Friday, February 20, 2009

Chiave di volta: Ritratto libero (Lizard Records, 2004)

As one of those anachronistic neo-progressive albums, "Ritratto libero" isn't one of the most celebrated releases of the last decade, at least outside the community of prog-rock aficionados. Its very balanced fusion of the most distant Italian progressive legacies - from the most melodic to the most experimental ones - would deserve some more attention though, both for the stylistic synthesis and the excellency of the six songs composing the album.
"Dietro le mura" hints at the daydream atmospheres of La locanda delle fate with enthralling and passionate melodies, mesmerizing piano/synth/flute fugues and driving drums interlocks, but it also winks at the suspended mood of Picchio dal pozzo and the daredevil intrications of Stormy Six. The latter are the most evident inspiration for the central part of the title-track, featuring an impossibly anti-tuneful, epically detached vocal melody dubbed by Fripp-like guitar playing. Then come Stravinskian joints, Genesis/Area influenced dance passages, funky basslines and laid back jazzy nuances.
The overall sound is very mellow and clean, but it does have the warmth and roundness which actually lacks from most contemporary neoprog releases.

"Ritratto libero", the debut album of the Tuscanian quintet Chiave di volta, is one of the very few gems sprung out with spaghetti-prog coming back into fashion during the last fifteen years, and shouldn't be missed by anyone interested in the genre.

  1. Il viaggio
  2. Onirica mente
  3. Dietro le mura
  4. Ritratto libero
  5. Involuzioni rapide
  6. Ballo al molino
Download (256 kbps)