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BONDAGE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Bondage biography
Bondage was a promising new band from Italy. Their debut album Anima Terra consists of one long 50-minute suite divided into seven interconnected segments. The album is quite diverse and rather hard to describe, but the band is certainly rooted in the Italian tradition of lyrical and sophisticated progressive rock. I do hear elements of Camel, Deus Ex Machina, PFM, occasionally Banco and sporadically Zappa in their music. The vocalist has an expressive and distinctive voice which sometimes gives them a more theatrical touch. The guitarist had a personal touch: little bit of hard psych and a little bit of medieval! At times their music still seems somewhat underdeveloped. Nevertheless, Bondage was an interesting band with a good debut album. The band dissolved officially and some members have continued in different kinds of music.

: : : Max, ITALY : : :

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4.07 | 20 ratings
Anima Terra
2000

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BONDAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Anima Terra by BONDAGE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.07 | 20 ratings

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Anima Terra
Bondage Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Pirx the Pilot

5 stars Let's start by putting the bold foot forward - Anima Terra is one of the most original works of post-70s progressive rock I've heard. Despite the seven song listing, Bondage's sole album is a single 52-minute track on this Mellow CD release. The odyssey begins in a storm, perhaps on the open sea, with crackling thunder and distant singing - very subdued, almost languid. I imagine myself standing on a beach in the rain, and out there somewhere on a little rowboat is the dynamic Angelo Calleri, whose quirky singing adds some truly exaggerated drama to this masterwork.

Maybe it's just the watery introduction fueling my metaphor, but the music seems to ebb and flow for the duration, from moments akin to the minimalist opening to melodic waves of guitar driven rock. And the entirety is bound together by the distinctly forward, theatrical vocals. The keyboards do come across as naïve, bordering on cheesy at times, but they're a tremendous contrast to the occasional wall of sound this band lays down. And, although the lyrics speak of death and inner conflict (unless my translation is way off), these guys never seem to take themselves seriously. No pretensions here.

Anima Terra is the freshest piece of music I've heard in years. Modern, organic, unpredictable and memorable. A personal favorite, one I would not hesitate to recommend to any lover of dramatic prog.

 Anima Terra by BONDAGE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.07 | 20 ratings

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Anima Terra
Bondage Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 52 minute prog opus

Bondage are another in a long line of Italian one-shot bands, in this case the group recorded their sole work in the mid 1990s and release was delayed for several years. By the time the CD was issued by Mellow Records the band was no more. While the disc boasts individual song titles, they are fused together into one long 52 minute track giving the album the feel of an "Amarok" or the like, basically one long epic song. The Bondage sound is a highly theatrical one thanks to Angelo Calleri's gregarious style of vocal delivery, a bit like the vocals of Ange or Fiaba. The group reminds me a bit of Fiaba or Minstrel, not very helpful as both of those groups are similarly obscure. It's an all-over-the-map blend of operatic grandiosity, 90s light metal/neo/symphonic influence, and as our site bio states, maybe a bit of Banco mixed with Zappa as inspiration. The keyboards are a huge buzz-kill for me here, that cheesy 90s sound that so many otherwise fine bands chose to use. ( If you know the sound I'm referring to, you can expect a good deal of it here. If you don't, then that sound probably doesn't bother you, so ignore the comment.) Another complaint I have is the unrestrained cymbals in some places, which are quite tinny and ring too loudly. Aside from that, the guitars are quite good, a modern style reminding me of 80s Lifeson at times while the bass is like a wall giving them a "large" sound. I can't say I am moved much by the composition beyond being impressed by the vocalist. Over 52 minutes there are undoubtedly some interesting things that happen but much of the time my attention drifts. If you're looking for a wild Venetian rollercoaster with some ups and downs, and you enjoy good operatic Italian vocals, you may wish to roll the dice here. The booklet is quite generous with full lyrics (Italian) and some very nice painting reproductions that I enjoyed more than the music. Many good performances despite not really being my cup of tea, and certainly deserving of 3 stars at the least.

 Anima Terra by BONDAGE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.07 | 20 ratings

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Anima Terra
Bondage Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I confess this has been a secret fave for so long, I have kept in the closet for so many years, mainly because of a few quirky aspects but really because I wanted selfishly to keep all the pleasures for myself. There are 7 tracks on "Anima Terra" but for some odd reason all CD players show only ONE very long 52 minute track, so I can't really chop it into sizeable bits for recording purposes! Knowing full well how Machiavellic my Italian pranksters can be, I would be surprised if not done on purpose. Buffoni! First some facts, Bondage is a one shot wonder from 1996, reissued in 2000 with beautiful artwork (i have the old blue one), great production and in a reversal of the usual form, has a dramatic vocalist that has to be one of the most fascinating operatic voices you will ever hear anywhere! Angelo Calleri is a Venetian Christian Décamps (Ange is one of the very few prog bands that can claim to have a primo spotlight vocalist) who can actually sing, laugh, wail and emote with anyone out there, using the entire emotional spectrum of the Italian language (is there anything more exalted than Italiano?), with massive doses of dramatics, theatricality, spoken word dialogue and assorted mouthed noises, giggles, snorts and angered cussing ("sporco, farabutto, bastardo"). The keyboards are classical in tone with plenty of piano passages, the guitars alternate between crisp and crunch, the intricate bass keeps the story route lit and the frenetic drums set a torrid pace, varying speeds and rhythms according to the urge of the moment. At the circa 18 minute mark, there are some playful Gentle Giant instrumental moments, goofing with plenty of twists and turns, humping organ dog fighting with wah-wah guitar, totally unpredictable, completely bizarre and utterly enjoyable! This is great music but the first truly heavenly moment comes with the "Vagabondo" chorus passage: the highly expressive vocals are sheer genius, imagine early PFM led by a manic Decamps like vocalist in Italian! It is a very rare event when Progland can ever boast of world class singing, in any language but this album is the little rebel lung that could! The next and even more touching epiphany occurs at the 38 minute mark, a section titled "Cantico Dei Tempi: Il Menestrello" (the Minstrel) that has a "Lie-lah, lie-lah" repeated chorus that should leave one assuredly breathless, a modern-medieval operatic prototype that is just pure fun, as only a Gondolier, gently swaying to the oar-led beat, can come up with, Bloody Tourists, indeed! "La-la, la la la, Lie-lah, lie-lah": No wonder they disappeared from the scene, this was so original that it could not be bettered! The last piece, the sinister and somewhat lugubrious "Canto all' Insistenza Della Morte" has some devilish inflections from Angelo since the theme covers that good old tried and true fave Mediterranean subject: Death! Sounds almost like a funeral procession gone awry, with another brief but raging wah-guitar whirlwind, before a sleek bow and a silent "ciao, bello". Sadistically tasty and a true Italian unknown classic. Find it, buy it and be selfish. Five leather straps.
 Anima Terra by BONDAGE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.07 | 20 ratings

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Anima Terra
Bondage Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by urbenxt

4 stars Real great progressive music from Italy! About their first cd can I remember you ''Il Menestrello''? A soft ballad that opens all the hardest hearts, for sure! Searching in the www, nothing of new compare about Bondage: they are a mistery in the unknown Italian rock way. Some report in the www.movimentiprog.net but in Italian language, sorry guys! For more infos I had write to Mellow records and Lizard records and many answers quickly get in my mail. Just one artwork ''Anima terra'' they send for next times that will come! They sing:''La morte non esiste è solo concezziona'' death don't exist is just a mind conception... real poetry!

 Anima Terra by BONDAGE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.07 | 20 ratings

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Anima Terra
Bondage Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by maxximo

4 stars Surprisingly original and vital stuff. Not quite as "italian-retro-prog" but more unique for sure. What happened to these guys? Anima terra is 7 pieces work with a dramatic and charismatic vocalist, Angelo Calleri, singing in Italian. Their sole album is an inventive progressive rock with some similarities to 70s italian bands (PFM, Balletto di Bronzo), but more melodic and accessible than any of them. The music is constantly exciting, always changing but in a completely natural way. Hermann's life story is the subject that they explicated with their fascinating 50 mins cd music. ''Il Menestrello'' is evergreen of refined taste but for sure little know. Gentle agreements with an interesting mix of guitars (an younger innovative guitar prog method) and keys included 'pulsing' bass playing. This album was recorded in 1995 but not published until 2000! A real great error by recording company!

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