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Nuova Era - L'Ultimo Viaggio CD (album) cover


Nuova Era


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.69 | 65 ratings

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4 stars Figuratively studying under the keyboard oriented masters of the British (ELP) and Italian scene (METAMORFOSI, ALPHATAURUS) of the previous decade, NUOVA ERA catapulted themselves into RPI history with this 1988 release. Though their fiery style is dominated by the organ and synthesizer of Walter Pini, Alex Camaiti's guitars strike the right note in a supportive role and occasionally hold serve. The wattage of this small but boisterous group rarely wavers for long, even if more ambient passages cloak the mayhem here and there.

The opening two tracks are my favourites, both heavy yet effervescent, with the title cut doing justice to its length through a series of dynamic swings and a few judicious repetitions. The second installment of "Cattivi Pensieri" is the more revved up and appealing of the two, with an organ timbre reminiscent of RICK WAKEMAN's early live work. As the album winds down it softens, with the splendid ballad "Rittorno alla vita" being the best from the home stretch. It's unabashedly romantic but that same passion lies beneath the translucent surface of the harder rock tracks. The bonus track is pleasant in a 1960s way, and was probably kept off the initial release for that reason as well as for its poor production even when stacked against the disappointing standards of the original album.

As with a few other Italian bands that played some role in the RPI revival of the late 1980s and early 1990s, some of the later work of NUOVA ERA is often judged their best, but this debut is quite a statement in itself, and would have done the band proud if, like too many of their contemporaries, their voyage had ultimately ended where it began.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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