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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

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Violato Intatto

Review by Gary Hill

While I've not heard of this Italian outfit before, this is their fourth album. It's essentially instrumental (one song has vocals). The music ranges from heavy prog like modern King Crimson, more traditional prog, jazz, fusion and more. This is classy stuff that works really well. It never feels tired or redundant. I will keep an eye and an ear out for more from this outfit. They are clearly worthy of additional attention.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Folia Saxifraga

This opens with a fast paced jam that's classic prog rock of the old school variety. There is definitely an ELP vibe to it as it moves forward, but there is also a lot of jazz in the mix here. However you see the influences landing, though, this is full of quick shifts and changes and powerhouse music. It drops way down to a jazzy, trippy bit of space music around the one minute mark and evolves slowly from there. There are definitely things that feel like early King Crimson. It eventually explodes back out into more powerhouse jazz influenced jamming. Again, as the saxophone wails, I'm reminded of 1970s King Crimson. That section eventually winds through to end the piece in style.

This comes in very mellow with keyboard dominating and weaving lines of melody. Around the forty second mark, the arrangement fills out and feels a bit like Deep Purple. Then it moves forward with more of a jazz prog style as it works through various shifts and changes. I really love the guitar laden jam that ensues around the two minute mark. It's both very fusion oriented and prog-rock dominated, while also managing to pull in some psychedelia. The guitar soloing gets smoking hot, yet it's delivered over this powerhouse prog rock musical tapestry. We get some melodic saxophone soloing further down the musical road. By around the four and half mark it drops to mostly just the rhythm section with that saxophone over the top. It grows back out into a full prog rock jam from there. They keep reinventing this, and there is a section later that makes me think of a proggier version of Iron Butterfly. That movement takes it to the closing riff.
A driving acoustic guitar section starts this. As the arrangement powers out, I'm again reminded of Deep Purple a bit. This becomes a screaming, driving, intense prog rock stomper. It is so powerful and so cool. Around the minute and a half mark it gets into some weird, but so tasty, harder edged jamming. This drives onward into jamming that's closer to the earlier sections for a time. Then it drops to a half time, dirty jazz meets hard rock movement. As it grows back outward classic prog rock and jazz both drive this in nearly equally amounts. However you label it, though, it's a real powerhouse.
Trippy, echoey stuff brings this into being. It grows outward with that basis, feeling like some kind of weird distorted electronic music. That holds it until after the minute and half mark. Then this explodes out into another killer prog rock jam. Again Deep Purple is valid reference point. This is hard edged and intense. While this jam is more or less a straight-line, it swerves here and there to avoid being pinned down. Eventually they work this out into an excursion that feels a lot like a more intense Kansas. They drop down from there to a spacey bit that feels like part psychedelia and part world music as it moves this thing forward. That gives way to a bit of atmosphere before they fire back out into screaming hot hard rocking prog to continue. Again, to some degree Kansas is a valid reference. That movement eventually takes it to the end.
Idios Cosmos
Jazz stylings with bursts of hard edged rock begins this in a weird, but very tasty way. It drops from there to weird, freeform psychedelic space. After the two minute mark the horn takes it by itself. Then the band join and we're off into a cool fast paced jazz prog jam that's mean and meaty. They work that through some development as this continues. They resolve that with a crescendo around the four minute mark, and it works out to space from there. This gets pretty weird and has some jazz elements built into it. The horn eventually works it forward into more of a powered up jam with drums at first providing the only accompaniment. Then the whole group work within that framework to create some powerful jazz prog. That section doesn't stay around long, though, but serves as the ending to the piece.
E verde รจ l'ignoto su cui corri
Coming in mellower and melodic, this grows gradually. After the one minute mark the first vocals of the album (female) enter. In fact, this is the only song with vocals. This works onward as sort of a trippy, jazz drenched prog piece from there. This doesn't have as many crazed changes as the music we've heard to this point did. There are definitely elements of early King Crimson along with a lot of folk prog. The cut seems to gain something from the more "song-like" structure of its composition, but really doesn't sacrifice much to get that.

This is ambient and very trippy. It's a stark contrast to the music we've heard to this point. It's packed full of sound effects and other elements. It feels like it would fit in the soundtrack to a film. This is an intriguing, if odd, respite.

Di eccezione in variante
Coming in echoey and quite trippy, this grows into a cool jam from there. This thing evolves in similar fashion to some of the earlier music in the set. It becomes a driving, hard-edged prog jam after a while. There are definitely things about it that make me think of King Crimson, but nods to Dream Theater wouldn't be out of the question, either. Yet, there is also a bit of a jazz edge to it in some ways. It peaks before the five minute mark and then is reinvented with a mellow section. It powers back out from there into more powerhouse prog rock music with a real metal edge. This has more of that King Crimson thing, but I can even detect hints of Rush.
Shifting and turning, this powerhouse jam is definitely classy stuff. It's packed with prog rock and jazz and just plain grooves. While this is more of a mainstream fusion jam than a lot of the other stuff here, it's also one of the strongest pieces. It's just so tasty.
Eros vs Anteros
This wastes no time, screaming in with a fast paced, jazz-induced prog rock jam. They run that through for a time and then drop down to more spacey stuff to continue. As it comes out from there a cool electronic jam creates the backdrop as a guitar weaves lines of soloing over the top of it. This is killer fusion based space prog. That guitar soloing holds the piece for a couple minutes. Then they resolve that section and drop it back for a short time before bringing it back out into a different powerhouse space rock jam. The keyboards solo over the top here, with some Middle-Eastern musical patterns dominating at times. This part of the piece reminds me of something from Jesus Christ Superstar just a bit, but taken here into more purely progressive rock directions. This gets quite intense as it drives onward. They resolve to a more melodic fusion movement as they approach the six minute mark. Then the saxophone brings those Middle-Eastern sounds back into the cut as the next section allows that instrument to shine. They eventually work out to more of a band led segment that manages to drive those Middle-Eastern sounds for a while. It drops from there, though, to a cool acoustic guitar solo movement. That takes the cut to the closing.
Il violato intatto
The fast paced keyboard section that starts this makes me think of something from Rick Wakeman's Six Wives...album. This grows out in different ways than that did, though. It works through as a keyboard led movement for a time. It's almost three minutes in before it really moves beyond that. We get a fast paced hard rocking jam that's part Deep Purple, part ELP and part Dream Theater with a little fusion thrown in for good measure. They put in some cool shifts and turns as this evolves. A jazz treatment emerges and runs through. Then that keyboard line that opened the piece returns. Rather than continue the way they did at the start, though, more jazzy jamming emerges amidst that keyboard pattern. That drops away after a time, though, leaving just the keys. Then those drop away and it becomes a slow, mellow, horn journey from there. That serves to end the song and the album.
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