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Amanita - L'oblio CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.60 | 15 ratings

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4 stars ''L'oblio'' is a late-nineties album by Italian band Amanita and although this was their first and only release it's a fairly mature work consisting of six lengthy tracks, all around the 10- to 14-minute mark. They're categorised as Prog Folk but there's quite an aggregation of musical styles here, with several of the songs having a space-rock vibe and even a bit of Krautrock. Dynamic vocal sections followed by extended jams are pretty much the order of the day. The songs are pushed along by passionate vocals while instrumental sections feature great interplay between flute and guitar; fellow Italian group Jumbo is probably a reasonable benchmark.

''Mistica'' opens with a riot of crunching guitar and fluttering flute. Flautist Andrea Monetti Roccasanta totally bosses this album and he uses a lot of the same techniques employed by Ian Anderson, such as overblowing and yelping into the flute at the same time as playing. Remember this guy's name the next time there's a poll on favourite flute players in the forum. The track then heads off on a laid-back, spacey jam with a shifting dialogue between flute, saxophone and guitar.

''Quando Verra Il Tempo'' is more restrained but still contains some blistering guitar-work in the background. This has a killer melody, full of pathos, with the flute omnipresent but never getting in the way of Mario Sacco's heartfelt vocal. ''Astrazione Cosmica'' is altogether heavier, being an out and out rocker with delirious guitar and organ. The middle section of this track consists of psychedelic jamming as flute and guitar trade licks, and there's some folksy accordion to finish.

''Quinta Stagione'' is probably the most straightforward song, although it's still nooked and crannied with some great moments, while the last couple of songs are more experimental. ''Il Diavolo Dentro'' incorporates a repetitive groove with flute extemporising over guitar, treated with effects, while ''Arjuna'' incorporates a hypnotic Eastern vibe of wailing vocals, saxophone and sitar-guitar

Amanita disappeared after this album and I guess we'll never know what ''place'' these guys were in when they produced it. Musically it moves from melancholic openings to an experimental conclusion, as if from doubt to darkness. And I can't make up my mind if the ''There's No Place Like Home'' musical box ending is ironic or optimistic. Whatever, this is a fine album invigorated with diverse influences. It's a must for the RPI freaks among us, and Tull fans might well want to check it out too. What a pity these guys only released this one album.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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