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Nathan - Nebulosa CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.01 | 29 ratings

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4 stars Nathan are one of those rare yet not unheard of Italian prog bands that were active in the late Seventies, yet never got around to releasing a proper original recording until the modern era. The group haven't actually been inactive in that time, however, as they've performed as a cover band (and still do to this day) presenting extravagant recreations of the classic works of Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson and Supertramp, as well as more surprising choices such as Caravan and Hatfield and the North! So considering their devotion to the English progressive groups, it's very surprising to discover that their debut album of all-original material is sung warmly in Italian and highlighted by classical symphonic fancy in the grand proper RPI tradition!

Despite a confusing album title and cover art that might make some curious purchasers think they're getting a space-rock album for their money, Nathan have delivered a wonderful debut album for lovers of symphonic Italian progressive music. Everything is in its right place, from hearty vocals and adventurous instrumental soloing passages performed by skilled musicians of great experience, but a constant uplifting and joyful mood with several big `wow' moments arrive that unexpectedly lift the album to another level altogether. It tells a futuristic tale of a population's migration in search of water in a world that has run dry of aquatic resources, the `Nebulosa' of the title a comet that leads the way to a new salvation.

Looking at some of the highlights, the first few tracks such as `Diluvio' and the title track set a template for much of the disc, melodic and vocal-driven accessible pieces with stirring and easy to enjoy repeated choruses, with carefully executed shorter bursts of keyboard and guitar soloing in and around the actual tunes. But it's `Resto Qui' that delivers the first extended instrumental passages of dazzling synth runs, fanciful piano, sly murmuring bass and grand reaching guitar themes around a dignified vocal, the closing finale bursting with energy and purpose. `La Coltre Viola' reveals the ravishing classical-flavoured piano fancy and whirring keyboard/Moog sophistication so beloved of endless Italian progressive works, and floating flute and a winning twin-guitar climax are the highlights of `A Ferro e Fuoco'. `Il Tempo dei Miracoli' holds a noble vocal chorus with lovely harmonies, plentiful slow-burn guitar embers and a grandiose symphonic close with a crashing beat, and the band simply outdoes themselves on the nine-minute `Il Fiume Sa'.

`Nebulosa' is not especially original or ground-breaking, but it's expertly delivered by a talented band and both vocally and instrumentally similar to the classic Seventies period of Le Orme. Lovers of the recent Logos album `L'enigma della Vita' will also find much to enjoy here, as well as fans of the chiming guitars of Marillion and pristine coolness of the English Neo-Prog bands in many moments. It gets Nathan's original career off to a great start, so hopefully the band will have the confidence and ambition towards their own welcome work and not just focus on cover version performances in the near future!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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