Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Biglietto Per L'Inferno - Biglietto Per L'Inferno CD (album) cover


Biglietto Per L'Inferno


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.10 | 278 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Going down.

I was listening to that fourth Zeppelin album the other day - the one that no one can decide on a proper name for - and I couldn't help getting all caught up in that bustling hedgerow. They say there are two paths you can go by, but they don't tell us about the other one. Robbie and Jimmy and company took the glorious road to musical immortality, presumably up ; but what about the inmates occupying the ground below?

In the shadows of dark 1970's hard rock, there is many a stray band. Far below the mighty Zeppelin's, Rooster's, and Dickens characters, you'll find blues in Denmark, metal in Iceland, and Deep Purple- clones all over the place. It's a real treat for the adventurous rock fan when one such band climbs up out of the abyss to challenge the heavy-hitters and household names.

I give you Un Biglietto per L'Inferno - A Ticket to Hell

Biglietto per L'Inferno hit the Italian scene with as much moxy as their raucous RPI counterparts, but with overtones more in line with the sludgy DP/Sabbath school of witchery. These guys modified their take on heavy rock with creepy effect-laden keyboards; in fact, there were two keyboard players in the band: Guiseppe Cossa who plays in a classically-trained style, bringing in the few "traditional" influences; and Guiseppe "Baffo" Banfi who is responsible for much of the album's dark atmosphere with his plodding moog synthesizers and organs. The hair-raising intro to "L'amico Suicida" has Banfi's finger prints all over it. Because I've mentioned the keysmen, I might as well include the guitarist - Marco Mainetti. He is the main instrumentalist despite being outnumbered, and his distorted, bluesy leads play counterpoint to the otherworldly keys.

So we have a heavy Italian prog band with two keyboard players and a leslie-happy guitarist. In other words - Banco without the Verdi aspirations or Tull with some black magic thrown in; take your pick. Biglietto had a reputation as one hell of a live band (pun intended), which is something one could easily guess from the passion emanating from their record. The first track, "Ansia" (anxiety), wanders along common territory with unassuming arrangements that only hint at what's to come, and loopy synthesizer sounds that sound a bit cheesy to these ears - one of my only complaints. "Confessione" introduces the prevailing dark atmosphere, and from that point on, there is no escaping the music's grasp. The lyrics reflect social conflict that these young men were witnessing at the time: violence, punishment, sin, consequence.and questions. You don't need to speak any Italian to pick up those vibes. Claudio Canali, the expressive ringleader, screams, begs, pleads, and soars over those perversely distorted guitars and adds some flute to top it off. He tears at you, begs for forgiveness, and then dances circles around you. The sound quality and production are nothing to be proud of, although the bad sound quality adds what seems like an unintentional aura of gloom to the record. I haven't even mentioned the rhythm section thus far because there is NO bottom end here - it's like listening through some kind of murky veil. For what it's worth, the drums and bass do their job adequately - particularly the drummer, though mix does not do him justice.

Biglietto recorded a follow-up album the next year, but it was shelved when their label, Trident, dissolved and the band broke up shortly after. The second album did receive a posthumous release in 1992 and has been subject to mixed praise and disappointment. Baffo Banfi continued in the business with a solo career while Branchini and Gnecci (the bassist and drummer) branched out into pop and jazz projects, respectively. Interestingly, Claudio retired to the hills of Tuscany and became a monk (remember that the track "Confessione" is a dialogue between murderer and priest.).

Recommendation & Rating: If you don't mind a recording that is rough around the edges, and this review interested you, then I say go for it. Biglietto are a good introduction to the Italian prog scene for fans of heavy '70s rock. This record will not bludgeon you with riffs, but it will connect with your sense mysticism if you let it. Four well-earned stars for ProgArchives.

The Jimmy Row Factor : 8.9/10, A-

jimmy_row | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives