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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Quella Vecchia Locanda CD (album) cover


Quella Vecchia Locanda


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.14 | 348 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Beautiful Classically Inspired Italian Prog

One of the aspects of RPI that appeals to me most is that the classical influences are transparent. That is, while Genesis and ELP have some obvious roots in classical music, the Italians seem to have it written in their marrow. The amount of "rock" in their prog is variable, but the classical influence is always crystal clear. Among the bands with the heaviest classical flavor, by far my favorite is Quella Vecchia Locanda (QVL). Their second, classic album was the second RPI album I owned and I still hold it as one of the masterpieces in its genre even after acquiring a much bigger collection. I later acquired their self titled debut and found another great piece of work. Perhaps not as evocative as the sophomore, it is still a grand album well worth owning.

Interestingly, one of the stars of this particular album is an American, classically trained violinist Donald Lax. His violin opens the "Prologo" theme which is echoed by various other instruments, and then has a torrid solo which would have been a better example of the devil's champion that that offered by Charlie Daniels. Indeed, despite the minor keys and classical arrangements, his energy and tonality are almost fiddle-like, stretching an already diverse sound.

The most rocking part of this band is the rhythm section. Conventional trapset and electric bass form the backbone, and they can range from quiet accompaniment to nice bombast. Unlike the second album, guitar plays a slightly larger role, with the track "Immagini Sfucate" having both a distorted riff and rock leads. Flute plays a large part in the mix, adding a significant 60's psychedelic flavor. The voices are pleasant and less operatic than some RPI, though they still fall within genre. Finally, keys range from clean piano to distorted organ and possibly mellotron.

Some of the highlights are the Genesis-like "El Cieco" which features frenetic rock interspersed with ethereal flute interludes, the aforementioned creepy "Immagini," and the Zeppelinish "Realta." The latter combines with the Italian harmony vocals beautifully, before a wah-electric guitar brings up the intensity. The whole album is more rocking than the second, more intense, but also lacks a little of the intricacy and longer, more ambitious compositions. Still, it is an excellent piece of work and among my favorite RPI albums. 4 stars.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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