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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - As In A Last Supper CD (album) cover

AS IN A LAST SUPPER

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Not rated yet? Good Lord!

3,5 stars actually...

OK , this is post-classical BANCO album, an English version of "Come di un'Ultima Cena". Concept can be clearly seen here,and English lyrics are very good (though I prefer Franceso when he sings in Italian). Very symphonic and marked with great talent, though not my personal favourite. Best tracks here are "Slogan","They say dolphins speak" and "At a supper for example".A Must for every BANCO/Italian Prog collector, but not that necessary thing for most of us. I got it by chance and left in my collection - why not?

Report this review (#106422)
Posted Sunday, January 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In 1974, I discovered PFM thanks to their album "The World Became the World". Almost a faithful English version of their album "L'Isola Di Niente". In those days, it was the only way to get a PFM album at a normal price (at least in Belgium).

I guess that it should have been the same story for "Banco" (but I can not speak for them, since I did not know them at that time). So, it is a bit weird that there is only ONE review for this album before mine. Isn't "Banco" one of the prominent Italian band ? Even an English production of their work should be more on the foreground, no ?

The band already did such an experience with "Banco" released in 1975. It was a compilation work from two of their earlier releases and since there were two instrumental tracks as well as an unreleased song which was sung in Italian, I could not really speak of a true English "Banco" album.

This one is of course totally different since "Banco" reworked the lyrics of their album "Come In Un'Ultima Cena" and transcripted them fully into English.

Quite frankly, Francesco (their lead singer) sounds so much passionate that you hardly notice whether he sings in English or in Italian (well maybe I am exaggerating). I rated the original album with three stars because there were little great moments featured. The grandiose flavours of this style were really scarce IMO. I far much prefer other Italian bands, but I do admit that "Banco" was a pioneer and has influenced lots of bands. Only therefore, they definitely deserve a lot of consideration.

Like usual, Francesco is the highlight. I am so found of his vocals...

I will rate this album with three stars (same as the original album). A good effort, but nothing incredible, really. I made already a comment about the ridiculously low amounts of full reviews for "Come In Un'Ultima Cena " (the Italian version of this work). What to say about this one ???

At least, the amount of reviews have doubled...

Come on ! Even if this album is not a masterpiece, it should deserve more interest.

Report this review (#139918)
Posted Saturday, September 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Surprisingly there were only two preceding reviews for this album, but on the other hand the original Italian-language version Come di un'Ultima Cena has (deservedly) gained more attention here. Count me among those who prefer their RPI listenings in Italian rather than in English, despite the fact that I can't speak Italian. Anyway, I have the Esoteric Recordings' re-release from 2010 on my hands. It contains liner notes by Ernesto de Pascale. Before going into music itself, I'd like to pick up some background facts.

After Greg Lake of ELP had witnessed a gig og P.F.M. in Italy and invited the band to record for their Manticore label, some other RPI groups followed the same way and made albums in English. One of them was Banco, undoubtedly the second biggest Italian prog band, both at the time and retrospectively. Whereas their first Manticore release Banco [IV] (1975) used material from various albums, As in a Last Supper is musically identical to its Italian twin. The lyrics of vocalist Francesco Di Giacomo were translated by Angelo Branduardi. "The concept for the album was casually born at a dinner with friends of the group, at which one of the guests stood up to talk about his doubts and problems, asking for help and advice. The situation suggested a series of themes and subjects, which would be covered in the album through the metaphor of the Last Supper. The illustration inside the album's gatefold cover inlay saw designer Mimmo Mellino take the painting by Leonardo Da Vinci and metaphorically revisit with the addition of the faces of the band members."

Compared to Banco's earlier albums with long compositions, this nine-track concept album favours shorter song structures. The opener 'At Supper, For Example' (6:19, the second longest track) has a fine, colourful sonic texture. Vittorio and Gianni Nocenzi play many kinds of keyboards but leave enough room for the singer. Curiously, at times I came to think of Tim Buckley's music (which is not a negative remark!). 'The Spider' is an edgier and faster prog piece slightly reminding of Kansas. 'John Has a Good Heart, But...' is a mellow and pastoral song in a folkish, acoustic-oriented arrangement.

'Slogan' (7:25) is a prog rollercoaster with lots of dynamic changes and a slower middle part. Guitarist Rodolfo Maltese plays also trumpet, and one of the synths has a harp-like sound. One of the album's highlights is 'They Say Dolphins Speak' in which the violin part of Angelo Branduardi - yes, the translator - has a Crimsonesque effect. The song has a nice, groovy bass line in the bottom. Till the end this album keeps the sonic richness and the lyrical content in good balance. And as ZowieZiggy says, Francesco sounds so passionate that the language is not that relevant. Of all RPI classics this one may not be among the very greatest achievements (and surely not even the best album of Banco), but it's a very good addition to a collection of vintage 70's prog.

Report this review (#1932266)
Posted Friday, May 18, 2018 | Review Permalink

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