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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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Ego biography
EGO is a trio of experienced musicians from Varese that formed in January 2005 and consists of close friends Pier Caramel (keyboards, flute), Daniele Mentasti (bass, trombone) and Sergio Ianella (drums, percussion). They have backgrounds in many different genres of music and a shared passion for progressive rock of the seventies, in particular bands such as LE ORME, GOBLIN, PINK FLOYD and ELP. They are also united in their desire to break down what they call the ''fixed schemes'' of music. An important aspect of this process involves their adoption of an entirely instrumental approach, the intention being that the absence of lyrics will facilitate a highly personal interpretation of the music on the part of the individual listener.

The band's early releases appear to be demos that nonetheless aroused the interest of the record labels. ''Ego'' (2005) was an immature work both in terms of compositions and production, while its follow-up ''Suppurtatio Annorum Mundi'' (2007) made use of 1980s synthesizers and electronics to create an experimental blend of new wave and prog rock. ''MCM Egofuturismo'' (2008) continued in this exploratory vein - an eccentric, fragmentary work that sought to create a cold and technological sound. Try to imagine a combination of ELP-inspiration, 1980s synths, jazz and some electronics. This is the album that was used during an early evaluation by the RPI team, a problematic evaluation that had EGO looking like a forlorn hope for addition to the subgenre.

However the subsequent release of ''Evoluzione Delle Forme'' (2011) dispensed with all such concerns. Compared with the previous album this is actually a more prosaic work but one that made the decision to clear EGO for addition to the database an easy choice. It seems to work as a soundtrack to the glorification of the band's own musical evolution, and in a recent PA interview Pier Caramel confirmed that: ''we think we have reached what we were aiming for from the start.'' On this album EGO sets out to engage the listener with refined melodies, a warm feel, and arrangements that are not overly technical. The sleeve notes expand on the band's philosophy of seeking to create an aesthetic revolution with the ability to look in all directions, with not only the eyes but with all the senses, in the search for one's ''inner ego''.

''MCM Egofuturismo'' and ''Evoluzione Delle Forme'' are both currently available on CD.

- seventhsojourn
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EGO discography

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Suppurtatio Annorum Mundi
2.81 | 8 ratings
MCM Egofuturismo
4.00 | 19 ratings
Evoluzione Delle Forme
3.79 | 14 ratings

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

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

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

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

EGO Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sistema by EGO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 14 ratings

Ego Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Finally, an Italian prog band that really stretches the boundaries beyond the usual territories, I got hooked thanks to progstreaming' efforts and the reptilian bass that simply devastated my first audition. So being a bass fetishist, I just had to pursue this one unfailingly and promptly add it to the Archives upon arrival. Ego from Varese is a conventional instrumental trio of keys, bass and drums that yet does not sound at all like ELP or Triumvirat, this third album really knocked me for a loop, an RPI act that infuses some cool 80s New Wave influences, icy modern keyboards that will rekindle memories of classic Ultravox, robotic drumming and that devastating bass onslaught that flooded my heart with love. The melodies proposed are stupendous and highly addictive, a swirling buffet of memorable moments, with symphonic, pastoral, electronic and classical overtones.

Keyboardist Pier Caramel combines some deft doses of Ultravox' Billie Currie, as well masters like Thomas Dolby, Yello, Moev and New Muzik, experimenting with old school organ and piano runs as well as defiant sequenced synthesizer orchestrations. As slobberingly stated earlier, bassist Mentasti revisits the powerful sound of Fabio Pignatelli of Goblin fame, arming his instrument with dizzying cannonades and explosive runs. Drummer Jannella keeps thing very tight, using both modern and classic rhythmic attitudes.

The meteoric 'Captura Idea' sets the bizarre tone right from the start, giving front stage to the mercurial bass guitar, a Midnight Express-like reworking of a Giorgio Moroder theme and an instant sense of sonic gratification. Boom-boom and wow! Glorious meandering piano caressed by massive swaths of synthesized grandeur, pulsating drive into blissful oblivion. One of the finest prog can openers ever!

Cinematographic exaltations are found on 'Latte Acido' , a piece that seems almost like a segue to the peppy overture, loaded with more tectonic bass rumblings, fueling a seething barrage of synthesizers , a groovy organ solo leading the charge in repeated intervals, a palpitating, breathtaking and adventurous ride.

A change of pace and style then appears from nowhere as 'Via del Cairo' sounds like a prog version of a Yello tune, (all that would be missing is the growling Dieter Meier vocal) incorporating vibraphone, percussives , flute , trombone and weird ambiances just for the fun of it. Imagine Simon Templar visiting the pyramids and saving some unfortunate victim from assassination at the hands of local nasties, while his white Volvo sucks in the Saharan winds. This deflected mood exudes a sense of adventure and creativity that stamps the prog credentials quite effortlessly in the project.

Even more unexpected is the utterly poignant lullaby 'Distrazione' , one of those romantic melodies you swear you had heard before, a Rick Wakeman-like piano etude that radiates the most precious impressions. A genius piece of music that will blow your mind, highly evocative and deliberately quixotic, showcasing once again the Italian mastery of all things passionate.

The moody 'Genio del Male' is a turbulent affair that will rekindle memories of New Wave movement, barely two minutes of sombre, irascible and opinionated sonic revolution, brass instruments pulling along the electronic arrangement with synthesizers blazing and hard drums.

The schizoid weirdness of the aptly titled 'Crota(lux) Atrox' , the Latin name for the deadly North American Diamondback rattlesnake, reveals a dreaded sense of doom that relates specifically to the lethal disposition of this great predator. Lots of rattling noises, gurgles and echoing pings adorn the arrangement. Giving heed to the following perilous warning 'any person who was bitten by this snake will remain with permanent scars, even if he had the quick antidote and his condition was stabilized', this is one gruesome slice of doom.

Ego then reverts to the initial Ultravox stylings that made the 2 first cuts so appealing. With sensational boldness, 'Elettronica-mente' sounds as if an outtake from Geoff Downes' splendid New Dance Orchestra album, complete with Warren Cann-like electro-drumming, straight out of the 'Vienna' album. The main melody is sublime, the mood highly electronic as if OMD had landed on the Italian shore and really alters the landscape of the usual RPI formulas. This also could easily have adorned a John Foxx or an Ultravox album. For the record, I cannot understand why the Talking Heads are on PA and Ultravox are not, but that is not my battle to wage.

'Petit Prince' is the epic 10 minute piece, a miraculous symphonic take on Antoine de St- Exupery's timeless novel and a classic must-read of French literature. The parameters presented here are much wider, verging on experimental classical music, with loads of trombone, tromba (Italian trumpet) and flute adhering to the piano and guesting electric guitar flashes. Like a soundtrack from some yet unreleased Italian short movie, this piece really flings the unsuspecting listener into distant horizons, sanctified delirium, orderly chaos and a true sense of foreboding.

The cool bonus track is 'In Viaggio', a rolling cinematographic musical essay that certainly evokes travel, exploration and discovery, featuring Caramel's swift synthesizer, collared by the roaming bass and the deft drum work. What a spectacular ride, an enjoyable contemporary take that will please the finicky fan.

Modern cover art, cool production and a fab sound style, this one conquered me faster than a Trojan horse, a unique addition to my, and any other prog fan, collection. A little short at 43 minutes prevents Sistema from obtaining a maximum score.

4.5 Lombard Characters

 Evoluzione Delle Forme by EGO album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 19 ratings

Evoluzione Delle Forme
Ego Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars By 2009 the fourth work of Ego was finished and the only thing the trio had to do was to enter the Indy Records Studio in Busto Arsizio and record it.This would happen in March and the album was recorded with the help of Chiarra Bottelli, who provided some violin and vocals in a couple of tracks.However they had no homelabel to release the album and in 2011 it was MaRaCash'es management that decided to pick it up and offer it to the public.

Wise decision by the Italian label, because the so entitled ''Evoluzione delle forme'' effort by Ego was a great improvement over the previous album.Extremely balanced, mostly instrumental and passionate Progressive Rock, that comes a step closer to the likes of the classic Italian sound and is characterized by superb interplays and nice, emotional movements with both Classical and Fusion influences.The closest comparison from the old style is propably CORTE DEI MIRACOLI, a vastly symphonic group, which was clever enough to add abnormal breaks into its melodic style.And that's exatly what Ego had decided to do on ''Evoluzione delle forme''.This is basically a dynamic, keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock album with emphasis on grandiose synthesizers and bombastic arrangements, which are still led by beautiful, melodious textures.The music is often colored with lovely piano lines and delicate flute themes, not to mention the couple of tracks with the good strings executed by Bottelli.They certainly get into powerful and virtuosic territories, when Caramel creates impressive music with his dual keyboard lines, performed on synths, organ and harsichord, but there is also a rare Fusion feeling during these moments.A definite flavor of 70's Italian Prog conquers the whole album and that is certainly a good thing, these guys finally put up some powerful, symphonic-oriented and inspired stuff with endless, interesting ideas.

Among the highlights of 2011.Superb, instrumental Prog with symphonic leanings in the best Italian tradition, following the principles of LE ORME, CORTE DEI MIRACOLI, TRIADE or EXPLOIT.Highly recommended.

 MCM Egofuturismo by EGO album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.81 | 8 ratings

MCM Egofuturismo
Ego Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Powerful Italian band trio from Varese, settled in 2005 with Pier Caramel on keyboards/flute, Daniele Mentasti on bass and trombone and Sergio Ianella on drums.They offered two privately-pressed releases, the self-titled 2005 debut and ''Suppurtatio Annorum Mundi'' from 2007, but it wasn't until 2008, when Ego became widely known with the album ''MCM Egofuturismo'' because of the Mellow Records interest in them.

While the trio claims to be influenced by the Classic Italian Prog school, they definitely have a more modern, contemporary approach on their music.The piano-based instrumental parts along with some delicate synth-driven solos and passages have a strong LE ORME vibe with a bit of a romantic sound overall.The majority of the album though is modern Symphonic/Fusion Prog, played with passion and an excess of energy.Caramel's synthesizers, piano and organ is constantly in a battle with a dynamic and solid rhythm section, offering moments of extreme technique and high virtuosity.Flashy passages, complex breaks, dissonant parts and a strong amount of solos are always in program.These sounds are sometimes enriched by light flutes, performed by Caramel.And despite the high level of virtuosity, the album remains a pleasant listening throughout.However a couple of flaws are present as well.The longest track ''Dinamiche & Alterazioni'' is a piece of Horn Rock/Jazz-Rock /Fusion with a very sweet atmosphere, obviously very far from the whole atmosphere, while the lack of any serious melodies tends to create a slightly monotonous soundscape.Still the interesting material is more than the average one with most of the tracks containg great moments.

A great album for fans of fiery, keyboard-driven Symph/Fusion and definitely a decent listening for the rest.No more or less than a solid recommendation.

 Evoluzione Delle Forme by EGO album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 19 ratings

Evoluzione Delle Forme
Ego Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Ego resets with a fine keyboard-loaded instrumental work

Ego are an instrumental trio from Varese Italy which has been together since 2005. They are not your typical RPI band, but after hearing their latest album "Evoluzione Delle Forme" on Maracash Records, it was time to get them on the site! While their earlier material is reportedly a bit undercooked, Evoluzione is a breakthrough for them and a great reason for them to continue. Some of their influences include Le Orme, Goblin, and Metamorfosi along with British prog rock of the 70s.

Ego blend together colorful instrumental pieces which incorporate symphonic, fusion, perhaps eclectic prog and accent the vibrant rock element with flute, strings, and various effects. As the band allude in Torodd's interview they have the challenge of expressing their individual motives without vocals (or guitars), and they largely succeed. Without excessive complexity or flashiness they have a knack for playing with personality. I love how each musician can be clearly heard in the mix without an oppressive production so common these days. Centered around keyboards with a wide array of sounds and textures, there is no guitar as counterpoint. You simply have a fine rhythm section backing this very up-front synth/organ with occasional flute and embellishment. Harpsichord sounds, trombone, and violin all converge of my favorite track, the diverse "Rivoluzione Estetica." The lengthy closer "Stato Multiforme" is another real gem. Here they employ some wordless female vocals that go a long way in fleshing out the base sound, the result is very beautiful. I think they also have quite a "live" sound which is helpful to their approach of performing with personality, to have that feel of improv (even though the tracks are composed) coming through on various tracks. While not a masterpiece in my personal opinion, Ego's latest is very good and an easy recommendation to lovers of instrumental rock and fans of keyboard centric projects.

I really consider this album their proper debut and expect to hear great things coming from Ego in the future.

 MCM Egofuturismo by EGO album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.81 | 8 ratings

MCM Egofuturismo
Ego Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The third album from the Italian band Ego. I have neither heard their first two albums or their fourth album which a highly esteemed reviewer from the Italian team is raving about. I interviewed Ego many fullmoons ago and they comes across as a band with a great future.

It is nice that this is not their last album because I would then have written them off and banned any new albums from them entering my home. MCM Egofuturismo is a blend of ELP like symph prog and fusion. Where most crossover ELP/fusion albums has some quality and melody lines worth listening to, MCM Egofuturismo is sorely lackigng this. The end result is a shopping mall muzak album. Or at best; a movie soundtrack which just rolls on in the background while the hero saves the world. The sound is plastic fantastic.

There are a couple of good melodies here. The rest of the album is just as annoying as being exposed to muzak over the tannoy at the local IKEA while my better half is arguing with me if we should buy red, white or blue pillows to the sofa (blue, please). I am not amused.

2 stars

 Evoluzione Delle Forme by EGO album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 19 ratings

Evoluzione Delle Forme
Ego Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

5 stars The continued stream of exciting new arrivals on the ProgArchives database is like the limitless blanket of stars in the night sky, and from the wellspring of Italian progressive music comes the keyboards, bass and drums trio of Ego. This band is long overdue on PA largely as a result of being one of the trickier RPI evaluations.

They arrived at the villa with a high recommendation based on their previous release 'MCM Egofuturismo', although in all honesty when I heard that album I thought the recommendation must have come from a deaf camel. 'MCM Egofuturismo' is a bit of a strange flavoured Italian sausage, being a rather half-hearted attempt at blending traces of jazz and ELP with 1980s synthesizers and electronics. There's even a drum machine on the album.

However, 'Evoluzione Delle Forme' is a much more homogenous work that differs essentially from its predecessor in being a full-blown Italian Symphonic Prog album. The band cites Le Orme and Goblin as influences, but I can also hear some New Trolls Atomic System. Like a snake that sheds its old skin the music transmits a strong feeling of liberation and I think this is central to the album; as keyboardist Pier Caramel states in an interview here on PA, the band have a 'shared will to tear down certain musical schemes.' Okay, so the ELP influence remains and that's hardly a novelty. And Ego recognise their limitations as musicians - they're dedicated pros rather than technical wizards - but what is important is that they know melody like the Tetley folk know tea.

The album is very loosely themed around the band's own musical growth and it gradually evolves like an unfolding dream. The music is entirely instrumental save for some wordless vocals on one track - think of Focus - and is constructed around fluvial keyboards, mainly organ treated with Leslie effect, and the unwavering solidity of the rhythm section. The one minor quibble I have is the occasional use of keys that are obviously digital but the auxiliary flute, trombone and violin more than adequately compensate for this. It's probably worth mentioning that the music fills just over 40 minutes and therefore contains no filler.

'Evoluzione Delle Forme' will I hope establish Ego as one of the major RPI bands of the modern age and in my opinion it leaves other contenders for album of the year trailing in its wake. Yes, I think it's that good and I don't see it being paralleled in the next two months. Time alone will tell how I feel about it in ten years time but for now it's an instant RPI classic.

Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition.

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