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TRACK LIST: 1. La Recita del Silenzio 22:15 2. Pannolino 3:18 3. Spettacolo Annulato (inst.) 4:22 4. Il Canto Notturno Della Stella 6:28 5. Giorno per Giorno (inst.) 0:37 6. Il Racconto di Una Sosta Imprevista 4:36 7. La Danza del Gatto sul Tetto (inst.) 8:26 All music & lyrics: by Paolo Nannetti. LINE-UP: Paolo Nannetti - keyboards; vocals Oriano Dasasso - keyboards Roberto Magni - electric & acoustic guitars Valerio Roda - basses Orio Cenacchi - drums & percussion Marco Giovannini - lead vocals Arranged & produced by Sithonia. Engineered by David Brian at "Pick Up" in pr. of Bologna.
Prolusion. With this material, I start reviewing a series of CDs reissuing by Mellow Records as "Mellow Golden Fund". Most of these CDs were originally released at the first years of activity of this Italian label in the first half and in the middle of the 1990s. As far as I know, there are three albums in Sithonia's active, and "Spettacolo Annulato" is the second of them.
Synopsis. "Spettacolo Annulato" ("The Canceled Performance") is an album, both of the musical and lyrical contents of which are coherent. In other words, this is a full concept album or, I'd say, a feature album. Musically, it represents Classic Symphonic Art-Rock of a classically classic inspiration, which means that everything here is completely structured, harmonized, and is based on the pronounced melodic principles formed in classical music at the Renaissance. Generally speaking and just for example, a similar design is laid in the basis of music on Genesis's "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", while that on "Relayer" by Yes is classically futuristic, and not purely classical in character. Although a distinctive theatrically dramatic (very picturesque!) atmosphere dominates on all four of the songs here (see track list above), the musicians of Sithonia have a specific and certainly their own approach to arrangements distinguishing their creation from that of the other bands working in this genre. The alternation of soft and powerful, hard-edged, and quite heavy arrangements with frequent changes of tempo and mood, done mostly with the use of complex time signatures, is typical for all four of the songs here, and also an instrumental piece placed on the album's closing track (7). One of the remaining two instrumentals: Giorno per Giorno (Year by Year, 5) is very short and consists exclusively of passages of an acoustic guitar. It's hard to perceive it as a separate track, and not as an intro to the song it follows. The instrumental Spettacolo Annulato (3) is the only track on the album where there are no heavy elements at all. Furthermore, it is for the most part based on the interplay between the parts of varied keyboards, including the vibraphone-like solos, while those of the other instruments appear here only episodically. To be objective though, keyboards are the main soloing forces on this album and cover it with every possible musical colors and shades. Marco Giovannini sings mostly alone in this play, but when the band's main man, Paolo Nannetty, joins him in a different key-in-harmony, such a duet sounds just wonderfully beautiful. Finally, I'd like to mention that while the passages of either acoustic or semi-acoustic guitar are present on most of the tracks here, Il Racconto (6) features the nice interplay between solos of acoustic and electric guitar done in fourth and fifth.
Conclusion. Everyone knows that time quite often revives the view on those things that seemed to be unshakable. Fortunately, Sithonia's "Spettacolo Annulato has stood the test of time. Ten years passed by since the album was originally released, and it still sounds fresh and interesting. If you aren't acquainted with the creation of this band, don't miss the opportunity to do it now. About a half of the CD edition (1000 copies) is sold already...
VM: May 16, 2003
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