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BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Biglietto Per L'Inferno biography
Considered by many as being one of the best expressions of Italian progressive music. After have been known at the Festival Be-In of Naples (June 1973), they recorded one single album with the same band name, released by Trident, revealing great musical passages mainly using synthesizers.
They attended several Italian music festivals with fair results thanks mainly to singer, Claudio Canali, who moved through the stage, with great scenic approach. After disbanded a second effort was only released in 1992, titled "Il tempo della semina", containing material recorded in 1974.

Their debut is considered a small jewel, blending symphonic prog with hard rock. Influences range from GENTLE GIANT, to JETHRO TULL and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO. Their second album "Il Tempo Della Semina" should appeal to fans of PFM, FOCUS and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST. It finds the band taking a more commercial path, mostly abandoning the hard rock element.

The band line-up was: Giuseppe Banfi (keyboards); Giuseppe Cossa (keyboards); Mauro Gnecchi (drums); Marco Mainetti (guitars); Fausto Branchini (bass); Claudio Canali (flute, vocals).

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$50.61 (used)
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BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO discography


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BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 195 ratings
Biglietto Per L'Inferno
1974
3.08 | 51 ratings
Il Tempo Della Semina
1992
3.94 | 15 ratings
Tra L'assurdo E La Ragione
2009

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 12 ratings
Live 1974
2005

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
UN BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO
2004

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Zahler

4 stars The debut by Biglietto Per L'Inferno is one of the most consistent albums of progressive rock that I've ever heard. Although it does not have the high peaks of my top favorite prog albums (Roller, Cherry Five, Zarusthra, Animals, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, Red, Court of the Crimson King, Larks Tongues in Aspic, Drama, Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick, Minstrel in the Gallery, There's the Rub), most true progressive rock albums--partially because of their daring nature--have some material that doesn't work. Yes occasionally gets a bit too "fa-la-la" happy, King Crimson sometimes loses me with their exploratory improvisations and I never want to eat Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast or go to San Tropez...and Yes, Crimson and Floyd are three of my all time favorite bands. On Biglietto Per L'Inferno's remarkable debut, I count about four (4) minutes of losing the thread/below par ideas, all of which are contained in one song, track 3, Una Strana Regina. Other than that stuff---and some singing that seems a bit shy of the pitch---this album casts a spell for its duration. That is rare.

The song Confessione is quite stunning symphonic/heavy prog, and probably the highlight, with lots of parts--loud and gentle--that all flow together, and it's reprise is very welcome at the end of the album, but the tune that really struck me the most was the lengthy L'Amico Suicida. An argument could be made that this is one of the most "progressive" songs ever, though of course that depends upon how you define progressive. The song progresses from one ending to the next, refusing to give up, in an almost comical manner at times, it shifts and turns and reinvents itself. There are about fifteen sections that could be the ending for this song, BUT owing the aforementioned consistency of BPL's musical material, it somehow works...even though many of these part have wild instrumentation shifts or huge tonal changes or both. Not a suite of mini-songs strung together (like 2112 or Supper's Ready), but a long, amazing and confounding run on sentence of a song, L'Amico Suicida is a marvel that refuses punctuation. Bravo.

Fans of Floyd's Atom Heart Mother, Banco (esp. their debut), and PFM (who never made an album that I like as much as this one) are encouraged to seek out Biglietto Per L'Inferno, and listeners who enjoy heavier, more rockin' things things like Thick as Brick and Salisbury will also get into this. This is top notch RPI, perhaps only bested by Roller, Cherry Five and Zarathustra.

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 Il Tempo Della Semina by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.08 | 51 ratings

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Il Tempo Della Semina
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

3 stars What would have been Biglietto per L'Inferno's second album is anchored by two exceptionally strong pieces at the beginning and end, and what I would consider filler in the middle. Finally seeing release in 1992, Il Tempo Della Semina was recorded in 1974 and a causality of the Trident label's collapse; luckily a cassette copy survived and is the basis for this reissue. In some ways this album sounds better than the debut which is amazing considering the source material, although it can sound flat and lifeless at times. Biglietto still had some good ideas here resulting in twenty minutes of captivating material, and fifteen minutes of drudgery. I would rate Il Tempo Della Semina good, but non-essential for the casual prog fan. RPI collectors will want to seek it out for historical significance alone, as it has steadily been in print and is easy to come by.

The original 1992 Mellow CD is the only version I've heard, and will refer to that release; later issues apparently have a differing track sequence which may or may not alter the listening experience. The album begins with the explosive title track, which was also captured on the Live 1974 album with a slightly different arrangement. "Il Tempo Della Semina" picks up right where the first album left off, featuring plenty of articulate drumming, mounds of keyboard, heavy guitar, and of course the enigmatic voice of Claudio Canali. The singer sounds uncomfortably determined and cinematic, reminding me very much of Christian Decamps from Ange. Canali's mysterious vocals hide for much of the song, as the band takes front and center through various twists and turns. The sextuplet organ figure at the five minute mark is impossibly great and propels the group into overdrive, pausing only briefly to set up dynamic contrast. This trademark light-and-dark is what makes the debut so enjoyable, and that feeling continues throughout "Il Tempo Della Semina."

"Mente Sola - Mente" is a throwaway vaudeville piece that totally halts the album's momentum. "Vivi Lotta Pensa" recaptures quite a bit of that energy and the short song doesn't outstay its welcome. "L'arte Sublime di un Giusto Regnare" threatens to do just that, but luckily fades out before becoming overly laborious. "Solo Ma Vivo" is the best of these three shorter tracks, and gives the best indication of the direction in which Biglietto was heading - a more succinct, almost commercial one. At last the long "La Canzone Del Padre" completes the set, and strikes a balance between the band's earlier, heavier material and more lighthearted work. The song sounds like a cross between Banco and Jumbo to me, though it never really approaches either in terms of creativity or emotional value. The last minute of the song however is utterly brilliant and the payoff makes Il Tempo Della Semina more than worth the purchase price. Italian Prog fans will have a difficult decision to make in buying the album, because it's not a matter of "if," but a matter of "when."

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 Il Tempo Della Semina by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.08 | 51 ratings

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Il Tempo Della Semina
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Being part of the Trident label, Biglietto per l'Inferno had an unsuccesful end as most of the label's acts.A second album by the group was recorded in 1974 at the Regson studio in Milano and even a single was officially printed by Trident, but the label's fall during the year led to the demise of these Italians after some concerts in Italy and Switzerland.Of course neither the single nor the album were officially released and ''Il tempo della semina'' only saw the light some 18 years later thanks to the involvement of Mellow Records.

Compared to the debut, ''Il tempo della semina'' has less Heavy Prog moments and is closer to the Classic Italian Prog style with loads of symphonic textures and Classical interludes.There are still some incredible Hammond organ washes and hard guitars appearing in the music content of the band, but the more evident use of moog synths by Banfi recalls GENESIS at one point.The arrangements remain at a high level with some beautiful instrumental passages, featuring melodic synths, Classical-drenched piano parts and dreamy organ, while the guitars deliver nice psych-inclined soundscapes and the discreet use of flute offers some great richness to the compositions.The voice of Claudio Canali is still in great shape.Expressive, powerful and even warm when needed.Interplays are not absent.Not offered in a massive way, but when delivered the group prooved that it was one of the best acts of the Italian scene.Adventurous, dense and inticate instrumental pallettes of great quality.However it seems at moments that the heavier style of the debut suit better to the sextet, as ''Il tempo della semina'' lacks the tremendous power of Biglietto per l'Inferno's debut.

Towards the end of the 70's Baffo Banfi had a good solo career in the Electronic Music field with three albums, while drummer Mauro Gnecchi appeared later on Franco Mussida's album ''Racconti della tenda rossa''.In 2007 two of the band's original members, Gniecchi along with Giuseppe Cossa, reformed the group as Biglietto per l'Inferno.Folk and with the help of Banfi and some new musicians released the album ''Tra l'assurdo e la ragione'', containing reworkings of old songs.

One of the best Italian Prog bands ever, no question.''Il tempo della semina'' is another strong release by Biglietto per l'Inferno, being a great example of challenging Classic Italian Prog.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Live 1974 by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Live, 2005
2.58 | 12 ratings

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Live 1974
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

3 stars The legacy of Biglietto per L'Inferno is illuminated with this live release. Any sound quality issues present are forgiven considering the document's historical value; what sounds like a cassette soundboard was lovingly restored and packaged by BTF in 2005, a service for which I am grateful. The bootleg quality does distract at times, but varies from very good to pretty bad as what appears to be a PA feed was mixed on the fly; what you see is what you get. Considering the source, Live 1974 is quite listenable and a fine companion piece to the indispensable debut - a good, but non-essential album for the prog community at large.

What must have been a new composition at the time, "Il Tempo della Semina" opens the set and explodes out of the speakers. Mauro Gnecchi's drums are mixed a bit loud and distort at times, and singer Claudio Canali's flugelhorn is exceedingly loud as well. The imbalance improves as the album proceeds, so don't let the initial track throw you off too much. A speedy version of "Ansia" continues the concert, showing off the band's live chops. We are also treated to our first sighting of Canali's recognizable voice, although it's somewhat buried in the mix. The opposite is true of "Confessione," as Canali blares over the rest of the group. A few bum notes from guitarist Marco Mainetti do not ruin this powerful rendition.

"Una Strana Regina" is a dual-keyboard showcase, and also features some proficient flute work by Canali. "Il Nevare" segues to the group's signature composition: "L'Amico Suicida" is an energetic closer and nearly improves upon the album version. This 14-minute opera is the primary feature of Live 1974 and its worth is palpable. The generous liner notes jokingly refer to Biglietto per L'Inferno as a "so-called minor band" but archival releases such as this shed light on a forgotten era we now have the fortune to revisit. Live 1974 is a second- or third-tier release to be sure, but its value cannot be underestimated or appreciated enough.

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 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Biglietto per l'inferno are not obscure anymore, this their debut album earned his place among the best RPI albums in the genre, and with good reason. On top of the regular instrumentation there is the addition of the flute which gives the music a sense of more diversity. I personally love the more aggressive side of the genre, that's why this album appealed to me even on the first listen. The album is a mix between symphonic progressive and some heavy prog, the band go from rocky parts to some quiet delicate moments, containing some good breaks and a lot of surprises. Songs have a very good development not counting on long improvisation or big solos, they are more constructed and well written. All musicians are good from drums to the flute, keys are definitely interesting and has a wide array of warm sounds handling some great piano too, guitar is excellent also ranges from clean to distorted, and have some really rocking riffing and other great lines too. Vocals are another highlight to complete this wonderful ensemble, sung in italian and can be very diverse.

'Ansia' is the opener and has that feel too, it tries to sum up the album or give you a quick introduction of what the album is all about, calm, aggressive, symphonic and progressive. 'Confessione' is maybe my favourite, six minute long but so much is happening there, it goes from a quiet start to rocking in a second, great keys and vocals, the song breaks half way great rocking guitar and some trippy delayed flute,delicate piano is added on the rocking platform towards the end, beautiful, biglietto certainly knows their job. 'Una Strana Regina' is a good example of the sesitivity of the band, starting so mellow with beautiful keys sound and good vocals then hits you on the head with an aggressive break which evolves to another peaceful moment. 'Il Nevare' is mainly rocky with great sound from all. 'L'Amico Suicida' again starts quietly and when you least expect it they attack you with everything they have unleashing some raw sound. The track is 13 minutes that goes by quickly and have a lot of twists and turns, ranges between quiet and loud, and between classical to hard rock, i think it's called progressive rock!!

One of the best RPI albums from the 70's, indicating that italian progressive was a force around the world. For you who seeks the more raw sounding albums in oposite of pastoral italian ones, do not hesitate, this one is for you. I was struggling between 4 or 5 , but i will give it 4 because it does follow a certain line of progressive albums, instead of reinventing it. 4.2, marvelous!!

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 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although I don't think Biglietto Per L'Inferno sound very much like Jethro Tull, I can see why the comparison gets made. First off, there's the inclusion of flute, which seems to guarantee that any rock band will earn Jethro Tull comparisons! Secondly, there's the guitar playing of Marco Mainetti, which occasionally shatter a gentle moment the album has established with loud and aggressive playing that remind me a bit of Martin Barre's heavier moments. But by and large, this is simply one more Italian band who drink deeply from the well of Trespass-era Genesis and produce a competent and intriguing album in that pastoral style. Definitely worth a listen, and easily the better album from the band. (The abortive followup is intriguing, but ultimately it's quite clear that it's an unfinished product.)

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 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Many years ago bought two albums by the Italian band BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO (Ticket to Hell), the self titled release and [i]Il Tempo Dalla Semina[/i] with several other albums, but the reviews that described them as some sort of JETHRO TULL and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, just the kind of Italian music I heard too much.

But a few months ago listened them and what a surprise, their music is obscure, aggressive, and full of dramatism, just what I'm looking for in a band. Yes they use flute, but this instrument is not an exclusive patrimony of JETHRO TULL, I don't believe BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO has any connection with Jethro Tull or Prog Folk.

[i]Biglietto Per L'Inferno[/i] is a conceptual album with issues related to suicide and starts with the excellent "Ansia" (Anxiety). From the start, the music is frenetic and powerful, no time for pastoral passages (Unusual for most Italian Progressive bands), the vocals by Claudio Canali are in Italian (Thanks to God for this) leaving in the listener a sensation of pain and nostalgia. The structure is extremely elaborate and versatile. Even when the beautiful melodic moments remind us of classical "Rock Progressivo Italiano", the sudden bursts of power and strength take us into heavy territory. Excellent opener for an excellent album

Like the previous track "Confessione" (Confession) starts frenetic and vibrant (well after a short "a cappella" intro), the massive use of distorted guitar with a powerful rhythm section typical of Heavy Prog, only interrupted by the vocal sections and an amazing instrumental break in which the interplay between keyboard, choirs and piano is breathtaking. The grand finale is simply outstanding with all the instruments and a fast flute attacking our senses.

"Una Strana Regina" (A Strange Queen) starts melodic and softer than anything before, but always maintaining the strength with a constant Moog, but out of nowhere a violent flute solo (no, I don't see relation with JETHRO TULL even when people tend to identify the flute with Ian Anderson ) that leads to a heavy passage. From that point they jump from melodic to heavy constantly. Excellent track.

"Il Nevare" (No exact translation to English, but the snowing could be close enough) is a dramatic song in the vein of the best Power Ballads, with sudden explosions of power and strength, but always keeping that claustrophobic and painful mood that is the trademark of the release. When a band transmits a strong musical feeling to the listener, I believe their mission is accomplished, and desperation is a hard feeling which is expressed perfectly with the desperate screams by Claudio Canali morphing into dark and somber low ranged moaning (Reminds me of David Byron), the heavy guitar of Marco Mainetti and the terrifying double keyboard hammering by the two Giuseppe ( Banfi and Cossa).

L'Amico Suicida (The Suicidal Friend) should close the album the album (Because the instrumental version of Confessione is only a reprise that even when bright and striking adds nothing new), this 13 minutes epic that describes perfectly the depression and anguish of suicide with radical changes and magnificent piano performance that represents the change of moods as in a manic depressive behavior, simply outstanding.

Unusually it's an easy task to rate this album, not a perfect masterpiece (even when close to this status ), but for sure an outstanding album that deserves no less than four solid stars

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 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

4 stars After much deliberation, what should have been a 5-star review has been downgraded to four. Heavy prog (or whatever you'd like to call it) is not usually my cup of tea, but Biglietto per L'Inferno is so good it just cannot be ignored. A musical masterpiece that just misses a perfect score due to sound quality issues. More on that in a minute.

There are five songs here (6 if you count "Confessione Reprise") and not a single dud in the bunch. "Ansia" has some nice flute work but this mostly instrumental piece does not begin to hint at the genius of Claudio Canali's singing...this is made abundantly clear in "Confessione"; I'll let the lyrics interpret themselves but let's just say the subject matter is not for the faint of heart. English being my native tongue I don't quite "hear" the words in the same context as an Italian would, but language has never been a barrier for me if the music is amazing...which this is. "L'Amico Suicida" will also address dark themes, and very personal ones at that. Obviously, Canali is bearing his soul on this record, and it can be heard no matter what language you speak.

From the initial thunderous drum roll to the weird phasey fade-out at the end of the album, it's apparent there is something very wrong about the way this album sounds. I own no less than 3 different versions of this album; the 2001 BTF/Trident CD, the 2007 BTF remaster, and the 2009 SHM-CD on Belle Antique. They all sound horrible. The 2009 CD is at least complete, restoring nearly two minutes of "L'Amico Suicida" that were cruelly excised from previous CD releases...I assume this is faithful to the original LP version, but don't own an exceedingly rare copy to confirm. It's possible the master tape no longer exists and "needle-drops" or LP-rips are the best we're ever going to get. It was probably not the highest priority at the time to set up the studio properly and fine tune each instrument's sound as is the custom today, which is a real shame considering the historical significance and retroactive fame this album would later gain. Like a faded Da Vinci sketch that has only weathered with age, we may never know the true talent these artists had, no matter how good the restoration.

Biglietto Per L'Inferno will appeal to fans of aggressive, hard rock and fans of emotional prog alike. Anyone familiar with Museo Rosenbach or De De Lind will thoroughly enjoy this album, assuming they can see past the aforementioned fidelity issues. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ticket To Hell -- Billet Pour L'Enfer

Is it me or the theme of Hell is a recurrent one in the Rock Progressivo Italiano? It shouldn't be a surprise after all, since Dante's work is so well know. He wrote the Divine Comedy in 1308, and I wonder if he tought all this poetic imagery would still be used 800 years later? Well Ticket to Hell is not the first one to use the same theme: Metamorfosi, Goblin, Il Bacio della Medusa and such used it too. And on the plus side, they perpetuate the tradition of weird art cover. Is there a RPI cover that won't scare the Beegeesus out of me? Apparently not.

The Music, you ask, is it a well kept Italian secret?

Yes, yes and oh yes. This album is a rockanrolla festival that reminded me of Quelle Vecchia Locanda and early Rush, with good Moogs,hauting atmospheres, dynamic flute and lots of ballzy riffs. What struck me is the use of the LOUD/ calm/ LOUD/ calm changes throughout certain songs. Hey, I knew it! Nirvana stole it from The Pixies, and the Pixies stole it from...er....Biglietto per L'Inferno? *snort*

Very low chance for you to be disappointed with this album.

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 Biglietto Per L'Inferno by BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.08 | 195 ratings

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno
Biglietto Per L'Inferno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Popular Italian Heavy Prog album from 1974 with lots of potential but suffering from a couple of problems of which the outdated production and disorganized songwriting are the most prominent.

The band combines old-school heavy rock with some Jethro Tull influences and an occasional early ELP and VDGG echo. The album sounds very much like a 1970 product instead of a 1974 album and I suspect it must have sounded rather retro, even at the time of its release. This can be partially blamed on the muffled production that drowns out every possible dynamics and freshness. But also the songwriting is to blame; there are strong cuts such as Confessione but many pieces are rather cliché-RPI. What's worse is that they often seem like a cut-and paste job from disconnected recordings. The result is awkwardly flowing songs such as Una Strana Regina and L'Amico Suicida. They feature romantic balladry with the occasional Bach-quotes and heavy rock outbursts that are often haphazard and not integrating very well with the main flow of the songs. A shame given their potential.

A 3 star album that you could give 4 if you focus on the potential that sits buried underneath the murky production.

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