Osanna's debut album L'Uomo is a pretty sensational album. Basically, all the elements of their sound are already present on their debut. The basis of their sound here is original heavy guitar rock often in combination with amazing flute solos. Additionally, more spacey, Pink Floydian parts and quiet interludes with acoustic guitar and flute can be heard as well. Besides the great flute playing, good vocals (if sung in Italian), the excellent guitar playing, and a fairly active drummer are the most ear pleasing features. As a reference point, think of a mix of Jethro Tull, early Roxy Music, the heavier side of Cream, and ocassionally Focus. Otherwise imagine a more sophisticated version of Golden Earring (of the early 70's). L'Uomo is a remarkably mature album and easily one of the best Italian rock albums before 1972 (the year that the Italian prog scene exploded with creativity). Osanna would improve and perfect their style on Palepoli, their third album.
|Sjef Oellers||24-Feb-2001||Milano Calibro 9|
This film soundtrack was their second album. Most of the album contains prime Osanna , great guitar-led heavy progressive, quiet acoustic parts with beautiful mellotron or flute, etc. In addition they experiment with the use of orchestration in their music, which just as often works as it doesn't. Often it sounds like a juxtaposition of classical music and hard rock rather than the integration of both styles, but the low point of the album is definitely the cheesy pop ballad, that ends Milano Calibro 9. Although Milano Calibro 9 contains all the elements that would be presented in perfection on Palepoli, the use of orchestration, at times, gets in the way of their music. Nevertheless, Milano Calibro 9 is still a great album which contains some of Osanna's best music.
Palepoli begins with a pounding medieval drum, which turns out to be the messenger of great things to come. Flute and distant children's voices appear shortly. Next the full band is faded in, playing at full power in a heavy, up tempo, folk rock part that is followed by a raucous guitar solo. The mood slows down and a longer spacey, pastoral part follows with beautiful mellotron playing (a bit like King Crimson). The tension builds again after several minutes with guitar and dual flute leads, which develop into a more symphonic rock melody. This constant variation of styles continues throughout the album - flute/guitar lead hard rock, dreamy mellotron parts, spacey symphonic progressive, occasionally rather chaotic free rock sections, etc. Just like the Semiramis album, they play with infectious energy and great intensity. Palepoli covers a wide range of styles, moods, and tempo variations, and Osanna handle these diverse modes of playing superbly. An ultimate classic!
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