Friday, December 1, 2017

Magnolia "Con Fuoco"

Country: Italy
Genre(s): Progressive Rock
LabelLizard Records (LZ0130)
FormatCD, digital
Release date: December 1, 2017
1. Con Fuoco (3:56)
2. Rivolta (4:04)
3. La Citta Della Notte (6:54)
4. Gea (4:59)
5. Syrma (9:33)
6. Stasi (5:20)
7. Terre Di Mezzo (10:09)
8. Luna Del Viandante Pt.1 (Stanze) (5:05)
9. Luna Del Viandante Pt.2 (Distanze) (3:42)
10. Luna Del Viandante Pt. 3 (Assenze) (4:24)

Total Time 58:06

Chiara Gironi: vocals
Donatella Valeri: piano, keyboards
Simone Papale : bass
Claudio Carpenelli: drums
Bruno Tifi: guitar
Alessandro Di Cori: guitar

Five years after “La Zona d’Ombra”, the band released Con Fuoco (With fire).
While Con Fuoco is not a concept album there is nonetheless a thin red line that goes through all the tracks and connects them to a shared theme: resistance against oppressive regimes, past and present.
The album opens with the title track, an instrumental with clear hard rock influences. After the opener the album takes a faster pace and an angry, fighting stance with songs like Rivolta (Revolt), inspired by early 21st century No-Global movements and their struggles and Gea  that envisions the rebellion of the cradle of Western culture against the speculations of the latest years. Anger subsides into melancholy in Syrma, inspired by the desaparecidos and the Latin America dictatorships. Syrma is the album’s first long track and probably the most “progressive”, with repeated and sudden tempo changes and melodic, mellower arpeggios dueting with explosive, powerful instrumental sections. The same alternance between slower, mellower passages and frantic, hectic ones is found in Terre di mezzo (Lands in-between), the second long track dedicated to the tragic, unending war between Israel and Palestine, featuring an orchestra finale that is beyond doubt one of the peaks of the whole album.
Con Fuoco’s final track is a 3 part suite which is actually one of the band’s first work dating back to the late 90s: Luna del viandante (The Wanderer’s moon), an intimate and personal track that represets at the same time a departure from the rest of the album and a trip back to the dreamlike, outside-time-and-space atmospheres which are a trademark of Magnolia, atmospheres that enhance and bring at the forefront the crystal clear, poetic and, in this track, stunningly poignant and intense voice of the vocalist.
Once again Magnolia have demonstrated that they walk their own path, far away from traditional labels and genres: a band with Italian lyrics engulfed in a typical British sound, a band that combines a Wilson-esque “kaleidoscope” sound with deeply emotional and socially oriented lyrics akin to some works by Fabrizio De André. In short, a mix that we could call “combat prog.” (btf )

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