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La Maschera Di Cera - Le Porte Del Domani CD (album) cover


La Maschera Di Cera


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.02 | 300 ratings

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5 stars The perfect complement for Felona e Sorona

When I saw the cover of Le Porte del Domani, thought immediately in Felona e Sorona first I believed it was a coincidence or the product of a non-versatile artist, but when I read the tracks, It was obvious we were before a sequel of LE ORME'S masterpiece and believed this guys were taking a huge risk, either they climbed to the level of RPI icons, or ruined their career, because destroying the legacy of a beloved masterpiece is something nobody would forgive.

The first achievement of LA MASCHERA DI CERA was the approach, because even when the album has common places and even short reminiscences of Felona e Sorona, the atmosphere is completely different, they sacrifice some mystery and obscurity for a more fluid and folksy sound with keyboard performances that make want to jump and clap. It's important to mention that the voice of Alessandro Corvaglia is absolutely reminiscent of Aldo Tagliapietra's, so the listener immediately connects both albums with no problem.

The story of Felona e Sorona is about two twin planets located at the two sides of "Colui Che Promette il Mondo" (He who Promises the World), a god who's existence both planet inhabitants ignore, so when the divinity looked towards a planet took the light towards it and became a paradise, while the other fell into darkness turning it into hell, and the album ends when the divinity is looking towards the middle of both planets so both were in balance.

LA MASCHERA DI CERA retakes the plot in the moment when the divinity (Who once looked towards Felona) starts turning towards Sorona and this world becomes a paradise while the once wonderful Felona starts the decline towards obscurity, so the inhabitants of planet in decline attack the other to retake the light,

But being that the forces are equivalent (Sorona obtains a new power due to the light while Felona keeps the knowledge of the golden years), the battle lasts 1,000 years. The divinity notices that he can do nothing to maintain the balance and enters into a crisis of solitude that could be the end of both planets. In the meanwhile, a soldier of Felona falls in love with a woman of Sorona who discovers the existence of this divinity, so they make a mental travel to the Afterworld Dimension where "He who Promises the World" looks this union between two opposites with pleasure and his loneliness turns into a light of happiness that takes Felona and Sorona towards a new era of mutual brilliance.

As we can see, the story is simpler than the original but still is effective and interesting, and the music?

Well, that's another story, because both albums are almost in the same level, so let's go to the music:

The album istarts with Ritorno Dal Nulla (Return from the Balance), which starts with a breathtaking intro where the band hits us with the heavy artillery from the mysterious intro plethoric of guitar and magnificent keyboards, which lead to the well known tune from the opener of Felona e Sorona (Sospesi Nell'Incredibile), and after that, anything can be expected. Despite the reviews I read, the drumming is outstanding and Agostino Macor attacks the listener with a of Moog, Mellotron, Birotron, Hammond plus every instrument with keys he has. Of concerto course the cherry on the top of the cake is placed by Andrea Monetti and the subtle flute. More than eight minutes of first class Italian Symphonic.

La Guerra Dei Mille Anni (The Thousand Years War) Starts with a martial drum based intro but after that is marked by the excellent vocals in Italian by Alessandro Corvaglia (Please Italians, your language is marvelous, forget the English), brilliantly enhanced by the flute and acoustic guitars, this time with a folksy atmosphere that falls on us as a breeze of fresh air.

Ritratto Di Lui (Portrait of Him): From the beginning the band imprints a mystical atmosphere enhanced by the vocals and flute, but being that is the story of the Felona soldier that falls in love with a Sorona woman, there's a romantic feeling that only Italians can create without falling in cheesiness...........Beautiful song.

L'enorme Abisso (The Enormous Abyss): One of the highlights of the album, because the dissonant and almost chaotic interplay between organ, Mellotron, percussion and saxophone describe perfectly the desperation of the divinity when he notices that no matter what he does, he can't project the light to both planets. Very complex and elaborate track, the dream of a proghead.

Ritratto di Lei (Portrait of Her) is another melodic song with an incredibly beautiful piano performance, where the woman of Sorona discovers the existence of "Colui che promette il Mondo" and proposes her lover a mental travel to meet god.

Viaggio Metafisico (Metaphysical Journey) is probably the best track of the album, the guys of LA MASCHERA DI CERA donīt keep anything for the end, and make a display of virtuosity in all the instruments, almost like a blend between BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, KING CRIMSON and LE ORME. Frantic and breathtaking from start to end, radical changes, and outstanding performances, we can't ask for more.

Alba Nel Tempio (Dawn in the Temple) describes the moment when the lovers reach te palace of the god, and due to the depression of "He who Promises the World" find it decadent with reminiscences of a past glory, and the music represents this perfectly, with echoes of the most brilliant passages of the album, played with a sense of nostalgia that's evident for the listener.

Luce Sui Due Mondi (Light for the two Worlds) is the climax of the concept, because the divinity notices that the two planets complement themselves and in that moment emits a light so strong that turns both worlds into a paradise simultaneously. Paradoxically, this may be the weakest track of the album, being that the softness fails to represent that magical moment, but still is good.

When I believed that the band had given their best comes the closer Alle Porte del Domani (At the Gates of Tomorrow) which really takes the album to a new level of splendor, really the grand finale that will satisfy the most exigent listeners.

Well for what I wrote, the 5 stars rating falls by its own weight, but I must add that we are before a new classic masterpiece that deserves to be listener as the conclusion of the iconic Felona e Sorona, without suffering when compared.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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