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Res Gesta biography
Italian RPI band RES GESTA hail from San Giovanni in Persiceto, a small town in the province of Bologna, and have actually been around for more than thirty years already, performing covers of classic Seventies progressive rock pieces. Comprised of Giuseppe "Beps" Montuori (drums), Luigi Cerasuolo (bass), Cesare Cavalli (guitar), Simone Muzzi (keyboards) and Roberto Bergamini (vocals), the band (with the help of drummer Enea Vezzali) finally recorded their own debut of all original compositions in 2015, `Odissea', and what a confident musical statement of intent it is!

An almost 74 minute concept album, `Odissea' is a proudly pompous and dynamic rock opera in the extravagant tradition of those daring Italian prog works by bands such as LATTE E MIELE, OSANNA and the NEW TROLLS, with some added heavier moments even briefly calling to mind the overblown drama of the Dutch AYREON project. Classical elements, theatrical drama and symphonic themes with lengthy instrumental interludes mix with hard rocking pieces and a range of sophisticated ballad passages with constantly strong melodies and powerful yet controlled vocals. RPI doesn't come more grandiose than this, and it's one of the most confident and striking RPI Italian progressive releases of 2015.

Biography by Michael Hodgson (Aussie-Byrd-Brother) with valuable information from Andrea Parentin.

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4.33 | 26 ratings

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 Odissea by RES GESTA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.33 | 26 ratings

Res Gesta Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Res Gesta come from San Giovanni in Persiceto, a small town in the province of Bologna and have been around for more than thirty years as a cover band, trying to give new life to old seventies progressive rock pieces. In 2015 they finally self released a debut album of original compositions with a line up featuring Enea Vezzali (drums), Luigi Cerasuolo (bass), Cesare Cavalli (guitar), Simone Muzzi (keyboards) and Roberto Bergamini (vocals). The album is entitled Odissea and is a conceptual one, a sparkling rock opera with more than 73 minutes of good music and strong melodies. Years of hard work have resulted in a very mature sound and although you can hear on this album some influences from the past the band managed to add their own ideas and personality with excellent results. As you can guess, the story-line was inspired by the Odyssey but the band interpreted it in a very personal way trying to link Homer's immortal poetry to our contemporary society...

The beautiful, long opener "Overture" starts softly with an instrumental section for piano that could recall Goblin, then the rhythm takes off. In the night you're welcomed on board of a mysterious ship that is setting off on a journey across a raging sea, towards unknown lands where you will find war, ambiguities, unreality and ferocious ogres to deceive. You are troubled by your own fragility and you feel lost, you don't know what are you looking for... Who can save you?

The disquieting "Guerra" (War) is a metaphor of all the wars in human history. It begins by the sound of distant hooters and obsessive bass lines, then recitative vocals evoke the image of a powerful army debarking on a beach from their battle ships under a gray asphalt sky, the rhythm rises... You can see the heroes ready to conquer and defeat their enemy: there's no room for agreements, any mediation is out of question and all the dreams of peace have to be closed in a box, put away and hidden in a remote part of the mind, because war is more remunerative than peace and money is the only real God. From the ancient walls of Troy to the Twin Towers, billions of people have been walking through the flames of an eternal hell between blood and treason, damned forever in the name of their God!

"Il giorno dopo" (The day after) is a dreamy, acoustic ballad filled with emotion and melody that comes like the calm after the storm. The day after the final battle there is still fire on the ruins of the conquered city. The night of tragedy and death is over and all stands still in this morning without heroes, there's no crowd in the streets and you feel stranded and broken inside. Now the fire is behind you and you have to wake up and set off on another journey. In front of you there are sleepless night filled with the desperate voices of your memories but you have no time to waste, you have to go on following a new route towards the horizon, to reach what you can't reach, to see what you can't see, to feel what you can't feel...

The following "Lotofagi" (Lotus-eaters) begins by an exotic percussion pattern and features a strange, mysterious atmosphere. The rhythm is slow, inebriated by the sacred flowers of the Gods you're floating among the clouds of an unreal sky, lost in a kind of artificial psychedelic peace that shines like a light into oblivion... Then the rhythm rises while soaring vocals wake you up from your seep cutting like a knife the curtain of illusion that makes you blind. Now you're back on your route across the see...

"Ciclope" (Cyclops) is a long, complex track that deals with a terrible, murderous danger that you can meet during your peregrinations. In Greek mythology a cyclops was a member of a primordial race of men-eaters giants, each with a single eye in the middle of his forehead. Polyphemus was the name of the one Odysseus met during his mythical journey but here the lyrics use the cyclops just as a metaphor to warn you about the cynicism of media and trash TV. It's described as a dangerous eye that can judge and condemn, it can destroy everything, tame people and make a man special... A wild modern monster that in some way is depicted on the album cover as well!

"Circe" is a lively, sarcastic track where the voice of Roberto Bergamini reminds me more than ever of Francesco Di Giacomo from Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. In Greek mythology Circe is a goddess of magic (or sometimes a nymph, witch, enchantress or sorceress) but here she's depicted just as a hard-headed, wise woman who fights for her peace and her moral values. She's not a witch nor a supernatural creature, she's not more wicked than a powerful king can be or than a greedy, egoist business man in our sad contemporary reality where there's no pity for the losers. All in all, if she has transformed some people into swines it's just because so they are the mirror of clergymen and merciless butchers...

"Sirene" (Sirens) is beautiful, evocative track with a Gothic atmosphere and a suggestive sense of mystery. No need for lyrics here, just the female vocals a cappella of the guests from the Macramé choir, Michela Pedrini, Serena Pecoraro and Elisabetta Dell'Argine, who weave seducing harmonies leading to the following "Calipso", a long, romantic piece describing the moment of Odysseus departure from his golden captivity in the island of the nymph Calypso. Well, it's a nice way to describe the end of an intense, complicated relationship with strong melodies, a pinch of blues and a beautiful instrumental coda that could recall a wonderful springtime song...

On "Déjà vu" the rhythm rises again, the mood is dark while aggressive electric guitar riffs are intertwined with raging keyboards waves. The lyrics describe the feelings of a man who seems to have lost his identity, the borders between reality and unreality are blurred by infinite waves and new horizons. Lost memories dance in sleepless nights... Is it magic or madness?

The dreamy, poetical "Eolo" (Aeolus) and "Overture (Reprise)" end the album leading you to a new awareness. You're riding on the wind, flying high in the silence, breathing the intensity of a moment that no one can tell. Well, your journey was nothing but a dream, now the dark night is just a distant memory and you are walking in the present, maker of you own destiny in a world that conjures up strange shadows and illusions that after a while are thrown away... You're playing a big game and now you know where the wind's blowing: get the chance and set off on another journey, pace after pace!

On the whole, I enjoyed very much this album and I'm sure that Italian prog lovers will appreciate it as well. Contact the band to get the CD...

 Odissea by RES GESTA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.33 | 26 ratings

Res Gesta Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars There are two kinds of situations that occasionally occur in the RPI world, one where a band that was active in the original period of the Seventies recorded a work that remained sadly unreleased until this modern era (Kundalini Shakti Devi and Buon Vecchio Charlie instantly come to mind), or groups active some decades ago, such as Il Cerchio D'Oro that never got around to recording an official full-length proper album in their day but are making up for lost time now! Res Gesta may have missed the Seventies boom period for Italian prog, instead forming in the Eighties, but after thirty years, they finally present their debut, and it's even more satisfying that it's a real knockout, and one of the most welcome surprises in RPI for 2015.

Right from the start, Res Gesta aim big! Not a wimpy careful debut of little unsure steps, instead with `Odissea' they confidently deliver nothing less than an overly ambitious, heavy and extravagant 74 minute rock opera, and a concept album at that, being a modern interpretation of Greek poet Homer's `Odyssey' . Think of works like Latte e Miele's `Passio Secundum Mattheum', the New Trolls `Concerto Grosso' albums (but thankfully not covered in similar orchestration), with the crossing-over of styles of Osanna, and perhaps a touch of the heaviness that Dutch composer Arjen Anthony Luccassen brings to his Ayreon projects in just a few spots, and you have a good idea of where Res Gesta start.

The big `Overture' sets an early template for much of the disc and rises to life with Simone Muzzi's tip-toeing piano, powerful triumphant organ and Enea Vezzali's announcing crashing drums, while Cesare Cavalli's driving heavier guitars and Luigi Cerasuolo's deep murmuring bass navigate twisting time and direction changes that just might make some listeners think of the most overblown moments of Dream Theater. This opener carefully moves between sedate and dramatic moments with plenty of pomp, and Roberto Bergamini's sombre Italian croon and expressive vocal range is equally as skilful as Syndone singer Riccardo Ruggeri's voice, and just as Queen influenced in parts too!

Looking at some more highlights, there are hard rock stompers such as `Guerra' (with a gorgeous soaring Pink Floyd-ian chorus thanks to the organ and backing vocalists), melancholic and darkly romantic ballads in `Il Giorno Dopo' and `Calipso' (just listen to that final piano-driven instrumental dash in the final minute!), Osanna-like brooding slow-burn ballads in `Lotofagi' loaded with bluesy electric guitar smoulders that reach the heavens, and gothic-tinged theatrical mini epics in the pure RPI tradition with `Ciclope', spiced with acoustic guitar, synths and ravishing piano runs. Moments like slinking pop-rock groover `Circe' are instantly more accessible with a catchy chorus (and again would have easily fit on most Osanna albums), dark moods pervade the heavy riffing guitars and intimidating symphonic synths of `Déjà vu', and the closing `Overture (Reprise)' is a suitably bombastic epic finale.

But most special attention of all must go to the exquisite `Sirene', a haunting and ethereal five minute chamber choir interlude holding the most captivating wordless multi-layered vocal harmonies imaginable. Growing more complex as it progresses, it holds a sobering reflective dignity, and is not only one of the standout vocal moments on a recent Italian prog disc, but one of the overall most sublime and mesmerizing moments on an RPI album all year.

They may not have the bigger name or status at this point, but don't overlook Res Gesta or their massively ambitious work here. Yes, it's a big commitment to take the time to constantly listen to a 74 minute work (although it's more a collection of separate distinctive tunes with bridging instrumentation than one continuous suite), but in this instance, it couldn't be more rewarding, and thankfully the band have worked extremely hard at making `Odissea' full of endlessly melodic vocal passages and memorable instrumental segments. This is extravagant progressive rock in the proudest tradition of the most grandiose RPI releases of the past, and this confident opening musical statement of intent from the fiercely talented Res Gesta is one of the best surprises in Italian prog for 2015.

Four and a half stars (rounded up to five) for a superb debut, well worth the thirty year wait!

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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