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RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno biography
RACCOMANDATA CON RICEVUTA DI RITORNO (often shortened to RRR) formed in Rome, making their live debut in 1972. Like so many progressive bands in Italy in the seventies, they released one album and split up until an unexpected reformation in 2010.

Vocalist/guitarist, Luciano Regoli had played with IL RITRATTO DI DORIAN GRAY, and drummer Francesco "Froggio" Francica and flute/sax player Damaso Grassi spent some time in PANNA FREDDA. Their live debut was at the Villa Pamphili pop festival, and they became regulars on the festival circuit between 1972 and 73 until splitting up due to little interest in their album, "Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo." Regoli and guitarist Nanni Civitenga then helped form SAMADHI. Francica, Grassi and keyboardist Stefano Piermarioli--without bassist Manlio Zacchia--recruited additional players (Roberto Gardin on guitar, Gianni Colaiacono on bass, Massimo Balla on sax and Mandrake playing percussion) and continued a while longer using the band name in a more jazz orientated direction. Unfortunately there is no recorded output of this line up. Francica would also play on "Fiaba," the second album from PROCESSION and later with KALEIDON. Regoli was later to drop out of music and became an artist.

"Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo" was released in 1972 and like many great RPI albums drew its sound from many contrasting styles. This includes hard rock, jazz, classical, melodic pastoral and even eastern influences. There is a generous usage of flute, sax, keyboard (especially organ), and acoustic and electric guitar. Both the music and the subject matter (an astronaut who returns after a long voyage, discouraged by the horrible earthly scenes he observes from a cliff) call to mind the more adventurous RPI bands such as OSANNA, SEMIRAMIS and IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, although not quite to their level in either quality or edginess. Still, this album is certainly one of the essential albums that should be found in any RPI collection.

In 2010 RRR unexpectedly reformed and released the acclaimed album "Il Pittore Volante." Musically it contains many of the musical elements that made their debut but with a more refined sound and some of the wilder elements smoothed over for a more accessible sound to a large extent. Joining Regoli, Civitenga and Gardin is drummer Walter Martino (IL RITRATTO DI DORIAN GRAY, GOBLIN and LIBRA). Some RPI heavyweight guests also appear, including Claudio Simonetti (GOBLIN) and Lino Vairetti (OSA...
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3.82 | 88 ratings
Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo
1972
3.81 | 85 ratings
Il Pittore Volante
2010

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RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO Reviews


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 Il Pittore Volante by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Il Pittore Volante
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Bassist Manlio Zacchia was replaced by Roberto Gardin after the release of ''Per... un mondo di cristallo'', but Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno disbanded shortly afterwards, refusing to play at the Sanremo Festival, forced by Fonit.Luciano Regoli and Nanni Civitenga later formed Samadhi and Francesco Francica became a member of Procession and Kaleidon.But in 2010 the band surprisingly returned with a new album and a line-up comprising of Luciano Regoli, Nanni Civitenga, Roberto Gardin and drummer Walter Martino, formerly of Libra, Reale Accademia di Musica and Goblin.The album ''Il pittore volante'' was released on BTF, featuring guest performances by Osanna's Lino Vairetti, Fabio Pignatelli and Claudio Simonetti from Goblin, Nicola Di Staso from Libra, Maurizio Parlotti from DGM and Carl Verheyen from Supertramp.It was recorded at Walter Martino's Minirec Studio on the island of Elba.

Firstly you've got to give credits to Luciano Regoli for the impressive artwork of the album, the man had been a painter for years as well as a leading figure during the early years of Italian Prog Metal'lers DGM.Second, you shouldn't expect something very close to ''Per... un mondo di cristallo'', gone is the ethereal, bucolic and symphonic sound of the band's legendary debut and the style presented here is much heavier, retaining much of the symphonic qualities of the long gone past.''Il pittore volante'' should be considered propably as a Heavy/Symphonic Rock album with occasional Medieterrenean flavors through the use of acoustic guitars and violin, while the expressive Italian vocals dominate the album.The music is based on powerful electric guitars with some lighter solos and moves on the way, the extended use of synthesizers and the Classical-influenced calm piano lines, which are often interrupted by acoustic textures and more poetic moments.The tracks are pretty long with a deep sense of diversity and some BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO sensibilities during the romantic vocal parts, the flexibility of the album is definitely tremendous with some dark and complex passages via the use of sax and even some hidden Fusion tastes, when the violin is upfront.''Il pittore volante'' glances to the past in the sparse organ-colored tunes and the vintage acoustics are still pronounced for a fair length of the album.But the overall sound is rather updated, especially when the electric guitars, the high-pitched vocals and modern keyboards come in evidence.Fortunately the arrangements are certainly written with a symphonic background and the Italian nuance is evident throughout the album.

One of the most decent comebacks among the old Italian groups, especially when considering that many of them were pretty dissapointing.Updated Italian Prog with folky, symphonic, pop and Fusion vibes and a few pretty great instrumental parts.Recommended.

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 Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo  by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 88 ratings

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Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Utnapishtim

4 stars The future and the progress needs the intelligence of men to discover always more. So a man leave for a space travel, but on his return on Earth the world that he knew is not the same, devastated by a nuclear war. In a "not world" dominated by nothingness this man looks at the ruins of Earth upon the only remaining cliff, asking to himself why men have destroyed themselves. While he was thinking his childhood, a flash take to the sky remembering to him the life. An apocalyptic world which was theater for puppet where everything is now his enemy, leave in his mind only crystal dreams, destined to crumble. This Sci-fi tale, written by poetess Maria Comin, is well described by on of the most important one shot band of 70s RPI. This band was born in Rome in 1971, and despite they were very young, they had already had some musical experiences. Texts so visionary are well bonded with musical atmospheres with tones that try to represent the reflection of a man about solitude created by humanity, probably for the progress's advent that in its crazy run has fixed in collective imaginary the figure of a destroyer monster of their freedom.

This work is based on a classic guitar and keyboards fusion with the flute that has exercised a magnetic attraction for young RPI of 70s, especially associated to the figure of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull style in general. The main themes of songs are "interrupted" by sudden changes of time which make more interesting the "apocalyptic" atmospheres sink into nothingness. Hysteric and obsessive rhythms dominated by piano, are alternated by folk passages of flute and classic guitar. All is enriched by some jazz tones and the creative voice of Luciano Regoli that vaguely remind me Peter Hammil style, however a versatile artist with a crazy love for art in general (later he'll discover to be a great painter!).

The dark atmospheres "painted" by a distressing organ in the opening song "Il Nulla" (nothingness), introduces the desolation of this world now ended that sometimes remind me the intro of the album "Inferno" by Metamorfosi. The whirl of thoughts that kidnap the mind of protagonist in "Su Una Rupe" (on a cliff) is represented by many changes of time that makes more fragmentary not only this piece, but the entire album. The voice appears as a lamentation of a desperate man afflicted by these visions, that try to understand the essence of men. To searching something the astronaut walks alone in "Il Mondo Cade Su Di Me" ( the world falls on me). The song is opened by beautiful arpeggios in Led Zeppelin style, and later obsessive rhythms of piano and bass give to us an idea of the walk trough the nothingness with some chorus on background, that seems to come from hell damned. Maybe this is their best musical passage."Nel Mio Quartiere" (in my neighborhood / area) is a nice jazz intermezzo, in fact the lighter side of these tones maybe remembering his childhood games. But here's return in "L'Ombra" (the shadow) the previous obsession that leaves no way out. A mixture of anxiety and madness that instruments reproduce perfectly, with a repetitive piano and usual distressing voice and crazy laughter. The beautiful "Un Palco Di Marionette" (a puppets stage) is a memorable song characterized by flute and piano with some Jethro Tull passages, in which is expressed a "sweet" criticism to the men that are little and without will, oriented only to their unnecessary problems. This is maybe their better piece, and in RPI certainly one the most memorable. The last song "Sogni Di Cristallo" (crystal dreams) sounds lighter however highlighting that all is lost, that "there are a thousand colors, that have no more colors".

A very impressive sound, with tracks that were often "segmented and interrupted" sharply, giving the impression of a confused work, sometimes. However this is a classic RPI album to listen to, made maybe by the youngest RPI band (the oldest was 22 years)!

4 Stars - An album not to be missed.

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 Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo  by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 88 ratings

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Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "For a Crystal World" - to translate the title - is one of the better of the second-tier Italian prog albums from the great RPI boom of 1972. With Luciano Regoli's gentle voice being a particular highlight, the album is also worth listening to for the skillful keyboard stylings of Stefano Piermarioli. The concept seems to be something about an astronaut who returns from a mission to find that life on Earth has been destroyed - perhaps a nod to "The Crystal World" by J.G. Ballard? - but there's not much very spacey about this release - instead, it's the typical RPI fare of early Genesis blended with other progressive influences. A strong effort, though not quite enough to put the band in the front rank of RPI bands.

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 Il Pittore Volante by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Il Pittore Volante
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nearly 40 years passed between the recording of the bands debut album, the subsequent split- up, and the release of this, their second album. From reading reviews of those more familiar with the classic era of this sub-genre then myself, I get the impression that the music has changed quite a bit in this time.

This is to be expected, of course, and not just because of the passage of time or some changes to the bands lineup. This album was conceived by Luciano Regoli, who also handles the vocal and guitar duties on this album, as a companion to several of the paintings that he had done. My copy of the album (the mini-LP version) comes with a booklet that includes small images of the paintings, which is quite nice.

The music on this album includes some of the heaviest stuff I have heard in the RPI sub-genre thus far, especially the hard-rocking opener track (Il Cambiamento) which includes the use of a harmonica - a great sounding track! Luciano's singing really makes a great first impression, he just straddles the line where dramatic crosses over to cheesy, giving the music a lot of intensity.

Of course, the music on this album features more than just hard-rock sounding music, with jazzy interludes (Il Vecchio), great acoustic lines (the opening of Eagle Mountain), and even some great female vocals. This variety gives the album a lot of life.

Ultimately, it is these elements - the variety, the great vocals, and a healthy dose of melody, that really make this album an enjoyable listen from start to finish for me. It's obvious that many of these Italian bands coming back after so many years are doing so purely because they have something they want to say, not out of a desire for money, and as the listener, we reap the benefits of their passion.

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 Il Pittore Volante by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Il Pittore Volante
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Hmmmmmmmmmmm..........

RRR is back again with their second album after a 38 years long break. As far as I remember, the first album was pretty much a complex slightly jazzy album. Il Pittore Volante is not.

In contrast to the debut album, RRR has taken a more pop-rock route on Il Pittore Volante. The music is pretty uncomplicated and therein; commercial. Commercial without the great tracks that require. Yes, there are a lot of RPI influences here too. The language for example. But most of this album is uncomplicated piano, female choir and guitar driven pop-rock. The opening track Il Cambiamento is the exception from this rule though.

Despite of my general disdain towards the pop-rock genre, most of this album contains some good to very good music. La Spiaggia for example with the strong Jethro Tull influences. The rest of the album is not of the same high standard as the two above mentioned songs.

This is a good effort and RRR is welcomed back again to the scene. But this album is does not hit the high notes in my home, I am afraid.

3 stars

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 Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo  by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 88 ratings

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Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars RRR - Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo (1972)

I bought this vinyl reprint because of the things I read about it on PA, I had never heard a song of the band. This Italian progressive group from the seventies has had some renewed attention after publishing their second album in 2010. Their sole album of the seventies is however my point of interest. The concept of the album got me interested; 'man comes back to earth in his spaceship to find his planet destroyed'.

The music of RRR really turned out to be a very pleasant eclectic mix of prog(related) elements. A bit Led Zeppelin rock-guitar and temperament, classical music, world-music influences, Crimsonian harmonic structures, VdGG power-strikes, some sypho and an original use of be- bop-jazz. The use of these elements is actually quite psychedelic, going from one style to another without warning. One could attack this album on it's lack of cohesiveness, but I actually like this, perhaps naive, approach on progressive rock. Though the band keeps on throwing new things at you, it does it at equal speed and intensiveness throughout the album! It's the STYLE of this band haha.

In the meanwhile I'm fully entertained whilst listening to RRR. The recording of the album is good and the experiments are great. The frantic opening section (you're planet's destroyed..), the nice be-bop track on the end of side one, the world-music influences with nice flutes and of course the fierce Italian vocals! This energetic eclectic RPI album is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Conclusion. If you're interested in RPI or eclectic prog this is your cookie. Not only does it taste good, it has some bite which will keep you listening to it for a while. If you want classical inspired sympho-prog you might look somewhere else. For me this is a big four star recording and one of finest examples of innovative Italian prog that really is something different than the English progressive tradition that once inspired the Italian musicians.

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 Il Pittore Volante by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Il Pittore Volante
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In 2008 Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, one of the many one shot bands of the Italian progressive scene of the early seventies, came to life again on the initiative of singer and guitarist Luciano Regoli and in 2010 they released a new album on the independent label BTF, "Il pittore volante" (The flying painter). Along with Luciano Regoli the line up on this work features the veterans Roberto Gardin (bass, guitar), Nanni Civitenga (bass, guitar, keyboards), Walter Martino (drums) and some prestigious guest musicians like Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli, Lino Vairetti, Nicola Di Staso, Maurizio Pariotti and Carl Verheyen just to name a few. Anyway "Il pittore volante" is mainly the brainchild of Luciano Regoli who wrote music and lyrics and conceived it as a concept album inspired by a book with the same title, a kind of travelogue that he wrote and published some years ago and that he dedicated to the late Iginio Gonni, a painter and a friend, dead in 2003. The basic idea was that of an old painter who flies and look at his life from above. On the booklet you can find not only the lyrics but also a picture for every piece painted by Luciano Regoli himself. As for the music, the overall sound is not stuck in the seventies and on this work you can perceive even metal influences along with a more typical Italian progressive style. Well, during the nineties Luciano Regoli had been a member of the prog metal band DGM and he don't disown this experience...

The opener "Il cambiamento" (The changing) tells of a spiritual metamorphosis. It starts softly with a mystical atmosphere, then hard guitar riffs and harmonica introduce the changing... "It happened in those days / Something revolted inside me / Fast as a blizzard... Alone in that room I fell asleep / Dark dreams / Alone in that room I woke up in discomfort... Ah! I was changing and I didn't want it / But I was coming to life again / Yes! I was coming to life again...".

"Il vecchio" (The old man) begins with a piano solo introduction. It's a tense and melancholic track depicting the meeting with an old friend who has just had a stroke... "They had cut off his hair / That old madman was trudging up the hill / Marked by the paralysis that had darkened his mind, his limbs, his fingers / I remember him just a few months before / Enormous, disdainful, with a magnificent beard...They had cut off his hair".

"Il fuoco" (The fire) features a duet with sweet and dreamy female vocals and an ethereal and suggestive nocturnal atmosphere. Lyrics and music depict fire as a metaphor of fear in front of a natural impending event, a fire burning false fairy tales, pains, fears, desires and thoughts... "The night was over there, in front of me / Some rocks were burning / Above me gentle wings were flying away / They were flying high, they moved the air with a deaf noise / So I followed them, with the light behind my shoulders / Towards dark clouds...".

"Eagle Mountain" is a long and complex track that tells about a journey through the desert in North America. A good acoustic guitar intro by Nicola Di Staso (former member of Libra and in the line up of Daemonia) leads to new horizons and spectacular panoramas where two friends enjoy the quiet and strange atmosphere of the desert until, in the middle of a magnificent and silent landscape, they find an old truck. There's a sudden change of mood. The truck stands still but the engine is running, the driver is naked and... dead! "He let us staring at him while the night was falling in us / They day after in a café people were whispering about him / But the air was clear / We went out / I switched the engine on...".

"La mente" (The mind) features a dark and nervous mood. It's a kind of dive into madness and lyrics draw images that seem coming out from a Stephen King's novel. An enormous wasp trying to enter the room, an agoraphobic scene in the subway... "My God! What is happening to me? I'm alone, with my only enemy / I'm alone, with my ego...".

"L'uomo nuovo" (The new man) is another beautiful track. It features the arrangement by Claudio Simonetti and it seems conceived as a thriller score. It is about fear, the fear that a man has to overcome to reach knowledge. "At the beginning of the tunnel, under the subway / That noise of water running, under the subway tunnel / I paid attention but I couldn't understand the origin of that noise...".

"Le anime" (The souls) features a slow pace and a haunting mood. It depicts a nocturnal landscape. It's midnight on Elba Island and while the protagonist walks back home along a narrow street he can see the people that used to live there when he was a child and that now are nothing but shadows. "They can't see me / But I recognize them all...".

"Raoul" is settled in Paris. It's a complex piece that starts as a strange mix of hard rock and Italian melody (a peculiar blend between Aerosmith and Quartetto Cetra I dear say), then rhythm calms down and the atmosphere becomes dramatic. Music and lyrics depict a drunken clochard who's sleeping under a cardboard... "What made him still appear like a man was just a name / That name tattooed on his wrist / Only that name, Raoul...".

"La spiaggia" (The beach) is settled in Portugal. It's an amazing short ballad featuring a swirling flute and a vocal style that could remind of the Italian minstrel Angelo Branduardi. It tells of a strange meeting on a solitary beach on the Atlantic Ocean with a threatening sea that seemed like dog on the chain, desperately barking because it couldn't go any further, blocked by the high cliffs... "I felt like I couldn't breath on the beach / The rocks behind me and the thundering sea in front of me / All night long with that deaf noise...". A good finale for an excellent album, one of the best releases of 2010 so far.

By the way, a special box set edition containing the album and the book was released for collectors and die hard fans. You can read the book (in Italian) also on the official website of the artist.

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 Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo  by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 88 ratings

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Per... Un Mondo Di Cristallo
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars One more Italian band with just one album and a weird and long name, this is Raccomandata Con Ricevuta Di Ritorno. Not quite accurate, cause the band returned with an album some years ago called Ill Pittore Volante (2010).

Well, Per? Un Mondo Di Cristallo (1972) was their debut and swan song. And like many other albums of its time it's a mix of classic Italian sub-genre with a strong Jazz Rosk Fusion and Frank Zappa feeling.

I would say that the most 'Prog' song of the album is 'L'Ombra/Um Palco Di Marionette'. The album ends with 'Sogni Di Cristallo/Nulla' and it seems as if it was an unfinished piece of work. Indeed, many Italian bands have this kind of feel when you listening to their albums.

A 3.5 really

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 Il Pittore Volante by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Il Pittore Volante
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Second album, released 38 (!) years after the debut sounds ... weird. Whenever RPI golden age is gone around same time ago, it was interesting to listen, how could it sound now. Can't say I am impressed at all.

First of all, it is singing poetry. With melodic and even beautiful support from folk-neoclassic-baroque chamber team of musicians,playing vintage folk rock. Strongly influenced by Italian pop-music of last 3 decades. No, it's not San Remo funny reincarnation, happily. This music is rooted in some decades of Italian singing poetry-urban-pop songs tradition. Half-spoken singing or over dramatic pop-operatic vocals , plenty of acoustic balladry guitar, minstrels aesthetics. Nice operatic female back-vocals though.

To be honest, there are some rock elements as well. Time to time you can hear keyboards passages and even hard rocking guitar solos. But don't worry, it's just some internal attributes. They don't destroy scenic beauty of minstrel and supporting band.

Possibly, this music has it's beauty, especially if you like European singing poetry. Not too complex, and hardly progressive at all, this is nice example of such genre, popular around Europe and represented by hundred minstrels from different countries. Even more - this album obviously has its Italian signature - more polished sound, plenty of baroque elements, dramatic bombastic emotive atmosphere, usual for Italian music melodies.

The main question for me is how could such music be connected with RPI phenomena from seventies? I tried hard , but besides of some same names I didn't find that connection at all.

Possibly, I am wrong person for such music - I don't like over emotive sweetie singing, romance guitars, dramatic looks and pop-music, wearing intellectual clothes. But it's just me.

My rating - 2,5, rounded to 3.

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 Il Pittore Volante by RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Il Pittore Volante
Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another imaginative italian return

After the return of Delirium in 2009, I'm pleased to see the return of another remarkable italian band - Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno. I'm new to Delirim as well as I'm new to Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno, so the newest albums are my only touch to these creative bands. I'm absolutely agree with Finnforest, that it's pure art. This is the face of pure art without any commercial aspirations.

Il Pittore Volante contains a lot of beautiful paintings outside art cover and a lot of beautiful tunes inside the sound. Typical for italian band... It's full of melancholic feelings and imagination. In my opinion, that's the reason why italians are the best musicians - imagination, the attitude to the art as whole.

The songwriting is exceptional and very original; the musicianship is full of surprises and masterful experimental decisions. The music continues the modern tradition of old italian progressive rock bands to produce strongly jazz fusion influenced albums. The variety of the instruments is also impressive. There are violin, flute, different register of keyboards and another wonderful instruments. And the combination between all of them is very well constructed.

As a conclusion: thrilling and beautiful art rock experience without weak song.

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Thanks to Todd for the artist addition.

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