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L' Ombra Della Sera - L'Ombra Della Sera CD (album) cover


L' Ombra Della Sera


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.78 | 57 ratings

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4 stars Creeeeeepy! Spoooooky! Never thought I would ever enjoy Italian horror cinema soundtracks, until I heard the Morte Macabre project from the Land-nekdoten crew or was it Anek-berg guys? That one blew me sideways; the rolling mellotron thunder was bleepin' staggering. Brooding and oppressive. And plainly delectable.

Now from the land that brought you all this pizza-gore, one could not have chosen better than the Fabio Zuffanti ensemble, incorporating a slew of brilliant musicians from Finisterre, La Maschera di Cera and Hostsonaten. I have already boldly stated that Agostino Macor is the new Italian Wakeman, an expertly subtle ivory tickler that can tackle any style with any instrument. The proof is boundless within the above named releases as well as Zaal, where his jazz prowess is vividly portrayed. This record is for all intended purposes an Agostino Macor solo album, his arsenal of keyboards dominates that much!

"Gamma" is just pure devastating, what a cortex screwing opener! (Not supposed to use the word "screwing", this is a family show!). But gruesome and decadent gore these guys dish out and the result is evidently overpowering. After a smoggy start, the torrents of mellotron wash against extensive whistling synths of the finest pedigree, as the funeral beat marches on, bass pumping and drums rolling. This is a piece written by Claudio Simonetti of Goblin fame and it has that breezy Sergio Leone groove that evokes simplicity, originality and a vintage 70s vibe. Definitely soundtrack music.

"La Traccia Verde" is fragility beyond reason, almost puerile and sedate, restraint and mood ruling the roost. Innocent keyboard flutters, fluted melody and that historic aroma of classic cinema all combine to keep things as mellow as possible, almost a lullaby.

"Il Segno del Commando" is almost funky, in an Italian version of "Isaac Hayes does Shaft", the dastardly clavinet and e-piano doing most of the aural damage and its just plain dazzling. Now one has to remember that these were cheesy, thrill-seeking B movies that had low budgets but decent stories, so the music sincerely reflects that reality and it's also pretty cool that overproduction was not instituted here. The synth solo is weird and the e- piano is bar-room jazzy. Wow! I mean, Wow!

The diaphanous "Ritratto di Donna Velata" is another oblique affair, as a flute breezily quivers over the metronomic doomsday beat, when out of the blue, a vocal enters the fray, courtesy of Alessandro Corviglia (La Maschera di Cera singer) with a subliminal mellotron veil to keep the mood eerie and bombastic. Middle Eastern flute motifs set this into the tomb.

The 17 minute monster is a fitting descriptive of what movie theme music should be = a melody above all and an arrangement that succeeds in bringing out immediate emotional responses. There is little doubt that this apotheosis of creativity is reached here, as this is mind music that drills into the body and makes it sing electric. Subliminal in a multitude of ways, the restraint is as agonizing as the bombastic themes and from the vaporous mist comes the nasty reptilian bass scouring predatorily, urging the waves of metallic mellotron ever forward, the sax blaring as if some KC jam circa "Lizard". And like the Crimson King, the music certainly knows its tangents well, veering off into the densest of musical clouds. The right channel guitar scratches duel with the howling voices on the left. Darn it, it's that stereo "thang agin"! Phenomenal!

Its like watching early 70s TV and groovin' on the music (truth is most of it was fabulous : Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Deodato (2001 Space Odyseey ), James Bond and Pink Panther themes , and so many more (Moroder, TDream, Vangelis etc?). So this is part of Prog history and we know how much we prog-nerds like to revisit the past now, don't we?

4 Night shadows

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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