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Il Bacio Della Medusa - Deus Lo Vult CD (album) cover

DEUS LO VULT

Il Bacio Della Medusa

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.83 | 110 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review N║ 587

Il Bacio Della Medusa is an Italian prog rock band. The genesis of the band started in September 2002 on the initiative of Simone Cecchini, Diego Petrini and Federico Caprai. The last two played in the band Ornithos since 1999. After several changes, in 2003 the formation stabilizes with the entry of Eva Morelli, also from Ornithos and Simone Brozzetti. In the following year Angelo Petri joined the band. In 2004 they recorded their self-titled debut album independently, with a hard prog sound based on the sound of the 70's, but without losing their originality. In 2005 Daniele Rinchi joins the band, which adds to the sound new instruments such as violin, organ and piano. In 2006 the band started working on their second album, released in 2008, 'Discesa Agl'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante'. This is a conceptual album that shows a mature, sophisticated and fascinating band, mixing in the right amount of progressive rock, jazz, folk, hard rock and even hints of heavy metal, with a dark and melancholic sound that, in some parts, reminds King Crimson but always with a visible originality of the band. In 2012 they released their third album 'Deus Lo Vult', another conceptual album.

But, while the concept of 'Discesa Agl'Inferi D'Un Giovane Amante' was based in a story told by Dante in his 'Divine Comedy' about the forbidden love between two lovers Francesca and Paolo and their descent to hell, 'Deus Lo Vult' (which means 'God wills it' in the medieval Latin) refers to the rallying cry of the people when the first Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II at the end of the 11th century. Still, rather than with the bigger picture, the album deals with the story of a young lordling, SimplÝcio (whose very name hints at a na've, trusting nature), who joins the Crusade in search of fame and fortune, but that only was able to meet bitterness and disappointment upon the return to his home.

'Deus Lo Vult' places a strong emphasis on vocals and narration. In a drastic reversal of the current trend for endless, filler-packed releases, the album concentrates only in a mere 33 minutes. Even though 'Deus Lo Vult' has drawn some criticism on account of its supposedly 'incomplete' feel, it's refreshing to see a band managing to describe a complete story arch in barely over half an hour, without relying on the gimmicks that often give to concept albums a bad name.

Il Bacio Della Medusa on 'Deus Lo Vult' strikes a near perfect balance between the lyrics and the music, allowing the music to convey as much emotion as the vocals. All members of Il Bacio Della Medusa are superb instrumentalists, and the music runs the gamut from gentle, folk-tinged balladry to no-holds-barred heavy prog. Simone Cecchini's extremely versatile voice firmly rooted in the great Rock Progressivo Italiano tradition, at times blends with the instruments, at in some other times completely dominates them, performing two or more roles at once in thoroughly convincing fashion.

The album opens with a short track 'Invocazione Alle Muse', an homage to classical epic literature in the shape of an invocation to the Muses, a soothing, pastoral-sounding piece with a melodic voice accompanied by acoustic guitar, Mellotron and flute. With 'Indignatio (Infedeli in Terra Santa)' the album immediately dives into the thick of things with its lengthiest track, with about the 8-minute long. The music on the track reflects the tone of the lyrics, an invective against the Muslim presence in the Holy Land conveyed in almost visionary terms. 'Urbano II Bandisce La Prima Crociata' is a march-like, with its trumpets, drums and the martial chanting, strikes a half-serious, half- comical note, allowing Cecchini to interpret two different characters with effectiveness. 'Simpl'cio' is a kind of a folksy ballad where Cecchini's voice displays its melodic potential, well complemented by the guitar and flute. In 'Deus Lo Vult', the band delivers a great track. After a deceptively mellow intro, the track leads into a hard rock feast with no less than three guitar solos, raging Hammond organ runs and aggressive sax and flute works. 'Verso Casa' relates Simpl'cio's journey towards his home with a lively, a waltz-like pace and very expressive, but with slightly histrionic vocals. In the last track 'La Beffa (Non Un Trono, Non Un Regno...Solo Sdegno)' the story is dominated by Cecchini's suitably deranged vocals, followed by a galloping, exhilarating flute-guitar section and ending with the ominous sound of a crackling fire.

Conclusion: 'Deus Lo Vult' is a mature album, direct and full of details, a human journey full of passion and blood with a really explosive finale. Compared to their previous album the lyrics are much rawer and the sound is hard and tends to rock, sometimes heavy but tinged with shaded songwriting and sometimes ironic. This variety of solutions allows the music to fit the plot. The pressing structures of bass and drums support the acrobatics of flute, guitar, sax and organ, while the histrionic and powerful voice goes from mellow tones to those crackling in a wide range of interpretations in timbre. Besides the outstanding quality of the music, which successfully blends a vintage feel with a thoroughly modern allure, the band should be commended for the painstaking attention devoted to the lyrics. 'Deus Lo Vult' is undoubtedly and especially recommended for fans of bands of the heavier Rock Progressivo Italiano spectrum.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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