Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
I Viaggi di Madeleine - Tra Luce e Ombra CD (album) cover


I Viaggi di Madeleine


Heavy Prog

3.93 | 24 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After really enjoying their debut self-titled 2019 release, I am overjoyed to receive this sophomore offering straight from Vannuccio Zanella of MP Records, as I had listened to the trailer and was deeply intrigued. The band originates from lovely Lecce, situated in the heel of the Italian boot and they have been around for more than a decade, honing their craft until their first album came out, with promises of more to come. Strongly influenced by the classic RPI school with an added harder, more contemporary tone, they are a most welcome addition to the modern succession of Italian prog bands. Keyboardist, multi-instrumentalist, and lead vocalist Francesco Carella is flanked by his colleague Giuseppe Quarta on the drums, with a couple of guest lead guitarists, as well as (surprise, surprise) none other than Richard Sinclair of Camel, Caravan, and many other Canterbury prog groups, providing his unique talent on bass and vocals on the track "Poker". Violin and sax complete the line-up. The album is short and sweet at 39 minutes, but it packs quite the sonic punch.

Straight dive into Dante's Inferno we go with "Migrazioni", a 7-minute initial proposal that takes no prisoners, a sizzling electronic slash with a throttling bass synth and a robotic beat that instantly seduces with its no holds barred hypnotism, as Carella swirls his keyboards like a nuclear blender gone mad. The various transitions fit perfectly in the dynamic of the arrangement, offering endless adventure and 'buon gusto'. Quarta's drum kit shows no restraint at all, as the pace needs strong athletic propulsion which he supplies in gargantuan amounts. A thrilling instrumental journey worthy of Cristofero Colombo, braving the unknown seas, courageously fording forward. No slowing down this crew, as the ripping "Frequenze Solari" introduces some outrageous vocals with lilting narration, shoved forward not too distant from classic Heep or Purple, bruising organ front and center, a Marco Ancona guitar riff and solo, and all held together with some beefy percussives. An unexpected Roberto Gagliardi saxophone solo adds some sensual warmth as the piece fades into the sun. The stunning electric piano makes a jazzy entrance on "Poker", not surprising to find Sinclair here on the vocals as well as some wicked fretless bass excursions that remind us of what a great icon he remains in his golden years. As the arrangement slips into a manic groove, well anchored by the supple drumming, the charm takes effect, sunny, bright, playful yet intense, just what one would expect from the Italian deep south. The "doo-wap" scat duet is to applaud with unmitigated vigor, as its uniquely interesting. Boy is that fretless delicious though! Heading way north into the Big Apple, the stark urban hum of the organ fences with the vibraphone touch, as "Bronx" evokes the sense of being alone in a densely packed humanity, the gravely voiced narration reeks of fatigue and desperation, corner after corner, the same routine. Lost amid the sirens, with a sudden transition into a rambling aural monolith, the track takes a more vivid direction, capturing the cacophony of a cosmopolis, and the debilitating confusion that goes with the price of living in a massive cage. Definitely a highlight as well as being the epic offering here, "L'Ultima Battaglia" has more medieval overtone, as if describing some historical Middle Ages skirmish, the entire Carella keyboard arsenal is set loose like armoured knights galloping into the fray. The military drums are as binary fisted as it gets, the artillery needed for victory. The ebb and flow of the melee is expertly portrayed in the mid-section, with a Goblin-esque feel, a palpitating soundtrack to a life and death combat, with controlled hand to hand chants and organ swells. A tremendous piece of music. The binary tick-tock on the riveting "Androgino" has all the ingredients to amaze, a highly electronic feel with remorseless beats, as well as grandiloquent synthesizer orchestrations, while the soothing voice sings about obscurity and mysteries of life. Numbingly evocative and beautiful. Bowie, Bolan and Boy George. The snappy "Road Roller" serves as a wake-up call, as it initially slams the pedals hard, with screeching vocals, furious guitars and chaotic thump sections, more police sirens, or is it an ambulance? Yells of "don't touch me" finish off the frustrations. A narrated finale, "Nostalgie" behaves like a jazzy musical poem, the dazzling e-piano firmly entrenched, the sultry violin of Francesco del Prete doing his Carmen thingy with gypsy-like cat meows, the bass hard and nasty, the drum beat muscular.

Over the span of 50 years listening to almost exclusively progressive rock, I can't help noticing that Italy, as befits the ultimate iconoclasts that they are so proud to be, seem to supply quality prog in lengthy, luscious waves, and consistently so, with occasional long spells of relative silence. Lately, it's been very hectic indeed, with tons of amazing music from the "bel paese" and we are "moltissimi contenti".

5 Light shadows

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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

Share this I VIAGGI DI MADELEINE review

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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.