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RANESTRANE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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RanestRane picture
RanestRane biography
Founded in Rome, Italy in 1998 - Still active as of 2019

The aim of the musicians involved in this project was to compose and perform a rock-opera, so they chose a famous Werner Herzog's film, "Nosferatu The Vampyre", and commented it with music and original lyrics. They started their live activity in 2000 and conceived their shows as a "cineconcerto", with the images of the Herzog's film flowing in the background. In 2006 they released their rock-opera on a self-produced studio album, a double CD called "Nosferatu il Vampiro", and they have continued with works based on "The Shining" and "2001: A Space Odyseey". They also have a live video, probably the best way to experience them as artistically envisioned. The present line up features Maurizio Meo (bass), Daniele Pomo (vocals, drums), Massimo Pomo (guitars) and Riccardo Romano (keyboards). Among their musical influences you can find bands like Goblin, PFM, BMS, Genesis, and Marillion, to name a few. Incidentally, the band makes up a large part of the reorganized Il Rovescio della Medaglia. [Todd]

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RANESTRANE discography


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

3.39 | 41 ratings
Nosferatu Il Vampiro
2007
3.61 | 41 ratings
Shining
2011
3.98 | 92 ratings
A Space Odyssey, Part One - Monolith
2013
3.89 | 97 ratings
A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L.
2015
3.85 | 119 ratings
A Space Odyssey, Final Part - Starchild
2018
3.96 | 53 ratings
The Wall
2020
4.07 | 40 ratings
Apocalypse Now
2022

RANESTRANE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.44 | 16 ratings
Monolith in Rome - A Space Odyssey Live
2015

RANESTRANE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RANESTRANE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RANESTRANE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

RANESTRANE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Apocalypse Now by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.07 | 40 ratings

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Apocalypse Now
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars The band RANESTRANE is consisting of experienced musicians who are residing in Roma, Italy. They are well known for the preference to produce concept albums, and hereby being obviously specialized in picking up diverse film classics. Thus this one is drawing references to the US crime taking place in Vietnam during the last century. In particular refering to the famous movie 'Apocalypse Now' starring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen, that was produced by Francis Ford Coppola. No need to warm up the context in the further course. The movie itself is a superlative from a technical point of view, no doubt, but turns out to be another conspicuous attempt to justify the war on the backs of the Vietnamese people in the end.

Constant band members are Riccardo Romano (keyboards), currently also underway on solo paths with a new appealing album, Massimo Pomo (guitars) and Maurizio Meo (bass). Finally also drummer Daniele Pomo, who, you'll find this a rather rare case, also provides the lead vocals. And so Saigon appears to be a wonderful opener, where his voice is backed by melancholic piano lines or sensitive guitar presence. Lyric-wise the band is using a blend of English and Italian language, with the preference on the latter. Rock Progressivo Italiano at its best. The core piece marks the monumental statement Napalm which has a total length of twenty minutes playing time. Excellent. I would say this marks the best RANESTRANE effort so far. Come on, get your own impression. Kudos to MaraCash Records especially, they are covering some real jewels in their portfolio again and again.

 Apocalypse Now by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.07 | 40 ratings

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Apocalypse Now
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by WJA-K

3 stars This is my introduction to RanestRane. I decided to give this one a spin because of the theme. This is an album that retells the story of the movie Apocalypse Now. One of the most gripping movies I ever have seen.

The band uses clips of the movie. Iconic movie sound clips and quotes like "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", "The horror, the horror" and "Are you an assassin?" litter the songs and bring you back to the movie itself.

But there's more. The music is absolutely great in general. Standout tracks for me are Dossier, Napalm and how it starts with Saigon. Not everything hits home for me. The Horror, for instance, doesn't bring me the atmosphere I'd expect from this vital part of the movie.

Also, I believe this movie already had a perfect soundtrack, including The End of The Doors. So, I'm left wondering: why did they create this? And what does it add to our experience of Apocalypse Now?

This brings me to my verdict. I rate it 3 stars. An enjoyable listen with great use of the movie material.

 Apocalypse Now by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.07 | 40 ratings

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Apocalypse Now
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars An Italian band that has been offering their own sleek interpretations or tributes to some of the 20th Century's most iconic films. I love the use of actual clips from the film's dialogue within the songs--reminding me of French residents Hypno5e's soundtrack/accompaniment to Bolivian-born band member Emmanuel Jessua's film, Alba - Los Hombres Errantes.

1. "Saigon" (7:03) a very cool pulsing synth opening--sounding a bit like a helicopter whirligig in slow motion. Joined by synth and ominous guitar arpeggio at the end of the first minute, I can already tell we're in for something very special. Solo lead electric guitar ends the second minute, repeating a melody line a few times before shifting into a chorus. Very controlled and tightly accompanied--especially by some excellent drumming. Choral vocalise next before sparsity of solo piano sets up the entrance of the singer. Very nice voice--very accurate and pitch perfect. Then, at 4:15 the rest of the band joins in with some soundscape-expanding accompaniment. Great vocal performance--I can see why the instrumentalists have been instructed to hold back. Daniele Pomo's voice reminds me quite a bit of Paolo Farina, singer and composer of the HUMANA PROG material from 1975 and 2014. Excellent fill of the soundspace during the two minutes of wordless finale--with such beautiful drumming! (14/15)

2. "Cuore di Tenebra Pt. I" (3:58) singing about the background of some of the players ("New Orleans," "The Bronx") gorgeous strings over the second half. (8.75/10)

3. "Dossier" (1:56) like a soundtrack to an old hoofer-detective film. Jazzy. Classy. (5/5)

4. "Napalm" (20:12) (35.5/40) - i. "Arc Light" - solid, tension-filled high octane prog rock. Great singing--both lead and multi-voice harmonies. (8.75/10) - ii. "Kilgore Pt. I" - Lance and Colonel Kilgore meet on the beach. Enter a beach-like theme song. Great drumming! The surrounding music is pretty good, too. (8.75/10) - iii. "Apache" - When Daniele enters to sing at the end of the eighth minute, it's a very nice section that leads into the napalm bombing and strafing of the woods to allow the surfers time to surf and then to exit. Juxtaposed with Italian children in a school setting--perhaps during a practice air-raid response--to put things into perspective? Then we're into a hard-driving section with penetrating guitar riff on repeat until it's time for a scorching solo. I love the way the strings add so much to the rise in tension. When things break, there is a smooth driving passage over which searing electric guitar shreds. Then Daniele returns to continue to tell the story of "the hidden cries." Very powerful bombastic section comes out of this. Amazing power! (9.25/10) - iv. "Kilgore Pt. II" - "cause Charlie don't surf" (8.75/10)

5. "Playmate" (6:21) complete with the USO's emcee's introduction of Miss August. Bombastic RPI with 70s Hammond and 80s power chords. Solid, powerful music--great performances across the board. A little too classic rock, though I get what they're trying to do. (8.75/10)

6. "The Eden Cries" (10:37) a song that you can definitely tell is telling a serious story. I love the keys. Despite the shifting themes with different film samples, there's just a little too much Italian bombast here for my tastes--though all of it with fine instrumental performances. The final two motifs of the final two minutes are my favorites--especially the Vietnamese violin-like instrument and bamboo flute over the slow pulsing organ chords. Gorgeous! (17.5/20) - i. The Eden Cries Pt. I - ii. The Eden Cries Pt. II

7. "Cuore di Tenebra Pt. II" (4:33) A stunningly gorgeous song--with some surprisingly intricate and complex textures and instrument play. One of the best songs I've heard all year. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

8. "The Horror" (16:21) Unfortunately, some of my ratings here are biased by the voice clips from the film. (28/30) - i. "Kurtz" - the music supporting the dialogue between Willard and Kurtz is so beautiful it sounds and feels almost like a praise tribute to Kurtz. (10/10) - ii. "Metodi Malsani" - as menacing and crazed as the Brando character the movie was trying to portray. (4.75/5) - iii. "Falso Idolo Pt. I" - gorgeous Italian prog--with great vocals and equally gorgeous prog accompaniment. (5/5) - iv. "Like Some Grandmother" - music to accompany Kurtz's horrific story about innoculating a village of children against polio. (4.75/5) - v. "Solo la Verita" - powerful vocal and music as only the Italians can do. (4.5/5) - vi. "Sacrifice" - I don't really agree with the choice of using bagpipes and military drumming for this motif--as if we're honoring a military man (with a German last name). And then the "monster" church organ to finish. (4.25/5)

9. "Un Nuovo Dio" (6:52) Another incredible song--my final top three. The uptempo second part is as powerful as the first part is beautiful. Great use of choral voices and great lead guitar work. And then there's the pulsing chord play of the final two mintues. Wow! What a finish to a great album! (14.5/15) - i. Falso Idolo Pt. II - ii. Cuore di Tenebra Pt. III

Total Time 77:53

Very special talent in drummer Daniele Pomo. And his excellent, powerful voice reminds me of that of HUMANA PROG singer-songwriter, Paolo Farina (a part of teh MAXOPHONE scene in the 1970s).

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and definitely in the running for my favorite album of 2022.

 The Wall by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.96 | 53 ratings

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The Wall
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by alainPP

4 stars Ranestrane is known for his cover work on rock opera such as Noferatu or Kubrick's space odyssey. In the middle of the year, they are attacking the cover of the cult Pink Floyd album, namely the legendary "The Wall". They added two songs to this accasion telling the true story of Roger Waters' father himself during WWII; titles which do not denote in any way with the titles of the flamingos, more atmosphere "The Final Cut". They also included an extract of the song by Vera Lynn, worthy heroine of the concept album as an intro with the sound of the helicopter in the background. The interest of listening and buying this album is due to the fact that Ranestrane has allowed himself with a lot of daring to invert certain original titles, to rework their duration to surf on the Pink Floyd spirit while adding in fact different atmospheres and sounds. The instrumentations during the intros have been reworked and leave on soft, limpid and luxuriant atmospheres. The sound is less aggressive than the original, more in the sensitivity, the meditation as for the title "Mother" or "One of My Turns" stretched and introspective; the "In The Flesh" would almost make forgotten the original on the other hand for its freshness, its spontaneity, its grandiloquence. "Stop" and its post-spatial variation may also disturb you for the better. The fact of having its own few titles and the inversion of the original titles with respect to the major work of the floyds gives the real impression of living a "The Wall" bis more than 40 years later. So we will say that this is only a recovery, yes! So we will say that the original there is no better, yes and no! This Ranestrane album is just worth the trip to dive back into your younger years because even if the prog is getting younger, you are just going to jump back into the past of almost half a century in which you risk coming back all weird.
 The Wall by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.96 | 53 ratings

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The Wall
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by OneOpinion

5 stars Ranestrane plays a fantastic and loving tribute to PF and "The Wall." They have written and added two new songs that are noteworthy, "When the Tigers Broke Free, Parts 1 & 2. These two songs tell the general story regarding the death of Roger Waters's father in WWII, 1944. Great songs. The album also starts with a snippet of a Vera Lynn song. I read that that was Roger's desire but it was axed by the record company. A couple of PF songs are not here and some are in a different order. The vocals and instrumentation are superb. As always, with Ranestrane, production is crystal clear. Hesitated giving a tribute album five stars but can't stop listening to this A+ version. I like it better than the original. Compare, for example, the two takes on "Mother." I find Ranestrane's version much more dynamic. May the gods of prog forgive me, but it's that way with every song. Sacrilege?!?!? Let the stoning begin.
 A Space Odyssey, Final Part - Starchild by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.85 | 119 ratings

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A Space Odyssey, Final Part - Starchild
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars Formed back in 1996, Italian project RanestRane have spent the last two-plus decades crafting ambitious concept work adaptations of legendary horror and science fiction films (`Nosferatu' and `The Shining' being two previous examples), but their latest disc from 2018 is their third and final of a trilogy based on the `2001: A Space Odyssey' movie, sub-titled `Final Part: Starchild'. While it would be preferable to have the earlier `Monolith' and `H.A.L' volumes from the past couple of years, `Starchild' still manages to stand as its own musical statement, because, despite taking inspiration from another source, the lyrics constantly convey a very surreal quality all their own. And if that wasn't intriguing enough, the band have also enlisted the aid of Marillion members Steve Rothery and Steve Hogarth to provide some quality contributions!

One thing to point out about RanestRane immediately is that the group are as far from the RPI/Rock Progressivo Italiano sound as possible, as there's none of the classical or theatrical touches that are often signature components of that tag (mind you, several members of RanestRane have also pulled double duty as members of reworked versions of legendary vintage Italian proggers Il Rovescio della Medaglia!). Instead, RanestRane have a firmly modern sound that shares much more in common with the most dramatic Pink Floyd moments, Marillion, as well as little touches of Riverside and Aryen Luccassen's Ayreon projects without merely lazily resorting to the heavier guitar riffing. RPI or not, it really makes no difference, because RanestRane are an exceptionally skilled and exciting band who deliver a first-rate album here with their latest effort.

Opener `L'insieme delle Cose' is a reflective soft rocker that grows in power as it progresses, full of icy Neo-Prog-like synths, the chiming guitars of the Hogarth-fronted era of Marillion and some frequently recurring wordless sighing harmonies. The tune, sung in Italian by drummer Daniele Pomo with a great and weary dignity, ultimately proves defiant with victoriously chest-beating moments. Instrumental `Do You Read Me H.A.L.?' is a space-rock sound collage interspersed with soundbites from the movie that borrows greatly from Pink Floyd's `One of These Days', all slide guitar and shimmering organ slivers (and the CD booklet even cheekily refers to it as the `Meddle Variation'!). `Ambasciatore delle Lacrime' is a tougher rocker with plenty of moody guitars courtesy of Steve Rothery but a more relaxed chorus, and `Sognero Mai' shakes things up with some colder electronics, gloomy organ and snarling guitars that bristle with desperation before a haunting acoustic climax.

Very few prog albums are without their longer epic, and the near-fifteen minute `Stargate' certainly delivers, with three of its four sections being fully instrumental. Combining everything from lulling piano interludes, heroic guitar passages and deep- space synth journeys, there's also breathless up-tempo sprints powered by coursing bass and touching acoustic breaks. The various segments all flow together effortlessly, and this multi-part piece is full of warmth and carries a quietly powerful beauty. `Prometeo tra le Stelle' is more of the same, perhaps just a little unengaging and probably could have been left off altogether without lessening the disc, but a fancy harpsichord-like break in the middle is likely the closest the disc comes to a teasing RPI-like moment here. The short `Abandoned' is then a pristine and sobering electric piano ballad finale given a stream-of-consciousness narration from Steve Hogarth, and the overall piece probably wouldn't have sounded out of place on any recent Marillion album.

The amount of variety and alternating vocal/instrumental passages means `Starchild' keeps constantly surprising. Just when the disc seems like it's settling into a song-driven format where the tune is the priority, the band break out a gorgeous instrumental passage, or subtly incorporate everything from electronic, spacerock and ambient styles into different corners of the album. Add in charismatic vocals that hold a very seasoned and dignified rasp, and you have a superb all-round progressive rock band making greatly inspired music, and `Starchild' is a very grand and rousing Italian highlight of 2018.

Four and a half stars.

(Note - well done to Ranestrane including English language translations in the CD booklet for all the Italian lyrics. This is something that many more bands from that country should do, as it provides a welcome entry-point for a wider range of worldwide listeners!)

 Nosferatu Il Vampiro by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.39 | 41 ratings

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Nosferatu Il Vampiro
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars This four piece formation was founded in the second half of the Nineties, a few years later the band started to play live with the images of Werner Herzog's movie Nosferatu (1979) on the background, a 'cinema concert' as the band explains on their website. This was the starting point of their ambitious double CD debut release entitled Nosferatu : Il Vampiro. Instead of creating rock-opera's at the scale of Tommy by The Who or The Wall by Pink Floyd, RanestRane decided to build their music on Nosferatu Il Vampiro around the Werner Herzog movie, because of the costs and the fact that this double CD is an auto-production.

Most of the 28 compositions on the two CD's sound dreamy, mellow and ambient. These songs are blended with sounds, voices (based upon the original lyrics), soaring keyboards, wonderful Grand piano, pleasant Italian vocals and atmospheric guitar work. The albums Love Over Gold by Dire Straits and Brave by Marillion come to my mind, but RanestRane delivers a more progressive rock touch to the music. Due to the way the musicians present compelling shifting moods, subtle accelerations and captivating build-ups. Especially in tracks like:

Via De Wismar : a mid-tempo with bombastic keyboards and powerful guitar and in the end sensitive work on guitar and piano,

L'Assalto : raw, pretty aggressive sound with hypnotizing distorted electric guitar runs,

Saranno Giorni Tristi : a slow and compelling rhythm with Hammond organ in the vein of Ken Hensley),

Ritorna : beautiful moving guitar similar to Steve Hackett,

Gli Ultimi Momenti Di Wismar : warm accordeon and piano sound,

L'Ultimo Incontro : bombastic interplay between keyboards and drums,

and the awesome final composition Via Da Wismar (close to neo-prog): first wonderful Grand piano and Italian vocals, then the music gradually turns into bombastic with propulsive drum beats, sumptuous keyboard layers and delicate synthesizer flights, what a splendid 'grand finale'!

Let yourself carry away by this wonderful 'soundtrack-progrock', a big hand for RanestRane their daring debut!

Meanwhile RanestRane released three other highly acclaimed studio-albums, their latest is A Space Odyssey Part Two H.A.L. from 2015.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 A Space Odyssey, Part One - Monolith by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 92 ratings

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A Space Odyssey, Part One - Monolith
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by HarmonyDissonan

4 stars A QUALITY SET OF RECORDINGS (IMHO) PRESENTED TO GIVE HOMAGE TO A MOVIE CLASSIC!

First I would like to thank everyone who has written reviews for PA in the past, especially the prolific reviewers. I understand where the inspiration comes from, obviously the music, but for myself the variety in the reviewing to keep them fresh is a real art. Be they dramatic, unique or specific. Not to mention the time needed to produce said reviews. So, if I were wearing a hat presently, I'd tip it to all of you. There are many very good reviewers here on the site and I'd be here all day if I were to name all that I've come to rely on for viewpoints, but one reviewer has found a niche I've noticed relatively recently that is very interesting and unique to this reviewer. I very much enjoyed Atavachron's interview's with deceased musicians. A unique perspective on critiquing which I appreciate and find very interesting. If I may ask, David, are you a Warlock? Alright, enough kissing up to the reviewers. Thanks again.

Now to the music in question. I already had RanestRane's first album Nosferatu Il Vampiro, which definitely showed potential as a debut recording. I wasn't overly enthralled by the music, but between the music, conception and the album cover, it was more than satisfactory and recommendable. I had noticed that their second album Shinning was also an homage to a classic film release as well. So in keeping with their style, it was no great surprise to see that their third album was based upon another classic film, this time 2001: A Space Odyssey. After noticing that some of the early critique's were positive/very positive, I decided to purchase the A Space Odyssey Part One: Monolith. I am very glad that I did. It is filled with high quality musicianship! There seems to be no missteps in it musically whatsoever. If there was anything that at first I found just a tad negative it would be the slight over abundance of movie dialogue used on several of the tracks. I have become used to them after a couple of listens and actually have come to an appreciation for them with familiarity. I enjoy this album immensely and would highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates quality music with an Italian air.

Also I would like to state that the over-all quality was carried over completely in RanestRane's-A Space Odyssey Part Two: H.A.L. I feel that it is just as good as Part One with both outstanding musicianship and a classy package as well. The music for Part Two is of a very similar vein as found in Part One which makes the set of very good quality and also very homogenous without being repetitious or unimaginative in the least. I have come to appreciate these recordings as some of my personal favorite's from the RPI sub-genre having been released in the last few years. RPI is my personal favorite genre/sub-genre. They're obviously a different style, yet I feel that they're right up with Absenthia and Egonon as a couple of my newer RPI favorites. Although the other two albums by the fore-mentioned groups are outstanding and are needless to say very highly recommended, the RanestRane albums have a certain quality which makes them top end RPI releases as well. If I had to use one word to describe these albums, it would be 'quality'! You won't find ground breaking music here, but quality and inspiration abounds! I would highly recommend both Part's One and Two without any hesitation. I could easily place these two recordings at 4.5 stars if possible!

And to end my critique, showing a small personal homage to the wit and creativeness of fellow PA Collaborator: Atavachron, I would like to slightly plagiarize his hopefully non-copy-written idea with two questions to the deceased former lead singer of the classic RPI group Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso-Francesco Di Giacomo. (Please remember the old saying, David, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery).

Me: Mr. Giacomo, it is an honor to speak with you today! I wish I could say earlier, but I've been a fan of yours since I joined PA back in June of 2007 and discovered the great Italian progressive music scene! If you don't mind, I would like to ask you two related questions if you please?

Francesco: Yes, of course.

Me: First, have you been able to keep up with any the new progressive musicians and groups that are currently coming out of your home country of Italy?

Francesco: Yes, absolutely! It would very much seem as though there is a substantial resurgence in Italia that is truly rivaling the 1970's heyday for Italian progressive music. Since the turn of the millennia, the Italians have come alive! Sorry, no pun intended there.

Me: Also, if I might ask, I have come to appreciate the Italian group RanestRane. Especially there latest albums Part's One and Two-A Space Odyssey. Are you familiar with them and those particular albums?

Francesco: Oh yes, I am. I would say that these two albums are of the highest quality.

Me: That's interesting, as quality is also the word that I used to describe them. Thank you so much for your time, Mr. Giacomo.

Francesco: You're welcome and please call me Francesco. I'm sorry, but that's all of your earthly time that I can spare for now as I am expecting to meet someone this evening for dinner at The Aroma. Arrivederci!

Thanks for reading and writing! Take care and enjoy God's gift of music!

 A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L. by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 97 ratings

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A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L.
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Bucklebutt

5 stars It's tough to rate this album for me considering the progarchives rating system. This isn't particularly an essential ablum, but for people like me who love themselves some sci-fi Space Rock/Rock Progressivo Italiano (Neo-prog?), it is. If you are not a fan of Space Rock or Rock Progressivo Italiano or Neo-prog, then you are not likely to find anything here that will change your opinion, but for those who are I thoroughly recommend.

The album is intermittent with dialogue taken from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm a big fan of this film. The dialogue segments taken from the film are dealt with very well, with the band playing over the dialogue with spacey atmospherics. Again, if you aren't a fan of the film or the use of audio tracks in this manner, be wary.

'Jupiter Mission' is a short track featuring lovely operatic vocals and introducing the spacey atmosphere. The track builds and feels as if it's about to explode but stops abruptly leading into the next track..

..'Discovery One'. A spacey synth riff and wailing guitar introduce us to the general feel of the album. The highlight of this track for me is it's fantastic chorus, I find myself singing along without having a clue what is exactly being said (oh yes, I butcher it).

The next track, 'Broadcast News', is a real gem. Here a dialogue segment introduces us to the crew of ship with a mission statement. An absolutely beautiful instrumental section follows with a great little synth solo and some downright tasty drumming. Another audio segment introduces to the "full-proof" artificial intelligence system H.A.L. through a dialogue segment. H.A.L. tries to reassure us that we are in good hands, what can go wrong right? A great guitar solo follows, ending with a last bit of dialogue Interviewer: "Do you believe that HAL has genuine emotions?" Dave Bowman: "Well, he acts like he has genuine emotions. Um, of course he's programmed that way to make it easier for us to talk to him. But as to whether he has real feelings is something I don't think anyone can truthfully answer."

Man, HAL creeps me out. Why the hell would they would they program him with "emotions"?

'Freddo al Cuore' is a nice slow track which slowly builds to a breakdown with a gorgeous guitar solo with some great drumming. The calm before the storm.

'AE-35' starts with HAL talking to Bowman: "I know I've never completely freed myself from the suspicion that there are some extremely odd things about this mission.( Nice rhyme there HAL - maybe HAL just wants to be a singer or poet or something) I'm sure you agree there's some truth in what I say." After some chatter between the two, HAL informs us of a "fault in the AE-35 unit". The beginning of the storm. There is a shift in atmosphere as a haunting synth solo backed with a pounding drum bit explodes into one hell of a haunting jam.

'Space Walk' starts off with an audio of someone breathing heavily with a sound of seeping oxygen in the background reminding us that this is happening in space, thousands of miles from the comfort of our atmosphere. Soaring vocal passages evoke a feeling of despair throughout the song. This is a more restrained track with some very solid playing all around without taking focus on the poignant and evocative vocals and atmosphere. Great outro jam.

'La perfezione che si cerca' takes us back to a pretty straight forward track. That's not to say that it isn't great, nothing to hate here.The ending guitar solo and drumming steal the show here. "It can only be attributable to human error." reminds HAL regarding the supposed failure of antenna on the ship, which HAL himself falsified. HAL... you literally heartless bastard!

'Sono Come Morte' is yet another fantastic track. Absolutely beautiful instrumental passages definitely make this a highlight of the album.

Dave Bowman: I'm not sure, what do you think?

Dr. Frank Poole: I've got a bad feeling about him.

Dave Bowman: You do?

Dr. Frank Poole: Yeah, definitely. Don't you?

Oh hell yes I do. In space, rogue AI governing your actions, what could go wrong?

'Buio Interno' is a vocal and piano driven ballad where Daniele Pomo shows us his vocal chops. Beautiful piece.

The album comes to an explosive end with 'Computer Malfunction' which is a bombastic track with all the bells and whistles. The 'computer noises' at the end send a chill down my spine much like the movie. We are living in one hell of a time where Kubrick's fears seem more real and impending then ever. A great ending to a great journey.

So all in all, I unabashedly love this album. I even sat on this review for a few weeks to ensure I wasn't being swept up in the moment. There is not a weak track on the whole disc, the musicianship is downright fantastic. Easily one of my favorites from 2015, probably listened to it more than any other album considering I love to drum along to it. What would have Stanely Kubrick thought? Who knows, he probably wasn't much of a prog fan. But as a fan of both the movie and prog I feel that this album does do the movie justice evoking the horrific implications of space travel and unruly AI, even if it relies a bit heavily on it the material. I think I'm gonna go watch myself some 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L. by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 97 ratings

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A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L.
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ranestrane is a Rome 'based Italian group that does NOT fit into the classic RPI mode, as they opt for a more conventional methodology, staying away from the classic RPI ingredients of injecting such influential details as operatic vocals, pastoral acoustic tinges, wild changes of pace and mostly, the tried and true influence of canzone, Italian folk/popular music that gives it such character. Though they are listed here as RPI, the focus is more on Floydian soundscapes, elongated mood samples on which the soloists (Massimo Pomo the guitarist and the talented keysman Riccardo Romano). In fact, at the very best, Ranestrane encompass a new and modern style of prog that looks at the future and less at the past. Ironically, the theme here is both an old and a new one, clearly proving once and for all, how the 60s minds were deeply forward-thinking and futuristic, as Arthur C. Clarke's monumental masterwork '2001 Space Odyssey' really remains far-flung, even by today's standards. Yes, we know, the latest I-Phones have more memory than the Apollo missions to the moon combined but the concept of computers having a soul and feeling regret, like HAL, WOPR (Wargames) and Colossus (Colossus: The Forbin Project) was quite a stunner back then but if you look up the number of movies where computers take over the world, you will be wired out!

Ranestrane made quite a deal with Marillion's stalwart guitarist Steve Rothery as a backing band for his solo live Steve Rothery in Rome, with Romano even invited to play on the stupendous 'Ghosts of Pripyat' album. Only fitting that the Marillion man returns the favour by guesting on Ranestrane's 'Monolith-live in Rome' (2014) extravaganza. Needless to say, we are in tremendously gifted territory and as such 'HAL- Monolith Part2 'is the furtherance of the Monolith concept, all referring to the black floating obelisk that has puzzled and startled readers and movie goers for over 45 years. Interspersed with samples of HAL's monochrome voice, a tone both puerile and evil, the tale takes on conceptual form in a naturally efficient sci-fi style that just takes the listener to another plane of enjoyment.

As befitting the subject matter, the operatic 'Jupiter Mission' sets the tone right from the start, almost an overture to a modern soundtrack for this hallowed 60s cinema classic, docking into the sophisticated and Italian-sung theme of 'Discovery One', which seeks the instill both a sense of voyage and song, with both guitarist Massimo Pomo and keysman Riccardo Romano doing a stellar job of setting the right cosmic mood. This segues naturally into the instrumental jewel 'Broadcast News', a heady mixture of multiple voice snippets, various sonic effects as well as exalted playing by the synthesizer, piano and electric guitar, in an overtly bombastic fashion that hits the emotional mark successfully. HAL gets to 'speak' in a media interview and begin defining his eventual 'humanity', as Romano's refined piano duels with cymbal slashes and the rumbling undertow of Maurizio Meo's fretless low end. The resulting music is 'foolproof and incapable of error'. 'Freddo al Cuore' sparkles with deepening melancholia, featuring a dramatic whispered vocal from drummer Daniele Pomo, lush with delicate crispness and intensity, a sweltering synthesizer foray leading the charge. HAL then announces the first 'mistake', a fault in the 'AE-35' unit that is underlined by huge swaths of sorrowful synth loops and jangly piano amid colossal orchestrations and propellant rhythmic support. The main synth solo is squarely spectacular though simple in its execution, all of these natural sounds swim in a cosmic ocean of voice effects. 'Spacewalk' evokes the sense of floating and endless drift that the universe provides, echoing voices bouncing off the passing asteroids and a sizzling guitar/synth booster fuel duel that excites and explodes the senses. There is little doubt that the musicianship is deliberately restrained yet highly creative, just enough pizzazz to effectively titillate the senses and move to the next plateau. Guest Steve Rothery unleashes one of his patented bursts, a whopping and glorious comet that whizzes by at the speed of sound. Back to the song in 'La perfezione che si cerca', a tune that reattaches the Italian vocals to the whole, here with a typical RPI-like delivery (wink, nod) and a relatively straightforward modern prog piece that broods and soothes equally. The mid-section fusions Floydian exhilaration with an almost soundtrack-like theme, sweet and eternal. Rothery again caresses his fretboard like only he can, full of romantic inference and dazzling efficiency. 'Sono Come Morte' is the longest track at 7 minutes+ , boosted with more sampled commentary (a trait which would normally distract but not here, as it clearly parallels the story-line) and a hyper-mood that underlines the weirdness of space travel and all its fatalistic impulses. This is perhaps the trippiest track here, even though there are more Italian vocals but the overall feel is one of a frozen and dying cosmic corpse plugged into some electronic machine, with a main refrain that is absolutely cinematographic (sounding almost like an old Bond theme). Ponging electronics lead into the gorgeous piano and voice duet of 'Buio Interno', a diminutive yet striking ballad of intense purpose, Pomo really showing off a strong and operatic voice. But the true highlight of this recording remains the massive finale, the aptly titled 'Computer Malfunction', a sensational piece of bravura and pathos, completely bombastic with those patented 'zipper' synth slashes, the anxious drumming, amid arching crescendos and rash guitar orbits.

Yeah, this is a really entertaining discovery, a remarkable challenge and a brilliant endeavor. Fans of sci-fi and prog- rock are most welcome to join the ride.

4.5 kubricks

Thanks to Todd for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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