|Greg Northrup||8-November-2001||Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu|
Locanda Delle Fate - Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu (1977)
Well, at this point I've done some sufficient exploring of the Italian scene, having gobbled up most of what are considered to be the "essential" albums by both big-name bands as well as one-shot diamonds in the rough. Locanda Delle Fate's total gem of an album, Forse Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu, has shot right to the top of the heap. This is total symphonic perfection! A lot of the "essential" Italian albums get five star reviews on this site, but this one is up there with Banco's Io Sono Nato Libero and Metamorfosi's Inferno as one of my favorite progressive rock albums ever.
This entire recording is perfect. Fans of lush, complex symphonic progressive rock will adore Forse. This album represents the genre at its finest and most sophisticated while retaining an extraordinary level of pure, unadulterated emotion. The music is meticulously constructed around some dazzlingly complex piano motifs, featuring all kinds of synthesizers, flutes, guitar and bass playing interlocking melodies that build to exciting climaxes around the main themes. The vocals are deep, emotional and quasi-operatic, similar to Franceso from Banco or Jimmy Spilateri from Metamorfosi, and are very good.
One of the major attributes of the album is the sheer number of instruments that play at any single moment, without replicating each other. Each instrument is nearly always playing an independent motif that is totally interdependent with everything else. The album moves fluidly through numerous time signatures, and the drummer does an amazing job of guiding the group through each piece. Add the wonderful Italian vocals on top of this, and you definitely have a winning formula. With all that's going on, there is amazingly no wankery on this album. Every note is totally essential to the overall mood of the song.
It's difficult to single out any particular song here as being a highlight, they are all good and fairly similar to one another. The title track is definitely totally flawless song, and "Sogno Di Estunno" is another favorite because it has some of the only "up-beat" passages on the album. Most of the songs are slow, grandiose and extremely beautiful. This is an unreserved recommendation.
|Tom Hayes||19-March-2001||Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu|
By 1977, progressive rock in Italy was all but dead. Most of the movement had moved either underground or more towards the experimental (Pierrot Lunaire, Picchio dal Pozzo). It must've been quite the surprise for collectors of the day to see Locanda delle Fate appear on the horizon, with major label backing (Polydor) and the visual eye candy of the gorgeous gatefold fantasy cover. Generally considered the last hurrah for the great Italian music scene, Locanda delle Fate appropriately provide the final benediction. A seven-piece group, with a rather complete instrument line-up consisting of organ, Moog, flute, piano, vibraphone, clavinet, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums and vocals. In some ways, Locanda's album can be considered a move forward, an updated take on the classic sound. An argument could be made that the album is almost too slick - too many compromises for a more fidgety contemporary audience. In reality, Locanda were more subtle than their predecessors. It really takes many listens to peel the onion as it were. For those weaned on the musical acrobatics of Semiramis or Il Balletto di Bronzo, Locanda can quickly be waved off as lightweight and simple. This would be a poor assumption to make. Perhaps this is why Locanda took longer to surface than other bands of their ilk: All of the lessons learned from observing the last seven years.
The opener, "A Volte un Istante di Quiete", is a brilliant instrumental with active rhythms and flute leading the melody parade. The next piece (the title track), demonstrates why Locanda delle Fate needs more time for evaluation. The music here is almost pop chart commercial except there is much more complexity brought forth. It is a testament to the savvy of Locanda to harbor this kind of intelligent composition style, while not being show-offy in the slightest. Each of these apparent chartmakers contain outstanding instrumental sections that focus on the ensemble rather than the solo. What stands out most about Locanda delle Fate are the memorable melodies all within the context of the overall complex instrumental work. While all the instrumentalists are fantastic, special mention goes to flautist Erio Vevey who typically owns the melody line. Track highlights include "Sogno di Estunno" which is Locanda della Fate at their most aggressive and "Vendesi Saggezza", the stunningly beautiful closer.
It is considered de rigueur for vinyl collectors to own at least
one of the gatefold versions of this album. Along with the Italian original,
there is a Japanese press also from Polydor as well as a Korean version from
Si Wan. Absolutely essential for those who display album art in their homes.
|Links for further information|