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(70:00 / Black Widow Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Opening 2:41 2. Villaggio 5:53 3. Movimento Egoismo 5:17 4. Preludio Paura 4:17 5. Culto Disarmonico 5:40 6. E' L'ora 5:39 7. Dolce Acqua Speranza 5:41 8. Gioia Disordine Risentimento 6:17 9. Jethro Tull Medley 7:20 10. Notte a Bagdad 3:21 11. Johnny Sayre Perdono 5:05 12. Jesahel 4:36 13. With a Little Help from My Friends 8:18 LINEUP: Ettore Vigo - fortepiano, organ, keyboards; vocals Martin Grice - flute, saxophones; vocals Roberto Salinas - lead vocals; guitars Pino Di Santo - drums; vocals Fabio Chighini - bass; vocals
Prolusion. "Vibrazione Notturne" by Italy's DELIRIUM is their first full-length album since very distant 1972 when the group released "Lo Scemo e il Vilaggio", a follow-up to their debut LP "Dolce Acqua" from 1971. Recorded live on July 24, 2006, this output gathers together nine numbers from Delirium's early repertoire, two covers and two new compositions. Comeback? Exactly: the band is currently putting the final touches to their new studio album "Delirium 4", whose forthcoming release has already been announced by their label Black Widow Records.
Analysis. Of the two previously unavailable tracks, Opening and Notte a Bagdad, the former mainly reflects the enthusiasm the audience shows when greeting the band's appearance on stage, whilst the other is a complete composition, though it is not the time to describe it yet, as I'd like first to touch on some of the tunes that I find to be less interesting than the others. The last three tracks, Johnny Sayre Perdono, Jesahel and a cover of The Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends, all have their own virtues, but are somewhat overloaded with singing and are generally simpler than the others. Delivered as the curtain falls, these are perceived mainly as hits the band keeps in reserve so to play them as encores. The nine pieces located at the album's core (totalling about 50 minutes), although varying in progressiveness, are all compelling, the Jethro Tull Medley included. It was sensible of the band to perform the largely instrumental Notte a Bagdad right after the Tulls' number, since the Medley involves Bouree and Living in the Past both of which are imbued in folk colorations. In the teeth of what its title suggests, the band's newest creation does not reveal any Arabic or suchlike tunes, but rather represents Celtic music-inspired progressive Folk Rock, though the acoustic guitar solo in one of its middle sections is done firmly in the Flamenco style. Of the two songs belonging to Symphonic Progressive, E' L'ora and Preludio Paura, the former is full of intensity and dynamism, and the latter is a ballad which, however, is at once so diverse and beautiful that I like it no less than the other. The remaining slow piece, Dolce Acqua Speranza, contains only one vocal section, the music often bordering on quasi Jazz-Fusion, but since there are very few pace changes here, it comes across as being even more ballad-like in character than the previously described one. The highlights include Culto Disarmonico, Vilaggio and Movimento Egoismo, and I must tell you all these are startling compositions, super-progressive from top to toe, each standing out for some positively wild improvisations from each of the musicians, though it's saxophonist / flautist Martin Grice (an Englishman by the way) who most often appears as the leading light in that field. Culto Disarmonico and Vilaggio are both instrumental pieces, and if the former ranges from classic Jazz-Fusion to avant-garde Jazz, the latter combines probably all the basic progressive genres, much more often merging symphonic, jazz and heavy textures into one unique whole than weaving mono- or even dichromatic stylistic canvases. The song Movimento Egoismo, which follows Vilaggio, continues developing the essence of that instrumental, meaning it's much in the same vein, but is even richer in pleasingly eclectic arrangements, the vocals in no way impeding the music's overall advance. A blend of symphonic Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion using Prog-Metal, presented on these two, is perfect in terms of both composition and performance - think Jethro Tull jamming with Soft Machine and Dream Theater. Oh almost forgot: all five of the musicians sing in choir quite a few, if not most, of the vocal parts on the recording, doing this in both a highly original and impressive way.
Conclusion. Not all of the tracks on "Vibrazione Notturne" are equally impressive, but nevertheless this album gives the listener a clear idea what a fantastic band this Delirium is. (Oh those sacred seventies!) Since their avant-jazz moves definitely border on RIO, it seems no genuine prog-rock style is beyond their reach. This ensemble should be a revelation for all those contemporary prog heads who, say, put down roots in the genre, not wasting their energies on its modern modifications-simplifications.
VM: Agst 9, 2007
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