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ABIOGENESI

Crossover Prog • Italy


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Abiogenesi biography
Upon their arrival on the prog scene in the mid 90's, ABIOGENESI showed a surprisingly charismatic style which they continued to display for over ten years. Out of the entire prog catalogue, this prolific Italian band chose to go back to the roots, dressing up the 70's traditional sound with new craftsmanship and a variety of influences. Classic prog isn't exactly what they play as their style has a dark, hard feel, although it blends well with the symphonic style. Their influences are basically threefold: heavy art rock (classic influence or modern arrangements), psychedelic prog, and modern Italian symphonic prog. Retro-prog could perhaps be mentioned also, as the band seeks to recreate a druggy, classic psych atmoshpere that blends fantasy, melodious passages and improvisation.

ABIOGENESI are essentially marked by their guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Toni d'Urso. The initial quartet, which also included drummer Sandro Immacolato, bassist Roberto Piccolo and keyboardist Patrick Menegaldo, was in itself an original and promising entity. After their second album, Menegaldo was replaced by organist and flutist Marco Cimino, who was later replaced by Paulo Cercato. Their many albums also feature other musicians among whom Clive Jones from BLACK WIDOW, Gigi Venegoni and Kevin Brooks are most prolific.

As influences go, BLACK WIDOW first come to mind; not only because of the music's hard-rock feel (rather deceiving at times), but the similarities between the two bands are palpable. In addition to collaborating with Clive Jones, ABIOGENESI did covers of BLACK WIDOW's "Sabbath" album and contributed to their tribute album "King Of The Witches" in 2000; in fact, ABIOGENESI's never strays far from BLACK WIDOW's characteristic prog style. Their music can also be likened to that of label-mates STANDARDE as well as to the heavy style of HIGH TIDE or KING CRIMSON. The more jazzy or retro sound isn't particularly relative, being perhaps a swell result of their craft; the psychedelic influence is brought on by a slight Floydian touch. The Italian influence is reminiscent of BALLETO DI BRONZO or a darker ARTI E MESIERI. Finally, ABIOGENESI seem fascinated for the English accent and the dark prose of Poe, Lovecraft and Rice.

Despite all of the above, ABIOGENESI's history remains quite obscure. Their first album is considered a fantastic debut, featuring long pieces, effects and complex atmospheres; it is a blend of instrumental psychedelia and me...
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Io Sono Il VampiroIo Sono Il Vampiro
Import
Black Widow 2013
Audio CD$18.74
$22.14 (used)
Le Notti Di SalemLe Notti Di Salem
Import
Black Widow 2005
Audio CD$11.93
$12.00 (used)
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ABIOGENESI discography


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ABIOGENESI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 25 ratings
Abiogenesi
1995
3.11 | 19 ratings
Il Giocoscuro
1996
3.02 | 14 ratings
Le Notti Di Salem
2000
2.90 | 20 ratings
Io Sono Il Vampiro
2005
3.67 | 3 ratings
Impetus Insectorum
2010

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ABIOGENESI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Io Sono Il Vampiro by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.90 | 20 ratings

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Io Sono Il Vampiro
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

2 stars Abiogenesi is a band I listened all their albums (with exception of their latest one Impetus Insectorum) and after 4 albums I can't quite say why. It's just sometimes, especially in my early years, I liked to listen a band's discography album by album if possible (still do that). Some bands I don't like their music right away and I don't go further, some bands like Abiogenesi I don't quite like, but I have the hope they'll do better in future albums. Sometimes this is truth, sometimes, like in Abiogenesi's case, not really. Io Sono Il Vampiro (2005) is their third album and I don't think I'm going to listen their newest after all. Abiogenesi is one of this bands that were never able to get free from the 'they're OK' chains. You know what I mean right? Bands that record good albums but fail in achieve a greater sound or fail to go further and challenge some boundaries in their music. In Io Sono Il Vampiro (2005) that's what we have, a band that works well, with an ok production, ok musicianship and a songwriting that is above average, and that kills the album! Their music is quite gloomy and somber, as in all of their albums, and it's all about mood, but again, as a soundtrack (as sometimes it seems to be the goal) it would never work but doesn't work as a standard Prog album neither.

If you like some gloomy/somber Prog with 90's sound, go for it. But I would choose something else.

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 Il Giocoscuro by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.11 | 19 ratings

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Il Giocoscuro
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Occult tinged Abiogenesi have kept constantly refining their dark blend of hard and heavy gloomy rock with strong psychedelic and more traditional Italian 70's progressive touches for almost twenty years now. In that time they've produced a handful of very consistent albums that, while not totally essential, are more than worthy additions to any progressive rock collection. Their second album `Il Giocoscuro' (which I think translates to `The Dark Game') is full of one extended work and a few shorter pieces that showcase all the strengths of the band.

The side-long title track that opens the album is comprised of 6 different sections full of wonderful progressive playing and flowing arrangements. The typical gloomy occult mood is set right from the start with howling desolate winds, preparing the way for...classic 70's typical Italian prog?! Yes, instead of heavy guitars and a brooding atmosphere, we get lovely strummed acoustic guitar, snappy drumming and melodic flute with those trademark passionate Italian vocals - you'll quickly look back at the eerie album cover and wonder if you're listening to the correct album! Like a racing heartbeat, the pace quickens and soon diverts into a foot-tapping jazzy piano/bass/drum workout with floating Hammond organ and striking accordion. Still confused here! It then lurches into wailing wah-wah guitar runs racing around other-wordly treated vocals. There's an acoustic passage with pleading vocals before an abrasive and distorted noisy electric guitar solo backed with tribal-like drums and spacey harsh electronics swirling all around. Here we go - sinister maniacal laughter and dirge like organ stomp along with Black Sabbath-like repetitive riffs and soaring solos until the end. This piece encompasses all the different styles and sounds that Abiogenesi perform so well.

The translated title to the second track reads `On the edge of the forest, Death soared upon His sickle' - now THAT is a title! Despite creeping whispered vocals full of echo, `Sul Margine Del Bosco La Morte Librava La Sua Falce' is really an upbeat riff-heavy instrumental with repetitive melodic electric guitar lines, and a frantic up-tempo middle section with a rock-steady drumbeat, growling bass and powerful swooping endless organ soloing. Love the tense climbing wah-wah attack right before the lengthy soaring guitar solo. A very addictive and catchy piece!

`Notte Da Urlare (From Screaming Night) is a downbeat acoustic Italian prog ballad accompanied by accordion and pained dramatic vocals. A reflective break from the endless soloing and more involved tracks!

`Lunipeno' is simply a lovely but brief acoustic instrumental piece that barely runs a minute. The opening of ghostly yet still oddly uplifting `Golem' starts as an eerie instrumental with murky bass, drifting Le Orme-like organ and bluesy guitar work similar to early 70's Pink Floyd. After a surprising rhythm change, the piece turns very somber, with the arrival of creeping bass and haunting Mellotron choirs. This section is highly repetitive and plodding with marching drums and spectral organ playing until the fade out. It ends the album in quite an alarming and sinister manner - exactly what you want from Abiogenesi.

The production of the album is very rough and lo-fi, sounding not unlike their fourth album `Io Sono Il Vampiro'. This gives the music a bit of an edge and appropriate grit, even if it does occasionally lets it down slightly in a few moments. It certainly doesn't have the clean and lively sound that follow-up album `Le Notte Di Salem' does, but I can't help but feel these sort of brooding and darkness-themed bands work well under a cloud of fog and murk. Special mention must also go to the gloriously intense horror-erotic front cover, I especially love the woman's fingernails stretching out to form with the tree branches! Pity I've only got this one on CD, because the striking artwork would look amazing on vinyl. I'm not even sure if it's available on LP from Black Widow anymore, probably long since sold out.

In the end, `Il Giocoscuro' is another highly consistent and fine addition to the gloomy yet beautiful Abiogenesi discography from this reliable and appreciated Italian band.

Three and a half stars.

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 Io Sono Il Vampiro by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.90 | 20 ratings

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Io Sono Il Vampiro
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars `Io Sono Il Vampiro' is a gloomy atmospheric hard-prog work, frequently somber but also reflective. The soundtrack to a horror movie, much of the sound is dominated by Goblin influenced moody organs and epic David Gilmour/Pink Floyd inspired electric guitar work, played with great feeling and passion. Guitarist Toni d'Urso makes such a huge impression, his massive guitar tone sounds like it was recorded in a football stadium, far exceeding the almost 4 track/lo-fi recording/production quality of the album. Abiogenesi's best album to date, proving what a talented band they are, still pushing themselves on this imaginative and immersive work.

Side A's title track has a wintery air, mainly a slowly unwinding Camel/Andy Latimar styled majestic guitar solo with a memorable main theme winding it's way through the piece. It then diverts into a more fiery finale with tasteful hammond runs and plodding bass before a reprise of the guitar theme. There's a great foot-tapping beat on the uptempo ELP styled `Leandro', a heavy organ driven instrumental that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Goblin's `Roller'. Plenty of Gilmour like guitar fills all the way too.`Di Nero Vestita' is a medieval folk lullaby played on flute and acoustic guitar, with a lovely sighed chant in the chorus. Apparently it's a Uriah Heap cover, though I've never heard the original.`Vampire Blues' has a low-key intro followed by hearty full vocals typical of many other Italian progressive albums. There's a wailing ragged guitar solo in the middle with slight bluesy elements, maniacal laughter and gothic organ. `Mary Clark', a Black Widow cover has tasty Mellotron washes throughout, funky wah-wah shimmering guitar, and it all strangely reminds me of Hawkwind's `Warrior On The Edge Of Time'!

Side B begins with a brief crystalline synth piece `Sex Vampire' - sad and mournful, fragile and precious. We then get one of the album's high points, a very different and moving interpretation of Camel's `Never Let Go', it starts with just vocals and lonely organ, before a hugely powerful and arena sized guitar solo, backed with ghostly synth effects and a driving beat that carries it forward into a dramatic climax. `Belfagor' is a very sinister Goblin-like piece, with slow dirge-like guitar riffs, long drawn out sustained notes and murky bass. Strangled guitar solos and other wordly taunting vocals call from the dark. Easily the creepiest part of the album. The best original piece on the album is `Ascolta I Sogni', a slow burning and thoughtful break from all the gloom, with a melodic and warm vocal, gentle percussion, and definite Santana/Black Sabbath elements. The dark imperial sound of `Lontano' has a dramatic vocal introduction before swirling cold synths give way to a warm extended guitar solo to the end, wrapping up the album in a suitably grand manner.

Some listeners will be turned off by the limited production sound. It sounds like the album was a rough lo-fi 4-track recording. Sometimes it lets the grand music down, other times it simply adds and enhances the glum and foggy atmosphere. Admittedly the album is full of fairly simplistic arrangements, so listeners wanting more of a challenge may be left underwhelmed. Some will also look on the reliance of covers as showing a lack of inspiration, however the three cover versions here are all arranged in very different ways to the originals, therefore justified.

I purchased the vinyl copy of `Vampiro' many years ago from Black Widow, and it was only recently when I went to review it that I noticed that the CD version not only has additional tracks, but the running-order is different too. While it annoys me when LP copies have edits or incomplete tracks, I would usually recommend purchasing the CD over the LP, but look at that amazing cover! Painted by Anna Ferrari, who also contributed to the front of the most recent Delirium album `Il Nome Del Vento', the larger format really enhances the impact of the piece and is visually stunning and evocative.

So, not a classic album, but Abiogenesi have produced a consistently good album with a number of effective pieces, and one or two truly outstanding tracks. It's never too demanding but makes for ideal tasteful, if occasionally uneasy background listening. Well worth checking out this album, and I'd love to track the movie down as well!

Three stars, closer to three and a half.

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 Le Notti Di Salem by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.02 | 14 ratings

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Le Notti Di Salem
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The third album by these Italians.

I started to scratch my head when I heard this intro by Clive Jones from Black Widow. Is this album another slab of occult heavy Italian progressive rock ? Nope and I am not sure what Clive Jones is doing here. Announcing his own band ? Paid advert ? Suddenly an advert for Nike golf clubs as an intro on a Rolling Stones album seems like a good idea. Their Sumo brand, to be more precise. Very good golf clubs with max forgiveness due to a large sweetspot, sold in 460 ccm with Fujijama regular nano shaft. 10.5 degrees l/r. Go to your local golf shop for a good offer.

The music itself on this album is heavy prog from the 1970s with good vocals and heavy beats. The tangents is very good and so is the guitars. The vocals too is good for a change. The music is pretty playful with a lot of excellent small details. Playful as in an album by Deep Purple.

The lack of any really good songs is hurting this album big time. But the sound is great though. This is a good album, but nothing more. But I have to admit I have a weak spot for this band.

Btw. You can also buy good Nike golf balls from your local golf shop. For example the xtra distance golf ball where you are guaranteed to hit the cow on the moon if used together with a Nike driver.

3.5 stars

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 Abiogenesi by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.16 | 25 ratings

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Abiogenesi
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Trawling through old albums and bands listed on ProgArchives is bound to throw up different sounds and some nice surprises. The debut album from Abiogenesi is one of them.

Abiogenesi was set up to create the 1970s sound. And let me add; the Rock Progressivo Italiano sound from the 1970s. This is very much a Rock Progressivo Italiano album and should be awarded an associate membership of that genre. There are some notable Van Der Graaf Generator influences throughout though.

The sound is excellent throughout with vintage tangents, guitars, bass and drums. The vocals too is very good. The musicians is doing a competent job and I have no complaints whatsoever.

The quality is great throughout with some truly great songs. The best one is without doubt the closing track Apputamento Con La Luna which is very much in the great tradition of RPI. Though with some added elements of both Pink Floyd and Genesis too.

In short, this is a very pleasant Rock Progressivo Italiano album which deserves a wider audience.

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 Abiogenesi by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.16 | 25 ratings

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Abiogenesi
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Unique-sounding,now disbanded,Italian act but with straight retro references.ABIOGENESI were formed in the beginnings of the 90's with an aim to create dark and vintagr-like art rock.Listed under the bands of Black Widow Label,I didn't expect to hear anything else than good and heavy progressive/art rock.

''Abiogenesi'' was released in 1995,consisting of seven mainly quite long tracks.The electric guitars are very carefully used and the main characteristics of their sound is the lush organ parts,the sophisticated bass lines and the distorted harsh vocals.So,the band resembles heavily on atmospheric Italian legends like BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO or BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO,though their sound is less symphonic and more experimental.There are also plenty of moments,where I recall obscure prog acts like VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR or KING CRIMSON during the listening.Toni d'Urso's vocal lines are quite raw yet very expressive and theatrical and JUMBO's Alvaro Fella would be a good comparison.The organ passages are everywhere,sometime creating weird musical landscapes,other ones leading to fine grooves.Guitars are not dominant,but they are used exactly when and where they have to be added (especially the acoustic passages are so delicate),while a touch of accordeon,cello and violins adds an intense mediterranean taste to the effort.Considered by many as their best effort,ABIOGENESI's debut is a good addition for anyone searching for the dark side of progressive rock!A recommended effort.

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 Io Sono Il Vampiro by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.90 | 20 ratings

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Io Sono Il Vampiro
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Five years between Io Sono Il Vampiro" and their previous release. Quite a long time.

This album sounds heavier, especially thanks to some great organ breaks. ELP comes to mind as Hensley and Lord (at least during the first two instrumental tracks which are excellent). It is not the case of the tribal chant "Di Nero Vestita". It is a cover from the Heep song "Lady In Black". It is best avoided (press next, you know).

The band reverts to some better mood, with the oppressive and dark "Vampire Blues". No wonder that this work is a soundtrack for a horror movie! They go on with another cover, much better this time. "Amico Ti Penso" is an excellent interpretation of "Never Let Go" from Camel. Much more atmospheric, with wonderful keyboards: it is a real nice version and I actually prefer it to the original. The fantastic guitar solo is so passionate. A highlight, really.

"Abiogenesi" is releasing another good album (which is the fourth consecutive one) which is maybe not strong enough to get four stars, but it is a fine record to listen to. Few outstanding numbers, but very few of them are weak or should be considered as fillers (except their Heep cover).

The aerial "Lontano", the Hackettian "Infinito", or the scary and Sabbath-oriented "Belfagor": each is worth and has its own merit.

The last cover is "Mary Black" from their mentors "Black Widow". I am not thrilled to be honest. The closing number "Sabba Vampire" holds some very good percussion work. It has some jamming flavour and sounds rather psychedelic and chaotic.

This Italian is probably not the most original one, but they always deliver a decent work. I rate this one again with three stars.

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 Le Notti Di Salem by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.02 | 14 ratings

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Le Notti Di Salem
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Abiogenesi" released two good albums prior to this one ; even if "Il GiocoScuro" was a bit of a disappointment for me (especially the epic and title track).

Their weird music strike again with "Le Notti Di Salem". Scary introductory track ("Warning") to set the tone and to remain faithful to earlier work; while "A Salem" is nothing else than a heavy-rock jam in which the band must have lots of fun but I do not really share it.

The global atmosphere is pretty dark, as usual I would say ("Echi Nel Bujo") and few songs really stand out. "Abiogenesi 3" is deeply Crimsonesque: repetitive during four minutes and almost symphonic for the second part. A mix of genre, worthy of the master. The same filiation applies to "Z.A.W." (but without the symphonic aspect).

If you ever miss the early "Genesis" (but who doesn't miss them), the first part of "Nuove Stelle" is a good antidote. But it can be linked with the early days of Italian prog as well. You name it. A lighter song featuring passionate guitar which provides some fresh air in these rather heavy sounds.

But, as if the band was willing to show us their origin, "Similia." combines the heavy tone with a more refined Italian sound. Energetic finale as well. Not too bad.

What I miss on this album are groundbreaking moments (although the guitar solo at the end of "Mr. Clive E Dr. Jones" is such one) and therefore I rate this work with three stars. Another good Abiogenesis album.

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 Il Giocoscuro by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.11 | 19 ratings

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Il Giocoscuro
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I am rather disappointed with this album.

"Notte Da Urlare" and its accordion-style is not my cup of tea at all, and a very short instrumental piece like the acoustic "Lunipieno" is just a filler which doesn't add anything to this work.

Hopefully Sul Margine Del Bosco La Morte Librava La Sua Falce is quite a varied song and is far much better; at least it corresponds more to the style of music one can expect from "Abiogenesi". Melodic organ, convincing guitar break (very good actually) for one of the best song from "Il Gioco Scuro".

The best moment by far is IMO, the closing track. "Golem". Heavy bass and strong keys provide a fine feeling. Nice bass / keys interplay, fine rhythm changes. It is a pleasant trip back to the sounds from the seventies but with an undeniable personal touch.

The bombastic and repetitive finale is particularly well crafted. "Golem" is a great song and I become reconciled with the band in this final moment.

Now, the epic. A twenty-two minutes long piece of music without much consistence. Pleasant fluting in the early part, but the accordion and more than anything the pure jazzy section that follows almost ruin it.

After a fine guitar solo, this song seems to stop for a while. But it comes back with a vocal part which comes from nowhere. I have the impression to listen to several songs instead of a true epic which should nicely flow.

Distorted vocals are also quite annoying and the lack in unity of this work is severe. The finale, still is very good (thanks again to the guitar of Toni D'Urso) but I would have expected more from this good band.

Still, it remains a decent album. Three stars.

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 Abiogenesi by ABIOGENESI album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.16 | 25 ratings

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Abiogenesi
Abiogenesi Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars WISIWIG

This is particularly true with this album. The cover clearly indicates what you're going to get. Scary music and weird atmosphere. Fully in line with some Crimsonesque adventures.

But a subtle Italian touch is added here (no wonder of course). From the opener "Ile St. Louis" and its fantastic finale (gorgeous keys, my prog friends) to the closing number, this album is taking us into good prog territories. No compromise here. Good and interesting Italian prog music. But I am usually keen on such bands. Maybe my cousin's influence (hi Marco). He is Italian!

The heavy organ play during "La Notte Di Ognissanti" reminds me of ELP of course. Just a pity that the lead vocalist is not on par here. His tone of voice is just to monotonous but fortunately, there are lots of instrumental sections on this album.

Most of songs are rather lengthy, ranging from almost eight to twelve minutes (with the exception of the very short "RIP") and I also have to confess that I like lengthy songs (while not just for the purpose of being long of course).

The instrumental and title track brings us back in the opening number mood. Strong bass play, dark mood. At times, "Ange" of the early seventies are very much present as well (but that's fine with me of course).

"L'Oscura Tenebra" starts as another reference to France. Fully Boléro oriented. It evolves though into a splendid and pure Italian piece of prog like I praise so much. This time, Toni D'Urso accomplishes a good vocal job. This song is my preferred one. Guitar play (by Toni again) is excellent as well and makes this song really an outstanding one.

After a short and acoustic break, the band is back to business with the closing and longest song from "Abiogenesi". "Apputamento Con La Luna" (rendez-vous with the moon) is another good moment. Full of synth and bass. Not really consistent though. I would have expected more grandeur, more passion. But the closing part is real good and bombastic (great guitar again).

This debut album is promising and very pleasant to listen to.Three stars.

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