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ROCK PROGRESSIVO ITALIANO

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Rock Progressivo Italiano definition

aka "RPI"


"So it's an established fact that in Italy during the period between 1971-1974, a music movement existed where bands would challenge each other to see who could be the most imaginative, who could create the album for the ages. They were all painters and sculptors just as in Renaissance Italy." -Tom Hayes/Gnosis


1. The background
As the 60s drew to an end, Italy experienced a wave of new ideas and ideals which coincided with the new musical era being born. It would not be exaggeration to state that the 70s were a watershed period in the history of the country. Even though the 60s are generally remembered as the years of the 'economic boom', it was only in the following decade that Italy made the long, difficult change from a relatively poor, traditional country into a fully developed Western society. A look at any timeline for 70s Italy will show an incredible concentration of events that changed the fabric of Italian society irrevocably: laws and acts were passed which affected worker's rights, family and divorce law, and women's rights and reproductive health. In a country where the physical presence of the Catholic Church has always been impossible to overlook, not least because of its open intervention in the country's political affairs, the introduction of such radical changes was no small feat.

Most of those changes were made possible by the presence of a strong left-wing component in Italian political life, even if regarded with extreme suspicion by both the Church and Italy's main ally, the United States. Though the existence of a party that openly called itself Communist was not exclusive to Italy, at the time the PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano) was considered more of a danger than, for instance, its French equivalent - mainly due to Italy's strategic position in the Mediterranean area, as well as the party's obvious connection with the Soviet Union. Such a peculiar, potentially explosive situation sadly became a breeding ground for a number of extremist groups, who were responsible for the season of violence and unrest commonly known as the 'Anni di piombo' ('years of lead'), which lasted well into the first half of the Eighties. The number of casualties due to terror acts and rioting was quite high, involving people from all walks of life. However, the defining episode of the decade was the kidnapping and subsequent murder of well-known politician Aldo Moro (a left-leaning Christian Democrat) by the notorious Brigate Rosse ('Red Brigades') in the spring of 1978.


2. The birth of a movement
The turbulent times affected countless musicians looking for something new-some way to parallel the political climate through artistic media. Ranging from highly educated conservatory students to local singer-songwriters, this spirit managed to captivate an entire country within a few short years. Young people were restless, bursting with a burning desire to change the staid, suffocating atmosphere of Italian society starting with one of its symbols, its venerable musical tradition. Most musicians had more or less strong left-wing leanings (the prime example being Area), while the few examples of openly right-wing bands never managed to break out of obscurity, or gain more than a strictly cult following.

Without a strong rock tradition in the 60s Italy had mainly produced beat bands of varying quality, as well as singers well-versed in the long-standing canzone tradition of the country. As the tidal wave of counter-culture swept in, it brought revolution not only in the form of progressive rock, but also differing forms of heavier, continental rock which was establishing itself around the same time. Psychedelic influences and the incorporation of classical music may have been the same stepping stones used by most other progressive scenes around the globe during the same period, but even at this embryonic stage there was a whiff of something else in the air. In the late 60s when the beat scene was already heading towards a decline, a number of bands formed, some of them releasing singles (or even albums) that bridged the gap between beat, conventional Italian easy listening music (musica leggera), and the new ideas coming from Great Britain - among them, New Trolls, Le Orme, Panna Fredda, I Quelli (later to become Premiata Forneria Marconi), Il Mucchio, and Fabio Celi e gli Infermieri.

"We wanted to put some improvisations between the singing parts and we had to make up our minds about the style to follow... After having been to the Isle of Wight festival, it was clear to all of us that we couldn't keep on playing the usual songs with verses and refrains." -Toni Pagliuca, Le Orme


3. The golden years
The beginning of the new decade saw the rise of a countless number of bands and artists, some of whom would go on to become successful acts. PFM, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Osanna, Il Balletto di Bronzo, Quella Vecchia Locanda belong to this group, with all but the latter being still active at the time of writing. Some others only managed to release one album (or even just a handful of singles) before they disbanded. The prog-rock bug became so widespread in Italy that some experts say every artist and band in Italy produced at least one progressive album during this time. A number of well-known mainstream artists started their career with a prog album, like singer-songwriters Riccardo Cocciante (with Mu) and Ivano Fossati (with the first Delirium album, Dolce acqua). Or, like Lucio Battisti or Fabrizio De André, they released strongly prog-influenced albums when the movement was at its height.

During the peak years of the RPI movement in the early 70s, countless bands showcased their talent in the many pop festivals organized throughout Italy. The festivals were often free of charge and boasted a level artistic freedom and competition seldom seen in popular music. Fans witnessed bands rise from obscurity to compete on the same stage as the heavy hitters. This musical competition created something of an upward spiral; everyone tried to outdo each other, producing unique sounds and incorporating disparate influences into their music. The variety of the music went through the roof, with every band sharing the same aspirations, though seldom the same sound. It must also be made clear that despite the beliefs of those who write off Italian prog as simply a British counterfeit, many of these bands were creating music that was phenomenally original, experimental, free-spirited, and creatively successful. While bands from abroad helped influence and inspire Italian bands, Italy's young bands quickly took the ball and ran with it. It is ludicrous to suggest the scene a mere imitation. The upward spiral also meant an over saturated market, in which many bands only managed to put out one or two releases with minimal budget and intense recording. Some of the best, most genuine and treasured albums of Rock Progressivo Italiano can be found in this group: Semiramis' "Dedicato a Frazz", Pholas Dactylus' "Concerto delle menti", Raccomandata Ricevuta di Ritorno's "Per un mondo di cristallo", Museo Rosenbach's "Zarathustra", and Balletto di Bronzo's "Ys" to name just a few.

"We had to tackle this tradition, we had to fight against the conventions and refuse to be integrated. The New Sounds hadn't arrived yet, there was no music for the young people, there was nothing, you had to invent and build up your space. Perhaps this was the mainspring that unchained such a creative strength." -Gianni Leone

With time some of the biggest bands achieved international success, with PFM as the best-known example. Lyricist Peter Sinfield, known from his work with giants like King Crimson and ELP, even wrote for the band, while Peter Hammill provided English lyrics for Le Orme's "Felona e Sorona". Ironically this success often meant a detour from the roots of the RPI sounds, making these albums more aligned to the British scene than the bulk of the artists and albums in the archives. Look beneath the surface in order to discover hidden (or not so hidden) gems. While the oft-mentioned big 3 of Italian prog (PFM, Banco, and Le Orme) are conveniently considered the peak by those casually mentioning this scene, RPI enthusiasts know the river runs so much deeper, and many of our personal favourites are found outside of these popular groups. Those who search beyond the surface will discover that the most daring and provocative works were often made by more obscure groups who released one fantastic album and then vanished into thin air. This common syndrome of Italian "one-shot" bands became the bane of many RPI fans.

Since so many different musicians experimented with the progressive format, you will also find a broad musical scope within RPI, something which has kept the subgenre fresh and vital over time. Examples include Franco Battiato (still a very successful artist in Italy), Picchio dal Pozzo, Opus Avantra, Stormy Six and Area, who each in their own individual way, show a more cosmopolitan flavour and range of influences than most other acts.

After its explosive development in the early 70s, the movement followed the same path as other progressive musical movements around the world as the 80s approached. Some influential artists continued to release new albums though never with the same success as in the halcyon days. Others changed with the times and became highly successful mainstream artists both in Italy and internationally. As elsewhere in the prog universe the quantity and quality of RPI began to dry up a bit in the late 70s and early 80s, although there were some quality releases from that period. These titles tended to be more melodic and less brashly avant-garde than the classic period but were respectable nonetheless. To name but a few there were Locanda Delle Fate, Stefano Testa, Pierpaolo Bibbo, and L'Estate de San Martino. Area, Stormy Six, and PFM had a good title or two left in them as well.


4. Musical features of RPI
Italian symphonic prog is notable for the prominence of classical influences, often providing the driving force behind the music. The new listener will discover that this particular branch of RPI feels more like classical music in a rock setting as opposed to occasional classical influences on top of the rock format. Furthermore, the rich, diverse musical traditions of Italy permeate the albums, creating a strong national and even regional character. The "textbook" RPI groups can usually be identified by a pervasive sense of romantic melancholy and earthy flair, sometimes enhanced by baroque elements, sometimes by more ethnic ones. Other distinctive features include overt opera and operetta influences, wild and uncontrolled storytelling, and as a general rule, bold and highly emotional vocals. There is extroverted, operatic gallantry and panache or mellow balladry; exciting use of all sorts of keyboards, with sounds heard nowhere else but in this particular scene; exotic instruments such as aggeggi, ottavino, mandoloncello, clavicembalo- names that tickle the imagination and leave their distinct mark on the music. There is a uniquely magical marriage of the traditional to the modern, of the warm to the wild. The combination of flute, piano and violin is often encountered, and the interplay between the first two instruments in particular supplies the subgenre with a fair share of its identity and flavour.

Though the symphonic element is indeed the most common in RPI, the genre would be better characterized as eclectic. Jazz-fusion, folk, hard rock riffing à la Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, intense drama a la Van der Graaf Generator (whose albums were revered in Italy), singer-songwriter, proto-metal, blues, avant tendencies, pop, psych, dark/occult, electronic-the list goes on. Even more amazing, these differences in style can often be found to varying degrees on one album, and still feel natural in the distinct stylistic framework mentioned above.

No overview of RPI would be complete without mentioning the use of the Italian language, by many considered one of the most musical languages in the world. It could be safely stated that the use of Italian is inherent to the soul of RPI, a critical component to the full appreciation of the subgenre. In fact, even if some key RPI albums were translated into English in an attempt to gain international recognition, most of them fail to impress. They feel as if one of the basic ingredients of what makes RPI such a successful concoction is missing. While most serious RPI fans consider Italian vocals essential to their listening experience, it is fair to say that some believe English lyrics are not so detrimental-even if in most cases the odd phrasing, incorrect emphasis, and heavy Italian accent of the singers detract significantly from an authentic overall effect. While some prog fans can find the gregarious Italian vocal style challenging at first, newbies are encouraged to simply stick with it for a while. With only a modest effort any RPI newbie will soon find they cannot imagine this music without traditional Italian vocals-they truly are the icing on the cake.

One common misconception that must be addressed is the belief that any prog band from Italy is an RPI band. There are bands from Italy more appropriate for other genres. As an example, a pure and obvious post-rock band who just happen to be from Rome are going to be in the post-rock sub, not RPI. A pure jazz-fusion band with no RPI characteristics to their sound could be easily placed in the Jazz/Fusion subgenre. The RPI team will work hard to evaluate bands that fit the characteristics and the feel of the subgenre, and those whose primary sound is more suited for another sub are recommended to them.

"Progressive is basically a blending of three elements: the song, the improvisation inspired by jazz and the composition in classical style. This cocktail is interpreted in different ways in every country: in England, for instance, Celtic, rock and blues influences prevail. In Italy we have to cope with our classical tradition: the melodramma, Respighi, Puccini, Mascagni but also all the contemporary classical composers. It's in this legacy, in my opinion, that the specificity of the Italian Progressive Rock is concealed." -Franco Mussida, PFM


5. RPI in the new century
As recently as the 90s and early 2000s RPI again proved its longevity to the prog community. Scores of the classic albums were re-pressed in Japan, then specialized independent labels such as BTF, Mellow and Black Widow (the latter responsible for rescuing the likes of Jacula and Antonius Rex from oblivion) started to re-issue many of the classic albums. As a consequence RPI has not only reached a new generation of fans, but the increased interest and appreciation have led to new material being released. Artists whose recordings have never been in circulation, bands that are as new to our ears as they are to many of those who were there when it happened, now have a new-found audience creating an ironic worm-hole effect: brand new music straight from prog's golden years.

With the revival clearly under way the 90s produced some stellar Italian albums and the beginning of CD reissue fever. In the 2000s the trend has continued to a much more successful degree. RPI is back and fan interest has exploded for both the classic period and the new bands of today like Il Bacio Della Medusa, Pandora, Lagartija, Conqueror, Il Ruscello, Senza Nome, Coral Caves, J'Accuse, Ubi Maior, and the projects of Fabio Zuffanti to name just a few. Italian progressive rock today covers a wide range of styles and influences, but many of the bands ground a portion of their sound in the RPI tradition. Moreover, this first decade of the 21st century has seen a new round of publications (both in print and in electronic format) covering various aspects of Italian prog, as well as the creation of a number of excellent websites dedicated to the subgenre, which are extremely influential as regards the promotion of new bands and artists.

The commercial success of RPI has always been modest compared to the big bands from other countries. However, the quality of the music past and present, from its unique compositions to fiercely independent spirit, has earned the RPI subgenre some of prog's most loyal followers.

By:
Raffaella Berry
Michael Berry
Ryan Olsen
Jim Russell
Linus Wikström
Todd Dudley

For the Mick.
29 July 2009



Current RPI Team
Todd
Aussie-Byrd-Brother (Michael)
rdtprog (Louis)




Additional information:
Italian Prog - A dedicated RPI site
http://www.italianprog.com

Italian Prog Map - A superb blog by RPI writer Andrea Parentin
http://italianprogmap.blogspot.com/

Andrea Parentin's history of RPI (essential reading)
http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=33377&PID=2345095#2345095

Andrea Parentin's contemporary Italian prog (newer bands)
http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=62150&FID=58

Movimenti Prog
http://www.movimentiprog.net

Centro Studi per il Progressive Italiano
http://www.centrostudiprogitaliano.it

John's Classic RPI blog - Another good blog on the "classic" era
http://classikrock.blogspot.com/

Arlequins - A prog rock webzine with much RPI content
http://www.arlequins.it/gb/index.asp


Where to buy Italian prog
Syn-phonic (USA) - http://www.synphonicmusic.com
Doug Larson (USA) - http://www.douglarsonimports.com
Kinesis (USA) - http://www.kinesiscd.com/index.html
Wayside (USA) - http://www.waysidemusic.com/
Mellow Records (Italy) - http://www.mellowrecords.com
BTF (Italy) - http://www.btf.it
Black Widow Records (Italy) - http://www.blackwidow.it
Camelot Music Store (Italy) - http://www.semanticweb.it/camelotstore/
Discogs - www.discogs.com

Rock Progressivo Italiano Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Rock Progressivo Italiano | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.42 | 1547 ratings
PER UN AMICO
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.37 | 1054 ratings
DARWIN!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
4.36 | 1232 ratings
STORIA DI UN MINUTO
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.36 | 976 ratings
IO SONO NATO LIBERO
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
4.30 | 794 ratings
ZARATHUSTRA
Museo Rosenbach
4.28 | 802 ratings
BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
4.26 | 595 ratings
ARBEIT MACHT FREI
Area
4.24 | 857 ratings
FELONA E SORONA
Orme, Le
4.23 | 791 ratings
L'ISOLA DI NIENTE
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.23 | 530 ratings
YS
Balletto Di Bronzo, Il
4.25 | 418 ratings
MAXOPHONE
Maxophone
4.22 | 629 ratings
UOMO DI PEZZA
Orme, Le
4.23 | 372 ratings
PALEPOLI
Osanna
4.24 | 330 ratings
CRAC !
Area
4.23 | 296 ratings
DISCESA AGL'INFERI D'UN GIOVANE AMANTE
Bacio Della Medusa, Il
4.19 | 305 ratings
L' ENIGMA DELLA VITA
Logos
4.17 | 295 ratings
CONTAMINAZIONE
Rovescio Della Medaglia, Il
4.18 | 266 ratings
CELESTE [AKA: PRINCIPE DI UN GIORNO]
Celeste
4.20 | 195 ratings
MELOS
Cervello
4.12 | 348 ratings
LA CRUDELTÀ DI APRILE
Unreal City
4.14 | 309 ratings
QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA
Quella Vecchia Locanda
4.10 | 377 ratings
FORSE LE LUCCIOLE NON SI AMANO PIÙ
Locanda Delle Fate
4.10 | 391 ratings
STATI DI IMMAGINAZIONE
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.10 | 323 ratings
ALPHATAURUS
Alphataurus
4.19 | 172 ratings
RISVEGLIO
Egonon
4.06 | 496 ratings
PHOTOS OF GHOSTS
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.18 | 176 ratings
IL PASSO DEL SOLDATO
Nuova Era
4.10 | 303 ratings
IL TEMPO DELLA GIOIA
Quella Vecchia Locanda
4.25 | 111 ratings
TERRA IN BOCCA
Giganti, I
4.09 | 264 ratings
BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO
Biglietto Per L'Inferno
4.15 | 166 ratings
REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA
Reale Accademia Di Musica
4.08 | 230 ratings
BANCO
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
4.12 | 173 ratings
PASSIO SECUNDUM MATTHEUM - THE COMPLETE WORK
Latte E Miele
4.14 | 151 ratings
IL GRANDE LABIRINTO
Maschera Di Cera, La
4.05 | 270 ratings
DEDICATO A FRAZZ
Semiramis
4.06 | 241 ratings
IN HOC SIGNO
Ingranaggi Della Valle
4.06 | 233 ratings
ROLLER
Goblin
4.03 | 289 ratings
LE PORTE DEL DOMANI
Maschera Di Cera, La
4.01 | 350 ratings
THE WORLD BECAME THE WORLD
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.07 | 198 ratings
LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO
Coscienza Di Zeno, La
4.11 | 140 ratings
VIETATO AI MINORI DI 18 ANNI ?
Jumbo
3.99 | 347 ratings
IL TEMPIO DELLE CLESSIDRE
Tempio Delle Clessidre, Il
4.11 | 136 ratings
IL NOME DEL VENTO
Delirium
3.98 | 350 ratings
IL PAESE DEL TRAMONTO
Unreal City
4.04 | 175 ratings
MALEDETTI
Area
4.00 | 234 ratings
COME IN UN'ULTIMA CENA
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
3.94 | 439 ratings
CHOCOLATE KINGS
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
3.99 | 232 ratings
INFERNO
Metamorfosi
4.01 | 184 ratings
INTORNO ALLA MIA CATTIVA EDUCAZIONE
Alusa Fallax
4.05 | 136 ratings
WINTERTHROUGH
Höstsonaten
4.05 | 136 ratings
TALSETE DI MARSANTINO
Estate Di San Martino, L'
4.09 | 111 ratings
SULLE CORDE DI ARIES
Battiato, Franco
3.95 | 292 ratings
SUMMEREVE
Höstsonaten
4.09 | 105 ratings
III (VIAGGIO NEGLI ARCIPELAGHI DEL TEMPO)
Delirium
3.96 | 235 ratings
CONTRAPPUNTI
Orme, Le
4.01 | 151 ratings
LUXADE
Maschera Di Cera, La
3.98 | 189 ratings
ALIENATURA
Tempio Delle Clessidre, Il
3.95 | 207 ratings
LA NOTTE ANCHE DI GIORNO
Coscienza Di Zeno, La
3.98 | 161 ratings
WARM SPACED BLUE
Ingranaggi Della Valle
4.00 | 136 ratings
AVENOTH
Bocca Della Verità, La
4.04 | 108 ratings
CAP. 7 - TRA LE ANTICHE MURA
Castello Di Atlante, Il
4.14 | 74 ratings
DRAMMA DI UN POETA UBRIACO
Pandora
4.05 | 100 ratings
CONCERTO GROSSO - THE SEVEN SEASONS
New Trolls
3.94 | 195 ratings
CAUTION RADIATION AREA
Area
3.97 | 143 ratings
LA MASCHERA DI CERA
Maschera Di Cera, La
3.94 | 163 ratings
CHERRY FIVE
Cherry Five
3.98 | 119 ratings
AUTUMNSYMPHONY
Höstsonaten
4.02 | 95 ratings
IL TRONO DEI RICORDI
Trono Dei Ricordi, Il
3.92 | 155 ratings
APOTEOSI
Apoteosi
3.94 | 134 ratings
1984 - L'ULTIMO UOMO D'EUROPA
Fabbrica dell'Assoluto, La
3.89 | 179 ratings
SENSITIVITÀ
Coscienza Di Zeno, La
3.91 | 150 ratings
PASSIO SECUNDUM MATTHEUM
Latte E Miele
3.98 | 99 ratings
DIARIO DI VIAGGIO DELLA FESTA MOBILE
Festa Mobile
4.11 | 59 ratings
HYBLA ACT 1
Randone
3.92 | 142 ratings
IO SONO MURPLE
Murple
3.98 | 97 ratings
ULISSE - L'ALFIERE NERO
Progenesi
4.01 | 84 ratings
NOUS
Nodo Gordiano
3.96 | 105 ratings
STRIGMA
Taproban
3.91 | 143 ratings
PROFONDO ROSSO [AKA: DEEP RED] (OST)
Goblin
3.94 | 115 ratings
DI CARNE, DI ANIMA
Gran Turismo Veloce
4.10 | 59 ratings
FRONTIERA
Procession
3.94 | 107 ratings
DEDALO E ICARO
Cerchio D'Oro, Il
4.12 | 53 ratings
UNA VITA UNA BALENA BIANCA E ALTRE COSE
Testa, Stefano
4.11 | 55 ratings
STORIE DI UOMINI E NON
Rocky's Filj
3.90 | 135 ratings
ESSERE O NON ESSERE ?
Volo, Il
3.91 | 123 ratings
ODYSSÉAS
Syndone
4.06 | 63 ratings
TALE OF A DARK FATE
Albero Del Veleno, L'
3.87 | 175 ratings
CAMPO DI MARTE
Campo Di Marte
3.83 | 280 ratings
COLLAGE
Orme, Le
4.02 | 72 ratings
LE PORTE DEL SILENZIO
Malibran
3.89 | 148 ratings
PFM IN CLASSIC - DA MOZART A CELEBRATION
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
4.04 | 67 ratings
NEO
Torre Dell'Alchimista, La
4.12 | 51 ratings
E TUTTO COMINCIÒ COSÌ ...
Sensitiva Immagine
3.88 | 144 ratings
1978 - GLI DEI SE NE VANNO, GLI ARRABBIATI RESTANO!
Area
3.86 | 170 ratings
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER - CHAPTER ONE
Höstsonaten
3.90 | 118 ratings
ATTOSECONDO
Alphataurus
3.92 | 102 ratings
SULLA BOLLA DI SAPONE
FEM Prog Band
4.04 | 61 ratings
VOCI
Basso, Luciano
4.06 | 57 ratings
THE LEGEND OF THE HOLY CIRCLE
Three Monks
3.86 | 141 ratings
ELEMENTI
Orme, Le

Rock Progressivo Italiano overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Rock Progressivo Italiano experts team

BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE
Buon Vecchio Charlie
VOCI
Basso, Luciano
STORIE DI UOMINI E NON
Rocky's Filj
ODISSEA
Odissea

Latest Rock Progressivo Italiano Music Reviews


 Are(A)zione by AREA album cover Live, 1975
4.04 | 65 ratings

BUY
Are(A)zione
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars AREA was one of Italy's leading progressive rock bands of the 70s led by the unworldly vocalist Demetrio Stratos who singly handedly pushed this band far beyond the limits of the most adventurous progressive rock bands of the day. With his unique vocal gymnastics that scaled up and down octaves with uncanny precision and approached the human vocal limit of 7000 Hz, Stratos was the icing on an already eclectic cake where each musician excelled at his respective instrument and together this band cranked out some of the weirdest albums of the 70s with their innovative fusion of jazz, rock, Middle Eastern folk and a proclivity for the unexpected. The band was a huge hit with the youth primarily due to their Socialist leaning lyrical content but as the decades since have elapsed, this band has gone down in history as one of the most unique and technically skilled of the entire era.

After three studio albums, AREA followed up 'Crac!' which was released in early 1975 with their first live released titled ARE(A)ZIONE which emerged at the tail end of the year. The term ARE(A)ZIONE translates into English as 'ventiliation' or 'airing' and that seems appropriate since the band were good at 'ventilating' their political inclinations as well as their penchant for the over-the-top eccentricities. This live release was recorded during their 1975 tour and includes performances from the Festa del Proletariato Giovanalle in Milan, the Festa dell'Unit' in Naples, the Festa della Giovent' in Rimini and a press concert at Il Teatro Comunale in Reggio Emilia. The album is divided up into two parts. Side One contained one track from each album that preceded. 'Luglio, agosto, settembre (nero)' from 'Arbeit Macht Frei,' 'La Mela di Odessa' from 'Crac!' and 'Cometa Rossa,' the most 'normal' opening track from 'Caution Radiation Area.' Side Two contained two completely new tracks unreleased on any studio album.

ARE(A)ZIONE displayed a band that had a stable lineup for several years and the payoff is in full presentation on these live performances. Like any great musical act, AREA didn't just perform their studio tracks in a predictable manner but included lengthy improvisations that excelled at allowing the musicians and Stratos to show exactly why they were indeed a much lauded band of the era. While live albums rarely get my attention, when a band exudes a creative brilliance such as AREA does on ARE(A)ZIONE, i find such albums to be equally as important as the studio albums that surround. After the first side presents a basic summary of the band's ventures through their first three albums with a track from each, on the second side the band unleashed a 15 minute avant- garde jam for the title track. While a completely new instrumental that found Stratos wordless vocalizations as merely a supplemental instrument, the track did preview the basic drum patterns of 'Giro, Giro, Tondo' which would appear on the following album 'Maledetti (Maudits).' The final shorter piece 'L'internazionale' was their take on the Socialist anthem and was released as a single.

Live albums definitely show a band's true nature. There have been many bands that sound spectacular in the studio but don't have the chops to pull off their musical adventures in a live setting. The great thing about ARE(A)ZIONE is that it undoubtedly proves how brilliant and versatile AREA were as performers and musicians. This is not a perfect album. While the material presented is as good as you could possibly hope for, the sound production is definitely lacking but in all honesty, live settings rarely are designed to create such albums and a less than perfect series of things isn't my concern. I'm more interested in the feeling of a band in their prime where they deliver their all and the audience interaction. In that department ARE(A)ZIONE delivers all the goods effortlessly. If you are a true AREA fan, you will eventually get to this one since it is as every bit as essential as the five studio albums with Stratos. All that magic that made AREA so great is fully present on this one and despite the lackluster sound quality is well worth the experience. Should've been a double album! I'm left wanting MORE!

 Della Stessa Sostanza Dei Sogni by HOMUNCULUS RES album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 53 ratings

BUY
Della Stessa Sostanza Dei Sogni
Homunculus Res Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by felonafan

4 stars "Della Stessa Sostenza Dei Sogni" ("About the same essence of dreams") is the third studio full-length album of the band from sunny Palermo, playing music deeply rooted in stylistics and "in spirit" in Canterbury scene. If Hatfield and the North and other similar groups were created by the Italians and sang in Italian, then perhaps they would sound like Homunculus Res. Also it is worth mentioning the group with whom people compared, compare and probably will compare Sicilians - Picchio dal Pozzo. This Italian ensemble released two studio albums in the second half of the 70s / at the turn of the 80's (and again at the beginning of zero), apparently inspired by the "classic" Canterbury bands, but sounded more jazzy, a little slower and much more "more seriously" than the heroes of this review. The leader of Homunculus Res - singing composer and multi-instrumentalist Dario d'Alessandro - was able to attract a large number of musicians to the studio work. These include not only the regular members of the group - all of them, together with the leader, five - but also approximately 15 guests, performing vocal parts and playing various instruments, from guitars and keys to numerous wind instruments. There is also a "guest composer". He is the leader of the group Brezhnev Fun Club Rocco Lomonaco, dragged (in varying degrees) in creation of two works on the album. Homunculus Res, like the legendary representatives of the Canterbury scene, embody the compositional ideas built on jazz harmonies and complex/changing measures in very short songs with almost pop tunes. All tracks last less than 5 minutes, and the musicians managed to "lay" 12 such tracks in the "format" lasting about 42 minutes. Among them, it is difficult to mark the highlights (for me at the moment it is "Bianco Supreme"), but everything in general leaves a pleasant impression by its 'laconicism' and relaxedness. Comparisons of some critics and listeners with Henry Cow and Magma are not clear to me: the creativity of Homunculus Res is absolutely not gloomy or "stressful". Complicatedness does not "stick out on the surface". At the same time, a rich and varied sound, coupled with frequent changes in musical events, can strongly entice lovers of the "complex prog". "Della Stessa Sostenza Dei Sogni" is one of the best releases of the AltrOck Productions label for the last few years.
 Voci by ECFONETICA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Voci
Ecfonetica Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Ecfonetica come from the province of Viterbo and took shape in 2014 on the south banks of Bolsena Lake when composers Stefano Calandrelli (organ, piano, synth) and Walter Possieri (guitars, bass, drums, percussion, keyboards) teamed up to work on original material inspired by classical music and modern sounds. The name of the band comes from ancient Greek and means solemn reading: according to their website, the band chose it because it refers to the need of giving a graphical form to sounds and music. In 2015 Ecfonetica self-released an interesting debut album entitled Voci where they mix classical music, progressive rock and touches of post-rock with gusto and lightness.

The opener 'Taranta' starts softly and is marked by the contrast between distorted electric guitar and piano. Then the rhythm rises and drives you through disquieting atmospheres and infernal dances. The following 'Ad libitum' is calm and dreamy, almost ethereal with its light, slow pace and its soaring melodic patterns.

'Meloria' is a beautiful piece that alternates moments of calm to stormy, aggressive passages. The title refers to a rocky islet, surrounded by a shoal, off the Tuscan coast, in the Ligurian Sea, near Livorno. The music in some way evokes echoes and ghosts of the Battle of Meloria fought on 5 and 6 August 1284 between the fleets of the Republics of Genoa and Pisa...

The dreamy 'Quando' (When) leads to the short, martial 'Passi' (Steps), then it's the time of the mysterious 'Oltre' (Beyond) where organ waves and piano passages every now and again remind me of some instrumental works by Le Orme.

On 'Voci' (Voices) a beautiful melody soars slowly from background noises like a daydream from the daily grind of real life. The second part of this piece sounds like a magic, esoteric dance and contrasts with the next track, the short, classical inspired 'Dolce ostinato'.

The last two tracks 'Donna, donna, donna...' (Woman, woman, wman) and 'Toccata' are two solo compositions, respectively by Walter Possieri and Stefano Calandrelli and they could be almost considered as bonus tracks'

 Arrivederci Sogni by DOTTRINA DEGLI OPPOSTI, LA album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.10 | 33 ratings

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Arrivederci Sogni
La Dottrina Degli Opposti Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A lineup of all-stars from AltrOck/Fading Records with full orchestral support, start to finish, all conceived and orchestrated by LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO founder Andrea Lotti. The "mature" and "classic" voice of IL TEMPIO DELLE CLESSIDRE vocalist Francesco Ciapica gives this beautiful music an almost classical, operatic feel.

1. "Dove Dio Dipinge Le Nuvole" (3:28) a very pretty predominantly-orchestral instrumental piece that sets a mood for something like a drama/romance. (4.5/5)

2. "Nero, Grigio E Tu" (9:10) opens with a laid back spaciousness while drum, keys, and percussives slowly play out a theme. In the third minute things shift for a vocal section. It's very theatric, like the opening scene of a stage play. At 3:33 the music bursts forth for a nice chorus before settling back into the piano-based theme for the next verse-- which surprises by coming at us with some power and almost operatic feel. By the sixth minute a new theme is established with two male voices singing the lyrical lines together in different registers. The seventh minute sees the arrival of a proggy/theatric jazz instrumental weave. It's okay; it feels too contrived as if for a on-stage dance interlude. At the seven minute mark all stops for a brief, simple piano interlude before the chorus returns one more time. The outgoing final minute is begun with solo piano before Francesco Ciapica's voice is vaulted to the fore in a dynamic finish. (8.5/10)

3. "Equilibrio" (2:31) solo cello and full orchestra alternating themes in a gorgeous, swelling, overture-like Italian love song. (5/5)

4. "Sulla Via Del Ritorno" (5:42) full on Italian prog with rock ensemble, soloing Arp synth in the lead and orchestra in full support. The unfortunate thing about this song is that fails to hook the listener as well as to develop anything exciting or inviting. (Why did they retain this as an instrumental? It seems ripe for a vocal.) There are a few nice dynamic shifts but the accompanying melodic shifts fail to engage or attract. (7.5/10)

5. "La Riconquista Della Posizione Eretta" (5:22) a pleasant ballad for singer Francesco Ciapica that does more to follow expected formats and predictable choices. (8/10)

6. "Quiete" (2:36) a gorgeous piece of acoustic guitar, human breathing, piano, and synth. (5/5)

7. "Fra Le Dita" (11:09) opens like a Keith Emerson piece composed for the stage, piano and then orchestra. When Francesco's gorgeous vocal joins in in the third minute it's just perfect. At 3:25/3:35 the music takes a big step into BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO territory--piano riff, winds, percussives, and orchestration (instead of or with synths). The music gets drama-big at the five minute mark but then settles down for a slightly more amped up vocal section. At 6:20 there is another shift into a cool instrumental section. Still quite theatric but great melodies throughout. The following vocal section is meant to present the powerful crescendo but it doesn't quite pack the punch one would like to see/hear. Still, this song is easily the high point of the album. (9.25/10)

Unfortunately, the best songs on this very theatric album are the brief instrumental interludes, while three of the four longer songs manage to meander more than gel or coalesce. So much beauty but such unrealized potential!

Four stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 Con Fuoco by MAGNOLIA album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.18 | 17 ratings

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Con Fuoco
Magnolia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Italian progressive rock band Magnolia have been active since '94 in a number of ways (different name, different line-up, take your pick!), but it wasn't until 2012 that they delivered their official debut album `La zona d'ombra' under their current group branding. A dramatic concept album inspired by the true story of a death row inmate, it was a challenging and uncompromising work a world away from the theatrical and bombastic approach many Italian prog bands work in, and that continues on their latest masterwork, 2017's `Con Fuoco', a title that translates into `With Fire'. Although not exclusively narrative-structured, `Con Fuoco' retains a branching theme of `resistance against oppressive regimes, both past and present' (in the words of the band themselves), meaning it's sure to connect with a wide range of listeners in this particularly volatile political era we find ourselves currently living through.

This female-fronted act sing in Italian (but the CD booklet offers English lyric translations that will open up this work to a much wider audience), and a lazy comparison would be that they most resemble modern groups such as latter-day Anathema, Hogarth-era Marillion, Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree and perhaps even Frequency Drift or Riverside, meaning sleek guitar- driven atmospheric/alternative rock music with a slick polish and constant emotional resonance. Magnolia favour tightly- written tunes over flashy drawn-out soloing, yet one of their greatest skills is delivering compact instrumental passages anchored to the core of the songs with the purpose of prime dramatic effect at just the right moment.

Having said all that, the disc opens with an instrumental, the introductory title-track being a burst of stark piano, crashing drums and weeping Pink Floyd-ian guitar strains all swelling around sighing mantra-like wordless group harmonies. It quickly blurs into an collage of news report soundbites that bleed straight into urgent up-tempo rocker `Rivolta'. A call to action and revolt, it's all strident drum tantrums, plodding riffing and icy slivers of cooled synths, and Chiara Gironi's impassioned and scathing lead vocal snarls `If they feel you cannot breathe, they'll call it the `best air ever', see them gorging on the toil of the many just to sate their black-hole souls' - easy listening, eh?! Much of `La Citta della Notte' is a sombre and lyrically weary acoustic ballad with electric bursts that instantly calls to mind the above mentioned Marillion with a touch of overwhelming spectral moodiness, and `Gea', one of the standout tunes, is a hopeful and powerfully defiant respite that effortlessly switches tempo changes around a smart poppy chorus.

`Syrma' recalls the contrasting light/dark, acoustic/electric, soft/heavy dynamics of the later Porcupine Tree discs - musically gentle and sweeping one moment lamenting `Oh sunshine, where have you gone? I've lost track of the days', then roaring to tougher life with rebellious determination offering `I am a fly trapped in amber, but my voice can still be heard, and my soul will only find peace'. `Stasi' is a moving ballad with churning heavy guitar/bass/keyboard-dominating turns that's impeccably sung by Chiara, but the ten-minute `Terre di Mezzo' is a true showcase for the band at their strongest, a call for renewed unity between enemies that rages with brash and relentless instrumental intensity, ambient interludes and soothing reflective vocal breaks, with some particularly gorgeous extended guitar soloing and ruminating bass touches in the finale.

A thematically linked three-part suite `Luna del Viandante' (The Wanderer's Moon) closes the disc, allowing some welcome darker romantic touches to infiltrate the lush synth caresses, some exquisitely heart-breaking piano, tender poignant vocals and grand slow-burn guitar heroics, and this thirteen-minute set delivers power and restraint with danger and delicacy all in perfect unison.

Quite the antidote to the classical symphonic grandiosity and retro-flavoured moves of many contemporary Italian prog bands, Magnolia truly stand out among the crowd with a firmly modern sound, doing things in their own deeply personal, equally elegant and dignified way that confirms subtlety and restraint can be endlessly powerful. `Con Fuoco' bristles with energy and real purpose, but most importantly always retains great humanity and warmth, delivered by a group of talented and thoroughly inspired musicians touching on difficult subjects, and it's their greatest musical artistic achievement to date.

Four and a half stars.

 Era by NATHAN album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.03 | 15 ratings

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Era
Nathan Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Italian group Nathan formed in 1997, although three of its members were actually active in the late Seventies, and while little recordings here and there showed up during the last two decades, their proper full-length debut `Nebulosa' emerged only two years ago, and an underrated pleasant surprise it turned out to be! The band perform keyboard-dominated symphonic progressive rock but prioritise compact vocal-driven songs at the expensive of much drawn soloing, and 2018 has seen them follow up their first disc with `Era'. What we have here is another fine album from these skilled musicians, one that unexpectedly lifts to incredible heights if the listener gives it the attention it deserves and makes the time to let their music sink in.

`Figli di Cane' sets a nice early high standard, with Daniele Ferro's twisting electric guitar work constantly snaking in and out of the subtly sensational piece alongside Piergiorgio Abba's glistening keys, Fabio Sanfilippo's powerful drumming and Mauro Brunzu pulsing bass backing up Bruno Lugaro's commanding call-to-arms croon (and female singer Monica Giovannini provides lovely restrained backing vocals here and throughout the entire disc). This winning opener reminds of a cross between legendary vintage Italian proggers Le Orme and a modern symphonic group like Logos, and it also makes unexpectedly fleeting darker turns for great dramatic effect.

Piergiogio's keys are front-and-center throughout `Invisibile', swooning with orchestral-like fancy one moment, cloaked in Mellotron veils the next, and when they're surrounded by ragged guitar noodling, the piece wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Clive Nolan/Arena album (and listen to that gorgeous outro passage in the final minute!) ' just, you know, sung in Italian instead! `Le vie dei Canti' is a more romantic and softer break that still finds a bit of grunt, and `L'ultimo Giro' clips along with a swaggering mid-tempo stride that calls to mind the positivity of the early Neo-Prog albums.

The urgent `L'ombra del Falco' is the centrepiece of the album, all fanciful whirring synths, punchy organ bursts, pretty piano and thick coursing bass behind Bruno's dignified rasp, and the track will have Le Orme fans weeping for joy. The intelligent and sophisticated `Indaco' is sobering piano-lifted introspection with sublime scratchy Mellotron blasts and deeply heart- wrenching soloing guitar emotion, making for another standout moment that prog fans will completely fall for. `Maschere' has brash and crunching bombastic breaks, and closer `Esistono Ore Perfette' bristles with a touch of danger and an air of regal pomp, the piece perfectly encapsulating the sound of the classic Le Orme years, just given a modern approach (although it disappointingly fades out prematurely mid guitar solo - boo!).

`Era' is the sort of album that requires patient listening. On the surface, many of the tracks have the same basic structure ' tight songs with raspy vocals that rarely stop, reprising choruses with short little instrumental bursts here and there, and maybe a slightly extended outro once in a while. For some listeners, attention might wane, but commit to multiple spins, and very quickly the power and refinement of Nathan's music becomes apparent. There might be flashier bands around, but Nathan's secret weapon and their strength lies in how skilfully and delicately implemented all their instrumental touches are, and it helps make `Era' another superb effort from the fellas. If you like modern acts like Logos and Panther & C but still want music respectful of the vintage Italian prog masters (especially Le Orme), this quiet achiever of an album will be just for you, and with 2018 seemingly a little quieter on the Italian prog front, Nathan might just have released one of the standout albums from that country for the year.

Four stars.

 Tic & Tac by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.61 | 47 ratings

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Tic & Tac
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

1 stars I could never understand the logic for continuing a musical project once one of the band's most prominent features has left or in the case of Italy's larger-than-life avant-garde jazz-fusion maestros AREA, expire. It was a sad day indeed when the charismatic and innovative vocal frontman Demetrio Stratos succumbed to a severe case of aplastic anemia at the tender age of 34. Everyone knows this sad story. The Doors tried to carry on without Jim Morrison but after two albums realized the obvious. AC/DC did the same after Bon Scott and despite having commercial success, they still pale in comparison. The list goes on as bands like Alice In Chains, Lynyrd Skynyrd, INXS, Mayhem and even more recently Queen have carried on without the signature frontman who was the major force in their ascent to the top.

While pop and metal bands can often continue, for a completely unique and talented band like AREA with such an unreplaceable figurehead, the tall task seemed virtually impossible. And impossible it was. When Stratos met his untimely passing on 13 July 1979, the response should've been met with the same clearheaded grace that Led Zeppelin would face the following year in 1980 with John Bonham's passing by retiring the band and let the legacy continue after the chapters have unfairly been written and concluded. However that was NOT the case at all and in the process three of the AREA lineup namely Giulio Capiozzo (drums, vibraphones), Patrizio Fariselli (piano and keys) and Ares Tavalozzi (bass) decided to continue the band without a vocalist! They did however add Larry Nocella as a tenor sax player.

The result of this decision was the release of the lamely titled TIC & TAC which at least is succinctly easier to pronounced than the previous "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano"! While Stratos may have been a major feature in AREA's classic eccentric soundscape, the band was equally as dynamic dishing out ridiculously adventurous and avant-garde musical workouts offering some of the most creative music that the 70s had to offer. It seems that not only Stratos died but in the process so did all the wild and wacky creativity that AREA was so famous for! TIC & TAC has to be one of the absolute lamest attempts to carry on for any band in history. The absolute antithesis of 70s AREA, this one is straight forward jazz fusion that wouldn't sound out of place in some swanky cocktail lounge from some 60s swinging scene.

While i wouldn't call the music presented here as lacking in great jazz musicianship, i would definitely call this one majorly lacking in any kind of musical inspiration. It feels like a hollow template from some jazz academy playbook that demands suspension of a creativity for the sake of conforming to a status quo paradigm. In other words, this music is absolutely awful considering it's AREA, one of Italy's greatest exports in the musical world. I could only stomach this twice for listening, the second time exclusively for this review for i'm so underwhelmed by it all. This is the absolute worst followup album possible after a singer's untimely passing i've ever heard. Thankfully, the members realized the mistake of this train wreck and quickly called it a day. These guys must have been in shock when they did this for i feel the trauma just listening to it. Needless to say, this is as bad as it gets for a once great band in total disarray. Avoid at all costs.

 Masters and Following by PRESENCE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Masters and Following
Presence Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by proghaven

4 stars No idea why Presence was classified here as 'Rock Progressivo Italiano'. They are definitively not followers of PFM, Banco, Apoteosi, Locanda Delle Fate, Quella Vecchia Locanda etc. This amazing Italian band born in late 1980s performs a unique version of progressive metal. I would describe it as keyboard dominated prog metal with female vocals. (By the way, really brilliant vocals, not to be forgotten!) This very individual musical direction naturally had to lead the band's evolution to something anti-metal sooner or later. And voila! - here's its current stage: residually metal (though still quite heavy...) but excessively progressive I'd say. Almost every next bar is difficult to predict. The band's music became now so refined that from time to time it sounds close to medieval. So complex that often symphonic. So sophisticated that sometimes tending to avant prog. Of course this was not totally unexpected, the foundation stone was laid down back in 2000 (stunning Carnival from their masterpiece Gold)...

The latest album from Presence is, unlike their earlier ones, irregularly built. A lot of dynamism & action in each minute of playing time, but noticeably less action in almost every track in its entirety, and much (very much!) less action in the entire album. Probably that's why the whole matter of Masters And Following seems somewhat crumbly and marshy. Multiple but small islands of clarity among the vacillating matrix which a listener risks to fall through. In other words, the album is knocked together not strongly enough though full of really fruitful musical ideas. This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us should be marked a highlight, it's extremely atypical for the band's style.

The 'bonus' part (disc two) contains interesting re-arrangements of old songs, but how could synth drums penetrate instrumentations called 'orchestral'... A strange combination.

In brief, Masters And Following is an essential chapter in the musical novel named Presence, but Gold still remains their very best (at least to me, though I'm not a conservator at all).

A disturbing component of the whole structure is greetings from Judas Priest (Freewill Burning under Presence's sauce). Wish it was rejected.

 Dracula Opera Rock by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.53 | 159 ratings

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Dracula Opera Rock
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Between 1972 and 1974 PFM produced five legendary albums, inspired by early King Crimson, Per Un Amico (1972) is generally considered as their finest effort. King Crimson ex-member Pete Sinfield even contributed with English lyrics to two PFM albums, and was the support-act (with Mel Collins) during their first European tour, in mid-1973. Then PFM started to sound more jazzrock inspired, and on this album from 2005 PFM even presents a blend of rock and opera! It took a few listening sessions before I go tinto this music, but gradually I started to appreciate PFM their musical adventure.

The shorter compositions sound elaborate, featuring compelling sumptuous parts (with classical orchestrations and The Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra), strong vocals (loaded with the typical opera pathos) and powerful soli on guitar and keyboards.

Some pieces are more mellow or dreamy, like Non Guardarmi (warm melancholical vocals, classical guitar and violins) and Terra Madre (emotional vocals and sensitive guitar). Remarkable is the track La morte Non Muore: swinging with fiery guitar and a female choir, reminding me of the musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The long final compositions Un Destino Di Rondine (just over 11 minutes) is my highlight of this album: compelling and bombastic with intense, almost desperate sounding vocals from Dolce Nera, and a strong build-up tot a splendid, sumptuous grand finale with howling guitar runs and fluent synthesizer flights.

If you are up to this captivating blend of rock and opera, this is an interesting album to discover from the Classic Italian Prog formation PFM, always in the mood for scouting musical borders.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Ptah by PHAEDRA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.53 | 22 ratings

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Ptah
Phaedra Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Phaedra was an Italian musical company featuring 8 musicians,rooted in 1993. They did concerts and festivals, their setlist was a blend of own material and covers, from Genesis, Yes, Rush en Marillion. During the years Phaedra suffered from multiple changes in the line-up but gradually the situation became more stable. And in 2010 the band finally succeeded to produce a debut CD entitled Path , as an own production. In 2013 Phaedra released their second album named Beyond The Storm, I am not familiar with the music.

Their sound on Ptah is a very melodic and pleasant mix of classical, folk and symphonic rock. The vocals often reminds me of early Le Orme, but not on that level, a bit less powerful. The instrumentation is very varied, from violin, piano, acoustic guitar and flute to organ, harpsichord, harmonica and mandolin, tastefully blended into the 14 tracks.

In general the classical overtones are obvious, with subtle use of keyboards: a clavinet (swinging sound like Wakeman solo) in Il Ciello Stellato, Mellotron choirs in Preghiera and Hammond in Il Peso Del Rimorso.

The use of the distinctive mandolin gives a folky touch to some songs.

My highlight is the long and alternating Dilemma Interiore: the one moment classical with violin and flute, the other moment 24-carat symphonic rock featuring a Hammond solo and heavy church organ waves.

To me this album sounds as a very fine and promising first effort, especially recommended to fans of Italian Prog like Il Castello Di Atlante.

My rating: 3,5 star.

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Rock Progressivo Italiano bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
A PIEDI NUDI Italy
ABISSI INFINITI Italy
ABSENTHIA Italy
ACQUA FRAGILE Italy
AD MAIORA Italy
ADHARMA Italy
STEFANO AGNINI Italy
AINUR Italy
AKRON Italy
L' ALBERO DEL VELENO Italy
ALGEBRA Italy
ALIANTE Italy
ALESSANDRO ALISCIONI Italy
ALLEGRI LEPROTTI Italy
GLI ALLUMINOGENI Italy
ALPHATAURUS Italy
ALTARE THOTEMICO Italy
ALUSA FALLAX Italy
AMMINISTRAZIONE CAOS POPOLARE Italy
ANACONDIA Italy
ANCESTRY Italy
ANCIENT VEIL Italy
ANTONIUS REX Italy
GLI APOSTHOLI Italy
APOTEOSI Italy
APRYL Italy
ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE Italy
AREA Italy
ARIES Italy
ARJUNA Italy
ARMONITE Italy
ARPIA Italy
ARS NOVA (ITA) Italy
ASSEMBLEA MUSICALE TEATRALE Italy
ASSENZIO Italy
ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG Italy
ATON'S Italy
ATTO IV Italy
AUDIO Italy
AURORA LUNARE Italy
AVALON LEGEND Italy
IL BABAU & I MALEDETTI CRETINI Italy
SOPHYA BACCINI Italy
IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA Italy
THE BADGE Italy
BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA Italy
IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO Italy
IL BALLO DELLE CASTAGNE Italy
THE BALMUNG Italy
LA BAMBIBANDA E MELODIE Italy
BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Italy
BARABBA Italy
MARIO BARBAJA Italy
BAROQUE Italy
BARROCK Italy
LUCIANO BASSO Italy
LA BATTERIA Italy
FRANCO BATTIATO Italy
PIERPAOLO BIBBO Italy
BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Italy
BLOCCO MENTALE Italy
LA BOCCA DELLA VERITÀ Italy
BONDAGE Italy
BORNIDOL Italy
LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE Italy
BRAEN'S MACHINE Italy
BRAINDEAD Italy
ANGELO BRANDUARDI Italy
BRIGHT HORIZON Italy
BUON VECCHIO CHARLIE Italy
CAGE Italy
I CALIFFI Italy
CALLIOPE Italy
CAMERA ASTRALIS Italy
JURI CAMISASCA Italy
CAMPO DI MARTE Italy
CANTINA SOCIALE Italy
CAPITOLO 6 Italy
CAPRICORN COLLEGE Italy
CAPSICUM RED Italy
ENZO CAPUANO Italy
IL CASTELLO DELLE UOVA Italy
IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE Italy
CAVALLI COCCHI LANZETTI ROVERSI Italy
CELESTE Italy
IL CERCHIO D'ORO Italy
CERVELLO Italy
CHERRY FIVE Italy
CHIAVE DI VOLTA Italy
CHRISTADORO Italy
LUCIANO CILIO Italy
CIRCLE OF FAIRIES Italy
CITTÀ FRONTALE Italy
CIVICO 23 Italy
CLEPSYDRA Italy
I COCAI Italy
ROBERTO COLOMBO Italy
CONDOR Italy
CONQUEROR Italy
CONSORZIO ACQUA POTABILE Italy
CONTRAPPUNTO Italy
CONTROTEMPO Italy
COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE Italy
CORAL CAVES Italy
CORMORANO Italy
EMANUELE CORREANI Italy
CORTE AULICA Italy
CORTE DEI MIRACOLI Italy
LA COSCIENZA DI ZENO Italy
MARIO COTTARELLI Italy
COURT Italy
CRYSTALS Italy
LA CURVA DI LESMO Italy
GINO D'ELISO Italy
GIANNI D'ERRICO Italy
DALLAGLIO Italy
DALTON Italy
DE DE LIND Italy
DELIRIUM Italy
MAURIZIO DI TOLLO Italy
I DIK DIK Italy
DISEQUAZIONE Italy
DISTILLERIE DI MALTO Italy
DIVAE Italy
LA DOTTRINA DEGLI OPPOSTI Italy
DUEMILA12 Italy
ECFONETICA Italy
ECLISSE Italy
EDERA Italy
EDGAR ALLAN POE Italy
EGO Italy
EGONON Italy
EMPIRE Italy
ENEIDE Italy
ENIMA Italy
ENTITY Italy
EQUIPE 84 Italy
ERA DI ACQUARIO Italy
ERIS PLUVIA Italy
ERRATA CORRIGE Italy
L' ESTATE DI SAN MARTINO Italy
EURASIA Italy
EUTHYMIA Italy
EXPLOIT Italy
LA FABBRICA DELL'ASSOLUTO Italy
FABIO CELI E GLI INFERMIERI Italy
FALENA Italy
IL FEDELISSIMO BRACCO BRANCO Italy
FEM PROG BAND Italy
FESTA MOBILE Italy
FILARMONICA MUNICIPALE LACRISI Italy
FILORITMIA Italy
FINISTERRE Italy
FLEA Italy
FLOATING STATE Italy
RICCARDO FOGLI Italy
FOGLIE DI VETRO Italy
FONETICA Italy
FORMULA 3 Italy
THE FORTY DAYS Italy
FABIO FRIZZI Italy
CLAUDIO FUCCI Italy
FUFLUNS Italy
GAN EDEN - IL GIARDINO DELLE DELIZIE Italy
GARYBALDI Italy
GENCO PURO & CO. Italy
GENFUOCO Italy
GERMINALE Italy
FRANCO MARIA GIANNINI Italy
GIARDINI D'AUTUNNO Italy
I GIGANTI Italy
GIGI PASCAL E LA POP COMPAGNIA MECCANICA Italy
IL GIRO STRANO Italy
GLEEMEN Italy
GOBLIN Italy
GOBLIN REBIRTH Italy
GRAN TURISMO VELOCE Italy
GREENWALL Italy
GRIMALKIN Italy
GRUPPO 2001 Italy
GUERCIA Italy
H2O Italy
HOMUNCULUS RES Italy
HOPO Italy
HORUS Italy
HÖSTSONATEN Italy
HUMANA PROG Italy
HUNKA MUNKA Italy
IANVA Italy
IBIS Italy
IL FAUNO DI MARMO / THE REBUS Italy
INGRANAGGI DELLA VALLE Italy
ISPROJECT Italy
J.E.T. Italy
JACULA Italy
JANUS Italy
JESTER'S JOKE Italy
JET LAG Italy
JUMBO Italy
KALISANTROPE Italy
KUNDALINI SHAKTI DEVI Italy
LABIRINTO DI SPECCHI Italy
LAGARTIJA Italy
LAPERA Italy
LASER Italy
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