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La Curva Di Lesmo - La Curva Di Lesmo CD (album) cover


La Curva Di Lesmo


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.84 | 100 ratings

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5 stars `La Curva di Lesmo' is a new collaboration between two modern Italian prog/RPI notables in the form of Fabio Zuffanti and Stefano Agnini. Zuffanti's standing in the current RPI scene is well known due to the success of his band La Maschera di Cero's `La Porte del Domani', his recent solo work `La Quarta Vittima' and the live `Il Mondo che era Mio' follow-up release, while Stefano was the keyboard player and musical/lyrical composer on La Coscienza di Zeno's delightful `La Notte Anche di Giorno', one of the loveliest RPI releases of the year. The pairing of the two, alongside some fruitful guest contributions from other Italian acts old and new such as Finisterre, Latte e Miele, Il Tempio delle Clessidre, Analogy and Nickelodean, has delivered one of the standout Italian prog releases of the year, the self-titled `La Curva di Lesmo', and it's sure to quickly become a favourite of followers of the sub-genre.

Based on the first story of Guido Crepax's Sixties Italian comic book series `Valentina', the duo took elements of that story and applied them to music that they felt was in the same atmospheric vein as Il Balletto di Bronzo, Semiramis, Cervello, Avant- prog group Opus Avantra and even electronic projects such as I Signori Della Galassia and Automat. Comprised of three tracks ranging from eight to twenty-six minutes, the album covers an adventurous range of folk, pop, symphonic and electronic influences, and is full of the ravishing vocal theatricality with classical and gothic flavours that proper RPI should always hold in abundance.

Beginning with opener `La Posa Dei Morti', orchestral Mellotron strings rise around indie rock/pop singer Beatrice Antolini's haunting, confident and wild voice, perfectly capturing that passionate controlled theatrical quality that all the best RPI singers hold ' proof it's not just a mans game! It's all an introduction to a run of electronic ripples, regal organ prancing and Moog dreaminess, with some grand guitar heroics burning through as well. The seventeen minute `L'isola Delle Lacrime' has Latte e Miele's Max Manfredi crooning alongside Jenny Sorrenti's wounded sweeping wail, snarling heavy guitars, haunting violins and a plodding eerie beat raising gothic tension. Shimmering keyboards and grooving guitars bring fire to reflective darker folk flute passages, gentle programmed beats pattering away in the background behind a striking spoken word outro.

Eerie organ moodiness, marching drum tension and infernal Mellotron choir with Goblin-like horror effects introduce the twenty-six minute, five part suite `Ho Rischiato Di Vivere'. Claudio Milano's demented devilish sneer rolls around spiralling Moog runs, smashing intimidating drums pound on the senses and purring bass laps seductively. Drifting electronic ambience emerges beside ghostly spectral siren calls, Matteo Merli's boisterous outbursts roar between gloomy acoustic guitar laments, and the climax of dark symphonic orchestration and raging electric guitars, choir and synth makes for a fitting finale. This side- long epic, somewhat more in the style of La Maschera di Cero (and even the gothic embrace of Il Segno del Comando in a few spots), is hugely dramatic and loaded with powerful themes, truly dark symphonic prog and operatic splendour at its very best.

Seeing as how the `Valentina' comics ran for over thirty years, let's hope the group have plenty of source material and inspiration for further albums and are no one-off (please don't succumb to that curse that befell so many early Italian prog groups, fellas!), because they've already set a massively high standard with this debut. Full of intricate, daring instrumental arrangements with rich and lively vocal performances, Italian prog doesn't come more confidently grandiose and proudly pompous than this, and it's a thrilling, essential purchase for RPI fans. `La Curva di Lesmo' is not only one of the strongest Italian progressive works of 2015, but it may even prove to become something of a modern classic.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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