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SEZIONE FRENANTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Sezione Frenante biography
Founded in 1974 in Venice, Italy (originally as "Nuove Dimensioni") - Disbanded in 1978 - Reformed in 2006

Originating from Venice, Italian group SEZIONE FRENANTE formed in 1974 as a quartet, initially performing under the name Nuove Dimensioni. Despite opening for several well-known progressive Italian groups of the time such as Le Orme, Perigeo, Ibis and Biglietto per L'Inferno, the band would split in 1978 before managing to record any studio material.

In 2006, three of the original members - Doriano Mestriner (guitar), Mirco De Marchi (keyboards) and Alessandro Casagrande (drums) - came together again with bassist Sandro Bellemo and vocalist Francesco Nardo, rearranging a suite they had originally composed in the Seventies that was inspired by Dante's `Divine Comedy'. After a self-produced EP in 2011, the band released their debut album `Metafora di un Viaggio' on CD in 2014, a mix of remakes of older pieces and brand new compositions, very much influenced by the classic 70's Italian progressive bands. Shortly after the release of the album, original lead singer Luciano Degli Alimari joined his old friends, replacing Nardo. Sadly, guitarist Doriano left the group in April 2015.

A reliable and instantly enjoyable work, `Metafora di un Viaggio' will appeal to lovers of the vintage Italian prog music from the Seventies, instrumentally comparable to Le Orme and P.F.M, but with upfront and boisterous vocals perhaps similar to Alphataurus. With a low-key production, it truly sounds like a lost relic from the vintage Seventies Italian prog era! Very much recommended, and a band to rediscover - for the first time!

Biography by Michael H (Aussie-Byrd-Brother)

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4.21 | 25 ratings
Metafora Di Un Viaggio
2014
3.79 | 29 ratings
Nuove Dimensioni
2019

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SEZIONE FRENANTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nuove Dimensioni by SEZIONE FRENANTE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.79 | 29 ratings

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Nuove Dimensioni
Sezione Frenante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Many of the members from the Rock Progressive Italiano band "Sezione Frenante" played in the band known as "Nuove Dimnesioni" which was founded in 1974 and disbanded in 1978. The new incarnation formed in 2006, and under the name of Sezione Frenante, have released 2 albums; their debut album in 2014, which consists of both old and new compositions, and in May of 2019, they have released their 2nd album named after their old band name "Nuove Dimensioni". The line up for this album consists of Alessandro Casagrande (drums, percussion); Mirco De Marchi (piano, Hammond organ, mellotron, moog and synth); Sandro Bellemo (bass); Antonio Zullo (guitars); and Luciano Degli Alimari (vocals). Deborah Barbiero provides backing vocals on 4 tracks, Mauro Martello plays flute on 3 tracks and Francesca Rismondo plays cello on 2 tracks. The album is made up of 8 tracks with a total run time of just over 50 minutes. Most of the tracks are around the 6 ? 7 minute mark with a few that are shorter and one that is over 10 minutes.

"Nuove Dimension" means New Dimensions in English and is an album whose songs center around a protagonist who studies the origins of the universe, the depths of space, the nature of time and the fate of black holes. Since this story is based on science fiction and future possible technologies, he is able to hear, see and study harmonies that come from the depths of space and tries to discover what place humans have in this universal plan.

The first track is "Kosmos" which starts with airy effects that denote a great expanse, and an oscillating sound of chords from keys. The bass starts to sneak around the atmospheric chords. The sound slowly builds as a guitar accompanies a melodic and mysterious synth melody and synth textures. Cymbals finally bring in the progressive drums that hammer out a stop/start rhythm until a steady beat gets everything in motion around the 3 minute mark. The guitar builds on the melody established earlier by the syth and they continue to back up the melody. The progressive drums come back in later as the guitar continues to build upon the melody, then high flying synths take over the spotlight. After 5 minutes, guitar and synth join in together to complete the build of the track.

"L'era di Plank" starts off with hollow keyboard notes and the vocals start. The vocals are deep and almost operatic sounding, at least the melody has that attitude, even with the wordless vocals shared by the lead singer and the guest backup singer. The band finally kicks in after 2 minutes with a progressive sound and the vocals continue with even more intensity as organs and guitar build excitement. The vocalist definitely has a strong voice and stays in a lower register, but ventures to higher passages without having to strain, but still evoking emotion. After 4 minutes, the tempo speeds up and the guitar establishes a pattern supported by organ and then another guitar improvises over everything, later echoed by synths. Just before 6 minutes, it slows back to the original tempo before bringing everything to a dramatic and progressive close.

The last track immediately changes to "Fuso delle necessita" (Spindle of Needs). This starts with a fast progressive tempo and the flute brings in the vocals and continues to add support through the track. This has a catchy rhythmic pattern and feels like it was meant to be a single as it also has the right timing for one. The same pounding riff continues pretty much through the entire track to the section where things finally become softer for the ending. "Principe del Vuoto" (Prince of the Void) begins on a more pastoral note with acoustic guitar, flute and bass. Vocals are more pensive and ballad-like with a lovely synth playing soft and high in the background, a nice and effective touch that is popular in Italian Progressive music. The music continues to be pastoral, but the drums pound out a rhythm that end up bringing in the band, still featuring the flute and now the cello. The style remains ballad-like and lovely however. Later, with the same vocal melody, the beat changes to a strong 3 / 4 meter giving some variation to the theme. Just before the 5 minute mark, there is a sudden change in everything as the tempo gets faster and guitars and organs build in intensity to a synth solo. Soon the guitar follows the synth note for note. Vocals come back in at 7 minutes but the band continues with the intensity without returning to the ballad style that the track started with.

"Orizzonte Degli Eventi" (Event Horizon) starts off upbeat and aggressively progressive. Vocal and instrumental sections trade back and forth both returning to common themes. Suddenly things build quickly and the tempo picks up for a longer instrumental section. This reminds me a lot of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" as far as the transition to the longer instrumental section is made. Of course, it isn't quite as chaotic sounding as the KC classic, but the pattern is pretty much the same. After 5 minutes, the song returns to it's original theme and vocals soon return.

"Venere" (Venus) comes next. This one starts with a jazz-funk vibe played by guitars as a cool synth solo plays. After playing through its theme, the vocals start, this time backed up by the guest vocalist from time to time. This is a moderately fast tempo and has a mostly accessible sound, but still with progressive elements. The synth melody is used a lot through the track and helps to bring an anchor to the music. It has a very nice, laid-back feel to it, and the guitar solo on the last half is a nice touch too. The mood is quite upbeat throughout this track, possibly even contending to be another single, even though it almost breaks the 6 minute mark.

"E Nata una Stella (Giostra a Catena)" (A Star is Born (Chain Carousel)) is the next track and it has a duration of a little over 10 minutes. It starts pensively with an organ, bass and spacey synths. Vocals begin as the bass continues supported by sustained synths. At two minutes, drums come in as the tempo and instrumentation pretty much remain the same as the 2nd verse plays through. A small chorus of voices sing wordless vocals when the lyrics stop, and the music builds until a guitar plays a solo. Before 5 minutes, there is a sudden increase in tempo and meter change as the melody changes and vocals begin again. Synths play a recurring melody between verses. After 6 minutes, there is another tempo and meter change as things get a little heavier, synths tie in the melody to this section and then an organ solo followed by a guitar solo make things continue to intensify and things intensify as the guitar brings it all to a climactic finish. It's an odd choice to decide to let this song fade out.

The last track is "Nomadi Vallieri" which is a definite nod to progressive folk as the song remains light and playful with flute and cello along with acoustic guitar create the folk atmosphere.

This album is quite enjoyable with a nice balanced use of both guitar and keyboards providing the progressive sound, and the percussion driving the music into different tempos and meters. The vocalist has a deeper register, but that is fine because he also sings with a story teller's style that makes you listen, even when you don't understand a lot of the words (the lyrics are in Italian). The voice is pleasant and supported by backing vocals occasionally. The musicianship is spot on and the musicians work very well together, transitions are smooth, and the use of instruments are well balanced. Overall, it is an excellent album full of interesting music which mostly stays progressive, but ventures into more accessible territory on a few occasions, which is okay because those songs are high quality. 4 stars.

 Metafora Di Un Viaggio by SEZIONE FRENANTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.21 | 25 ratings

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Metafora Di Un Viaggio
Sezione Frenante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars My good friend Jean Roby (not to be confused with John 'the Cat' Robie of Alfred Hitchcock fame, the suave cat burglar in the legendary film 'To Catch a Thief') and I have been exchanging progressive rock discussions for a couple of years now and he suggested I strive to hunt this sucker down, as it was his opinion that I would go gaga over this Italian band from Venice whose name would be translated as The Braking Section. He was dead right as this debut album owns all of the hallmarks of a classic RPI release but fondly wrapped in a modern lustre. Hints of Le Orme, PFM and Banco are front and center, festooned by some terrific modern production techniques and a pristine recording. The seasoned musicians are simply first rate, especially the bass player Sandro Bellemo who just knocks it out the park throughout the set list. The rest of the squadra are no slouches either, as Dario Mestriner plays a mean guitar with a wide variety of tones to satisfy the axe technician, keyboardist Mirco de Marchi favors rolling organ, delicate piano and subtle synthesizer moves , while drummer Alessandro Casagrande pounds like the best of them. The biggest surprise is lead lung Francesco Nardo, who owns a deluxe and expressive set of pipes that verges on the outstanding and thus providing a highly enjoyable upfront presence that does wonders to the stylish arrangements.

There are plentiful moments where the mood is perhaps closer to a lighter version of Deep Purple or even Uriah Heep what with the slick interplay between Mastriner and de Marchi as well as the rock-solid partnership on bass and drums. I was immediately impressed from the very first notes, stunned into submission by the crisp edges and overt melodies that litter this album. Fresh and powerful, the production is deliriously attractive, the melodies are simple yet divine, as I have caught myself many times humming certain passages.

When first hearing the opener 'La Quiete In Un Attimo', I was quite surprised by the sizzling touches from axeman Dario Mastriner, purveyor of stinging leads and shrieking riffs that ultimately lead to the delicate piano and the suave voice of Francesco Nardo in loving embrace.

Then comes the 2 part 'La Meta non Trovata' which offers a binary beat, dancing organs and a shuffling funky guitar swath that once again switches to a piano and voice duet, organ in the background. The guitar then scours gently like some stringed lullaby. The second part is typical RPI in all its simplicity and delicate nature. The electric guitar takes over the main melody and forges ahead with bold determination.

With 'Attesa', I was tempted to believe that I was listening to a new version of the Cars 'Let the Good Times Roll' as the first few seconds are nearly identical, before veering into outright RPI mode, with striking guitar scratches and organ rumbles. I wonder if Braking Section and Cars have anything in common? Nah'just my overtly abundant imagination. Anyway, the track then evolves into this galloping march, the raunchy bass leading the way for the thumping binary drums a la Lee Kerslake. Short, sweet and fun with a cool organ flurry to exit. 'Passagio' is a minute of oddness, the guitar and keys in a tandem tornado that kicks up a mini-storm. Only to prepare for 'Viscido Ambiente', another brief but powerful piece that has all the fine little musical touches that ultimately showcase the dazzling voice of Francesco Nardo, a clean and startling belt that has all the emotions one can ask for.

'Pace Immaginata' is perhaps the finest RPI song in a decade, a stupendous slice of perfection led by a monster bass groove that just keeps pounding furiously at your brain. Everything about this piece is sumptuous, incredible vocalizations, deadly guitar stokes, subtle keyboard interventions and tremendous drum support. The initial melody is subtly carved out on triangle hand percussion, then a takeover the lead bass jumps in to propel this masterful piece forward with drums, bass and choir in hot pursuit. A buzzing, fuzzy lead guitar really kills it. Tremendous tune.

Bass, tubular bells and e-piano infect 'Quattro Stelle', another monumental song that provides intense resolution from Nardo's booming voice, keys and guitar in unison in a decidedly Mediterranean feel (that accordion-like patch). The bass undertow is sublime, this man Bellamo knows how to play his instrument, up-front and center.

The album finishes off with 2 longer pieces, the 8 minute + epic 'Nota Stonata' forging ahead nicely, riding the bass player's crest, with the De Marchi organ loyally following behind and expert aid from drummer Casagrande. The lead singer does perhaps his finest work on this tricky vocal arrangement, both demanding and complex, a real quality delivery of an ultra-expressive melody that is not an easy chore. The honking Hammond is also in the spotlight, keeping things very 70s a la Toni Pagliuca of Le Orme legend, later tossing in some fine synthesizer layers to add to the texture.

Another superb piece is the 9 minute 'Svegliati Luce', a more tortuous composition once again dominated by a marvelous bass run, slithering synthesizers, and powerful drum support. The Hammond does it smoking thing quite convincingly, playful and burning. Guest Antonio Zullo does wonders on acoustic guitar, the choir mellotron heightening the voice to even loftier pinnacles and then one more go-around, lead guitar soloing from Mastriner that shudders and soars, while Bellamo threatens below. Bombastic symphonic prog Italian style. Si, per favore, ancora!

This is an obviously mature crew of seasoned musicians who have waited a long time to put their craft into a recording and in my opinion, they succeed brilliantly in combining the glory years with a modern, fresh and direct approach, with crystalline sound and intense presentation. This is one hell of a debut album, for sure and I thank 'the Cat' for not putting the brakes to this disc-overy !

4.5 Excursion allegories

 Metafora Di Un Viaggio by SEZIONE FRENANTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.21 | 25 ratings

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Metafora Di Un Viaggio
Sezione Frenante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Hailing from the province of Venice, Sezione Frenante began life in the early seventies under the name Le Nuove Dimensioni, later changed into the current name. During the seventies they hadn't the chance to record an album and split up in 1978, when the interest for progressive rock was fading. In 2006 the band reformed on the initiative of three founder members and in 2014 Sezione Frenante finally released a debut album on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash Records with a line up featuring Alessandro Casagrande (drums, percussion), Sandro Bellemo (bass), Doriano Mestriner (gutars, vocals), Mirco De Marchi (keyboards, vocals) and Francesco Nardo (lead vocals) plus the guest Antonio Zullo (acoustic guitar). This long awaited album is entitled Metafora di un viaggio - Arditi voli di cervelli attenti and is a conceptual work, vaguely inspired by Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, that describes in music and words a cathartic journey from darkness to light, from despair to hope... The overall sound draws on vintage atmospheres and could recall bands such as Le Orme, Metamorfosi, Procession or Alphataurus but the musicians managed to put into the mix all their passion, their experience and their personality with excellent results and the album is really worth listening to.

The opener "La quiete in un attimo" (Peace in a while) starts by pulsing bass lines and dreamy passages that seem to mark the transition into an hypnotic state of unconsciousness. The music and lyrics evoke a moment of quiet where you can think and get lost into your dreams. Now you're almost floating on the current of your thoughts, between life and death... The dark organ surge of the following "La meta non trovata" (The unfounded destination) announces a dangerous journey through a realm of shadows where you're surrounded by shapeless things and faded visions. Eventually, your aimless wandering takes you in front of a high white door that blocks your way... Then a surreal calm comes down and "La meta non trovata (curiosit' di essere)" (The unfounded destination - Curiosity of being) describes curiosity and fear seizing your throat. Your brain doesn't work, you can't think anymore...

Next comes "Attesa" (Waiting), a short instrumental that describes the time you pass in doubt, waiting in front of the white door while the following "Passaggio" (Passage) is another short instrumental describing the moment of the crossing of that strange threshold. It leads to "Viscido ambiente" (Slimy place) that describes a gloomy world inhabited by icy shadows without brain, a world where there's no peace. You can feel a sense of void spreading all around you and even inside your heart, there's nothing but hate here, you have to feed on it... The following "Pace immaginata" (Fancied peace) describes the crossing of this bleak world with its threatening panoramas. Every now and again some flames break through the darkness and shapeless beings disappear into the void, swallowed by black waves. You can perceive unknown shadows sucking your blood like parasites, driving you insane... At last you see a corridor and something pushes you in the right direction, towards the light at the end of the tunnel, towards a shelter...

At the sound of a bell, "Quattro stelle" (Four stars) welcomes you to a very different world of ethereal lights and sapphire skies. The four stars of the title refer to the four cardinal virtues that now show your way: prudence, justice, temperance and courage. Then a church-like organ passage drives you on the footsteps of a Love song while delicate melodies blow away the shadows of hell and their gloomy omens. A new hope is beating in your chest, you can see around you sinners who repent and start climbing a steep hill leading to a better dream...

Next comes "Nota stonata" (Discordant note) that describes in music and words a kind of Garden of Eden where you can find a perfect harmony. But someone is singing out of tune in the angelic choir, there's a soul down below that, pushed by human virtue, seeks for something that is not perfect at all. This soul is looking for the unknown, for great passions inspired by pagan muses, for never ending adventures and strong emotions...

The long, complex closer "Svegiati luce" (Wake up light) conjures up apocalyptic visions of exiled souls that have been waiting for a thousand years on the banks of the river Lethe. They're still waiting for boarding on the divine wooden ship that would take them across the river. It's a long, silent queue of uncertain spirits looking for a guide to lead them to a place where peace rules, a kingdom of light that will melt the shadows and dry the tears, where the sun rises like a blade of fire spreading its thaumaturgical strength all over creation...

On the whole, this is a very interesting album. Of course, seventies influences loom large over this work and it might not shine for originality but its mystical lyricism and its powerful and engaging musical colours make of it a real treat for Italianprog lovers. So, if you like modern progressive rock that's based on classic Italian prog, you really have to check this band out.

 Metafora Di Un Viaggio by SEZIONE FRENANTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.21 | 25 ratings

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Metafora Di Un Viaggio
Sezione Frenante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Italian prog is scattered with occasional bands that were active during the Seventies heyday of the sub-genre yet never got around to committing their music to a proper album. Formed in Venice, Sezione Frenante are the latest to join that group, performing live during that defining decade alongside notable Italian progressive groups such as Le Orme, Perigeo, Biglietto per L'Inferno and others, yet breaking up after a few years before making any official recordings. With several members reforming in 2006 with the help of a couple of new musicians, the band finally deliver their debut album some forty years later, `Metafora di un Viaggio', a vinyl-length mix of reworked older compositions and brand new material, and it's sure to please lovers of the classic Italian prog sound.

Despite many tasteful and lengthy instrumental passages, several of the pieces here are dominated by younger member Franco Nardo's powerful vocals. Singing in his native language, he displays great control and is less flamboyant than many of the usual theatrical-styled Italian singers, but he has a hearty and impressive voice all the same. Some may find him mixed a little too upfront here, but this disc joins the fine tradition of vintage Italian works with boisterous lead singers like those on the Alphataurus, Jumbo and Rustichelli & Bordini albums. Sadly, Franco has now been replaced in the band by the original singer Luciano Degli Alimari, so this album will serve as a fitting brief tribute to the charismatic vocalist Franco and his emotional, spirited performance.

Opener `Quattro Stelle' is one of a few longer, more ambitious pieces. It initially starts with reflective electric piano tip-toes behind a tolling bell, Steve Hackett-like guitar strains and droning church organ that reminds of gloomy Italian band Abiogenesi, but it jumps up in tempo with some whirring Moog and a frequently reprised accordion theme that will make you smile! Tasty instrumental `Attesa' has a mid-tempo galloping P.F.M-like guitar melody backed up by nimble- fingered thick murmuring bass and the warmest of humming Hammond organ. `La Quiete in un Attimo' bristles with punchy Genesis-like regal electric guitar and organ fanfares before shifting into delicate classical piano and wounded soulful crooning, and chiming guitars and shimmering organ bring a touch of uneasy atmosphere behind Franco's wail for `Viscido Ambiente'.

Le Orme fans will adore the constantly soaring organs of the two part `La Meta non Trovata' (but with a bit of surprising heavy guitar funky groove thrown in too!), and it sure seems like Franco is channelling Aldo Tagliapietra vocally here as well! After interlude `Passaggio' interrupts with upfront pumping bass and wild organ stabs, the second part reprises the main theme with some victorious Moog and heroic piano lifting high into the heavens. With a constant dramatic build growing in stature throughout the almost ten minute epic `Svegliati Luce', the band manage to include everything from phasing electronics, a touch of gothic piano mystery, whirring Le Orme- flavoured Moog, booming military drumming and beautiful thoughtful bass ruminations, and the lead guitar strains in the finale bring to mind Frank Bornemann's playing on the early Eloy albums. `Pace Immaginata' is a catchier, more accessible bass-driven tune with a foot-tapping beat and delicate Mellotron choir harmonies, plus a nice scratchy guitar solo in the middle. Finally, there's plenty of acoustic guitar warmth, sweeping and prancing P.F.M/Genesis pomp and glorious Hammond organ throughout the eight minute closer `Nota Stonata', and a soaring vocal makes it quite a romantic piece to end the album on.

There is one secret weapon that sets Sezione Frenante's album apart from so many other more extravagant and lavish recent Italian works. The whole disc has a stripped back, more direct, possibly rougher sound quality that actually succeeds in making the music sound like a genuine lost Seventies vintage Italian prog relic from the golden era! Plenty of newer bands adequately convey similar sounds to the classic Seventies works, but none quite capture that true quality as effectively and convincingly as Sezione Frenante do here.

`Metafora di un Viaggio' gets Sezione Frenante's belated studio recording career off to a great start, and the results have been more than worth the wait. A mix of pleasing melodic tunes and subtle, restrained but quietly thrilling instrumental moments, with a very joyful quality constantly present really makes this album shine brightly. Hopefully we see the band build on their efforts here with more recordings in the near future!

Four stars.

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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