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Logos - Sadako e le mille gru di carta CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.19 | 245 ratings

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4 stars Italy's prog revivalists are back with another collection of songs that seem to pay homage to some of the great RPI albums of the 1970s. I hear frequent snippets of BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, LE ORME, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, MAXOPHONE, PANNA FREDDA, and even GENESIS and RICK WAKEMAN in a lot of this music as well as very keyboard-dominated music.

1. "Origami in SOL-" (2:16) instrumental introduction. Sounds like JOURNEY, STARCASTLE, GOBLIN, and ELP. (4.5/5)

2. "Paesaggi di insonnia" (11:27) Organ-dominated RPI in the BANCO and LE ORME vein--though Luc Zerman keeps reminding me of vocalist PAOLO FARINA. So many dynamic stops and starts, shifts and twists, I can't help but feel a bit lost, or confused. Love the stripped down passage beginning in the fourth minute with its use of sax and its familiar melody line (from LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO's 2013 masterpiece, Sensitività). Saxophone emerges from its murky effect to become the dominant soloist (with, of course, the multiple keyboards) until the next shift at 8:30, a sparse vocal section which is eventually joined by a slowed down chunky bass-dominated motif until 9:40 when a whole-band chord progression begins chugging along, pre-empting a heavy VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR-like sax-led section at 9:40 to the finish. (18/20)

3. "Un lieto inquietarsi" (10:48) opens with some very melodic synth riffs being explored with start-and-stop accompaniment. After half a minute, the light is green and the band takes off in a fast, thick, forward motion. BANCO-like tangent in the third minute takes us on a left turn down a different street--kind of dream like in the BALLETTO DI BRONZO tradition. Return to previous theme before shifting back to opening motifs. Another dream shift at the end og he fourth minute leads into a brief mediæval passage in the fifth and sixth minutes--which I like--but why does it exist? Why is it here? What story & moods are they trying to convey? (This series of questions makes me believe that non-Italians should be banned from reviewing RPI music.) Why is it followed by the organ-dominated section? Why do the vocal melodies not fit with those being repeated by the keyboards? To me, this song is a mess of non-sequitur motifs strung together in a pattern that is as abstract to me as one of Charles Beaudelaire's fleurs du mal. (16.5/20)

4. "Il sarto" (6:00) opening with Procul Harem organ and pop-Italia strummed guitar, the song sounds and continues to sound as if it was lifted off of an album (or live outdoor concert performance) in the late 1970s. Nice pop song, nice vocals (grace á Il Tempio delle Clessidre's wonderful Elisa Montaldo) maybe even a hit, but, again, why/how does it fit into this theme? (Or, is this not a concept album?) (8.5/10)

5. "Zaini di elio" (12:38) opens with blatant Duke-era GENESIS opening before adding a harpsichord and Arp synth to cover switch to a BANCO sound. But then, whoops, we're back to a Wakeman-Duke-like coda before dropping into a slower, more MAXOPHONE-like section used to support the first vocals. The complex instrumental section that follows feels straight out of the LE ORME Felona album before reverting to the bombastic Duke-theme for some Wakeman-like soloing. The flow of this song is, at least, much more coherent and less jagged than the previous two epics. The romantic buildup to and in the tenth minute works really well until the melody-mirroring choral vocalise starts to shift (are they off key or just providing counterpoint?) and then weaken again with the key shift in the twelfth minute. Otherwise, this song works! (23/25)

6. "Sadako e le mille gru di carta" (21:20) simple MIDI-ed piano, synth organ, and children's playground noises (Ah! The pre-COVID days!) open the first two minutes of this true epic. When the full band kicks in in the third minute I am fully in a LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO song--but then everything drops away to allow solo MIDI-ed "warped" piano to have the full stage. Male vocals enter and sing powerfully, really telling this story in the way that the Italians do so well! LE ORME-like instrumental section takes over in the fifth minute. Nice. Easy on the ears, fully accessible. Then, in the sixth minute, a Japanese sound & riff enters to colour the story in a different way. Unfortunately, this diminishes the power of the vocals when they return. And then the PAT BENETAR motif filling the first half of the eighth minute is disappointing, but then some ELP flourishes and a Duke-era GENESIS-like passage restores some faith and hope as we enter the tenth minute in a pleasant, easy-on-the-mind way. At 10:10, we take another turn, using EMINEM's beat from "Lose Yourself" before the band turns back to finally expose the Sadako theme as used in artist Marica Fasoli's YouTube video (how I found out about this album). A MIKE OLDFIELD-like recapitulation of previous themes using different sounds then ensues before we return to vocals late in the fifteenth minute. The lead vocalist here again sounds so much (to me) like PAOLO FARINA (it makes we want to hear his 2014 masterpiece, "Fiori, frutti, farfalle"). More rehashings of previously revealed themes--except for the chunky bass, many having that LE ORME feel and sound (we are now in the dénouement--the rest of the song follows the same form and themes, just building upon them). Unfortunately, these last six minutes tramp on a little too ploddingy. Overall, the song is very accessible, especially melodically, but it's a little too cliché-bombastic and simple to be called "perfection." Wonderfully engineered, though! (35/40)

Total Time 64:28

Nothing really new or Earth-shattering here, just well-crafted, well-produced prog/RPI. I'm not sure if I like the simpler, more straightforward music of the opener, the title song, and "Il Sarto" or the complex game of Pac-Man that "Paesaggi di insonnia" and "Un lieto inquietarsi" take me on, but it's all good. Definitely an album that I'll want to return to--up there with the LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO and UNREAL CITY albums of the past decade.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a wonderful effort to resuscitate and pay homage to many of the sounds, themes, and styles of the old RPI masterpieces.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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