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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Il Cerchio d'Oro

Dedalo E Icaro

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool album. It has a lot of classic prog built into it, but also fusion and many other things. Like a lot of Italian prog, it has a tendency towards being theatrical. It also has a tendency towards frequent changes and rather freeform tendency. It’s a good disc, either way, though. This should be a real treat to fans of Italian progressive rock. More mainstream prog fans will find plenty to like here, too, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Il Mio Nome È Dedalo

A dramatic keyboard dominated sound opens this. Guitar solos over the top after a time. The vocals join and the same general sound serves as the backdrop. After the one minute mark it shifts to a more energized prog jam. There’s a short guitar solo. Then a chugging movement comes in. This sort of evolves into more of a rocking groove from there. This ride works through several changes and there a couple of great instrumental movements late.

Labirinto
The first couple minutes of this instrumental consists of mellow, keyboard dominated music. Then it shifts out to a fusion-like jam that’s quite cool. As it continues it takes on some sounds that could be compared to Pink Floyd at times. It works through several more changes along the road from there, with that Pink Floyd section returning later. After a while it drops to just piano. Eventually the piano takes it out into a different fusion inspired jam. This one has flute soloing all over it. That gives way after a time to a return of the piano melody. Flute comes in over the top of the piano just before the closing of the piece. 
La Promessa
Layers of vocals open this and carry it for a time with no accompaniment. It’s almost thirty seconds in before any instrumentation is added. First it’s just piano. Then other instruments join and it works out to an inspired jam. The guitar solos across bringing in more of those Pink Floyd textures. Then it drops to an acoustic guitar based movement for the vocals. A more rocking motif is heard at the end of the vocal movement. After a drop down that serves as the backdrop for another vocal section, organ leads it out into a new movement. That builds out and some non-lyrical vocals come over the top as it continues. Then lyrical vocals are heard in the mix. From there we get a return to some of the earlier movements. Then around the six minute mark it shifts to an instrumental section that feels a bit like something Emerson, Lake and Palmer might have done. As that instrumental segment continues the drum takes a more prominent role. Then guitar solos over the top in some dramatic ways after a time, eventually taking the piece to the end.
L'arma Vincente
Mellow prog atmosphere with flute over the top starts things here. It drops to just piano as the vocals enter. After a verse we get some acoustic guitar and more energy added to the mix for the next section. Additional vocals are added later in the second verse and the piece gets more instrumentation and a new section from there. A more rocking, but still melodic movement emerges a little before the two minute mark. It gets more oomph added later and again guitar soloing features prominently in the section that takes the piece to its conclusion.
Una Nuova Realtà
A keyboard heavy section opens this and as they work through variations it feels just a little like Deep Purple at times. Shortly after the one minute mark it drops down to a much mellower movement that feels a bit like Pink Floyd. Eventually that grows out into something that rocks a bit more. By the time the vocals join after the three minute mark it has dropped back to mellower sounds. They continue working through variations and changes as this carries forward. There is a great instrumental movement later that’s dominated by keyboards and feels quite fusion-like. We get a return to earlier movements after that, though.
Oggi Volerò
More of a hard rock element is heard right at the onset here. The cut has some angular shapes in the riffs that emerge. It seems at times this feels rather like King Crimson. At other points it’s got similarities to early Pink Floyd. Then a little before the one minute mark it gets a mellower treatment that’s a bit like a proggier version of Triumph. The vocals come in over that backdrop. After the verse there’s a return to the hard rocking movement that opened the cut.
Il Sogno Spezzato
Bouncy and tastefully off-kilter, there’s a lot of energy and fun to this cut. In some ways I’m reminded at times of Genesis just a bit. A different section beyond that reinforces that Genesis comparison. Then some harder edged guitar is heard in that mix. It definitely works through a number of cool changes before they take us out.
Ora Che Son Qui (Icaro la Fine)
Some killer retro sounding keyboard work opens this and takes us through the introduction. Then the piano continues with a real dramatic jazz element. After the vocals join acoustic guitar rises up to guide the song in its new direction. The vocals are quite powerful as this works outward. It’s a pretty straightahead journey from there, but some saxophone lends a different sound to the later portions of the piece.
 
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