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TRACK LIST: 1. Il Gioco Delle Parti 4:59 2. Le Promesse Della Notte 5:44 3. Il Giardino di Esperia 5:07 4. Piccolo Paesaggio Folk 1:02 5. Schegge di Poesia 3:48 6. Canto di Adagio 1:53 7. Morte di un Anonimo Guerriero 6:43 8. Azioni e Reazioni 8:56 9. Cosa Sara Questa Volta 2:25 10. La Lotteria di Babilonia 4:23 11. Classica 0:54 12. A Meta del Ponte 5:10 All music & lyrics: by Ivan Peasso, except 6 & 10: lyrics by J. Tolkien & J. Borges. LINE-UP: Ivan Peasso - electric & classical guitars G Luca Milan - electric guitars Daniele Perico - lead & backing vocals Fabio Biffignandi - drums Andrea Peasso - basses With: Aldo Cerpanelli - keyboards & piano Massimo Faletti - flutes &: A few more musicians Produced by Imagin' Aria. Engineered by R. Ceroni at CCM, Alexandria, Italy.
Prolusion. "Esperia" is the third album by IMAGIN' ARIA. The previous are "In un Altro Quando" (1997) and "La Tempesta" (2000), both released by Lizard Records as well. This is my first acquaintance with the creation of this Italian band.
Synopsis. Like every true Prog-head, I am really happy that the contemporary Progressive Rock movement is not only alive, but is so rich and diverse that many of the bands that created and furthered the genre would be proud. (Yeah, regardless of how trite this expression sounds.) Well, having started with such a pompous prelude, I've actually laid my cards on the table and made it clear to you that the review will be very positive. However, do you know dear readers that it's much harder to write so-called rave reviews than critical ones? I'm honest, and I believe most reviewers would agree with me without any hesitation. So, here is another brilliant album, and of course, a distinct originality is among the principal virtues of it. Daniele Perico is an amazing chameleon singer. But while he sings in Italian, and the band's music is hardly about something unusual (if not to take into account its almost exclusively dramatic character), it isn't linked with their native Progressive and any other school of the genre alike. "A Genius is a friend of Paradoxes". This way, mentally quoting the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, I have stopped to search for the roots of Imagin' Aria's music after hearing the album. I think I can declare that this is just an original contemporary Progressive at its best. There are no pauses between the tracks here. Furthermore, it is often hard to determine the end of one composition and the beginning of another. So "Esperia" is most likely a full-fledged concept album. (All-instrumental concept albums are only semi-full-fledged:-). Most of the songs here aren't long, but the vocal and instrumental arrangements on each of them are so much diverse and changeable that you'll have very little time to dwell on any one theme. The predominant stylistics is not Symphonic Prog-Metal, typical for Dream Theater and the likes, nor Symphonic Art-Rock with pronounced elements of Prog-Metal, like in the case of Magellan, etc. This is a very well balanced combination of both of these genres when the heaviness of Prog-Metal perceives like being originally inseparable from the lushness and complexity of Art-Rock. All of this is typical for most of the tracks on the album, one of which (3) is an instrumental piece. The last song (12) is the only track which features violin and accordion and is notable for lushly orchestrated arrangements, while generally, the album is made up of the parts of traditional Rock instruments, including Hammond, and those of piano, flute, and classical guitar. Along with its intro (4), Schegge di Poesia (5) represents a pure Symphonic Art-Rock with a strong medieval folk music feel throughout. Canto di Adagio is the only song among the shortest tracks and, as well as two instrumentals (4 & 11), is based on passages of classical guitar. The ninth consists of passages of a string ensemble going along with narration and, like any of the other short pieces here, is just part of the song that follows it.
Conclusion. Imagin' Aria's "Esperia" is an all around great work. One of the year's masterworks, this is a certain candidate for my Top-20-2004. The lovers of classic Symphonic Progressive will find everything here that makes music the integral part of their life.
VM: May 3, 2004
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