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Thread: I wanted to share this piece of Italian progressive rock

  1. #1

    I wanted to share this piece of Italian progressive rock

    I feel like shit the last few days - and this crept up on my playlist. Listened on repeat for a few times. It kind of smooths everything inside, like if I listened more, like some hundreds of times, it would heal everything. Maybe I will.



    The whole album, with the guitar onslaught that predates heavy metal for a few years, is marvellous. But this specific song - the vocals, the mellotron, the sentiment, the youthful energy - just cracks me.

    The lyrics are beautiful too, I translate with whatever Italian I understand:

    If you don't know
    the help you gave me
    now I understand
    that the Earth is the same
    in all its parts
    when people are like
    like you.
    Yes, like you. Just like you.

    But how many people is there
    that think like you
    and treat me like a human
    and judge me not
    and have understood that
    I am human like you
    like you, like you, yes?


    That is a beautiful reminder for helping one another in the bleak times we live in. Music is a life saver. Cheers!

  2. #2
    The whole album is absolutely awesome both in music and overall mood. Stoner-rock groups today should learn something by the immense variation and creativity going on with antecedents they're mostly not even aware of.

    The second and final Procession record, Fiaba, is different but equally great, equally varied and equally damn creative.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    The second and final Procession record, Fiaba, is different but equally great, equally varied and equally damn creative.
    Indeed. I am listening now. But it doesn't shake Mount Aetna like the debut.

    By the way I picked up Frontiera through a suggestion of yours some time ago, as I have done with so much music. So a sincere "thank you" seems appropriate.

  4. #4
    Interest is flowing. Soaring.

    Phil Collins contributes triangle and/or maracca! At least a guy who looks a little bit like him! Someone recognizable and identifiable was involved! That instantly makes the music more involving too!
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  5. #5
    Got myself distracted with "shook" things in another thread...but I actually did put this on yesterday for a listen, as it was honestly an RPI band/title that was unfamiliar to me. I liked it, it was a lovely listen and a fun trip "back" into that realm.

    I've probably said it elsewhere but why not: I love that the prog rock of Italy in the 70's has such a truly distinct signature. It's not that they're all carbon copies of one another, nor are they all sticking to some boring old "paint by numbers" formula as found if far too many of the prog bands of today...just that there are base ingredients in the harmonic/melodic work, certain cultural influences and ties to the Mediterranean...it's always there. And at least to my ears, the Italian offerings always retained that flavor.

    So yeah, thanks for sharing. I did appreciate it.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

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  6. #6
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I never got into those rpi bands. Mainly due to the singers. They often sound like wannabe opera singers that arent good enough so start to sing prog instead.

    I admit I heared only small bits of it. But the bits I heared never invited further exploration.

  7. #7
    The variation in singers with Italian 70s bands is as broad as with any other country.

    They should've had Joey Tempest or Jon Bongiovi instead. The latter is a bit Italian, isn't he?
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  8. #8
    Nice.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    The variation in singers with Italian 70s bands is as broad as with any other country.

    They should've had Joey Tempest or Jon Bongiovi instead. The latter is a bit Italian, isn't he?
    It's true that the range and variety of voices in Italian rock music is great. From Demetrio Statos to Alvaro Fella the distance is vast.

    I guess there is a common denominator in loud, high-pitched, screaming vocals in bands like Procession, Semiramis, Il Balleto di Bronzo etc that seems to predate heavy metal music for some years.

    A favorite of mine is the guy from Metamorfosi, Jimmy Spitaleri. I can see the opera connection there.

  10. #10
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    Big fan of both their albums!!!
    Prog's Not Dead

  11. #11
    ^ Spitaleri is actually one of the few whose voice I'm not really that keen on, I have to say. Not really due to the "operatic" element per sé, more because of the overly theatrical application of it. As a consequence I find Inferno rather lacking in the vocals department - although some of the keyboards are truly good.

    Gianfranco Gaza, singer with Procession (and later on the second Arti&Mestieri), was peculiar in that his vocal technique contained so much determined anger and fury without this becoming animated; indeed not totally unlike Alvaro Fella or a more idionsyncratic take on Marco Zuccheddu's input with Osage Tribe. As such it got to be different from the castrato-vibrato of the guy in J*E*T or that absurd thing Ricky Belloni keeps jolting out on Nuova Idea's Clowns, both of which I still think had something going for them. There's also Luciano Regoli with Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno and his somewhat disparate take on the Samadhi record; if anything they actually displayed versatility in adapting to context. Gianluigi Di Franco's vocals on Cervello's Melos is a perfect example of such versatility; he varies completely according to dynamics in the music.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  12. #12
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Never heard this album...thx for the heads-up. I'll have to give 'er a spin. A random Italian album that I LOVE that doesn't seem to get much attention either is Allusa Fallax Intorno...
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

    "And it's only the giving
    That makes you what you are" - Ian Anderson

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Never heard this album...thx for the heads-up. I'll have to give 'er a spin. A random Italian album that I LOVE that doesn't seem to get much attention either is Allusa Fallax Intorno...
    Since I remember you liked Semiramis, I think you will also dig Frontiera. The same combination of beautiful melodies with fierceful guitar trouncing.

    The Alussa Fallax LP is also very good. I wouldn't put it in tge top shelf of Italian prog, but it's close...

  14. #14
    Member jefftiger's Avatar
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    I also like Alusa Fallax, as well as both Procession discs (which come from moderately different line-ups). Over the years, I found that I couldn't go wrong with the recommendations from this somewhat amusing Italian prog site (http://www.enlaplage.com/music/itaprog.htm).

  15. #15
    Member jefftiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post

    There's also Luciano Regoli with Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno and his somewhat disparate take on the Samadhi record; if anything they actually displayed versatility in adapting to context. Gianluigi Di Franco's vocals on Cervello's Melos is a perfect example of such versatility; he varies completely according to dynamics in the music.
    I've been a big fan of both RRR and Samadhi and even the resurrected version of RRR from a few years ago with Regoli still doing vocals. Di Franco in Cervello was also wonderful, an astonishingly accomplished one-off album. Their live performance in Tokyo a few years ago was impressive. I still listen to it a fair amount. Di Franco regrettably passed away in 2005, so vocals for the Tokyo album were from Virginio Simonelli, who I was very impressed with. Wikipedia reveals that Simonelli is a pretty well known Italian pop musician, who has had recordings produced by Rustici.

  16. #16
    ^ Melos remains one of my absolute faves from the whole world of Italian symphonic rock - also because it was simply so much more than just that. Read aout my/our eternal love for it here: https://www.progressiveears.org/foru...light=cervello

    Anyway, I'll have to do both Processions over drinks this upcoming weekend. Neighbours always dig that hysterical flanger-distorted guitar solo and killer-riff in "Un Mondo Di Liberta".
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  17. #17
    A solid 13.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    A solid 13.
    You mean Melos or Frontiera? I -think I - gave the first a 13 and the second a 12.

  19. #19
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    Never heard this before. It sounds really good. Thanks. I need this.

    As for Italian vocalists, I love most of them, except maybe for one that I have a hard time with. Don't remember his name, but the guy singing on Jumbo's DNA. Is he drunk or what?

  20. #20
    ^ That's Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), and whether drunk or not - a spectacle which usually isn't lightly taken in public in his native Italy, as it's somehow perceived as "unmanly" due to the essential part alcohol has in the country's cuisine - he very much created his own stage persona akin to Bowie's various figures or Tom Waits' hobohemian etc. Fella's persona character also gave frame to the particular lyrical universe of the band, often touching upon mental and social issues which weren't really kosher in Italian popular culture at the time, such as sexual deviations, domestic violence, depression, religious oppression and so on.

    Btw, if you enjoy DNA you'll almost certainly want to get Vietato as well, the third Jumbo record and IMO their absolute masterwork. You'll love Procession too, especially the first album in question here.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    You mean Melos or Frontiera? I -think I - gave the first a 13 and the second a 12.
    I'm exactly the other way round on these ones.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  22. #22
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ That's Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), and whether drunk or not - a spectacle which usually isn't lightly taken in public in his native Italy, as it's somehow perceived as "unmanly" due to the essential part alcohol has in the country's cuisine - he very much created his own stage persona akin to Bowie's various figures or Tom Waits' hobohemian etc. Fella's persona character also gave frame to the particular lyrical universe of the band, often touching upon mental and social issues which weren't really kosher in Italian popular culture at the time, such as sexual deviations, domestic violence, depression, religious oppression and so on.

    Btw, if you enjoy DNA you'll almost certainly want to get Vietato as well, the third Jumbo record and IMO their absolute masterwork. You'll love Procession too, especially the first album in question here.
    I really dig both DNA and Vietato...I didn't know about Fella, that's pretty hip.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ That's Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), and whether drunk or not - a spectacle which usually isn't lightly taken in public in his native Italy, as it's somehow perceived as "unmanly" due to the essential part alcohol has in the country's cuisine - he very much created his own stage persona akin to Bowie's various figures or Tom Waits' hobohemian etc. Fella's persona character also gave frame to the particular lyrical universe of the band, often touching upon mental and social issues which weren't really kosher in Italian popular culture at the time, such as sexual deviations, domestic violence, depression, religious oppression and so on.

    Btw, if you enjoy DNA you'll almost certainly want to get Vietato as well, the third Jumbo record and IMO their absolute masterwork. You'll love Procession too, especially the first album in question here.

    Harsher, bluesy vocals than most. Perhaps we was drunk. Jumbo provided sober vocals for this underrated gem... circa 2016.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7p88ADz9U4
    Last edited by Crawford Glissadevil; 1 Week Ago at 08:01 AM.

  24. #24
    ^ I kinda hope he -was- drunk. Drunk and groping ol' moustachy grandmas at the local veggie market. It'd be quite un-Italian, but then again Jumbo were supposed to conceptualize contrarian spirit and impulse.

    The thing about records like Jumbo's Vietato, Il Balletto's Ys and Cervello's Melos is that their overt manic power was equalled by an almost energetically emotional aura. These aren't only near-hysterical albums, they're intensely beautiful as well. Procession's Frontiera sits safely among these.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by jefftiger View Post
    both RRR and Samadhi
    Listening again to Per Un Mondo Di Cristallo now, and it's such a badass record. They're stop/start on a dime-kinda band, shifting from gothic jazz-rock (yeah!) to folky acoustic pastures almost indiscriminately. When that thunderous final part of "Sogni Di Cristallo" sets in, the reward for listening to the whole thing really grabs you. They truly took to the artistically overriding aspirations of KCrims and Tull and GGiant and created something remarkable with it.

    The Samadhi record should have been a million-seller, and I mean it. Those tunes are intelligent yet direct, intricate but accessible, melodic still highly dissonant in both harmony and dynamic. Absolutely stupendous.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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