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RANESTRANE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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RanestRane biography
RanestRane is an Italian prog band from Rome that was formed in 1996. 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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Space Odyssey 1: MonolithSpace Odyssey 1: Monolith
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$13.45
$8.56 (used)
Space Odyssey - Part Two H.A.L.Space Odyssey - Part Two H.A.L.
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$13.92
$13.91 (used)
Monolith Live in RomeMonolith Live in Rome
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$22.33
$22.32 (used)
Space Odyssey - Part Two H.A.L. by Ranestrane (2015-08-03)Space Odyssey - Part Two H.A.L. by Ranestrane (2015-08-03)
Imports
Audio CD$68.96
Monolith Live in Rome by Ranestrane (2015-08-03)Monolith Live in Rome by Ranestrane (2015-08-03)
Imports
Audio CD$103.50
A Space Odyssey - Part I - Monolith by RanestraneA Space Odyssey - Part I - Monolith by Ranestrane
Ma. Ra. Cash Records
Audio CD$87.46
Monolith Live in Rome by ImportsMonolith Live in Rome by Imports
Imports
Audio CD$129.46
Space Odyssey 1: Monolith by AisSpace Odyssey 1: Monolith by Ais
Ais
Audio CD$55.73
ShiningShining
Double CD · Import
Ranestrane
Audio CD$28.99
$115.44 (used)
Nosferatu Il VampiroNosferatu Il Vampiro
Double CD · Import
Ranestrane
Audio CD$28.99
$115.43 (used)
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RANESTRANE discography


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

3.40 | 25 ratings
Nosferatu il vampiro
2006
3.70 | 23 ratings
Shining
2011
4.16 | 36 ratings
A Space Odyssey Part I Monolith
2013
4.09 | 26 ratings
A Space Odyssey Part Two H.A.L.
2015

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

4.63 | 8 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
 A Space Odyssey Part I Monolith by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.16 | 36 ratings

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A Space Odyssey Part I 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
4.09 | 26 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 survival chances, 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
4.09 | 26 ratings

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

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

 Nosferatu il vampiro by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.40 | 25 ratings

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Nosferatu il vampiro
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A young italian group from Roma, formed in 1998 and with some high ambitions already from the start, taking flesh through trying to produce their own grandiose Rock Opera.The initial idea was to come up with their own film script and transform it to music, but recognizing the difficulties of such a project RanestRane decided to dress musically Werner Herzog's classic movie "Nosferatu The Vampyre".After three years of hard work and writing down their own lyrics for the concept, the group started performing their concept live and the public received it quite warm.Finally in 2006 the album was released as a self-produced CD.

The result of the hard work was a 2-CD/100 min. production, which is quite impressive, not really on par with the best concepts of Prog history, but certainly rewarding and well-crafted.Unlike what you should expect, the atmosphere of the album is quite smooth with both melancholic and optimistic moments, based on RanestRane's need to create some really nice melodies and mellow soundscapes.The music actually reminds of bands such as PINK FLOYD, compatriots DORACOR and PANDORA, PORCUPINE TREE and Hogarth-era MARILLION.Among the musical themes there are lot of spoken dialogues, based on the story of the film and delivered through a very professional way, not unlike listening to excerpts from a real film.The tracks are quite short but tightly connected with elements from melodic/atmospheric Prog, characterized by relax guitar solos, spacey synthesizers, sweet piano textures, acoustic soundscapes and sensitive, crystal-clear vocals, but when needed the group adds some more energy with harder guitar riffs, dominant organ parts and soaring synths.Thus, the group managed to blend grandiosity and deep atmospheres with calmer musical textures and melody.Sometimes the mass of sample vocal dialogues seem to overcome the music, but you have to really get into the concept's mood to fully appreciate this very nice work.

The hard work of the RanestRane quartet aka Massimo Pomo (guitar), Daniele Pomo (drums), Riccardo Romano (keyboards, acoustic guitar) and Maurizio Meo (bass) eventually produced a very good album.Lovers of concept albums will find another treasure in this release, which is also essential for all fans of modern and melodic Progressive Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Shining by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.70 | 23 ratings

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Shining
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the promising 2006 debut, in 2011 RanestRane released another self-produced double album conceived as a cine-concerto. This time the starting point is The Shining, a 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson in the role of Jack Torrance. The film is based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Stephen King and is set in an isolated hotel in the mountains of Colorado. It tells the story of a man who tries to murder his wife and his son but the line between the supernatural and the psychotic is blurred... "What, exactly, is impelling Jack Torrance toward murder in the winter- isolated rooms and hallways of the Overlook Hotel? Is it undead people, or undead memories? Mr. Kubrick and I came to different conclusions... but perhaps those different conclusions are, in fact, the same. For aren't memories the true ghosts of our lives? Do they not drive all of us to words and acts we regret from time to time?" (Stephen King from the introduction to the 2001 Pocket Books Edition of the novel).

"I'm an engine rediscovering the limits... I'm rediscovering the effort, and the bruises...". The lyrics depict a damned diary of insanity, a mind that gives in under the weight of the snow, drinking the waters of oblivion... The melodic sung parts alternate with evocative instrumental passages and some excerpts from the dialogues of the film with a very good result. The music is more aggressive than in the band's debut work and sometimes tension hangs over you like a cloud full of black rain, pregnant, ready to burst. But in other moments the music becomes soft and sweet and mellow, following you down into a deeper sleep where thought ceases and the faces that come in dreams go unremembered... "You'll savor the waters of oblivion! / Hedges and corridors, bright red all around...".

Well, I like very much both the novel and the film. In my opinion the musical and lyrical interpretation of RanestRane is quite good as well... The packaging is excellent too and the art cover reproduces a painting by Zdzislaw Beksinski that perfectly fits the mood of this work.

 Nosferatu il vampiro by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.40 | 25 ratings

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Nosferatu il vampiro
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Ranestrane is one of the most ambitious bands in the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene. Two releases so far equals two double CD albums. Both of them are concept albums. That is being ambitious.

This is their debut 2 CD album. This is a concept album about Nosferatu the vampire. So I expected a Goblin like horror album. That is what Nosferatu il vampiro is not. Only some spoken narrations including some animated opinions from a young girl who is the current attention of Nosferatu's sharp teeth is anywhere near being in the horror category. I do not understand Italian though so the lyrics may be pretty filled with horror. The music is not.

The music here is pretty much middle of the road prog rock with good references to symphonic prog, neo prog and AOR. There are even a lot of references to post rock and Sigur Ros here. With the exception of the Italian vocals, this album is not particular Rock Progressivo Italiano.

The vocals are great and so is the rest of the instrumentatition. The usual piano, bass, drums, guitars and keyboards. Nothing special there. The sound is the modern contemporary prog rock sound. There is no moog or vintage keys here.

This is by all means a good prog rock album. There are even some great melody lines here. This is an album better than the average, but not with much. This is very long album too and it is really hard to get immersed into this album which is really not that captivating. But I am glad I own it and it is a nice album. But nothing more than that, I am afraid. If this album was a young virgin, I think Nosferatu may have bypassed her in hunt for something with more blood. I think that is a good conclusion.

3 stars

 Shining by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.70 | 23 ratings

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Shining
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A cinematic progressive rock experience

RanestRane is a project that to be experienced properly should be witnessed in the flesh. If however, like me, you are unable to hop a jet to Rome anytime soon, you will have to settle for their new double disc set and some videos on YouTube. Ranest Rane are a "live soundtrack" band who first came to our attention with Warner Herzog's "Nosferatu" and now have taken on Kubrick's classic "The Shining." The band typically will give an elaborate live performance on stage with a large video screen displaying the film of choice. Their music is not the usual background soundtrack stuff though, it is original and dynamic progressive rock of top quality.

In describing their sound I would say they mix together elements of classy symphonic, Hogarth-era Marillion, and a touch of the legendary Italian band Goblin in spirit. Their sound is clean and highly expressive and their playing impeccable. Filled with melody and foggy atmospherics, the moods and pace vary greatly from high energy rock with loud lead guitar to soft, trance like passages. Spoken word dialogue from the film seeps through. Basically the band is taking you for a long ride designed specifically to coincide with the film you are watching. Having been able to watch some of "The Shining" performances in YouTube clips, I can attest again they have nailed it. The scenes of Nicholson breaking into the bathroom, then chasing the kid outside through the spooky night time snow are matched fantastically with tension-inducing, soaring prog rock. Without the visuals the music still works although in this case I much prefer the quality vocals to the spoken dialogue.

RanestRane have delivered again. If you want to hear some solid modern symphonic Italian rock with a true cinematic sheen, look no further. However, what this band really needs (and I know they won't want to hear this because it is expensive) is a high-quality, pro-shot DVD of their live concert. Now putting that baby on the home theater would bring Rome right to your living room.

 Nosferatu il vampiro by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.40 | 25 ratings

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Nosferatu il vampiro
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nosferatu Il Vampiro is at present the one and only album from RanestRane. Although released in 2006 the roots of this album go back to the turn of the decade. The band started performing live shows using Werner Herzog's film Nosferatu The Vampire as a backdrop to their music and songs. They eventually got round to recording it as an ambitious, especially considering it's a debut album, 2 cd project which alongside their songs contains dialogue from the film.

The album sits largely at the symphonic side of Italian prog with a strong emphasis on melodic songwriting. For such a project it may have been expected that a more instrumental approach with lots of atmospherics may have been a more obvious way forward, so it perhaps will come as a surprise that although these elements are present it's an album based more on the song. The more atmospheric moments tend to occur more when underscoring the film dialogue and while this will no doubt work well in the live arena with the film projected in the background, I find myself feeling a little detached at these moments. Perhaps this is partially down to not speaking Italian and therefore don't know what is being said but I would have preferred to let the music do the talking at these moments. However, the dialogue parts aren't allowed to dominate and are few enough not to be a problem.

Overall the album has a fairly mellow vibe, though the guitars crank it up a bit occasionally. Largely though restraint is the order of the day but there's certainly some lovely playing going on here, particularly in the keyboard department as well as some tasty guitar solos. Generally speaking though, the music is not overly complex, but done with tasteful restraint with some pleasing vocals from Daniele Pomo, also the drummer of the band. Not the ideal place for a frontman behind the kit but I guess they get away with it live because of their strong emphasis on the visuals. If the album has a fault, then it's perhaps a little one dimensional, particularly for a double; a couple more powerful instrumental workouts would have worked well offering a change of tack as I find my attention wandering a bit at times, particularly on disc 2. Sometimes just as you think things are going to take off it turns out to be short lived and returns to mellower territory though L'assalto on disc 1 is a rare exception. Also at the end of disc 2 they do let go for a powerful climax, but these moments are not the rule.

Minor complaints aside there's no denying that this is still an enjoyable listen and a lovely album, but for me at least listening to the 2 discs back to back is not my preferred choice. Not an essential RPI album then but for those already well versed in the genre and looking for some newer bands give RanestRane a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.

 Nosferatu il vampiro by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.40 | 25 ratings

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Nosferatu il vampiro
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Attn fans of melodic symphonic and 90s neo-prog

RanestRane is a band from Italy who in 2006 released this fine musical companion to the vampire film "Nosferatu the Vampire." The band would actually perform live during screenings of the movie in Italy and this is the result of how the project evolved in a studio release. The work is a sprawling and epic 2-disc set, a veritable "rock-opera" of nearly two hours in length. The music can be described as a melodic-symphonic progressive rock with clear influence of 90s neo-prog, particularly Marillion. But certainly fans of popular groups like Willowglass, Pendragon and Arena et al are going to wish to hear RanestRane. My first impression of the band was that they reminded me a bit of Brave-era Marillion in their blend of keyboard textures and soaring electric guitar leads, in the pacing of the tracks and the drumming style, even in the "feel" of the vocals. The album is often vocal oriented although there are some instrumental sections. The story is punctuated by the inclusion of dialogue clips (narration) which were effective in setting mood without being so frequent as to destroy the musical flow. The musicians are highly proficient and have really done a stellar job arranging and performing what must have been a fairly complicated process, almost soundtrack work. It must be pointed out however that the music here does not exist as soundtrack but is completely engaging as a recording.

Musically things move from one mostly gentle soundscape to the next with a fairly languid pace. Lovely piano playing which sometimes lulls you to a dreamy state, pleasing vocals, hypnotic beats and orchestrations. Guitarist Massimo Pomo has the classic lazy Gilmour/Rothery/Barrett feel of holding long, peaceful, sunset filled notes on the one hand, while using a clean jangly strum or minimalist patterns on the other. Whatever they need to set the mood appears at the ready, from those guitars to Riccardo Romano's piano or Matteo Gennari on bass. Singer Daniele Pomo does not sound like Hogarth exactly, but purely speculating, I bet he's a fan. He carries the duties of this long album with the emotional "control of ceremonies" that Hogarth has over an album like Brave. He is comfortable with every musical scene, always hitting the right amount of involvement and never overplaying the music. I believe some may complain that the music never breaks free from a kind of professional reserve but they likely started typing too soon. This album lingers and sinks its teeth into your neck slowly, teasing you first with a few restless nights of unsettled sleep. Even without watching the film that inspires it, or understanding the language, I feel at the end exactly as I should. Like I've been spun a fine tale! But the caveat is that this is not an instant adrenalin payoff but music for those who love to kick back patiently and let a narcotic breeze of progressive rock smooth you out. It's a successful and very enjoyable project.

Interesting that for a project one is expecting to be "dark" there isn't much darkness or fright to the sound. There is some desolation and melancholy but even this comes off as beautiful while much of the rest of the music struck me as being quite uplifting. There is no darkness here of the Jacula/Antonius Rex variety which is what pops into my head when I think about dark or horror-based prog. Then again I'm not exactly familiar with the story of Nosferatu, perhaps overt shock and darkness are not what this horror story requires. Perhaps this story is more about unease and sadness than about fright. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one, but the point is not to expect any shock-prog from the music if that's your thing. On the other hand they are masterful at creating a coldly unsettled vibe in "Alla ricera del Conte" which is almost a new age-psych infused instrumental and certainly conjures images like the album cover. There are moments where visuals are conjured of walking a frozen field at night with rolling fog and ethereal moonlight peering down. An anxious walk with dread in the palms of your hands. But the music always returns to something uplifting to me. The climactic "Il ritrovamento" is glorious!

The two-disk set is packaged in a standard single jewel case with gorgeous cover art and a lyric booklet (in Italian.) If you are a fan of beautiful music with a somewhat distant, moody feel and relaxed pace, RanestRane is for you. Good stuff. 7/10

 Nosferatu il vampiro by RANESTRANE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.40 | 25 ratings

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Nosferatu il vampiro
RanestRane Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

3 stars RanestRane is an Italian prog band from Rome that was formed in 1996. 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 "cine-concerto", with the images of Werner Herzog's film flowing in the background. In 2006 they released their rock opera on this self-produced studiodouble album.

In 2005 another (prog) rock opera about vampires was released by PFM and a comparison is due... In my opinion both works mix prog elements with a strong melodic flavour and they are in some way complementary: if you like the subject matter and PFM's "Dracula" I'm sure you will love this good and elaborate work too. "Nosferatu il Vampiro" is conceived like a long suite in two parts that can be appreciated also without images. The music flows steady without really weak moments alternating changes of rhythm and gloomy atmospheres to light and intense melodies. The beautiful art cover reproduces a painting by Caspar David Friedrich called "Cloister Cemetery in the snow" and it perfectly fits the overall mood of the album. Vocal parts featuring original lyrics are intertwined with fragments of the film dialogues that contribute to keep up the tension... "I had a dream my love / But it's so strange / That I cannot remember it"...

On the whole a good album with a peculiar feeling and a touch of originality that differentiates this work from others and make it "unique".

Thanks to Todd for the artist addition.

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