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Il Paradiso degli Orchi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Il Paradiso degli Orchi Il Corponauta album cover
3.82 | 72 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Il Mondo dei Pensieri (6:41)
2. Il Corponauta (2:57)
3. Silenzi (7:08)
4. Specchio (4:23)
5. Pioggia (7:43)
6. Volare Via (6:05)
7. La Stanza dei Ricordi (7:34)
8. Addio al Corpo (4:59)
9. Il Volo (3:13)
10. Deserto (pt.1 Lento pt.2 Desertica pt.3 Petali di Rose) (18:37)
11. Il Gran Finale (9:21)

total time: 78:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Michele Sambrici / guitars & synth
- Marco DeGiacomi / drums & vocals
- Andrea Corti / bass
- Stefano Corti / percussion
- Sven Jorgensen / vocals
- Andrea Calzoni / flute

Releases information

Label: AMS
Release date: April 8th, 2016

Thanks to Aussie-Byrd-Brother for the addition
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IL PARADISO DEGLI ORCHI Il Corponauta ratings distribution

(72 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

IL PARADISO DEGLI ORCHI Il Corponauta reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Every year presents no shortage of superior Italian prog discs, but there's always that handful of titles that completely stand out from the rest as an almighty progressive musical statement, and Brescian band Il Paradiso degli Orchi (The Orcs' Paradise) have absolutely delivered one of them with their second album `Il Corponauta', inspired by the novel by Flavio Emer. Overseen by modern Italian prog notable Fabio Zuffanti, the group present a chaotic, hair-tearing work of loopy intensity that always remains highly melodic and accessible without skimping on daring progressive technicality, and their richness of vocal arrangements is truly without compare. The group always sound very youthful and contemporary, but they also show a great understanding of the classic Italian prog groups with influences from the first few Premiata Forneria Marconi albums, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and the many vintage Italian bands who featured a heavy use of flute in their music, but they never come across as mere imitators for even a second.

Opener `Il Mondo dei Pensieri' bristles with a purring danger of all those wilder classic RPI discs, full of energetic guitar bite, searing Mellotron cuts, ruminative flute and exotic percussion, and the variety of group vocals and harmonies is seductive. The gloomy piano-driven of `Il Corponauta' is darkly theatrical and maddening (and just listen to that sneaking bass in the background!), `Silenzi' (perhaps one of the greatest tunes to appear on an Italian prog disc throughout 2016 to date, and vocalist Sven Jorgensen delivers an incredible performance) is a melancholic ballad that slowly builds in power and victory, echoing classic-era Genesis and Premiata Forneri Marconi due to its pastoral qualities from chiming acoustic guitar, gentle flute and wispy Mellotron. `Specchio' is a warm pop-rocker with whirring synths aplenty, P.F.M fans will instantly fall for the ravishing`Pioggia' with its bouncy energy, peppy synth lines and hearty acoustic guitar strums, and `Volare Via' combines dynamic controlled drumming and fiery-edged extended guitar soloing passages with a youthful indie-rock spirit that reminds of Chilean band Aisles.

`La Stanza dei Ricordi' has spirited Mediterranean-infused infectiousness, `Addio al Corpo' rumbles with infernal Mellotron- spiked malevolence and ranting vocals, and `Il Volo' is a shorter fanfare with sly grooves. But the showcase moment is the 18 plus-minute `Deserto' where a complex range of vocal arrangements weave in and out of everything from bluesy saunters of Pink Floyd-like guitar fireworks, drowsy harmonica drones, even subtle reggae struts and dramatic spoken-word passages. But the second half is dominated by devilish flute wisps, classical dark-edged fancy and theatrical crooning in the manner of the classic vintage Italian works. The nine-minute finale `Il Gran Finale' is just that, a fitting closer that, after initially opening full of upbeat Yes-like energy with lots of snappy time-changes, heads into darker chanting vocals and creeping Mellotron murkiness with grand guitar soloing to wrap on.

The 79 minute running time is a risk, but there is literally not a wasted second on the entire disc, and it constantly proves the band is bursting with inspiration and musical creativity with the enviable technical skills to bring those ideas to life. It has a rich and sophisticated production from Fabio Zuffanti that doesn't skimp on dirty rough edges when it suits the music, and there is no other Italian disc in 2016 so far that comes close to matching the complex and exquisite vocal arrangements found here. Every track is incredible on its own, but all housed together on one disc means you have an utterly essential modern Italian prog disc, one that will surely increase the status of the group from this point on. It makes `Il Corponauta' the absolute standout Rock Progressivo Italiano album for this year, and just one of the best progressive rock albums overall as well. Well done, Il Paradiso degli Orchi, you've set the prog-rock standard for 2016!

Five stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It was easy, real easy! It took only two names to smilingly press the send button on the order and get Il Corponauta shipped into my avid hands. Fabio Zuffanti can do no wrong , as far as a modern prog icon is concerned as all his output is phenomenal (with only 2 hiccups , the Merlin concept as well as that ambient noise experiment Quadraphonic ), creating delirious music with Hostsonaten, la Maschera di Cera, Finisterre, La Zona, Rohmer and many more , as well as facilitating Unreal City to achieve their stardom. He does it here again. The second name is my fellow reviewer on Progarchives, Aussie-Byrd-Brother, with whom I share incalculable amounts of common releases and subsequent reviews ("He ain't heavy, he's my brother"). His recommendations are eternally spot on, as we seem to have parallel tastes, remarkable only that we are literally at each other antipodes (he in Australia and myself in Canada). The third thing that got me was his depiction of a lascivious bass carving through this entire opus, and well, Achilles heel of doubt was dutifully severed.

Il Paradido degli Orchi are from lovely Brescia, a relatively younger crew by all accounts who venerate the RPI tradition by taking the style to new modern heights, fresh and crisp like the Lombard morning sun. Being a bass guitar fan of the highest order, immediate kudos need to be sent out to the ever present groove maestro Andrea Corti, whose demeanor gives all the tracks a great foundation and presence. Main man Michele Sambrici handles the guitar chores with considerable talent, as well as fiddling with a variety of keyboards, inspiring gigantic melodies and flipping some desirable solos on both instruments. With a dedicated drummer and a deft percussionist, the rhythmic expanse is lush and defiant, pulsating, throbbing and thumping. Finally, vocalist Sven Jorgensen may have Scandinavian roots with such a typical Norse name, but he sings in perfect Italian and perfectly well.

From the opening bars of "Il Mondo dei Pensieri", this endowed bunch catapult straight into a vortex of sound, pummeled by intricate beats, humongous bass ramblings and slashing guitars, Sven howling to the moon. Complex weavings, elaborate time sigs and undeniable zeal, the piece takes you on an immediate journey beyond the routine musical sounds and flirts with audacity and appeal. Sambricci peels off a few slithering solos, all sulfur and spice, infusing fire and finesse, pushed along by the hard clout of the drums. A world of thoughts, indeed. The title track is short, sweet and manic, dissonance and dexterous disaster just waiting to explode. And it does, boom! In total contrast, the soporific pacifism of "Silenzi" takes on epic proportions, serene pillows of sound, restraint and calm shaping the arrangement, flute dabbles and a bucolic vocal that nears early morning awakening. This man can sing, mamma mia! Aromas of classic RPI linger in the Lombardino air, with massive mellotron crests, flute and clanging guitars that recall old PFM, this is a true corker, as hallway through the melody blooms into sheer magnificence, a melodic rainbow of colored sounds and undisguised emotional release. Nifty guitar blast, insistent and buzzing really shoots for the stars. I mean, wow, these guys are on!

"Specchio" is a shorter track that has doggedness stamped all over it, a manic ramble bustling with muscle, Sven wailing again, undeterred. Loopy rhythms, curved synth flights, rotund bass musings (this guy is just fascinating) and driven pulse, all congeal the track into submission. "Pioggia" on the other hand, while remaining focused and exhilarating, infuses some fun and fantasy into the proceedings, swerving like some Alfa Romeo on steroids, careening down some rainy Alpine pass, unafraid of any guardrails. The piece unexpectedly evolves into a more obscure cadence that highlights a soaring melody, searching, scouring and ultimately finding resolution. The suave guitar arch, aided by some serene mellotron waves, is totally mesmerizing. I was almost thinking Carlos Santana at one moment, so rich and melodic is Sambrici's style. Barely halfway through, and you just feel that this is going to be a masterpiece, perhaps even a revelation for 2016.

"Volare Via" underlines this initial Santana feel I had earlier, as this sounds like something off his 'Borboletta' album, the honeyed and determined guitar rifling like some Beretta machine gun, shoved along by polyvalent percussives, a real unique sound that may recall fellow Italians Proteo (whose album 'Republikflucht' is a modern prog classic), then as per norm, the tune veers into a contemporary song that has lightness and simplicity as main directives, a ridiculous contrast that shows incredible creativity and impeccable delivery.

Complexity returns initially on "La Stanza dei Ricordi", brooding cross rhythms that recall a proggy The Fixx, but in a more playful countrified style, Sambrici masterfully raging on his guitar as if was some derelict mandolin, metamorphosing into a Dexy's Midnight Runners-like pattern of entertaining, almost Irish in style, playfully reeling along , proud as a peacock. Incredible audacity, masterfully pulled off. This initial half time of amusement turns into a second volume that is way more brooding and austere, still maintaining the original spine but now it's the mellotron strings that imperialize that arrangement. Sven displays a multitude of tones, singing his heart out serenely one minute and wailing like a banshee the next. Pazzo! Throw in a bluesy saxophone solo, courtesy of Andrea Calzoni and one cannot help but smile in sheer adulation, as the 'tron sings along.

Back to the theater stage we go on the frenzied "Addio al Corpo", a schizophrenic vocal display only matched by more schizoid playing that is all buzzing and monstrous, cannonading drums blasts from Marco DiGiacomi and hectic guitar histrionics. Desperation, obsession and rage fuel the relentless furrow, this is verging on the ridiculous. Time for some praying? Va bene, these ragazzi go religiously to the altar and do the spiritual thing on "Il Volo", celestial mellotrons and busy bass hustling the voice to urge on the Gregorian choir feel, a sensational diversion that speaks of their vast pool of creative juice.

The balls, the courage, the gall to place this 18 minute behemoth here is the playlist! I have rarely witnessed such confidence from any young band anywhere on the planet, assembling this ultimate prog manifesto, highlighted by this unreal capacity to recreate new horizons while respecting the glorious past traditions. Seemingly the Italians have this in their blood or DNA, it's unbelievable. "Deserto" sort of encompasses all the previous tracks and the comments associated with them, a roller coaster of sound and texture, forever evolving and seeking adventure. I am generally never at a loss to find words to express my thoughts 'but I fear tomorrow I will be crying' as I am clearly failing. Everything is here, from excitement to discovery, from familiarity to complexity, the well-oiled 'macchina' is superlative in creating the drive and the mood. Andrea Corti motivates the sonic pistons to boldly go beyond the norm, everyone exuding impeccable technique as well as unabashed zeal, a true voyage of distinctive peaks and valleys, occasionally playful, often securely serious and always masterfully blended. The flute goes delirious, the drums flail obediently, the choir pleading with the heavens and Sven engaging his lungs with willpower.

Finishing off with another epic track, the breathless "Il Gran Finale", one gets the same impression as after a 80s Springsteen concert: total exhaustion! The energy, drive, commitment and deliverance are just simply overpowering, as the percolating percussion overtakes the frantic vocal, sublime Santana-esque guitar lines from maestro Michele Sambrici take hold and sustain the mood. But when Magma-like chanting kicks in, one is reminded of fellow Italians Universal Totem Orchestra. Just as suddenly, the mighty mellotron veers the finale into a parallel universe, lyrical electric guitar carving mightily, as the bass cavorts openly with the rhythmic expanse. This is hysterically delicious prog.

I rarely if ever anoint a debut with 5 star perfection but this is just plainly a progressive rock colossus. Perhaps the finest RPI album in recent memory and definitely Paradise . Ancora, per favore! I need a nap now, buona notte

5 body cosmonauts

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is album number two for this young Italian band. The first record(2011) was pretty good but that's about it in my opinion. Enter Fabio Zuffanti to guide the proceedings and not surprisingly they've improved in almost every area. We get the usual instruments plus sax, flute and mellotron. The vocals are in Italian and are half decent. I must say that the almost 79 minute running time has influenced my rating because I'm just not that into this so it's been a challenge. There's so much great music here though and I count three tracks that I really like, while there's also three songs I'd skip if I wasn't listening to review this. Clearly I'm in the minority here as this has been getting a lot of praise in Prog circles but I'm not feeling it myself, just in spurts while listening to this.

"Il Mondo Dei Pensieri" is a good opener and a top three. They hit the ground running with vocals. The guitar is fairly aggressive at times then the mellotron joins in. Nice. I like the flute at 2 1/2 minutes along with the bass and drums as the guitar continues. Check out the extended guitar after 5 minutes as he lights it up. "Il Corponauta" the title track is disappointing. It's fast paced with vocals which I'm not into here as he sings with a bit of theatrics. I do like when the guitar enters the picture as it's quite adventerous but then the vocals return. The mellotron sounds amazing after 2 minutes but the vocals not so much, and we get an intense ending.

"Selenzi" is a top three and probably my favourite. These guys in my opinion create some incredible romantic Italian music bringing PFM to mind. I just wish there was more of it because this is their strength. This one is fairly laid back with soft vocals and sound. Some nice flute and the mellotron is gorgeous before 2 minutes along with the whole sound. Some emotion when the vocals return before 4 1/2 minutes, nice bass too. "Specchio" is another good one that features strummed guitar and bass to start as the vocals join in. They will contrast the mellow with the more fuller sections. A feel good tune. "Pioggia" reminds me of PFM's "Celebration" tune with the pulsating sounds that also bring THE DOORS to mind. A change before 2 1/2 minutes though when the vocals arrive and they will come and go. Nice guitar 6 1/2 minutes in as the tempo picks up. Not really a fan overall. "Volare Via" has a sound I enjoy. The drumming and mellotron sound really good along with the guitar when it joins in. Vocals after 2 1/2 minutes as it settles down but the tempo will continue to shift.

"La Stanza Dei Ricordi" is one I can't get into. It's uptempo with some excellent sounding bass. I'm not into that sound after 2 minutes as it brings a Celtic vibe with flute. It's much better when it settles down after 3 1/2 minutes and the vocals arrive. Lots of mellotron too. "Addio Al Corpo" is a top three. I like the distorted guitar as the flute and spoken words join in. It turns powerful including the vocals as the tempo picks up and the drums gallop away. This is urgent and intense with some killer mellotron. Check out the guitar before 3 1/2 minutes as he rips it up. "Il Volo" opens with multi-vocals, no instruments until just before 30 seconds when a beat kicks in and the vocals stop. Vocal melodies before 2 minutes. Catchy stuff.

"Deserto" is over 18 1/2 minutes in length. It's pleasant and melodic with flute, a beat and more. Relaxed vocals join in. It calms right down with percussion only around 7 minutes then kicks back in without vocals this time as the guitar leads the way. Spoken words after 10 minutes then it settles back again with flute. A nice flute/ mellotron section after 15 minutes with a beat that goes on for some time thankfully. Vocals are back after 17 minutes but more passionate this time. "Il Gran Finale" is the over 9 minute closer although I thought the previous epic would have been the perfect closer. This one is fairly punchy and energetic. The vocals arrive after a minute as it settles right down. It kicks back in with mellotron this time. I like the aggression. Vocals stop and we get a guitar solo around 4 minutes. The song continues to change as we get multi-vocals and atmosphere(wind) only before 6 1/2 minutes, then it kicks back in sounding really good with that mellotron. The guitar starts to solo after 8 minutes pretty much to the end.

Man I'm conflicted with this album but I just don't enjoy it enough to pull the trigger on 4 stars. For me it's closer to 3 stars than it is to 5 stars, lets just say that. So much music and as I often say about double albums, they could have cut the time almost in half making it more about quality. Please check this out though as most seem to love it. For me "Warm Spaced Blue" stands alone in 2016 as the best RPI album.

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