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Latte E Miele - Passio Secundum Mattheum - The Complete Work CD (album) cover


Latte E Miele


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.13 | 185 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars `Reboot' or `remake' - two words that usually instil a sense of apprehension and dread in most people! Usually associated with the latest lousy Hollywood cash-in riding on the coat-tails of something considered a classic or more special, now even progressive rock is not immune to this fad...but thankfully the results are more consistently worthwhile than the film equivalent! Vintage RPI act Latte e Miele's `Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work' sees the legendary Italian band return to their 1972 defining work in a thrilling new interpretation that not only respects the original, but more importantly stands on it's own strengths and merits while also adding and revealing new details never before realized. An adaption of the Passion of Saint Matthew set to music, to many Italian prog fans the original is considered one of the most important vintage RPI releases, as well as a constant personal favourite. Hopefully existing fans will be willing to give this new interpretation a chance, as they can rest easy in the knowledge that it doesn't damage the reputation of the 70's version at all, instead offering new and exciting additions to only enhance the original.

Three founding members, Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa, Oliviero Lacagnina and Alfio Vitanza, with the addition of bass player Massimo Gori from a later line-up offer this new work. As a special treat this time around, several notable guests from RPI acts both new and old have been brought in to lend their voices to several narrated passages. From the vintage years, some of the guests include Lino Vairetti and Lino Vairetti of Osanna, Alvaro Fella of Jumbo, Silvana Aliotta of Circus 2000, Giorgio D'Adamo of the New Trolls, Paolo Carelli of Pholas Dactylus, as well as Aldo de Scalzi and Paolo Griguolo of Picchio dal Pazzo, Simonluca of L'Enorme Maria and singer/songwriter Max Manfredi. The younger artists are Sophya Baccini of her Aradia project and the dark keyboard queen Elisa Montaldo of Il Tempio delle Clessidre.

For those who don't know what the original or this new version sounds like, it's a bombastic, lush and grandiose classical orchestral based prog work that runs through an exhausting variety of instrumental passages, sombre and striking narration and stirring choral vocals. `The Complete Work' (as was the original) is a work that is initially very overwhelming and confusing, demanding constant replays to discover how carefully arranged the constantly evolving musical passages are, to gather a sense of the dramatic build and perfectly considered flow the overall piece brings. One thing that instantly stands out throughout this new version is a more rich, full and cleaner sound, definitely improving the occasionally flat mix, especially obvious in the choral passages, that sometimes plagued the original work. Classical and rock elements, light and dark moods all blend together in perfect unison, the music growing darker and heavier as it progresses. Electric guitars, organ and keyboards weave seamlessly around emotional strings and nimble piano, delicate acoustic guitar flavours offering thoughtful moments in between wilder rocking passages. So many luxurious and memorable melodies envelope the listener, and by the end, you are left deeply moved by what a victorious, uplifting and fully immersive musical experience this is. Personal highlights for me are the urgent and hypnotic group harmonies alongside duelling Moog spirals, searing electric guitar fire and prancing violin of `I Falsi Testimoni', the gothic symphonic darkness of `Il Rinnegamento...', and the surprisingly jazzy Delirium-like touches around heavy brooding guitars, scratchy Mellotron and uplifting Moog finale in `Il Re Dei Giudei'.

Some listeners may find the constant direction changes and multiple narrated guests initially intimidating and off-putting, but perseverance pays off perfectly for those willing to give this work the necessary amount of plays for it to start making sense. `Passio Secundum Matthaeum - The Complete Work' is a gift for fans who cherish the beloved original, as well as a sumptuous aural treat for newcomers to discover. It's possibly one of the finest modern releases from a vintage Italian act, and comes across as a hugely important and defining progressive rock work in general for 2014. Italian prog doesn't come any more grand, lavish and exquisite than this, and it's certainly one of the most sophisticated works to appear on the Black Widow label to date.

Five stars for a classic Italian progressive rock event.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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