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Il Volo - Essere O Non Essere ? CD (album) cover


Il Volo


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.89 | 145 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having warmed up with their namesake debut album one year earlier - an album based on melodic pop-rock with lots of acoustic stuff and some subtle hints of symph prog -, now Il Volo was prepared to create and record their magnum opus, "Essere o Non Essere? Essere! Essere! Essere!" The material contained in this album shows a band determined to explore new grounds, enhancing their prog side while strongly adopting a fusion-esque approach, something that allowed to show their prowess and skill as instrumentalists. The focus is not in exhibitionism, but in expanding the basic musical motifs all along well crafted jams where each individual member of the ensemble interacts fluidly with the others. You can tell that there are two guitarists and two keyboardists in the fold, but none of them plays the game of competition; the jamming is enthusiastic and tireless, but never self-indulging in unnecessary excesses - all this produces a musical result that feels genuinely fresh, containing a complexity that is never showed off. The sign of the band's new times is clearly drawn in the first two tracks: both 'Gente in Amore' and 'Canto di Lavoro' even include some hints of Arabic- like harmonics in some exotic keyboard layers and percussive adornments, while Radius' guitar leads and Olov's demanding bass lines assume a prominent role in the band's sound. The only sung number in the album (and not abundant lyrics) in 'Essere', the only piece that somewhat reminds us of the debut album's straightforward romantic spirit; but it is the jazzy guitar and electric piano stuff, together with Del'Aglio's drumming labour, that keep the song well integrated with the album's overall spirit. I have no doubt in my mind about the impressive 'Alcune Scene' being the album's highlight: here is the best jamming, the most captivating eerie synth layers, the most intricate time signatures, and the best ordained dialogues between the lead guitar and the Fender piano. The use of slow preludes and interludes that somewhere along the road give way to more upbeat sections is reiterated in the remaining two numbers, not as brilliantly, but with the same amount of class and skill. One of the most effective ingredients in the fast sections is the complementation between bass and clavinet, which provides an additional air of sensitivity to the rhythm section - once again, the musicians' ability to function together as an ensemble where each piece works as an integral companion of the other proves crucial for the build-up of the band's sound. A great album indeed: a classic of jazz-oriented Italian prog.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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