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Le Orme - Felona E Sorona CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.24 | 913 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Until I joined the Prog Community on Internet I believed Italian Progressive started with PFM and ended with BANCO DEL MUTUIO SOCCORSO, how wrong I was, probably the country with more Symphonic bands is Italy and one of the best is LE ORME (The Footstep) and their masterpiece is "Felona e Sorona" the peak of Italian conceptual albums that tells the story of two planets controlled by one same God that lives in the middle of both, almost as the center of a sand clock

Both have opposite realities, one represents the light and happiness, the other the darkness and sadness, some sort of Mediterranean version of the Ying & Yang (Aldo Taglapietra seems to be influenced by Eastern culture and is a great sitar player so I believe it's clear where the influence comes from).

If most Italian bands are soft and warm with splendid melodies, LE ORME goes further, of course the melody has great importance but is much more aggressive than bands like PFM or BANCO, you can clearly perceive the influence from YES, GENESIS and ELP but also of less friendlier bands like KING CRIMSON. Not as easy to get into as the other Italian icons, but once you capture the interest is absolutely rewarding.

I will try to use the real translation (Of course limited by my rudimentary Italian knowledge) of the titles not the ones used by Peter Hammill in the English version.

The album starts with "Sospesi Nell' Incredibile" ( "Suspended in the Incredible"), a song that starts extremely complex and reminds me of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic) with radical changes not only of timing but also of mood and volume, the keyboard performance by Antonio Pangliuca is outstanding, around the middle the haunting voice of Taglapietra surrounded by an atmospheric organ marks a first radical change is absolutely creepy and full of drama but that's not the only change, the song ends in a more melodic mood reminiscent of ELP with some keyboard pyrotechnics clearly inspired Keith Emerson.

The second track tells the story of one of the planets "Felona" almost the paradise, people lives in transparent spheres that float with the wind during the night and touch ground in the day for the people to gather and celebrate because all their basic needs are provided. The music is absolutely descriptive, warm and happy almost as a feast with bells and drums, an almost Folk Medieval flute helps to get the idea better, typical example of Italian Symphonic, not as complex as the previous but important for the concept.

"La Solitudine di chi Protegge il Mondo" (The Loneliness of He Who Protects the World") is a very short an oneiric song with dreamy vocals surrounded by a soft piano that describes the loneliness of the maker.

"L'Equilibrio" (The Balance) Is a track about how in certain moment the things will be balanced, Sorona was happy once, now is the turn for Felona, an excellent track, vibrant, strong again with heavy ELP influence and an excellent drumming by Michi dei Rossi but ends softer and calmed as telling us that things may and will in some moment change when God turns his face to the other side, but the secret of the balance is that none of the planet knows the existence of the other.

"Sorona" is the story of the other planet, once happy, now sad and dark, the people have tormented faces because of the suffering and the music is simply perfect, one of the most obscure pieces of music I ever heard, almost a shout of desperation, fear and loneliness.

"Attesa Inerte" (Inert Expectation) is a song almost in the dark vein of the previous but almost narrated instead of being sung and describes how the inhabitants of Sorona gather to pray for the miracle but without doing anything, the organ sounds almost religious to make the perfect atmosphere.

"Ritratto di un Mattino" (Portrait of a Dawn) starts as another somber and dark track with keyboard effects and in the middle a short verse that says something like "You can't find the happiness in yourself but in what you give to others in one morning" and in that moment the music dramatically changes into a soft and beautiful melody with a classical Italian flavor.

"All' Infuori del Tempo" (With the Exception of Time) starts with an acoustic guitar performance by Aldo Taglapietra that soon is joined by the keyboards and drums, describes how the things are getting better in Sorona, but to keep the balance the happiness also starts to vanish in Felona. The music describes this situation perfectly, the first part is soft and gives a sense of tranquility as things change in Sorona but the second part of the song despite it keeps the same melody has a darker mood, slower and ends completely haunting with a magnificent organ solo.

"Ritorno Al Nulla" (Return to Zero), I guess the things are balanced for one instant in time, Sorona returning to happiness and Felona in the way to the dark fate that once had the other planet, the song is incredible, surely one of the best closers I ever heard, the band hits us with everything the have, the Baroque sound is glorious and pompous, hardly heard anything so spectacular, Symphonic Prog at it's best.

I have only heard part of the English version, but please stay with the original and search for a translation, as in the case of Classical Opera, Felona E Sorona shouldn't be listened in other language than Italian, the phonetic structure is absolutely perfect.

There's absolutely no problem in rating the album, 5 stars without any question.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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