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La Rossa - A Fury Of Glass CD (album) cover


La Rossa


Eclectic Prog

3.29 | 16 ratings

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3 stars This French-German group came to life in Toulouse in 1980 by German bassist/keyboardist Wolfgang Holler and drummer Marc Neves, who intoduced Benki to Holler and the later soon became the lead singer and acoustic guitarist of the band.Benki was a huge Peter Hammill fan and suggested the name ''La rossa'' after the eponymous track from Van Der Graaf Generator's ''Still life'' album.The trio recorded an 8-track album and passed it to various companies, but no interest surfaced for La Rossa.Then, at the end of 1981 they became a sextet with Dino De Rossi on bass, Jean-Pierre Baile and Robert Liccardi on guitars.They visited the Studio 621 at the fall of 1982 to record the album ''A fury of glass'' with the rehearsals lasting about three weeks.Liccardi left during the sessions, but the album was eventually released in early 83' on AG Records, a small label linked to the Studio 621 owners.

To say that this album sounds a lot like classic VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR would be an excess.But it is pretty surprising that this group played such an out-of-trend style with a strong lyrical content and emphasis on Classical interludes and complex themes.Because that is what's going on in ''A fury of glass''.Guided by the VDGG/PETER HAMMILL fundamentals and adding a touch of GENESIS and GENTLE GIANT, La Rossa proposed an uncommercial and refined Progressive Rock with plenty of acoustic guitars, smooth electric runs and constant use of piano themes, eventually creating lyrical soundscapes with Benki's theatrical vocals in the forefront but also series of adventurous instrumental moments.Some organ washes are also present, but you will actually admire the talent of Holler behind the piano equipment and the strong PETER HAMMILL vibes coming out of his performance next to Benki.As a result the band seems often to enter a more Singer/Songwriter style with all these acoustic sections and vocals popping up, but ''A fury of glass'' is a lot more than these.The tracks are not very long, but they contain lots of twists and breaks with electroacoustic manipulations and the piano as the constant regulator, while the longest ones burst some really intricate, instrumental parts.

AG Records promised the band a fair distribution, but the only way La Rossa could actually promote the album was climbing on stage.After a few lives inner frustration started to grow between the members, on a last attempt they travelled to Paris to find a distributor, but with no success they decided to call it quit after only five gigs, when De Rossi and Baille left the band.The original trio continued auditions, but when realizing that all efforts were hopeless La Rossa became part of history.The album was reissued a decade later on Musea with three bonus tracks, propably originating from the band's pre-''A fury of glass'' recordings.The folky ''Fade away'' will leave his place to the 8-min. ''This unbreakable'', definitely one of most challenging pieces the band ever recorded, a tour-de-force of symphonic and Avant-Garde music, filled with dark and complex themes, fantastic instrumental material and quite a bit of interplays, tremendously inspired by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.''Thoughts'' is another story, this is a haunting piano solo by Holler with a beautiful Classical atmosphere and a charm of its own.

Nice dark, symphonic-oriented Prog with a lyrical mystification.These guys deserve some praise for putting up a competitive prog album in 1983.Highly recommended to all VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and PETER HAMMILL fans...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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