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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
4 stars Time to review the few RPI standards in my collection. I've hesitated over this, as it's a difficult genre for me: the shape of the compositions aren't easy for my Anglophilic ear to follow, but this debut album from one of the most respected of Italian prog bands, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, is tremendous stuff in anyone's language.

What makes it noteworthy, as other reviewers have pointed out, are the outstanding keyboards from the Nocenzi brothers. And, paradoxically, the over-reliance on this instrument means for me this excellent album falls short of true greatness. A bit like EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER who, for me, suffer from the same problem: the pianos get all the best bits, though this band is better by far than what ELP became after their debut. Despite this the blend of classical, piano-driven melodies and rock rhythms works well, especially in 'R.I.P' and the end of 'Metamorphosi'. There's the odd misstep, such as the drawn-out beginning to the epic 'Il Giardino del Mago', but otherwise listening to this album is a delight. Moreover, despite what I have read, I have no complaints about the sound quality of the recording I procured through iTunes. The instruments are nicely separated, with vocals, subtle bass, splendid rhythm guitar and keyboards all occupying a separate part of the sound spectrum. This may owe more to the excellence of the compositions than to the mixing.

Special mention must be made of the vocalist. DiGiacomi's singing is a little overwrought for my taste but I can recognise his excellence, marvel at his control and the opera-like discipline in his voice. Underpinning this discipline is an often playful, sometimes edgy set of compositions owing much more to classical sensibilities than to anything from the UK (though the influences can be heard). The very best thing about this music is that it has its own distinct voice, one which is gradually winning me over. I hear the brilliance, but I have yet to fully experience the emotion, curse my narrow-minded ears.

Heartland prog, this. And if it wasn't for the brilliant follow-up album, this album would be essential. As it is, this is merely excellent.

russellk | 4/5 |


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