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Amanita - L'oblio CD (album) cover

L'OBLIO

Amanita

 

Prog Folk

3.60 | 15 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars I'm a bit surprised to realize and admit I've been sitting on this disc for a few years now and have never really listened to it. I picked it up along with some stuff from a couple other Italian contemporary prog artists like Sad Minstrel (well recommended!) and Crystal Phoenix (not so much). This one was only a fraction cost of the Sad Minstrel CD; I can't recall but I may have only thrown it in my order to round up the shopping cart total and qualify for free shipping or something.

So for whatever reason I never bothered to really listen to these songs before now, and am quite surprised to realize that this is a pretty decent album all things considered. This is contemporary Italian music (contemporary being relative with progressive music but in this case meaning it doesn't predate the introduction of CDs or digital recordings). While it was released in the latter nineties the music here sounds much older, but there are enough neo-prog nuances here and there to place it in the past couple of decades.

The band offers up a pretty decent opening with some sultry saxophone, grooving guitar solo passages and plenty of piano and flute that hint just slightly at jazz-like structure and end up morphing with the guitar at the end for a strong and rock-tinged ending. "Quando verrą il tempo" had the potential to be the strongest track on the album with a gorgeous guitar/flute/hand drum opening, but honestly Mario Sacco's singing isn't all that strong and I personally think this would have come across much more powerfully had it remained an instrumental.

The basic lineup of the band is pretty standard fare with electric guitar, keyboards, drums, bass and a lead singer. I suppose what pushes them into progressive folk territory are the acoustic guitars, accordion and flute that are present throughout but especially on the first half of the disc. Toward the end and particularly with "Il diavolo dentro" the band retains the flute/acoustic motif during short passages but also veers off into heavier territory with strong electric guitar riffs and borderline metal percussion. That song finishes with a beautiful piano passage although the first several minutes are quite heavy.

The closing "Arjuna" has a little of everything. The opening seems influenced by the neo- progressive bands of the early eighties (check out "Quinta stagione" as well for some faintly Marillion-sounding riffs and vocals passages). At the same time persistent percussion and variations on repetitive instrumental themes are almost post-rock, while the flute flourishes are undeniably folksy and the closing is a blend of ambient and ethnic percussion. A very interesting composition.

This is a much better album than I thought when I first bought it, which just goes to show one really needs to take the time to get to know the music in their collection and not jump to quick judgments. A strong three of five star album and well recommended if you're looking for something that blends a rock and folk foundation with Latin inflection.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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