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Biglietto Per L'Inferno

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Biglietto Per L'Inferno Biglietto Per L'Inferno album cover
4.14 | 324 ratings | 35 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ansia (4:16)
2. Confessione (6:32)
3. Una Strana Regina (6:12)
4. Il Nevare (4:37)
5. L'Amico Suicida (14:23)

Total time: 35:50

Bonus track on CD releases
6. Confessione (Instrumental) (3:32)

Line-up / Musicians

- Claudio Canali / vocals, flute
- Marco Mainetti / guitars
- Giuseppe Banfi / keyboards
- Giuseppe Cossa / keyboards
- Fausto Branchini / bass
- Mauro Gnecchi / drums

Releases information

Translation of title to English is "Ticket To Hell"

Artwork: Caesar Monti (photo)

LP Trident ‎- TRI. 1005 (1974, Italy)

CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM006CD (1989, Italy) With a bonus track
CD Trident ‎- TRI 1005 (2001, Italy) Remastered (?) with a bonus track;
Missing roughly two minutes of "L'Amico Suicida"

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Biglietto Per L'Inferno Music

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Biglietto Per L'Inferno ratings distribution

(324 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO Biglietto Per L'Inferno reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars Another great Italian band in the heavy progressive side. By the addition of flute, BIGLIETTO becomes in a more refined group (and when a flute is heard in the prog world, JETHRO TULL comes to mind). Precisely, I would define this band like a sort of SEMIRAMIS or IBIS meeting JT.

Here we find very complex melodies with lots of keyboards, keeping the beauty and elegance always present in Italian bands. All tracks are very good, being the highlight the wonderful "L'Amico Suicida", a 13 minutes song that can resume the Italian symphonic essence.

Even when this is not the best italian album, it's really magnificent. Recommended.

Review by lor68
3 stars This hard rock stuff is not bad, above all from the point of view of its arrangements, as it is enriched with a clever "JETHRO TULLesque" flute and some interesting passages reminding me of another Italian prog band of the same period, SEMIRAMIS. Actually I don't like this genre, even though I recognize interesting elements within... Make your own choice once again !!
Review by Proghead
4 stars There are some who regard this as one of the greats of Italian prog. Well, it is a great album, but the sound quality sucks, even though I own the Vinyl Magic CD reissue (and Vinyl Magic is very much a label I respect greatly, saving me lots of money and time in process of getting albums I would've otherwise spent huge money if an original LP ever surfaced). It sounds a bit on the muddy side.

Aside from that complaint, this is still some great Italian prog that's grown on me, with guitar, synthesizers, organ, and flutes, with vocals (in Italian). This of course, is that brand of prog other bands from the same time like IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, OSANNA, MUSEO ROSENBACH, SEMIRAMIS, J.E.T., and CERVELLO had explored, meaning if you're a fan of those bands, you're certain to enjoy BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO as well. This was their debut, released in 1974 on the Trident label (same label as SEMIRAMIS), and they had another album recorded later the same year that never surfaced until the 1990s when Mellow Records finally got to releasing it.

The album opens up with "Ansia", it starts off rather calm, with organ and flute, then you hear the vocals, and piano and synth tends to be the dominant instruments. "Confessione" is even better, going through many different changes and themes, but my very favorite is "L'Amico Suicida", not exactly an appealing song title, because it translates as "A Friend's Suicide", but it's truly a wonderful epic composition showing all the best qualities of this band. But that last piece is nothing more than a reprise of "Confessione" which I found to be nothing more than a monumental waste of time because it sounded like they guys simply clipped the end part of "Confessione" and pasted it at the end because there doesn't seem to be any variations or difference to what you already heard.

Shame on you! At least this is still an excellent album, not quite the "must have" album many make it to be. Lousy production and lousy sound quality is one reason I don't call it the greatest, but still worth having.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Hi, yesterday when i was in home, i took this cd and i listen to it with a lotof attention, this album is by far the best album of this great band ( they made only 2 albums ), Biglietto per L´inferno is part of the movement of italian symphonic rock in the 70´s, and this album is one of the best of that era, why?. Because the music is complex, they use the flute and the keyboards like the principal elements of their music, all of this makes a very gaudy sound for the ears of all the prog lovers , the music of this bands and specially themusic of this type of albums, makes me pay a lot of attention, and maintain me pending of what is going to continue, song for song. Is a very experimental symphonic album, something quite different as le orme or pfm, a different italian concept of the symphonic sound, but is really a beautiful symphonic sound. ANSIA, the opening song, is the perfect example of the perspective of the musicians, a perfect example to what is going to continue. CONFESSIONE , the second and always good number of song, here we can see that the next song of the opening is more powerful , and show us th complete concept ofthe album, the use of the voice, and the beautiful sound of the flute , is really good. UNA STRANA REGINA, ithe environment of this song is a little dark, but at the same time, is a little happy, those details, are the ones who do the album much pleasant and gaudy. (Sometimes i felt that the quality sound is not the best, but anyway i continue). IL NEVARE, the fouth song, the middle or the half of the album, is the heart of the complex body, the song that makes me freeze and makes my skin cold, sounds like a world without atmosphere. L´AMICO SUICIDA , an epic, the climax of this great album, after the first 4 songs, we can found this masterpiece, this great epic full of dexterity and wisdom, is the best song of the album, when you hear this song, you cannot leave the album , you want to hear it about 5 times at least. CONFESSIONE , the last song, the one that finishes the album, is the softly song, the piano is beutiful, and the fell is about serenity and tranquil. I have to reccomend to you this great album, is beautiful and i hope you g to listen to it, im sure that you will be happy with this.
Review by andrea
5 stars The debut album of Un Biglietto Per L'Inferno (A Ticket To Hell) is an amazing cocktail of spontaneous musical energies and poetry. You can hear here some echoes of Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and PFM but there's no plagiarism and the musicians seem to have shaped their own style trying to capture the energy of their live acts. The song-writing of the singer and flutist Claudio Canali is excellent and the lyrics draw some bitter reflections about the hypocrisy of the world. There are many changes of rhythm and mood but all the tracks are in someway bound together as in a long suite, as in a long way down on a "stairway to hell".

The opener "Ansia" (Anxiety) begins with a delicate sound of organ and guitar, then the rhythm becomes more varied and nervous; Claudio Canali's vocals come in at the end of the track introducing the "subject" of the album. The lyrics describe the feeling of uneasiness and apprehension that comes up from a "sad and infamous life spent in murdering and stealing" and the desperate quest for a saviour, for someone who can ease the pain and give hope. Charlatans, merchants, prophets or priests, it doesn't matter. A good prologue to the next track!

The lyrics of "Confessione" (Confession) describe a dialogue between a killer and a friar. The music is full of energy and rage, with "shades of Deep Purple" melting in "tarantella" and passages with flutes "à la Jethro Tull". The singing of Claudio Canali is definitely convincing and his voice seems almost trying to find a reason for the wind of violence that was blowing so strongly in the Italy of the early seventies. "Listen to me, friar / I don't know if I committed a sin / I killed a bastard who wanted cover his dirty past by means of his money / Trying in this way to cheat his fate. Listen to me, friar / And tell me if you call it a sin or a noble act / I steal some money of a rich gentleman / Just to give something to eat to a dying man". But in this album there's no much room for hope and the verses with the answer of the friar are just a dark prelude to the tragic epilogue of the fifth track: "I can't save you from the eternal fire / You have just a ticket to Hell"! This song is the trademark of the band.

Good organ work introduces "Una strana regina" (A strange Queen). The music is a blending of church-like music, Jethro Tull influences, hard rock and Italian folklore. Claudio Canali's vocals seem to be drenched in pessimism while the dialogue between the killer and the friar continues. "A strange queen rules on the Earth / She lives in castles formed by every street / She changes her dress every evening / Her name is hypocrisy. Let's hope that our God from the hereafter can see and forgive us for our impiety".

"Il nevare" (The Snowing) is another great track, with some almost "bluesy" passages and a soaring electric guitar in the forefront. Claudio Canali defined this track as a "laic prayer" and the lyrics seem to invite to meditation and introspection suggesting that, even in a life where hypocrisy and evil rule, you can find joy just contemplating the nature and the snow falling down. "Heavy snowflakes felt down that day / They wet my eyes / Lost in the light / Lost in the effort of knowing, of seeing / How much pure joy from a simple snowing. Far away a bell-tower reminded of a prayer / Over the roofs ancient shadows were celebrating the evening". In my opinion this is one of the best moments of the album.

The long and complex "L'amico suicida" (The suicidal friend) is highly dramatic. The lyrics are autobiographical, inspired by the suicide of a Canali's comrade-in-arms during the military service. "Around your body there's a halo of death.": Canali's vocals are dark and full of commotion, the music flows powerful and melancholic along more than 13 intense minutes. "There was a long rumble of sound, and it seemed to him that he was falling down a vast and interminable stairway. And somewhere at the bottom he fell into darkness. That much he knew. He had fallen into darkness. And at the instant he knew, he ceased to know." Well, just a little quote from Jack London's novel Martin Eden that in my opinion fit perfectly with the conclusion of this "epic"..

Before the end of the album, there's still room for a nice short instrumental reprise of "Confessione". In the whole, I think that this is definitely an essential work in an Italian prog collection.

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Biglietto Per L'Inferno, A ticket to Hell, as we all know hahah.. that sums it up I guess. This, their debut album, was released in 1974. It is generally considered as one of the great prog albums out of Italy in the 70's. A heavy sounding album with aggressive guitars and the thunderous sound of duo keyboardists. I had heard about this album and was one of the first I got as I moved past the real big artists and albums down into the classic 2nd tier of RPI. The album is one of 5 favorite from the genre. A classic.. with moments so good.. they even had to repeat them hahha.

The album kicks off Ansia which has a nice pastoral easy organ and guitar intro but you know the relative calm is only temporary..then the pace kicks up then ..wham....a brutal bass riff with some 'Tull'esque flute dancing about it come in... then all of sudden it ends and a majesty mini-moog section straight out of ELO comes in. The dynamic contrasts are just catchy as hell.

If you weren't caught by Ansia then Confessione will grab you for sure haha. Powered by a driving bass riffand fiery guitar sections, the song is really a spotlight Canalli's singing. From softly spoken words to his priest to howls of pain and anguish. It is a very impressive vocal performance. Released as a single in Italy. Great song. So good they brought it back to close the album as well. After the horror of Confessione we have a nice letup, and a welcome change in in Una Strana Regina. Here the keyboards play lead the song. I love the guitar solo. Full of emotio and tons of reverb.

Next up come the meat and potatoes of the album. Il Navare with it's bombastic chorus E tu cosa fai? It leads into one of my favortie pieces of music in RPI. L'Amico Suicida. The intro to this is priceless.. so full of sorrow and darkness... the organ is just so moanful over the picked guitar. Sets the mood for the piece right from the start. Canali's vocals again are just so filled with angst and emotion.. it is hard to not get drawn it and captured by the musical moment. The song features hard driving aggressive musical sections.. sections of calm and mourning. Great keyboard work abounds in this. I love this song. A instrumental reprise of Confessione ends the album on a bit of a high note.. though more original music would have been nice.

The album is a great introduction into what I call the classic 2nd tier of RPI albums. If you have tried the classic 9 by Le Orme, Banco, and PFM and want to explore deeper into PRI. This album is as good as any to start. For me personally 5 stars... amoung my favorite of all RPI albums. For the forum at large not quite essential.. but just on the next level. 4.5 stars. Lots to love in the album. Highly recommended.

Michael (aka micky)

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Biglietto per l'Inferno's debut eponymous album is generally regarded as one of those Italian prog highlights, and let me tell you that this is not an overstatement or a gratuitous accolade. This album rocks, as much as it displays the dose of spectacular musical richness one has come to expect from any progressive gem. It's like a marriage of BMS and Deep Purple with some slight connections to New Trolls at their artiest. Released in early 1974, more than a year after the band's foundation, "Biglietto per l'Inferno" stands out as a true gem of Italian heavy symphonic prog, although the sound engineering quality has not passed the test of time. The hard rocking textures in the band's overall sound comes mostly from the whole ensemble's raw attitude at performing the complex motifs (sometimes more complex than in others), but not from the use of lots of guitar inputs. In fact, there is only one guitarist and two keyboardists. Drummer Mauro Gnecchi's style is really oppressive, creating a solid foundation in both the racier and the calmer passages, while guitarist Marco Mainetti manages to alternate hard rock, blues, jazz and psychedelia in his phrases and leads. The two keyboardists are the ones who mainly bear the symphonic core of the band's sound, combining Baroque-inspired exercises on piano/organ and stylish colors on synth/organ. Of course, a special mention has to go to Claudio Canali, the passionate charismatic lead singer who is also responsible for most of the writing (lyrics included) and some flute playing: his vocal style serves as yet another source of power for the rockier side of Biglietto's sound. Since this is a concept album revolving around the theme of suicide, it is no wonder that the whole repertoire flows so cohesively (even though not all songs are segued) nor it is that the sung parts are so intense. 'Ansia' kicks off the album in a constrainedly sophisticated fashion, setting the pace for the eruption of 'Confessione' one of the core tracks, and definitely, the epitome of Biglietto's rock essence. 'Una Strana Regina' finds the band calming things down in a symphonic-meets-old school jazz fashion: this one lacks the successful level of cohesion that the previous one exhibited, but still has to be considered a very good progressive song. After its fade-out, the final organ layer is connected to 'Il Nevare' (due to the restrictions of the vinyl format). 'Il Nevare' is a most moving blues-rock ballad wrapped in a symphonic guise - Canale's final lines are unbelievable cathartic, like the ultimate flash of life before the arrival of death. The closing drum beat serves as a segue to the longest rack in the album, the 13+ minute long 'L'Amico Suicida', which delivers the most ambitious set of compositional sources in the album. The transition between all sections runs quite smoothly, although some of them are not exactly smooth. I wish the climatic ending would have been a bit more expanded, sine I personally feel that it is aborted and not culminated, but all in all, I find this mini-suite quite impressive in its own terms. The instrumental coda of 'Confesione' is not what I'd call the perfect ending for the album: although it has an effective climax (as it did in its sung version), I would have preferred a sort of medley of various motifs from different previous tracks, or just a different song with the reprised coda at the end. Whatever. what's done is done and what is there cannot be changed. "Biglietto per l'Inferno" is a real prototype of Italian heavy prog, and so the band Biglietto per l'Inferno must be heralded as an indispensable item in any good prog collection.
Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was my introduction to Italian Prog. I found it on LP in a record shop in Florence, and let me tell you I couldn't wait to get it back to the states and listen to it.

I must admit though, that I was (perhaps due to my very high expectations) a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful instrumental passages in here, particularly in L'amico Suicida and Confessione. In fact, the latter of those two tracks is able to hold it's own with most of big name Prog's best work, but the rest of the album just doesn't measure up in my opinion. The vocals are fine, but undistinguished, and I find the dual keyboard approach a bit overplayed. I think they would do better with a more acoustic sound, placing emphasis on the flute.

Regarding sound quality: it is bad, but it is not the fault of the CD transfer. The LP sounds just as bad. I'm not an audiophile nut, but the mastering job is so flat and lifeless that it detracts from the music.

Overall, a competent, at times brilliant, record, but unable to measure up against bands like Jethro Tull and VdGG.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Biglietto Per L'Inferno came from Lecco Italy in the early 70s and are most known for this collection on the heavier side of Italian prog. They employed dual keyboards here along with acoustic and electric guitars, flute, bass, drums and vocals with an Ian Gillan edge. While I don't speak Italian I have read repeatedly that the lyrics on this album are impressive. Many people consider this one of the very best Italian titles and I can't say I agree-I do like this but at the compositional level I feel there are better choices out there. The sound quality is often savaged by reviewers and while it is poor by today's standard it is certainly listenable-I've heard much worse. If you love Italian prog don't let the sound quality criticism stop you if the album sounds to your taste. The BTF reissue is high quality as usual with a gatefold mini-lp sleeve and a booklet with band history and lyrics.

"Ansia" begins with a stoic sounding acoustic guitar over very light keys, the bass joining shortly as the pace picks up. The drums and e guitar kick in for some brisk workout but it will alternate between lighter and heavier sections. The vocals come in very warm and placid for a brief appearance. The song is a nice introduction to the flavors the group will pursue in the longer songs. It doesn't take long into "Confessione" before you realize why this band is placed on the "harder" side of Italian prog as they quickly launch into some bombastic power chord chugging which were heavy in a Deep Purple sense at that time, but of course compared to today's metal bands it is really quite tame. Everything is kicked up a notch here, the vocals get much more dramatic and operatic, we get some down and dirty electric leads and some wild flute passages. This track is varied and rocking. "Una Strana Regina" begins with lovely piano that switches to keys over bass before some gentle vocals begin. By the middle it has heated up fiercely but again the shifts to mellow passages occur as with a light switch that they keep flipping on and off. There is a nice dreamy guitar solo around the 5 minute mark that morphs into a festive foot-stamping section until the end. "Il Nevare" almost parodies the style of loud to soft again and to me this approach has become a bit of a distraction. I love albums with variety but I'd prefer them to take some time building from one extreme to the other, whereas Biglietto sometimes seems so fast and arbitrary in their slow/fast/soft/heavy zig zagging. "L'Amico Suicida" is the big kettle of fish here at over 13 minutes. Beginning with a brooding heaviness featuring sound effects, synths, acoustic, and tom-toms the first two minutes are very effective. This track is by far the most impressive to me as they stretch out and explore some middle ground, filled with tasteful drumming, nice electric guitar flurries, emotional vocals, and excellent keyboard work. The keyboards and flutes are not flashy solo type affairs but are simply creating the background moods. The song finishes with nice dramatic flair. The BTF reissue CD then has a reprise of "Confessione," I'm not sure if this was on the original album or not. Certainly a recommended title for Italian fans shooting for a deep collection but not an essential title for others. I think this is good but just not among the very best Italian titles. 3 ½.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This first album from "Biglietto Per L' Inferno" should please the Tull fans. Especially if, like me, you are keen on their harder side. Because this album is a well balanced mix between true and beautiful Italian prog and some hard-rocking scents.

One of my favourite in this combined genre is "Confessione". Heavy guitar riff, solid drumming, skilled piano and to make the link with Tull more obvious, some flute. This should be enough to convince you.

I particularly appreciate "Una Strana Regina". It is such a diverse song. Changing from mood frequently (but this a genuine characteristic from the band). Very sweet guitar solo and wonderful instrumental final section. But most of this album is instrumental with here and there brilliant interventions from the lead singer Claudio Canali. This piece is very melodic and even if it sounds a bit outdated, it is a very poignant musical jewel.

But Italian prog frequently offers such beauties.

This album does not hold any weaknesses (even if the opener "Ansia" is maybe less interesting). One thing is for sure : the listener can't be bored. The music is so diversified. Nothing like verse / chorus line. By no means. Such a beautiful travel into melody and some harder sounds.

The epic "L' Amico Suicida" opens on the most emotional part of this whole album. But the contrast is severe after two minutes. Maybe due to the theme of this song (suicide). It is really an excellent piece of music. Canali on the vocals is again performing an excellent job. It is the least accessible number from this debut album. If you like keyboards oriented music, more complex structure there are chances that you will be blown away with "L'Amico Suicida".

It would be great to get a remastered version for this very good album. Four stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars A great hard rocking album from 1974. This Italian band featured dual keyboards along with flute to go with the traditional instruments. The vocals are excellent. The sound quality is not the best, but I wouldn't say it was poor.

"Ansia" has a laid back one minute intro before the tempo picks up and we get a full sound. Vocals 3 minutes in as it settles. It kicks back in again as the contrast continues. "Confessione" is a great rocking track. Strong vocals and aggressive guitar lead the way early. An organ break with vocal melodies 2 1/2 minutes in. Nice. I really like the section starting at 4 minutes as organ, flute and raw guitar dominate. Piano 6 minutes in.

"Una Strana Regina" contrasts the mellow and more uptempo sections well. "Il Nevare" features some outstanding guitar and organ. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in. "L'Amico Suicida" is dark for 2 minutes then it kicks into gear briefly before calming down again with reserved vocals. Again this song (as they all seem to do) contrasts the mellow and heavy sections frequently. "Confessione" is the instrumental version of the opening song. I like the raw guitar in this one. Some nice piano as well 3 minutes in.

This album has pretty much everything I like about classic RPI including the emotion. I would love to hear a remastered version of this though.

Edit July 6 2010. I just received a SHM-CD Japanese re-issue of this album and the sound is much clearer. I'm a happy guy right now as I listen to this excellent recording. The sound isn't perfect by any means but at least it doesn't sound so muddy.

Review by Kotro
5 stars "Like a scream in a silent monastery"

Having tackled some of the trends of RPI, from the more orchestral and theatrical to the more mellow and melodic, I though it was time to have a go at the harder side of this incredible school of music. My choice fell upon Biglietto per l'Inferno and their self-titled debut album, a sublime combination of melancholic and angry music And even though my Italian remains pretty underdeveloped, it is still easy to identify all the fear, angst and revolt present in the lyrics and so successfully conveyed into the music.

A delicate organ opening complemented by acoustic guitar and a bucolic flute introduce Ansia, the album opener - but this apparent calm is only temporary: the track soon speeds up and we are greeted by one of the rawest guitar sounds I have ever heard. After another calmer section, a wild guitar and keyboards one follows, with some very martial drumming, introducing the rough, yet gentle vocals before the track fades away. Confessione follows (my CD has both tracks cut, but it clearly appears they were originally connected), opened by an organ and cymbals intro, followed by the soothing vocals - but then we get straight into rock. The vocals turn wild, as do all the instruments in a great wall of sound. This formula reprises one more time, but at the end of the second coming of the chorus, we are gifted with some great piano and organ playing, and amazing vocal choirs, that finally go a cappella. But the song does not end there: after a small build up, we are lead into a great hard folk-rock section, featuring some great flute and electric guitar, played in a way that would have Ian Anderson and Martin Barre give up their instruments out of shame. The piano and guitar continue to solo out without restrain, and towards the end we also get a great synth solo. Very climatic ending! The next song, Una Strana Regina commences with an eerie organ opening to which the piano and drums soon add some consistency. The double keyboards employed by the band really work wonders here, one providing an eerie spacey background while the other produces a pleasant rhythm. The mood seems more romantic, courtesy of the church organ a la Procol Harum. Vocals are also more delicate than on the previous track. The music then gets slightly heavier, but still slow - then, out of nowhere, it goes completely wild, with a great flute and organ interplay. The guitar enters the scene, accompanying the now harsher vocals. The quieter initial section then returns, this time a bit more emotional. It ends with an amazing instrumental section, where you can really feel the warmth and richness of the sound. A fast-paced jazzy section appears again out of nowhere, only to fade away very quickly into the next track, Il Nevare. This track has no issues with beginning right away with the heavy stuff, again featuring excellent keyboard soloing and the haunting church organ in the background. The guitar doesn't just sit quietly in the corner, providing some harsh riffs and solos, but the highlight in this track really is the keyboards and the vocals, which shift from the gentle and melancholic to the angry and desperate. The ending is once more very climatic and rewarding, with great guitar and organ backing the desperate screaming vocals. We then proceed to the epic closer, L'Amico Suicida (my CD edition - 2005's BTF/Trident Records CD1005 - features a final, shorter, and instrumental reprise of Confessione, but I believe this wasn't part of the original album, rather a single-version added as a bonus). Once again opened by the eerie keyboard atmosphere, accompanied by acoustic guitar, it is enriched by the funereal drumming and heavy keyboard (sounding almost like Iommi's guitar effects on Black Sabbath songs). An organ solo makes the transition from this slow section into its exact opposite - a wild fast-paced section, with great drumming and spectacular flute and electric guitar bursts, that sadly ends as soon as it appeared. A quieter section follows, with some very sad synth and piano backing the melancholic vocals (very beautiful section). The piano speeds up, and the bass, drums and guitar enter the scene, while the vocals now sound angrier. An instrumental section follows, with excellent interplay between all instruments. Symphonic keyboards compete with heavy guitar for top spot in a great baroque atmosphere. We even have space for a flute solo, in a section also featuring some pretty experimental electronic takes. And it just goes on and on, but not a dull moment in it, as the band explore an incredible variety of themes spanning half a millennium of music. The final third of the song sees the return of the church organ and the vocals, in a quieter and melancholic mood that soon turns into what almost seems a baroque fugue with some great power chords and a swift but pleasant finale.

Biglietto per l'Inferno was one of the results of my one-time trip to Italy, and, just like all the others, it is a great one. The vocals are very good, with incredible range and mood variations. There is so much richness in the sound, such power but at the same time such care with having all the right instruments in the right place at the right time, that I don't really see how they could repeat this live (but apparently, they did!). I have no issues with the sound quality, it is great to my ears (my only complaint is the apparent separation of tracks that originally belonged together). Musical influences go from the hard rock of Sabbath, Tull's folk-rock, Palestrina's hymns, Bach's fugues and an array of other musicians from the last 5 or more centuries. One would begin to think that every progressive rock album made in Italy between 1970 and 1977 is a masterpiece. I'm sure with time I will come to realize it isn't so, but until now I haven't found anything to really contradict that line of thought. Biglietto per l'Inferno is just another proof of that.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The classic Italian scene was so very rich. Certainly by 1974 the sky was the limit and things had become so infused with creative energy that the artists were often outdoing their contemporaries in Europe and Britain. It was as if Italy's grand musical tradition had quietly and briefly been reborn in a bunch of longhairs, and it's a pity the smaller groups never really made it across the pond. Thank goodness we live in a time when bygone prog has inexplicably been rediscovered by the world and embraced by a minority determined to revive the bounty of that period. This record was a part of that bounty and though not as edgy as Osanna or polished as Banco, Biglietto per L'Inferno held their own in an arena of giants. There are some dated hard rock moments and a few uncomfortably theatrical vocals, but seems to me that's par for the course when were talking RPI.

'Ansia' establishes a clear prog identity with beautifully antiqued space-age synths from Banfi and Cossa, Mauro Gnecchi's crack army snare flurries keeping things moving. Slightly awkward 'Confessine' involves a Rooster, a dash of Pepper, some Purple coloring and shows a tiny Bit of Finger but still has some grandeur, a very cool prog break, and by the end it actually comes through and finishes well. Dirge 'Una Strana Regina' kicks ass moving between teary-eyed pining and tough Hammond-grinding fleshed out with a surprise pseudoclassical bop, and is followed by the soulful waltz of 'Il Nevare' that peaks-out with a most invigorating vocal phrase repeated by Claudio Canali. Finale 'L'Amico Suicida' proves to be one of the more cutting pieces and bubbles over with power on numerous occasions showing admirable group playing, heavy piano/guitar assaults, light synth accents and weird electronic distractions, and is the emotional and compositinal high point of the album at thirteen minutes.

Enough surprises to make this one worth it and a few moments that make it nearly essential, BpI's debut is like hanging out with an old friend. Recommended.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another happy marriage of beauty and untamed rock, Biglietto Per L'Inferno soars through uplifting keyboard-driven passages, symphonic richness in full blossom and straight-forward edgy riffing. As a result this is an album that just as often feels naked and desolate as it feels warm and safe.

Ansia's keyboard-laden beginnings, with lovely guitar chord work to back it up, makes for a mysteriously clouded, watery beginning, perhaps fooling you into believing this is another sweet, melodious and romantic RPI ride. The idyllic 'first scene' is soon interrupted by sturdier sounds, as a dramatic flute-piano-guitar combo roars in like a menacing, still-to-be-discovered force.

The clear, ringing (as well as unnaturally piercing) piano dashes that interrupt the otherwise driving rocker Confessione (featured as a shortened instrumental as well), and the sense of despair and sacrifice they conceive becomes even more entrancing seen in the light of the soul-searching and exposed vocals that accompanies the music. Climactic as it may be, it only serves as an emotional launch pad for what follows. In a stunning display of what RPI is all about, the next minutes are simply spectacular. Some baroque sensibilities à la PFM, merciless churning guitar and rhythm section attacks, tasteful soloing from both a Tull-ian, madly dancing flute and guitar as well as the very best rollicking piano passages, adding depth and fragility to the sometimes appealingly cacophonous soundscape.

Energy goes down and presence goes up in the transition to Una Strana Regina. In general a very relaxing and soulful piece, softly escorting you through a flowing and transient keyboard-dominated sound, quite tastefully lined by curious electronic effects and a tense and personal performance by Claudio Canali. It's hard to pinpoint its atmosphere correctly, as it spans a lot of emotions along the way - introvert reflection, vague hope, glimpses of happiness as well as sorrow. Another one of those sparkling passages with rumbling Hammond organ, guitar and flute tears the atmosphere to shreds in a dynamic flip-flop, but quickly passes to make way for more of what preceded it. Given the now established formula of compositional disposition, the song concludes with a dense, kind of freak-folk-jazz segment. Nervous playing from especially the guitar, with intense but delicate drumming and excellent keyboard wizardry work to fill in the gaps. Weirdly unsettling.

The jump to Il Nevare is still a subtle one, given the circumstances, picking up with a lonely guitar, but soon back on track with punching all-instrument clashes. Reminding me of Il Rovescio della Medaglia's La Bibbia, the spasmodic changes between full frontal assault and charming (as well as well executed) smoother part with that delicate guitar and oh-so-tasteful array of keys sadly becomes somewhat grating after a while.

L'Amico Suicida is the album's "epic". This one has a fine dramatic build-up, with great texture provided by acoustic guitar to a background of weird (or rather standard, when talking about RPI) synth sounds, melodies and fitting cymbal clashes. Believe it or not, but this part is actually brought to its natural conclusion before all hell breaks loose in a bit of concentrated brutality, where the guitar lays it on thick with slamming chords, the keys with dark, propulsive runs, the drums with booming bass - and a flute sounding like it desperately wants to escape the stranglehold of all this. Flick-of-the-switch dive back to a suffering vocal bit with accompanying instrumentation (strings and piano truly pierces the soul here), which grows into a local climax. Rollicking piano with Baroque overtones once again. Definitely got some drive in it, with a puritan, God-fearing frustration to enhance that. Efficient, borderline comic electronic strangeness accentuates and contrasts before another impulsive twist in the song. And it'll continue down that way, blending numerous styles, moods and presentations. There is a flute solo, some Gentle Giant and Battiato-esque unpredictability and definitely more than one climax and a handful of experimental free-wheeling ideas until the curtain fall, for the song as well as the album.

Seldom is an album this short so desperate to display the colourful secrets that wait inside. Passion, energy and ideas are overflowing, but not necessarily in a bad way. You still get the feeling that this is two, or even three, albums more than one, and that is one of my points of criticism. There are underdeveloped ideas, whimsical collages of sound that just as much fuels the music as they hamper it. Individually they may be great, but when a song like L'Amico Suicida deteriorates into fragmented creativity at the end, I sometimes just get tired. There is no doubt that the hard-hitting Italian hard rock sounds of '74 may sound dated when I'm in that mood. And sometimes that Moog is just laid on painfully thick.


There is absolutely no question that some of the best RPI you can find is found right here on this album, with mind-blowing, tight performances both on the rough side as well as on the beautiful side. What's more important is that it's an album full of fun. It just is. Alive, breathing and brimming with honesty and raw passion.

This fun factor easily earns this energy bundle 4 stars.


Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Seemingly typical of a number great bands in the Italian prog scene Biglietto Per L'inferno released just one studio album in their existence; a second was recorded but not released until many years later. That's a real shame because their eponymous debut is one of my favourite albums in the RPI genre.

Biglietto Per L'inferno are at the heavier end of the RPI spectrum with plenty of powerful guitar riffs well to the fore. Their vocalist, Claudio Canali is well suited to the powerful style, coming across like an Italian version of Uriah Heeps David Byron in his more histrionic moments. In fact the parallels don't stop there as Biglietto Per L'inferno occupy a similar place in that heavy prog area even though they don't particularly sound like them. It has to be said though that Biglietto Per L'inferno are a band with a more complex style and greater dynamics than Uriah Heep, even though of course Heep weren't averse to moments of subtlety. Between the riffy guitars are plenty of sections of subtle restraint and beauty. In fact it's these moments that much of their strength lies where a haunting keyboard part contrasts so well against the raw guitar sound of the heavier moments.

It's an album with no weak tracks getting off to a great start as the Hammond organ and guitar arpeggios introduce Ansia until things take off on this excellent piece. It's not far off being an instrumental as the vocals don't come in until the 3 minute mark and it's only just over 4 minutes in total.

Confessione is the band at their most explosive with a strong vocal performance from Canali but it's the exciting closing instrumental part that is its greatest strength. Excellent dual keyboard work from Giuseppe Cossa and Giuseppe Banfi, with the heavy guitar work of Marco Mainetti riffing over the top of this constantly shifting passage. Incidentally the instrumental section of this track is used again to close the album so it's just as well it's so good! Still I can't help feeling a little cheated that it's used in such an identical way.

The rhythm section of Mauro Gnecchi (drums) and Fausto Branchini (bass) have the necessary skills and power to deal with the musics dynamics perfectly illustrated on the diverse Una Strana Regina. They're equally at home where delicate understatement is required.

Likely to attract the most interest is the albums epic track L'Amico Suicida. The melancholy start is particularly beautiful where eerie keyboard textures, dark swirling Hammond and guitar arpeggios lay the foundations for a full frontal distorted musical assault; the dirtiest flute sound I've ever heard. Even not knowing any Italian the song title clearly has references to suicide and the forlorn vocal tone clearly indicates a person in despair. It's a wonderfully dramatic song, again the music constantly shifting through many sections. Not necessarily the best track but at least the equal of anything here.

For anyone finding some of the more challenging RPI bands a little difficult to get into could do no better than to give this brilliant album a listen. It's very accessible by prog standards and one of the very best in the Italian genre, in fact any genre. An incredible album well worthy of 5 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Popular Italian Heavy Prog album from 1974 with lots of potential but suffering from a couple of problems of which the outdated production and disorganized songwriting are the most prominent.

The band combines old-school heavy rock with some Jethro Tull influences and an occasional early ELP and VDGG echo. The album sounds very much like a 1970 product instead of a 1974 album and I suspect it must have sounded rather retro, even at the time of its release. This can be partially blamed on the muffled production that drowns out every possible dynamics and freshness. But also the songwriting is to blame; there are strong cuts such as Confessione but many pieces are rather cliché-RPI. What's worse is that they often seem like a cut-and paste job from disconnected recordings. The result is awkwardly flowing songs such as Una Strana Regina and L'Amico Suicida. They feature romantic balladry with the occasional Bach-quotes and heavy rock outbursts that are often haphazard and not integrating very well with the main flow of the songs. A shame given their potential.

A 3 star album that you could give 4 if you focus on the potential that sits buried underneath the murky production.

Review by Menswear
4 stars Ticket To Hell -- Billet Pour L'Enfer

Is it me or the theme of Hell is a recurrent one in the Rock Progressivo Italiano? It shouldn't be a surprise after all, since Dante's work is so well know. He wrote the Divine Comedy in 1308, and I wonder if he tought all this poetic imagery would still be used 800 years later? Well Ticket to Hell is not the first one to use the same theme: Metamorfosi, Goblin, Il Bacio della Medusa and such used it too. And on the plus side, they perpetuate the tradition of weird art cover. Is there a RPI cover that won't scare the Beegeesus out of me? Apparently not.

The Music, you ask, is it a well kept Italian secret?

Yes, yes and oh yes. This album is a rockanrolla festival that reminded me of Quelle Vecchia Locanda and early Rush, with good Moogs,hauting atmospheres, dynamic flute and lots of ballzy riffs. What struck me is the use of the LOUD/ calm/ LOUD/ calm changes throughout certain songs. Hey, I knew it! Nirvana stole it from The Pixies, and the Pixies stole it per L'Inferno? *snort*

Very low chance for you to be disappointed with this album.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Many years ago bought two albums by the Italian band BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO (Ticket to Hell), the self titled release and [i]Il Tempo Dalla Semina[/i] with several other albums, but the reviews that described them as some sort of JETHRO TULL and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, just the kind of Italian music I heard too much.

But a few months ago listened them and what a surprise, their music is obscure, aggressive, and full of dramatism, just what I'm looking for in a band. Yes they use flute, but this instrument is not an exclusive patrimony of JETHRO TULL, I don't believe BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO has any connection with Jethro Tull or Prog Folk.

[i]Biglietto Per L'Inferno[/i] is a conceptual album with issues related to suicide and starts with the excellent "Ansia" (Anxiety). From the start, the music is frenetic and powerful, no time for pastoral passages (Unusual for most Italian Progressive bands), the vocals by Claudio Canali are in Italian (Thanks to God for this) leaving in the listener a sensation of pain and nostalgia. The structure is extremely elaborate and versatile. Even when the beautiful melodic moments remind us of classical "Rock Progressivo Italiano", the sudden bursts of power and strength take us into heavy territory. Excellent opener for an excellent album

Like the previous track "Confessione" (Confession) starts frenetic and vibrant (well after a short "a cappella" intro), the massive use of distorted guitar with a powerful rhythm section typical of Heavy Prog, only interrupted by the vocal sections and an amazing instrumental break in which the interplay between keyboard, choirs and piano is breathtaking. The grand finale is simply outstanding with all the instruments and a fast flute attacking our senses.

"Una Strana Regina" (A Strange Queen) starts melodic and softer than anything before, but always maintaining the strength with a constant Moog, but out of nowhere a violent flute solo (no, I don't see relation with JETHRO TULL even when people tend to identify the flute with Ian Anderson ) that leads to a heavy passage. From that point they jump from melodic to heavy constantly. Excellent track.

"Il Nevare" (No exact translation to English, but the snowing could be close enough) is a dramatic song in the vein of the best Power Ballads, with sudden explosions of power and strength, but always keeping that claustrophobic and painful mood that is the trademark of the release. When a band transmits a strong musical feeling to the listener, I believe their mission is accomplished, and desperation is a hard feeling which is expressed perfectly with the desperate screams by Claudio Canali morphing into dark and somber low ranged moaning (Reminds me of David Byron), the heavy guitar of Marco Mainetti and the terrifying double keyboard hammering by the two Giuseppe ( Banfi and Cossa).

L'Amico Suicida (The Suicidal Friend) should close the album the album (Because the instrumental version of Confessione is only a reprise that even when bright and striking adds nothing new), this 13 minutes epic that describes perfectly the depression and anguish of suicide with radical changes and magnificent piano performance that represents the change of moods as in a manic depressive behavior, simply outstanding.

Unusually it's an easy task to rate this album, not a perfect masterpiece (even when close to this status ), but for sure an outstanding album that deserves no less than four solid stars

Review by Warthur
4 stars Although I don't think Biglietto Per L'Inferno sound very much like Jethro Tull, I can see why the comparison gets made. First off, there's the inclusion of flute, which seems to guarantee that any rock band will earn Jethro Tull comparisons! Secondly, there's the guitar playing of Marco Mainetti, which occasionally shatter a gentle moment the album has established with loud and aggressive playing that remind me a bit of Martin Barre's heavier moments. Add a dose of the Trespass-era Genesis which so many Italian prog bands were dipping into at the time - particularly The Knife in the heavier moments - and you end up with an Italian prog effort which is definitely worth a listen, and easily the better album from the band. The closing track offers a uniquely melancholy rumination which is perhaps the band;s most original and distinctive work.
Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Biglietto per l'inferno are not obscure anymore, this their debut album earned his place among the best RPI albums in the genre, and with good reason. On top of the regular instrumentation there is the addition of the flute which gives the music a sense of more diversity. I personally love the more aggressive side of the genre, that's why this album appealed to me even on the first listen. The album is a mix between symphonic progressive and some heavy prog, the band go from rocky parts to some quiet delicate moments, containing some good breaks and a lot of surprises. Songs have a very good development not counting on long improvisation or big solos, they are more constructed and well written. All musicians are good from drums to the flute, keys are definitely interesting and has a wide array of warm sounds handling some great piano too, guitar is excellent also ranges from clean to distorted, and have some really rocking riffing and other great lines too. Vocals are another highlight to complete this wonderful ensemble, sung in italian and can be very diverse.

'Ansia' is the opener and has that feel too, it tries to sum up the album or give you a quick introduction of what the album is all about, calm, aggressive, symphonic and progressive. 'Confessione' is maybe my favourite, six minute long but so much is happening there, it goes from a quiet start to rocking in a second, great keys and vocals, the song breaks half way great rocking guitar and some trippy delayed flute,delicate piano is added on the rocking platform towards the end, beautiful, biglietto certainly knows their job. 'Una Strana Regina' is a good example of the sesitivity of the band, starting so mellow with beautiful keys sound and good vocals then hits you on the head with an aggressive break which evolves to another peaceful moment. 'Il Nevare' is mainly rocky with great sound from all. 'L'Amico Suicida' again starts quietly and when you least expect it they attack you with everything they have unleashing some raw sound. The track is 13 minutes that goes by quickly and have a lot of twists and turns, ranges between quiet and loud, and between classical to hard rock, i think it's called progressive rock!!

One of the best RPI albums from the 70's, indicating that italian progressive was a force around the world. For you who seeks the more raw sounding albums in oposite of pastoral italian ones, do not hesitate, this one is for you. I was struggling between 4 or 5 , but i will give it 4 because it does follow a certain line of progressive albums, instead of reinventing it. 4.2, marvelous!!

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars In the sea of progressive rock that flooded the world in the early 70s, no country seems to surprise me more than the musical Renaissance that was sweeping Italy. While other European countries like England, France and Germany were finding some of their progressive acts successful abroad, it was Italy that had one of the most fertile home grown movements and included amongst the bigger names like PFM, Banco and Area was a tidal wave of one-shot wonders that poured out from the Italian prog scene with one outstanding example after another of unique and progressive takes on the burgeoning movement. BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO (Ticket To Hell) is just one of many such bands that joins the ranks of Museo Rosenbach, Maxophone, Semiramis, Alphataurus, Alusa Fallax, E.A. Poe, Flea and Locada Delle Fate amongst others who released only one classic release in the 70s before disbanding. This band emerged in 1972 in Lecco, the Lombardy region in Italy from two dance-hall cover bands (Gee and Mako Sharks) and once together wasted no time in garnering a significant following resulting from their reputation of putting on outstanding live performances. This caught the attention of Maurizio Salvatori, owner of Trident Records and finally in 1974 the band released their debut eponymous album.

While barely making a blip on the radar of the musical world in general at the time the debut album was released, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO has passed the tests of time and since then has become one of the classics of 70s Rock Progressive Italiano. While the band utilizes all available Italian influences such as PFM, Banco and other symphonic prog influences, the band equally embraced the more straight forward hard rocking techniques of bands that embraced the most luscious melodic developments and ran away with them. While comparisons to Deep Purple can come to mind for the hard driving guitar riffs mixed with keyboards, i would say that BIGLIETTO's sound is probably more reminiscent of Osanna for their own melodic hard rock that expanded the progressive tendencies more through the thematic developments and trade-offs rather than a barrage of complex time sigs, nonrepetition of themes or just taking things on a bizarre trip to Planet X. The results of this mix of hard rock and progressive themes makes this a much easier sound to digest upon first listen unlike behemoths of complexity that may take several listens to take in. Despite their influences on board, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO successful created a new formula of delivery of instantly addictive hooks while taking you on a wild ride of originality.

Part of the band's original sound comes from two keyboardists both named Giuseppe (Banfi and Cossa) and they really display an impressive command of the music. Generally speaking one keyboardist delves out some classical inspired runs while the other handles atmospheric duties. They always complement each other quite well and there is no sense of competition at all. As with much of Italian prog of the 70s, BIGLIETTO does indeed alternate between soft tender passages and harder edged rock guitar. Marco Mainetti handles guitar duties and he is clearly a major player of the day. He delivers some of the heaviest riffs in prog much less this type of symphonic variety. He is equally capable of delivering some scorching solos that add a definitive edge over the contemporaries. The rhythm section of Fausto Branchini (bass) and Mauro Gnecchi (drums) is equally compelling and able to shift gears at the drop of a hat but one of the most notable members of this musical cast is vocalist and flautist Claudio Canali who just tears it up vocally and dishes out some of the most virtuosic flute runs i've ever heard in rock music making Ian Anderson seem tame in comparison! There are times where it feels like a Jethro Tull meets Van Der Graaf Generator scene. Canali is also the mastermind behind the lyrical content and although my Italian isn't proficient enough to understand every single word, the title of the band should give it away regarding the content. Ticket To Hell is the theme indeed where Canali explores the ills of Italian society including murder, suicide and social decay. While the lyrics tend to be dark and brooding, the music is lively and quite exhilarating.

As with many others i have been flip-flopping over whether to award this beautiful music 4, 4.5 or 5 stars. It is true that is derivative in many key ways of other bands who came before and despite seamlessly incorporating these styles, BIGLIETTO is with no doubt riding the crest of the great progressive tidal wave that would soon crash against the shores of a changing musical reality. However, despite it all there is more than enough originality woven into every track on this epic album and it flows perfectly from beginning to end like one large ever expanding track. There are no weaknesses for my tastes and every musician dynamically blends his talents into a satisfying whole. While the complexity is not up to the heights as other bands of the day, the energizing effect is quite effective. The music is simply brilliant on many levels and is gratifying time and time again. Due to all of the positives that this beautiful creation resonates i will have to go with 5 for despite it all, it was riding the crest of that wave at the moment when this kind of sophisticated music was at its peak.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This classic RPI album contains some great song and melody developments even if they often seem familiar from bands from the British prog scene.

1. "Ansia" (4:16) a kind of standard, nothing special rock'n'roll song. Even the melodies here are nothing memorable. (7.5/10)

2. "Confessione" (6:32) opens like a DOORS song but then in the second section becomes more like a hard rockin' ZZ TOP "La Grange." The vocal section in the second and third minutes is kind of URIAH HEEP and THE BEATLES. The fifth minute with its flutes and electric guitar lead bring the song into the heavy side of JETHRO TULL. Great effects used on the guitar in the final two minutes. Awesome! (9/10)

3. "Una strana regina" (6:12) opens with an unusual sound: slow, distant low end organ chords--over which is added a speedier mid-range arpeggiated chord progression and distant drums and electric bass. The vocal that enters in the second minute sounds a lot like the voice and stylings of Uriah Heep's David Byron. At the three minute mark the song suddenly jumps into fast-pace J TULL territory. For 35 seconds! Then, just as suddenly, it reverts back into ultra soft and plaintive URIAH HEEP territory before lifting itself up into a nice moderate pace for a brief stretch before bang! another shocking shift--into a kind of FELA/Afro-pop guitar solo leading to . . . the next song! (8.5/10)

4. "Il nevare" (4:37) bleeds over from the previous song as the band continues its string of totally unexpected and unpredictable dynamic shifts: moderate to loud and fast to soft and delicate and back and forth within seconds of one another, over and over. How odd! A little disconcerting upon the first few listens but once used to it, one can appreciate the nice sounds and performance challenges pulled off here. (8.5/10)

5. "L'amico suicida" (13:20) opens with another bluesy, PROCUL HARUM-like chord and sound progression, performed slowly with great dramatic effect--especially coming from the keyboards and drums. Nice first two minutes. Then a frenetic and confusing section begins around 2:05 but then is just as suddenly cut off as we move into a vocal section supported by funereal piano chords and sustained squeals from a synthesizer. Definitely conveying sadness, anger, overwhelm, frustration in this powerfully emotional rendering. Quite a mature and devastatingly powerful composition in the expression of this topic. Even the oddly pretty Latin-infused acoustic guitar strummed section that begins at 6:31 seems fitting. Easily the best song on the album--worthy of hundreds of listens as there are so many sections and nuances to take in. Kudos to these musicians for the amazing performances realized here. (10/10)

A near-masterpiece of classic progressive rock music.

Review by zeuhl1
5 stars One of my favorite bands in Italian 1970's prog rock is the Biglietto Per L'Inferno debut. It is a very Italian nuanced RPI release that any fans of the genre should look to immediately. Not many of their albums escaped Italy at the time, and America saw highly scattered single copies back in the day-essentially none, leaving them unknown until far later.

Opener Ansia is a frantic high speed ride with prominent moog. Dual keyboards include Baffo Banfi in his first band gig overseeing complex and frenetic bits of songs that they weave together in a dizzying fashion. Second song Confessionne could be Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. Hard rocking bits alternate with quieter sections-this shows some of their late 60's origins. Which brings me to the recording production on this. If someone told me this was recorded in 1971 not 1974 I would believe them, as it is closer in spirit to the hard prog bands of 1971 and early 1972, when Italian prog bands would often show streaks of their 1960's beat roots. Flute comes in as the song slides towards 1971 again--full charging Jethro Tull guitar kicks things into gear. Soon it calms a bit for Una Strana Regina to end side one. Moog from Banfi cuts through the busy midtempo arrangement until a torrent of Italian tongue twisting lyrics pour forth-singer Claudio Canali is another force in Italian vocals. We then shift to a uniquely high pitched Italian dance piece reminiscent of prog Zappa meets West African Les Tetes Brulees stylings for a minute or two. Fantastic variation.

Side two begins with another gem, the early PFMish Il Nevare. Keyboards create most of the textures, but guitarist Marco Mainetti drops in some soloing that Blackmore fans would love. Finale L'Amico Suicida is the centerpiece at over 14 minutes. Keyboards, bass, drums swirl with VDGG precision, then a carnival like workout while the atonal sounds swirl over the top. gentle flute sounds (sounds like moog, Banfi is very good at sound design) over a frantic Canali yelping in 60's fashion. Huge prog finish: flutes, moogs, acoustic guitar, piano, Tull stop and start riffs, PFM accompaniment. All on top of each other. Atonal synths and hiccuping percussion lead to some jittery jamming that is atypical of most symphonic bands. Wildly creative stuff, Biglietto per L'inferno could go up against nearly anyone in prog. Essential to any RPI collection.

This band is overflowing with ideas. Their second album, while worthy of a listen, doesn't have the quirky individuality of their debut. They had a rare stable of top flight and imaginative talent: a powerful vocalist, confident flute, over the top electric guitar, versatile drummer, and two gifted keyboardists that think experimentation is the reason to show up. Where their contemporaries would think of some melodic complex interludes, Biglietto will invariably choose jarring mood shifts, atonal synth patterns, wooshes of noise instead. Though do not mistake, each of their choices is carefully thought through and placed sometimes so subtly that it has come and gone before you can say 'what the hell was that?'

Canali was known for spontaneously leaping into the air during some of the more frenzied sections in their arrangements, aptly depicted on the album cover.

Their vinyl release is often close to advanced demo level sound quality with instruments sometimes blurring into each other often. If this was better recorded, it would be an album on many lists of the top 3 albums of RPI. Even so, this should be in every Italian prog fan's top ten first albums to acquire. One of the highest recommendations.

5 stars. One of the best in the scene.

Latest members reviews

3 stars One of the most overrated RPI albums in history... Actually its not an bad album, has some good passages and themes, but often is full of so many Italian prog clichés like for example the alteration of hardrock and soft pastoral themes or nearly randomly mixed unpassable fragments, is often very ... (read more)

Report this review (#2338007) | Posted by Obersturmbannprogger | Monday, February 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The debut by Biglietto Per L'Inferno is one of the most consistent albums of progressive rock that I've ever heard. Although it does not have the high peaks of my top favorite prog albums (Roller, Cherry Five, Zarusthra, Animals, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, Red, Court of the Crimson King, Larks Tong ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064901) | Posted by Zahler | Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After much deliberation, what should have been a 5-star review has been downgraded to four. Heavy prog (or whatever you'd like to call it) is not usually my cup of tea, but Biglietto per L'Inferno is so good it just cannot be ignored. A musical masterpiece that just misses a perfect score due to s ... (read more)

Report this review (#491510) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Like a windy day in the autumn...... This album have been reviewed here in in PA by far more intelligent people than myself so I will be brief. This band from Italy made complex progressive rock full of contrasts. You will find elements of early Rush, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep together w ... (read more)

Report this review (#253835) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Never heard a band with such a lot of emotion, nice movements between elegant melodies and heavy parts. You can hear that they love to make their music, that will probably be the main reason why I love it so much to listen to thier music. A lot of the songs on this album will be considered as ... (read more)

Report this review (#248341) | Posted by bornavdnomge | Friday, November 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Going down. I was listening to that fourth Zeppelin album the other day - the one that no one can decide on a proper name for - and I couldn't help getting all caught up in that bustling hedgerow. They say there are two paths you can go by, but they don't tell us about the other one. Rob ... (read more)

Report this review (#197554) | Posted by jimmy_row | Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As their name says (Un Biglietto Per L'Inferno) this is one hot ticket to hell! Music is symphonic (that's a surprise sympho from Italy) with a little of hard rock spicy riffs and some very perversely keyboard parts inserted almost everywhere. It is similar to Semiramis (another band from Ital ... (read more)

Report this review (#118556) | Posted by Komodo dragon | Monday, April 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A beautiful Italian prog album, even if it's oriented towards the hard rock that to the progressive. Beautiful "Confessione", along dialogue between a kind of new Robin Hood that he steals to the rich ones for giving to poor and a priest with a beautiful participation of piano and final choru ... (read more)

Report this review (#114772) | Posted by Planet_Gong | Saturday, March 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, it is a masterpiece for sure, a splendid combination of hard rock (although not quite as simple as Deep Purple, it is rather complicated) and prog (in the good old romantic- theatrical Italian style with an English touch)...and the remastered version in the Biglietto- box (2003!!) doesn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#1506) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This, the first and only OFFICIAL release of Biglietto Per L'Inferno, is one of the obscure gems of Italian Progressive Rock. I used to own the original LP on the Trident label, and later replaced the vinyl with the CD version. I must say, the sound on the CD lacks the punch of the original vi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1505) | Posted by oddiyo | Saturday, March 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a pity that a lousy sound quality ruins partially this gem. A new remastered edition is out now, in a box together with the other postumous album and a Dvd. Let's hope they bettered the sound. The beautiful lyrics should be translated in english because they are essential part of Biglietto's mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1501) | Posted by | Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars dark (the bands name means "ticket to hell"), symphonic, rock with that special italian sound that we all love. all the tracks flow together to create one piece. reminds me of the first album from banco, but with a more theatrical and rough edge. this is one of the top ten progressive rock albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#1499) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 10, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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