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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - ...Di Terra CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.75 | 272 ratings

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3 stars "Di Terra" is one of the best rock band/orchestra collaborations I've heard so far - although not because it's really good but because most of it's competition is quite bad. The album was conceived towards the end of BMS' career as a prog act, by which time bandleader and main composer Vittorio Nocenzi had nearly exhausted his supply of excellent compositions of the type found on Banco's early albums. Nevertheless, Di Terra is an experiment worth hearing and a welcome addition to Banco's varied discography.

The orchestra dominates most of the album, thus bringing it considerably closer to the classical genre than rock. The most prominently featured Banco member here is Gianni Nocenzi, whose skillful piano contributions range from quirky dissonance to sweet romanticism. Percussion also figures prominently, providing tight, rhythmic work and dynamics. The other members are less active still, although they all chip in occasionally (except Francesco Di Giacomo, who does not participate in this all-instrumental affair). The compositions are generally quite accessible, and most of the album has a relaxed, laid-back vibe - although it's best moments come from the more intense tracks, most notably "Io Vivo" and the title cut. The former appears to be influenced considerably by the 20th century stuff - the bombastic string section brings to mind parts from "The Rite of Spring", while Gianni Nocenzi even serves up a cool atonal interlude; and the latter offers a whole lot of memorable moments, from the glorious build-up in the intro to the Chopin-esque piano that concludes the album.

Unfortunately, the rest of the material is mostly quite dull, and some of the tracks can be dismissed as filler. The album also suffers from unnecessary repetition of many unremarkable themes: it can get quite annoying when the same motif pops up several times throughout the record.

Still, "Di Terra" leaves a generally positive impression, especially since one frequently has to fear the worst from this sort of experiments. Do not expect a masterpiece, but be sure to check it out if you feel inclined to do so.

Pafnutij | 3/5 |


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