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La Batteria - La Batteria II CD (album) cover


La Batteria


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.95 | 37 ratings

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4 stars La Batteria is a Rock Progressive Italiano band that was founded in Rome, Italy in 2015. They cite their influences as those bands and artists that have made soundtrack style music like "Goblin", Ennio Morricone and others. They typically use traditional instruments, but have been known to mix styles with their own instrumental cinematic styles.

Their 2nd album, released in April of 2019, is called simply "La Batteria II" and is made up of 18 tracks, with only one that exceeds the 5 minute mark and overall lasting about 70 minutes. The band lineup consists of Emanuele Bultrini on vocals, electric, acoustic and classical guitar; David Nerattini on drums; Paolo Pecorielli on Bass; and Stefano Vicarelli on keys and synths. Along with this core lineup is several guest musicians and instruments.

The album starts off with "Prologo" which features a synth introduction that eventually leads into a heavier section with electric guitars providing a dramatic theme aided by a twinkling synth loop and other keyboards with a mid tempo rhythm. "Largo" continues with this style, but is later enhanced with vibraphone and a scratching guitar giving it a real Italian or European feel and finishing with a dramatic, but up tempo sound. "Fuga" features a fast moving keyboard loop and a small chorus of guests providing wordless vocals. The band comes in later and the track takes on the Morricone vibe with deep guitars and keys. "Monica Vitti" is a nice pastoral track with acoustic guitar, vibraphone and flute. Later a synth is added and rhythm section follows.

"Dogma" has a much heavier and dark sound with a solid electric guitar punch to it. "Moviola" is a funky, upbeat and jazzy track that uses a basic theme and variation style. "Antenna" is more straightforward led mostly by synths at first and then an electric guitar repeating the theme and then building off of that. "Stiletto" has a mysterious feel to it, almost spy-movie-like. Towards the middle, things get more psychedelic sounding with some cool effects and an eerie, experimental feel. "Intermezzo" is a short piano interlude in a rhapsodic style and helped along by bass and vibraphone.

"Diva" is the longest track at 5:30. It starts off with electronic loops and effects and the band builds off of this. A funky vibe comes off of this with a heavy electric guitar providing a thematic element. Later, brighter guitars bring in a jazz element supported by synth and Vocoder. "Affresco" features the "With Us Choir" singing light harmonized wordless vocals accompanied by keys and light guitars. A heavier sound comes in around 2 minutes as a psychedelic vibe comes in with the full band. "Spirale" has a distinct electronica sound to it along the lines of an upbeat Tangerine Dream style, but later gets support from guitars in accompaniment and a solo.

"Furfante Amedeo" plays off of a funky synth riff with jazz undertones. "Intervallo" is another short track led by flute and supported by synth, harpsichord and acoustic guitar. "Romanzo" follows with a nice romantic style using acoustic guitar and piano, but with an unsettling sound from feedback increasing in the background. Almost halfway through, the rhythm section kicks in with a moderate tempo and a darker feel as the electric guitars take over the thematic element for a dramatic feel. "Megalopoli" immediately begins heavy with a guitar riff and synths playing the melody against a steady rock beat. Later, things get heavier with the guitars and an organ playing the theme. "Eldorado" has a smoother jazz / funk feel with a fast moving percussion section. Wordless vocals provided by a guest come in halfway through as things take on an airier feel with strong European sound. The album finishes up with "2170 Ultima Speranza" which has an electronic beginning which finally brings in the full band, however, the keys and effects have most of the say here, until a lovely trumpet solo comes in giving things a Spanish flair.

The music, overall, is mostly instrumental, and, even though there is the underlying soundtrack / cinematic style throughout every track, each song still has its own individual sound. The individual songs each follow a singular format, each one concentrating on a style or mood. This differs from bands like Secret Chiefs or Fantomas who like to use the same cinematic inspirations, but tend to be more progressive by jumping around to different styles and moods within a single track. In that respect, these individual tracks are more focused on a singular style. It also differs from the soundtracks of bands like Art Zoyd and Goblin that have produced soundtracks to past cinema in that it is not in the avant-garde style of those bands, but much more accessible with strong traditional themes that are built upon during the individual tracks. The style is a simple theme and variation style, but this sound is spread out among several differing instruments thus providing a lot of dynamic in the overall sound.

The album is enjoyable, but also quite accessible in most cases. The songs are mostly around the 4 minute mark, but still well developed, keeping with a simple theme as a driving force through most of the tracks. Again, with the variation in the use of instruments, you still get a feeling of variety, so it never really grows very stale. The album is well produced and laid out. The cinematic style also gives a somewhat unique sound to each and every track here. This is a strong album and easily earns the four stars that I give it for a rating.

TCat | 4/5 |


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