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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.29 | 923 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Here's to you the Banco's debut. One of the most important record in history of Italian prog.

Side A:

There are four songs but in the reality just two true songs and two fragments of songs. These fragments are the introduction to a mini-suite.

The first fragment, "In Volo" is a recited song, with a Renaissance style, worthy of Genesis, or Gentle Giant as a mood, but overall today it is dated. It serves to create the atmosphere, it is understood immediately that Banco wanted to be prog. Their debut, in fact, is among the most prog Italian record: more prog than Storia di un Minuto by Pfm or Collage by Le Orme.

In volo opens to "RIP", which is one of the absolute masterpieces of all Italian prog. Here we meet, summarized in 7 minutes without frills, all the art of Banco: an excellent melody created by the keyboards of the Nocenzi brothers accompanied by the tenor operatic voice of Francesco Di Giacomo, aggressive instrumental progressions led by drums (Calderoni) and electric guitar (Todaro), Baroque instrumental solos alternating with pauses. We are in full symphonic rock, but what makes this music unique is the beauty of the melodies, punctuated by Di Giacomo's vocals. Masterpiece. Vote 9.

After the second fragment, a ballad on the harpsichord, comes the second song, "Metamorfofi", which starts with a rhythmic progression, moves on to a classical piano piece, returns to the rhythmic progression, and only in the end comes the vocals, preceded by phrases on the guitar that trace its melody. Daring theatrical finale. It looks like a minisuite but in reality it is a melodic verse/chorus song, like all the other two songs, reworked, dilated to make it sound like a suite, which obsessively fights over some piano phrases. It is an excellent song always thanks to the beautiful melody and the excellent arrangements that are able to deepen a musical motif, to create variations around it without tiring. It's not love at first sight like the first song but it's a remarkable piece without flaws. Rating 8,5.


And on the second side the same goes for the suite "Il giardino del mago" which .... is not a suite! Again the group insists spasmodically, almost paranoidly on a banal piano phrase but manages to create rock music, alternating with classical and jazz, reworking that little musical content, then the rhythmic progressions and the voice of Di Giacomo, protagonist here, arrive to do the rest, that is to make listening always interesting, only at times close to the cacophony and anguish of the Van der Graafs. And in all this the piano composition prevails, not the virtuosity a la Keith Emerson. It's another perfect song, 8.5 rating.

The final fragment takes up the frenzied rhythm with which the suite (which is not a suite) had closed, adding Mediterranean choirs to make the ending even more pompous.

In my opinion this album would have been slightly better without the three fragments. It remains a masterpiece, however thanks to three wonderful melodic songs that many bands would not be able to write even in 20 years.

Rating album: 9+. Masterpiece. Five stars.

jamesbaldwin | 5/5 |


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