Σάββατο, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009

Le Orme - Felona e Sorona


This album is a concept album, telling the tale of two planets. Felona is prosperous and happy, while Sorona is a horrid world filled with famine and plague. However, the fates of the two switch. Since I don’t speak Italian, I can’t say ant more about the plot than that. Felona e Sorona is relatively short for a Prog album, lasting under 35 minutes. 8:46 of that makes up “Sospesi nell 'incredibile”, the opening track. It features ethereal sounding keyboards and synths, and sounds generally spacey and isolated. The bass work here provides a solid backing for creeping synthesizer work. Overall, a good piece of prog. This is followed by “Felona”, a very short piece of bells and acoustic guitar, with an upbeat vocal. Here the band makes it quite obvious that Felona is a great place to be, but those ghostly keyboards tell something is beginning to go wrong. Another short piece “La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo”, follows with nice grand piano fills. “L'equilibrio” then begins and suddenly adds energy and aggression to the momentum of the album. More keyboards here, and this one sounds very similar to “Sospesi nell 'incredibile”, but with grand piano added. On to side two. To accomapny “Felona”, “Sorona” gets its turn in the spotlight. As would be expected, the music is slow, gloomy, and ghastly. Another song that fits the mood it wants to portray perfectly. Follow up songs “Attese inerte” is more of the same keyboard driven mid tempo work that the band played on side A, while “Ritratto di un mattino” echoes “Sorona” very closely for its first half before switchign to “Felona” like structure. “All'infuori del tempo” continues this upbeatness with the acoustic guitar coming back to a prominent role. The album ends with a song called “Ritorno al nulla” which finally injects some needed originality to this album. Here we have the gloominess of the other numbers, but at a faster pace. Thus song defiantly sounds very alien, and ends with bombastic amounts of synthesizer. Felona e Sorona has numerous strengths. The acoustic guitar pieces prove very nice on the ears. The real star of the show is the keyboards, as Pagliuca adds multi- layered keyboards to the mix in spectacular fashion. Le Orme’s great strength lies here. However, there are weaknesses to the album. For one, the repetitiveness is extremely high, even for a concept album. Additonaly, the album aside from the keyboards is pretty generic and uninventive. Pound for Pound, this one falls short of essential. On the whole however, we have a solid album showing off the greatness of the Italian keybaord in Progressive rock.

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