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Conqueror - 74 Giorni CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.83 | 57 ratings

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4 stars Finally. I was starting to seriously wonder why there has been such silence from the once glorious hotbed of Prog, Italy. They are a strange breed, timing and rigor not necessarily their strongest national traits, somehow always coming through in the crunch when least expected (just check out their ultra-dramatic national soccer team!). I have heard that 2008 will yield some delicious progfood, new albums by Minstrel, Hostsonaten & Moongarden. In the meantime, as antipasto, we get this new recording from Conqueror, based on some positive reviews on our favorite site, to keep our prog hunger temporarily in check. As so often the case with Italo- Prog, the first audition was a mixed affair, trying to find the usual reference points with great difficulty, demanding way more attention from the casual listener. (I buy most of my stuff from a store, so the car CD player gets the first kick at the can, and with all the silly distractions like choking traffic, insane drivers, suicidal pedestrians, hidden police cars, potholes, traveling garbage cans, young boys with blinders chasing ball in the's kind of hard to focus on the Rickenbacker, if you seen what I mean.). Fine, I will be a good little Soprano and I will listen more respectfully from now on, I promise. (Conqueror are from Sicily, enough said). Dressed all in black, cell phone shut, ex-wife busy, kids in school, the Campari bottle seducing the orange juice, I swab my ears and dive into this " a Spicey Meataball", a musical voyage in 13 episodes that recounts the tragic story of 2 Italian ocean adventurers , marooned for 74 days after being "torpedoed " by a killer whale. Conqueror is led by keyboardist Simona Rigano, who not only has a superb voice but she can really caress those ivories! She deserves the same applause as other lady keyboard prog divas (such as Quaterna Requiem's Elisa Wiermann or Ars Nova's Keiko Kumagai) by displaying exquisite piano expressions, swirling Brian Augerish organ runs and sensual synth washes. Her sister Sabrina Rigano provides numerous flute colorations as well as some sunny sax blowouts. Tino Nastasi strums a crafty guitar as well as wielding a mean Rickenbacker bass, thus amplifying drummer Natale Russo's articulate percussives. The CD starts off with some light vocal fare, folkish Italian style, preparing the voyage ("Il Viaggio"), the attack of the killer whale ("Orca"), the eerie silence of fear ("Limbo"), the only help are the birds ("Cormorani"). As we delve deeper into the despair, the musical tone becomes more urgent, finally culminating in the sweeping 9.5 minute epic "Nebbia ad Occhi Chiusi", a prog masterstroke delivering an articulate groovy riff with bass, drums and synths interweaving majestically. As previously noted by another reviewer, the final 3 tracks form a rather expressive suite of unchained emotion fueled by unexpected rescue, more brilliant corkscrew guitar leads, exultingly pleading vocals and an exhaustive lament at the sheer horror of the two adventurers' plight. The story ends on a narrated epilogue like a well-turned book. I was very impressed by the quality of this splendid effort. Our three Italians PA reviewers (all named Andrea, amazing!) are correctly effusive in their praise and there musical tastes are worthy of the finest Barolos. Now, I am pronto for the main entrees. Salute! 4 buoys
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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