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Il Cerchio D'Oro - Dedalo E Icaro CD (album) cover


Il Cerchio D'Oro


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.93 | 117 ratings

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4 stars My goodness, what is in the water in Italy? as the past 6 months have unleashed a series of simply stunning releases from the storied land of RPI, making 2013 the year of the Azurri , at least in prog terms. Mamma mia!

The story of Daedalus and Icarus, the two merry Greek adventurers of mythology who sought to soar into the mighty skies by imitating the flight of birds is the theme espoused by this interesting Italian band. And what an adventure it is, with parping synthesizers that somehow elicit a sense of the majestic and grandiose, in a proud coalition with a biting electric guitar that sears the heavens. Needless to state, the quality of the displayed musicianship is up to the usual lofty RPI standards, adding a terrific voice to the mix, that of the amazing Piuccio Pradal. As far as rhythm sections go, the brothers Terribile are far from terrible, quite the opposite, as both Giuseppe on bass and Gino on drums keep the rhythmic fortress strong and mighty. The stellar art work is a Michelangelo-like depiction of the fabled story, as Icarus flew too close to the sun and his melting waxed wings dooming to perish.

'Il Mio Nome e Dedalo' starts off this weaving opus on a bright, highly melodic tangent that will exponentially grow with each passing track. Mandolin, vocals and tight interplay all combine to create a wonderful introduction to all the pleasures inside this bright recording. One definitely can conjure images of classic Loccanda delle Fate (as smartly expressed by the ever astute and eagle-eared Aussie-Byrd-Brother), as the underlying romanticism is palpable and highly entertaining.

The grandiose 'Labirinto' is the perfect RPI classic with all the famous ingredients: the swirling flute courtesy of Marin Grice (Delerium), the sublime melodies, a romantic piano, some sensational bass underpinning and a lasting sense of serene beauty. Roberto Giordana's tortured guitar only adds to the delicious torment. This has to be immediately stamped with the loftiest marks, both for technical merit and artistic impression. The piece has a shiny and bright modern veneer that only sets the table for the next surprise.

'La Promessa' actually regresses in terms of style, offering an obvious 70s feel, as the gritty organ colludes with the gritty voice and the 'boom-boom-tchak' drums. The sound is remindful of Il Volo, Osanna and that ilk. The various soloing sections, especially the droning synth extravaganza by keyboardist Franco Piccolini only reinforce the sense of historical perspective. The axe solo fade-away is bluesy and grit-laden which really settles the quality perfectly.

'L'Arma Vincente' solidifies the retro feel but in a more Italian ballad style (canzone) with up- front vocalizing and suave slitherings of keys and guitars, held together by guest bassist Giorgio Piazza (ex-PFM). Sweet renderings and highly enjoyable music, to say the least. Typical of any Italian feast, having enough with all the tasty appetizers as the vast array of delicious sounds move into a meatier direction with flick-o-the wrist riffs, organ explosions and stop and go rhythmic convulsions.

The torrential 'La Nuova Realta' enjoys supplying the contrasts as well with some a glorious spacy mid-section that only sets the stage for some wild emotional rambling from Pradal, whose hushed voice slightly resembles PFM's Franz di Cioccio! Guitarist Giordana and ivoryman Piccolini then grab this mother by the scruff of the neck and start smoking up a storm, usually a wrestling match between Hammond and electric guitar with no holds barred.

'Oggi Volero' has brief tinges of bluesy hard-rock until acoustic guitar and mellotron together drift in to scatter the clouds, the lofty vocals and tight drums taking over the mood. Hammond and axe provide a very old school tone with a nearly 60s choir of harmonized vocals that left me speechless when I heard it the first time. Like, whaaaaat? Fly me to the moon, will ya?

'Io Sonno Spezzato' reflects on Icarus' broken wings and his colossal fall from the skies, arrogantly believing until his body finally hit the ground that he was destined to reach the stars. The music therefore is brooding and choppy, a dark spiraling ballet of incomprehension and disbelief that will seal his fate. The mood is more experimental prog with loads of complex polyrhythmics, some vocal gymnastics and rapid-fire delivery.

The closer 'Ora Che Son Qui' is a killer finale, led by an echoing voice of plaintive despair as if emanating from the netherworld, an inglorious epitaph for a legendary failure. The oily organ plays a major role here, as in tandem with Grice's forlorn sax, each instrument craftily representing Daedalus and Icarus.

Perhaps not as extreme as Ingranaggi della Valle, Progenesi or the sterling Unreal City, Il Cerchio D'Oro still provide a wonderful mythological musical fantasy of the highest order.

4 greasy feathers

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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