco" Marsella / piano, organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Sergio Di Martino / bass, guitar, vocals
- Sergio Enrico Maria Papes / drums, Fx, vocals

- Marcello Dellacasa / guitar
- Gigi Rizzi / guitar
- Ares Tavolazzi / guitar, bass
- Carmelo La Bionda / acoustic guitar (uncredited)
- Michelangelo La Bionda / acoustic guitar (uncredited)
- Vincenzo Tempera / organ, piano
- Ellade Bandini / drums

Releases information

Sub-titled "Poesia Di Un Delitto"

Artwork: Eldorado Sivelli with Ugo Colombo (photo)

LP Rifi ‎- RDZ ST 14207 (1971, Italy)
LP Rifi ‎- RDZ-ST 14207 (2015, Italy)

CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM013CD (1989, Italy) 46:41 minutes length and is presumably taken from a demo tape with clear differences on the mix from the original LP
CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM013CD (1993, Italy) 43:42 length, presumably taken from the original masters.
CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM 013 (1997, Italy) As above
CD Akarma ‎- AK 1023 (2000, Italy) With a bonus track
CD Comet Records ‎- AK 1023 / B (2009, Italy) With a bonus track; bundled with book

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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I GIGANTI Terra In Bocca ratings distribution

(135 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

I GIGANTI Terra In Bocca reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars In 1971, Italian progressive rock was still in its early stages, and bands were working on creating something uniquely Italian and avant-garde. But, I GIGANTI, out of thin air really, put out what has got to be the first masterpiece from the 70s Italian prog rock scene. The band originally began its career in the 1960s as a vocal-based band. As rock started to get experimental, and bands began to create concept albums with complex instrumental music, I GIGANTI created an album that highlighted their strong vocals and their taste for catchy melodies. "Terra In Bocca" starts off with an addictive "Sicilian"-like melody on acoustic guitar and vocals, but as soon as you get comfortable with the direction of the album your ears are treated to a few unexpected surprises, and within a couple of minutes you know that you're in for a musical treat. The album is vocal-heavy (tells the story of a Mafia-related murder) and quite similar to BLOCCO MENTALE's "PiOA", and LATTE E MIELE "Passio Secundum Mattheum". Some of the vocal passages remind me of the guys from BLOCCO MENTALE, yet I GIGANTI are much stronger. From what I've heard, the lyrics are also considered quite good by most of the Italian music critics. The music, on the other hand, reminds me a bit of LATTE E MIELE's "Passio Secundum Mattheum". What might explain that is that LATTE E MIELE's unique-sounding guitarist plays on this album, and alot of the atmospheres and jams here seem to have inspired LATTE E MIELE a year later. What might bother some listeners is the lack of complex instrumental sections. There are plenty of instrumental sections led by mellotron, but the vocals make-up about 90% of the LP. Personally, I love the vocals. The richness, variety, and detail in the vocal sections makes up for the lack of long instrumental section. But, if you're mostly into the instrumental side of prog, then this album might not appeal to you. Overall, if you love Italian vocals in progressive rock this little gem will rank high in your collection.
Review by loserboy
4 stars Yet another gem from the classic Italian 70's prog scene and represents a highly expressive rock album with excellent and focused vocals and harmony. I GIGANTI essentially play a highly melodic / symphonic prog with some nicely accentuated breakouts. Although the vocals and lyrics are the centered focus on this album, we are still treated to loads of symphonic keyboard work with loads of piano and even some mellotron. Guitar work is also worth making note of and is a nice combination of acoustic and electric work. Songs are highly expressive The concept of this album is centered around the mob (mafia) and is told from the perspective of a prisoner in a series of interviews. At times "Terra In Bocca" actually transforms into a musical dream sequence and delivers some simply gorgeous melodies. A favourite Italprog recording for this prog music lover.
Review by Marcelo
5 stars This band was formed in Milan during '60s, and I think they opened some BEATLES gig in Italy. "Terra In Bocca", from 1971, was their only prog album, pretty original and very different from the typical Italian Symphonic Rock.

The eleven songs can be heard like only one, emphatizing the lyrics and vocal section over the instrumental parts, but -nevetheless- melodies are excellent. All members sing, and their magnificent voices are able to cover a big range, telling to the listener a story about the "mafia", reaching brilliant moments many times, specially thanks to the emotion put in the interpretation. In fact, this is the most emotive album I heard coming from Italy. Great interplay among voices, guitars and keyboards, adding the important presence of Mellotron to increase the dramatism. The structure is quite similar to LATTE E MIELE's albums, with a main refrain reitered or developed in different tempos, but to my taste I GIGANTI is a little bit better.

All tracks are in the same emotive vein, but "Tanto Va La Gatta Al Lardo", about a funeral, is one of the most incredible songs I ever heard. If you can understand the language, this track will blow your mind!

My only complain is the bonus track at the end, "Sogno Di Un Vegetale", out of context. It breaks the fascinating tension atmosphere created in the album, but despite this detail, "Terra In Bocca" is a classic Italian gem, another masterpiece waiting to be discovered.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This album is their most progressive effort featuring two long compositions (both more than 20 minutes). The music is very alternating and delivers many captivating moments: heavy compelling keyboard play, subdued acoustic guitar and emotional vocals, mellow swelling Mellotron (especially the beautiful intermezzo halfway Part Two), virtuosic piano work in the vein of Keith Emerson (but more refined) and fiery, propulsive guitarplay. Despite the long running time of the two tracks, it sounds cohesive and pleasant. This is a very fine album that deserves to be discovered.
Review by andrea
5 stars I Giganti were basically a vocal quartet, active since 1964. They were part of the "Italian beat" scene until 1971, when they decided to change their musical direction and released their only progressive effort, "Terra in bocca (Poesia di un delitto)" = "Soil In The Mouth (Poetry of a Crime)", a complex concept-album about "mafia". The lyrics were written by the journalist Piero De Rossi and, according to an article that you can find on the official website of the band, they were inspired by an interview with an old inmate. The music was composed by Vince Tempera and interpreted by the band with the help of some great guest musician. This album was conceived as a rock opera and it was supposed to be performed in the theatres, nevertheless in 1971 it was boycotted by the media and was absolutely unsuccessful. So, after a while, the band split up, overwhelmed by disappointment. Well, I fear that is not easy to explain to people living out of Italy why this excellent work was boycotted and censored by the media . Lyrics are about a murder committed in 1936 in a village of Sicily and are quite poetic and inspired, but "mafia" was a hard topic to deal with then.

«In 1960 the Italian government not only wasn't concerned by mafia but it used to deny its existence. Mafia was and is a system that in Sicily contain and rules the economical interests and the power of a class that we can call approximately "borghese" (upper middle class). Mafia doesn't rise and grow in the absence of the State, when the powers of the State and of its institutions are feeble or completely missing, but inside the State. Mafia is a "parasitical borghesia" - "una borghesia che non imprende ma soltanto sfrutta" (an upper middle class that doesn't undertake but only exploits)». Leonardo Sciascia wrote these words in 1972 as an introduction to a new printing of his novel "Il giorno della civetta" (The Day Of The Owl) . All in all reading novels could be more enjoyable and instructive than reading many other "serious" works about Italian mafia. So, if you really want to get in the mood of this album and to understand what "Terra in bocca" is about, I suggest to read some novels like "The Day Of The Owl" and "To Each His Own" by Leonardo Sciascia or some novels by Andrea Camilleri.

Actually, there are two different versions of this album. «Rare to find in its original issue (especially with the poster) on RiFi, "Terra in bocca" has recently been reissued by Akarma on vinyl, and this reissue also includes a song from their last single. The unusual cover and poster were designed by Gianni Sassi and remind the style of his later works with Cramps. The Vinyl Magic CD issue of "Terra in bocca" exists in two different forms, the first one was released in 1989 and is curiously different from the original LP, probably coming from a demo tape. The total length of the album is 44:11 minutes, and opposed to the final version, this sounds less rich and orchestrated but more intense at times. This first reissue also included a miniature reproduction of the original poster. A second issue from 1993 (almost identical to the first in the CD cover, though with a different disc label), has a 46:44 minutes length and is presumably taken from the original masters. This doesn't include the mini-poster» (quote from I like both versions, but I will base my review on the VM2000 Records version (VM CD 013), distributed by BTF, that is the "demo" one and lasts 44:11 minutes. The lyrics of the first part here are slightly different from the "original" version (with more recitative vocal parts) and the long instrumental introduction is missing.

The album begins with a simple acoustic guitar arpeggio and with vocals introducing the main theme. The singing voice "plays the part" of a friend of a murdered boy and describes the scene of the crime. "They found you stretched at full length / With four bullets planted in your chest / They shot you treacherously / They didn't let you suspect anything / Now you're laying without your shoes / In a hawthorn bush / While the boats that remember you since you were a child are sailing on the sea / Somebody's already running down the alley / While the police passing by / Carry your body without life / To your house still asleep." On this version of the album the first three minutes seem to come out from an album of a singer-songwriter, just guitar and vocals and a theme quite easy to play and sing with friends around a bonfire. Then comes the first recitative part. "You were my best friend, I remember all of you / This morning I woke up early because I couldn't sleep / And walking again over your last day's steps / I'm on the beach and I'm staring at the boats that come back with the lights off. On that day our village was awakening / As ever, as every day."

Then the simple musical structure give way to a more fragmented and complex part where suggestive harmony vocals describe the village and his climate of daily violence and hypocrisy. The four members of the band share the vocal parts (some recitative and in form of dialogue) that are intertwined with short instrumental breaks. The music underlines the strength of the lyrics. "In the whole village there are only hundred houses / A big church with the bell tower / And a pub without pretension / There are only hundred houses in the village / It is so curled up that it seems a courtyard / Four narrow alleys that lead to the square / One woman, two women, one old man, one child with the jugs on their heads / A long procession goes down to the centre of the village just to buy water.". In the village the Municipality has been promising an aqueduct for twenty years, but the water never comes. There are two families that share the power (speculation on labour, on building trade, on citrus fruits and fish export) and only because of prestige reasons they contend to each other the business of water distribution. "The patriarchs of two families / As they were two Nations / Fight thousands battles / They have been enemies for generations. Monday: shots in the fish-market / Tuesday: they blew up a house with TNT / Wednesday: in the country a shepherd was murdered / Thursday: they threw down the tank truck from the dock / Friday: they found the cistern polluted / Then on Saturday all the village was without water / But on Sunday everybody goes to the square to celebrate the Saint of the day / Everybody greets, everything's O.K."

After another instrumental break, featuring a good electric guitar solo, the voice playing the part of the friend of the victim comes back describing the funeral. "Then in the village white of sun / Your funeral silently streams / People cry, the violets blossom / And a girl get sick." The girl getting sick is the girlfriend of the murdered boy. Then a beautiful melody breaks in, introducing a struggling love theme with vocals soaring upon an acoustic guitar pattern. "You, you full of sun / She, she white of salt / A sunset that was dying into the sea / That's how you fell in love each other. On Sundays you were looking for her glance among the people in the church / She was stealthy smiling, fearing God's blame." At one moment the love theme is broken by a dramatic recitative part in form of dialogue bringing a sense of impending tragedy. Then the love theme starts again concluding the first part of the album.

The second part opens with an instrumental introduction with electric guitar in the forefront that leads to a dramatic mood. "A bells' lament breaks in thousands sounds / Slow and gloomy magic that doesn't let sleep anybody in the village / When I was talking about your father / And about the tragedy of a village where "omertà" rules / You used to withdrawn into silence and you didn't almost speak at all / Yes, in your innocent glance there was only ingenuity / You full of sun / She white of salt / These imagines are for me souvenirs / Of a fragile love / Of a simple love / Of your desperate love / That doesn't want to die / Stubborn like a donkey / Violent like a storm / Fragile like a scary child." The contrast between the beautiful melodies drawn by the harmony vocals and the bitter words of the lyrics could seem strange, but the result in my opinion is quite good . "Misery brings in his womb violence like a son / That will have to eat up all the good to grow up / Leaving only the evil."

After 6:15 comes in a voice "playing the part" of the father of the murdered boy. The father was trying to find the water by himself digging in his farm. "Someone then gave me advice to mind my own business. I answered them to go away / I do what I like, this ground is my home / They threatened me and they wounded my pride / I lied because of my honour and I shouted in their face / I found the water and I'm going to give it for free to everybody." Through the voice of the father you can see the motive of the crime as the final point of a "crescendo" of violence. "Then I found my mule slaughtered / Then they burn my barns / Someday after they cut down my vineyard / Just to frighten me, to frighten me / No no no I won't give up." So, searching for water was an act of rebellion and the murder of the boy was the punishment for the rebellion against power in the village. After an instrumental section, the voice of the father get filled with despair and remorse. "When they found your body / Without shoes without life / Your black eyes wide open in the void / In front of the death took a photograph of the fear / When they found your body / Without shoes without life / In your mouth still open to invoke for the last help / There was no breath but only soil." The reflections of the father watching the dead body of his son are highly dramatic and well supported by the music. "Everybody is silent now / The house is crowded / People pray while crying / For each prayer one rose / They covered you with roses / Sitting on a chair I'm watching everything / But I'm not so brave to look at you / Who have I to thank / For this dead son / For this pain / For my pain / For this." Then the remorse gives way to rage and to the impending vengeance. "It will remain only / Only my remorse / Like a shadow / It won't leave me / It will scream in the night / In the silence of the night / Slowly it will destroy me / It will destroy me / I'm crying, I'm crying, I'm crying / I know who I have to thank / Now I know what I have to do / Yes, I know who I have to thank / Now I know what I have to do."

"Of course he knows the killer / And he's already waiting for him at the crossroad / And when the killer passes along the ditch / He shoot him into the face and so be it." In the following section the voice of the friend comes back to tell the end of the story in a recitative part. "Then your father gave himself up to the police / But from the jail he let us know / That he would have liked / You were buried in his farm / Near his home in his field / When we started digging that ground / Something extraordinary happened / The soil begun to get wet / More and more, more and more / Streams of water like blood in the veins wet that arid ground / Your father was right / He lost a son but he found the water / Yes, but if your father was right, what was your reason?..." In the booklet you can find an excerpt from a poem of the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio describing the water gushing out from a source. A little message of hope in a dramatic story of hate and violence.

The reprise of the opening theme concludes the album. "How many hopes how many illusions / You had on this world / They killed you without a reason / As they would have killed a soldier in war / They found you stretched at full length / With four bullets planted in your chest / You thought you were almost immortal / But you died in a common way / When you were just sixteen".

"Terra in bocca" is a piece of poetry dressed up in a progressive rock suit. No need for coarse language to describe violence, the word "mafia" is never pronounced. Nevertheless, poetry and progressive music in the Italy of 1971 were a kind of act of rebellion. In my opinion this album deserves the status of masterpiece.

P.S.: The lyrics I quoted are chosen passages that I translated by kind permission of VM 2000 - BTF

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Early, important Italian prog classic

For the Italian prog buff Giganti's "Terra in Bocca" is an important early title as it was one of the very first of the Italian classic period canon. Released in 1971 it was the work of a band previously known as one of the successful Italian beat bands of the 1960s, forming in 1964 and based in Milan. The album itself is really a special one.a concept album about the Italian mafia in 1920s Sicily apparently based on some true incidents and the accounts of an old prisoner. Sensitivities in Italy about issues relating to the mafia caused the music to be banned by Italian radio of the time. Featuring two connected side long suites the album feels very ambitious like the Pholas Dactylus classic but is more naturally engaging. I am also reminded of the band Raminghi whose beat roots came through in their '70s work but Giganti succeed on a greater level, combining a wonderful Sicilian folk sound with progressive rock. I was occasionally reminded of Jethro Tull, Buon Vecchio Charlie, and even Brian Wilson's "Smile" with its creative, grandiose spirit. The band were joined by guests Ares Tavolazzi (Area), Marcello Dellacasa (Latte Miele), and Vince Tempera (Il Volo) making the album even more historically important. You get to hear these noted Italian prog musicians well before they achieved success in their respective bands.

The music of Terra is an absolute treat. As many mention, it is true that this album is not as outwardly "weird and wild" as some of the 73-74 period albums would become, and there are not long extended instrumentals. But it is no less rewarding. The music rests on a bed of emotional, spicy piano playing and soft mellotron. The acoustic guitars are crisp and vibrant, played with a bold passion while electric leads have a gritty yet reserved bite, a compressed distortion. While not a consistently hard rock album they certainly dig in their heels in a few places. Occasionally flutes add a nice touch to the edges. But the real magic of Terra rests in the songwriting, the arrangements, and especially in the vocals. These guys can sing and harmonize very well, it is pure joy to listen to their dramatic emotional delivery throughout. Sometimes they belt it out like the Italians are known for, other times it is soft and sensitive, still other times they can harmonize like Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Layered so beautifully and always moving from one charming moment to the next Terra is like watching a very good film. Movement from an acoustic folk section into a hot rock section and then into a bit of weirdness. Beyond the mere description of the sounds and instruments is the way this album "feels." It seems quite traditional on the surface with folksy storytelling and melodic appeal but soon you begin to notice that Giganti moves beyond folk and beat influence into the origins of the Italian progressive sound. There are unusual shifts, twists, and turns in this musical adventure as they inject an avant feel without ever abandoning the warmth and passion of this very accessible music. Bottom line.Terra feels like an afternoon out on the patio of a charming Sicilian country home, sharing bread, wine, and old family stories set to the most delightful music. The band has an obvious affinity for the story and the music which completely transcends the language issue to me. If you want to know more about the lyrical side of the album please read Andrea Parentin's superb review where he translates the story for English readers.

The Akarma gatefold mini is wonderful with excellent sound quality for 1971, a bonus track that's not bad, and a bonus poster. All fans of Italian prog should consider this a must to hear. Again, it will not satisfy those seeking extreme instrumental adventurism but it doesn't need to. There are other ways that progressive rock can thrill and enrapture you. This is yet another example that may crack my Italian top 20. Superb. 9/10

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars 01. Part Press I-Largo iniziale II-Molto Largo III-Avanti IV-Avanti Tutto - Brutto Moment - Plim Plim V-Al Parossismo Plim Plim - Delicato Andant VI-Rumor - Fine Incombente Well, here we are facing a giant wall (pardon me the pun) and special. The first part of the disc opens so confused, but soon finds a way more 'traditional', that little hard, many pianos and keyboards in the beginning, some great guitars, too. Everything here is played on a pure and emotional. When the voice starts (sensational, all four, yes, everyone sing), starting with some clever guitars. Here the story begins and some spoken vocals, the piano back sensational. Again enter the voice said on the scene, literally, which gives me the impression of one of those films to the Italian Malena, which is excellent! The next part is more 'happy', all singing, a major voice in the background. A small intersection. Then another part emotional, beautiful face of battery, and a save for the special keys. Vocal mad and then return all voices doing a wonderful job. A most Rock first appears here, with rabid and vocal time on high, which lasts just as the voice again and also because it is time to 'park'. Part instrumental longer with various parties' orchestrated 'most vocal and interpretative. A far from full of details and melody bucolic calm and follow up. The piano and guitar chords to marry perfectly with the voice, suddenly ... A strange synth enter into play and ... boom! Changes everything. Rock 'n' Roll with a guitar solo (and keyboard) and everything. But the time it takes to last, just the melody (which is the strength of the disc) back in a sensational subject, the more vocal make it really seems a play, even a musical. What melody PQP. The end of the first part repeats this melody that most sensational, not the small defects ripping (clearly made of one or more LPs) to ruin. The final is perfect, full of guitars and a piano to the fund which was perfect for all 23 minutes of play.

02. Party Monday I-Fine Lontana - Allegro Per Niente Both II-Va La Gatta Al Largo - Su E Giu III-Larghissimo - Inside Tutto IV-Alba Di Note - Rimbalzello Sad V-Rimbalzello Compiacente - Ma Non Troppo Ossetia - Fine The topic that ended in the first part begins here in a manner equal, but at the same time different. The issue here is heavier, and full of breaks, imagine a movie of persecution, those full of action. The guitar the sole issue, the band follows closely. The voice enters with what I imagine to be a flute (or a keyboard very good). But the guitars are they highlight it. And that voice that just are multiplied in the melody that is the main part (and also the most beautiful). Many 'uhuhus' the track too. Here once again the thing changes, a theme all broken and full of fear. The four vocal really make much difference for the music I Giganti (here the Gentle Giant would be inspired? Both in name and in several vocal?). Some echoes of King Crimson here, some blows, parts broken, much suspense in the air. The battery reminds me rather the lines of Nick Mason (Pink Floyd). An abrupt cut and more ... A sequence with a quiet and beautiful and melodic voice and piano sensational. After the sensational voice, yelled, torn, dying to tell what you want when the party is only with bumbo and incredible voice gives a sense, then, can dance and boogie baby, happy to be a little, we get back to you all the melancholy that brings the disc. Back the boogie with their vocal support worthy of the title of great. The chapel of folk round for a moment, renaissance. But little hard, the guitar and vocal torn back, but that will come from-and-tunes (laughter). What vocal barbarians (in honor of a friend). This keyboard 'angelic' gives a feeling indescrítivel would tickle the brain? The noises of the mind? From what I understand very little of the Italian now you get the emotion of the spoken voice, before returning to singing in breach of hand. And also the whole quebradeira. After the music character 'dead ends so banal,' but not the disk! Classic absolouto!

If this is not recognized as a major world records of prog and even by Italian is pure lack of curiosity and attention of their own proggers, which are wrapped in the mesh of the main names of the genre! Wake staff!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars No doubt an important early entry in the RPI catalogue. I GIGANTI up to this album were a beat band with all four members taking part in vocals. That continues on this album by the way. In 1971 they decided to record a Progressive concept album based on an interview with a prisoner about the Mafia. They get some much needed help from guitarist Marcello Della Casa (LATTE E MIELE), bassist Ares Tavolazzi (AREA) and keyboardist Vince Tempera (IL VOLO). As I mentioned earlier all four members sing on this album and the vocals really dominate the sound here which I don't like. We're talking about spoken words, almost spoken vocals, passionate vocals, normal vocals well you get the picture. The instrumental work takes a back seat here. Yes this is a good example of why i'm not a fan of concept albums. This record is divided into two long suites.

"Prima Parte" has this dramatic intro before it settles with piano. More dramatics as the guitar comes in after 1 1/2 minutes. Piano follows as the tempo picks up. Guitar and mellotron after 3 minutes then we get vocals for the first time as it settles after 3 1/2 minutes. The rest of the way we get loads of mellotron and different vocal styles as the tempo and mood changes constantly.

"Seconde Parte" opens with drums as vocals and mellotron join in. This is good. Almost spoken vocals with piano 2 1/2 minutes in. Mellotron too then it fades as spoken words take over. It builds before 5 minutes with drums, piano and guitar standing out. Like the first side we then get frequent tempo and mood shifts while the vocals, keyboards and mellotron dominate.

There's no way I can give this more than 3 stars, but if your into concept albums and RPI then this will probably be right up your alley.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A group from Milan, formed in 1964 by drummer Sergio Papes and brothers Giacomo and Sergio Martino, on guitars and bass respectively.They were joined by keyboardist Francesco Marsella a year later and performed in a Beat/Rock style for several years, having a great live activity and a good number of singles out along with their eponymous debut from 1966.1968 sees the demise of the band due to the new world order in music with Hippy/Psychedelic Rock emerging, but in 1970 the four anxious personalities came together to continue what was left.In 1971 I Giganti released the album ''Terra in bocca'' on RiFi, a concept album around the Italian maphia.

With Vince Tempera (later with Il Volo) on keyboards, future Area's bassist Ares Tavolazzi and a couple of more guests, I Giganti offered a great work, split in two side-long suites and listed among the first true Italian Prog albums.Depending on the lyrics, the music swirls from intense and passionate passages to softer and accesible parts.I Giganti really surprise on most of the album's length with the inventive arrangements presented.From the guitar-based Heavy Rock to the dramatic Mellotron-drenched Symphonic Rock and the adventurous Progressive Rock with sudden breaks and shifting moods, the four members of the band prooved why they were a band with potential already since their early years.But there are lots of smoother moments with acoustic guitars leading the way along with pianos and a light rhythm section, definitely having a very Folk approach and always serving the main purpose of the concept.Vocals are also very well-performed, either speaking for the romantic individual performances of the members or the multi-vocal harmonies dominating the album.Originally divided into 11 pieces, the whole concept is very tight and cohesive with the musicianship being always challenging throughout the album.

After another single in 1972 I Giganti disbanded for good with some members involved in various prog-related projects like Marsella playing on the Track album from 1974 and guitarist Di Martino playing in Avant-Rockers Telaio Magnetico and later in Albergo Intergalattico Spaziale.More recently Sergio Papes decided to reform the band, which still plays live in the new millenium.

As with all conservatives countries around the time, ''Terra in bocca'' was banned by the Italian media.However the several reissues wll give the opportinity to the starved prog fan to listen to this very good prog work from early-70's.Some of them, like the Vinyl Magic 89' edition, has a slightly compressed running time (44 instead of the original 46 minutes), propably coming out of the demo tapes of the album.Overall highly recommended, both from a historical and musical point of view.

Review by Warthur
5 stars This might have been their swansong, but I Giganti were well ahead of the Italian prog curve, because before any of PFM or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's classic albums, before Le Orme hit their classic period, and before the Italian prog boom really went into full swing they brought out the masterful Terra In Bocca. It seems like a risky proposition for a band from Sicily to make a concept album about the Mafia, but that's precisely what they did, with a combination of ELP- esque technicality, Yes harmonies, and a theatricality unique to the band which makes the album a cohesive concept album that's a little unlike anything I've heard before. It's all the more impressive when you consider that their preceding albums were lightweight beat pop.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Although dating back to 1964 and producing a string of hit singles in the Italian beat scene which even found them playing with The Beatles in 1965, the Milan based I GIGANTI are best known for this early Italian concept album TERRA IN BOCCA - POESIA DI UN DELITO (Earth / ground / soil in Mouth - Poetry of a Crime) of progressive rock that featured a rock opera that accused the Mafia of a water war in Sicily. A remarkable task considering as late as 1969 the band was still stuck in the early 60s on its second album "Mille Idee Dei Giganti." Somehow the band bypassed the psychedelic rock middle road and crafted a beautiful prog album before most of the Italian scene had gotten started.

Virtually nothing from I GIGANTI's beat years survived in the complete makeover with the only exception being some of the vocal harmonies between the four members with drummer Sergio Maria's distinct bass vocals standing out. This complete transformation into progressive rock was mainly due to guitarist / vocalist Giacomo Di Martino initiating this most telling tale of Italy's public enemy #1. He virtually wrote all the music himself. The album also featured seven guest musicians although two were uncredited at the time. The storyline revolves around a 16-year old boy and his young lover at odds with the Mafia forces that were using water wars to keep Sicily under their power.

While the album was one of the first of the more complex progressive rock albums to emerge from Italy, the style of how it was presented was prescient in how the scene would play out. The album featured eleven tracks which all connected thus making it a whole album experiences but yet separated by two side-long suites. The music featured what many would consider the classic PFM or Banco style based in classical music with organs, acoustic guitars, mellotrons and uncommon knotty time signature deviations. The vocalists were operatic in conversation with an electric guitar and due to the story a few bits of spoken word narration. Like most of the Italian scene I GIGANTI performed exclusively in the Italian language but even if the story escapes you, the music will draw you in.

The music in tandem with the lyrical storytelling will be lost on non-Italian speakers but the music alone is well worth the price of admission. The album opens with an instrumental overture and then proceeds to use the music to evoke the proper emotional responses to the tale of the Mafia who has killed the boy who was trying to expose their money making endeavors. The album continues with the boy's father seeking revenge and lots of dramatic twists and turns that follow. The music while mostly oriented on the keyboards finds a larger than life shifting of styles and dynamics with influences from classical, rock, jazz and English and French prog. A quick perusing of the band's previous two beat albums only makes this one more impressive as the sophistication was off the charts. The album has been compared to "Jesus Christ Superstar."

Despite being at the height of their career as one of Italy's greatest pop rock band's I GIGANTI took a huge risk releasing TERRA IN BOCCA and unfortunately lost. The album was played a single time on the radio but then was banned due to censorship regarding anything Mafia related thus leaving this one an underground obscurity until it was rediscovered in 1989 and re-released on CD on the Vinyl Magic label. The power of the Mafia was so strong that it literally ended the band's career after TERRA IN BOCCA was released. It's interesting that the punk rockers who came later in the decade were put off by prog's escapist themes that weren't grounded in the real world. Apparently they never heard this Italian gem that was prog in musical structure but about as punk as it gets in its scathing review of the political situations in the homeland. While not the absolute best Italian example of prog, this album is widely considered one of the most important albums of Italian rock.

Latest members reviews

5 stars The ultimate concept album of prog rock. No elves or fairies here, but a solid and moving story of a mafia murder (and embedded story of love and revenge) in 1920's Sicily: yet a very contemporary topic. Do get the lyrics. Incredibly sophisticated music for a band that used to play catchy but ... (read more)

Report this review (#56169) | Posted by aprusso | Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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