There are releases that I struggle to come up with adequate words that would somehow be worthy of the music.
Usually after writing these reviews I feel lousy for not being able to match my abstract impressions of the album with the verbal and thought-processing part of my brain which seems to be incapacitated and barely capable of finding the right descriptions and praises.
So in case it’s not clear from this review, know this – I am very impressed with this album. And I find the music on it to be as lovely as it is captivating. But know this, it takes time and concentration to fully absorb all of it. There, a direct and simple way to praise an album, bypassing all the verbose and loquacious long-winded and pompous reviewing I usually aim for.
But I can’t leave it at that, right. You may very well want to know what this sounds like? And perhaps a bit more on what I think of it, what I hear special in the music?Recorded in 2009, these compositions represent a repertoire of music by Rocco Lomonaco dating back to 1990 until 1997. The music Mr. Lomonaco composes a fascinating fusion of modern classical music with rock, resulting in a “rock-estra” of sorts. There is a magical mix of the orchestra and the rock lineups, including the vocals (female operatic and male speaking/singing). The lyrics are by Mr. Franco Sciscio. In fact, I was reminded of the music of Yugen on Labirinto D’acqua the most while listening to this (obviously this was composed before their time) and at times it brought up even Steve Martland’s Horses Of Instruction (on track 8 – “Inseguito Dai Creditori”). Another point of reference is Nichelodeon’s Il Gioco Del Silenzio (I’ll get back to that at the end of the review).
Most pieces are made up of shorter sections that flow seamlessly. Each one dominated with a theme and atmosphere of its own, at times spilling over to the next part. To me there is a good balance of both musical worlds here, and I guess I should not see it that way anymore, rather I should treat it as one approach or style that happens to draw from both worlds and put emphasis on one when appropriate (“Tre Pezzi Brevi” is a more “classical”-based piece while “Ludiche Ecchimosi” is more rock-oriented.
The music also holds elements of surprise. For instance, just when you don’t expect it, the music turns from a modern classical type, orchestral and peaceful to a blatant avant-progressive rock (still with elements of the orchestra playing along). It also makes sharp turns at times to a new direction and develops a new theme (in the multi-section pieces). I may very well be wrong here, but some of the pieces sound to me atonal in nature (for instance, “Tre Pezzi Brevi”), while most others are tonal-based compositions and are more naturally accessible.
The title track itself is worth the price of admission. Representative of all the styles and ambiances on the album it is comprised of 10 sections that shift from abstract and mellow soundscapes to aggressive and structured rock bit, from a jazzy short theme to a mysterious and eerie sounding organ-lead part, from a rich sounding orchestral portion to a calmer acoustic guitar lead segment. This composition (in particular, “Non Credere Piu”) along with “Il Folletto Di Cera” reminded me of what Nichelodeon does in his latest album, Il Gioco Del Silenzio – a theatrical, vocals-lead emotional, atonal, abstract at times musical show.
The last three tracks are bonus pieces:
“Le Follia Del Mimo Azoto” is a jazzy tune with the vocals being the most playful in the album, very much in tune with the song’s liveliness and slight cheekiness.
The album closes with an instrumental version of the two-segment piece “Il Folletto Di Cera”.
The album comes in a lovely mini-LP packaging with lots of pictures and written text in the booklet, only those are in Italian with no English translation, which is too bad.
If you like a fusion of modern classical composition and avant-prog-rock and if you like Yugen, Nichelodeon or even Steve Martland, do check Breznev Fun Orchestra out.