BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO – …Di Terra
After the superb 'Io Sono Nato Libero' we jump forward five years now for 1978’s ‘…Di Terra’, and this is a different beast altogether. Although the band comprised the same musicians, the sound was much more orchestrated, with the opening track sounding like it is played by a full orchestra. The whole album is instrumental this time, and the music is much more structured, with less room for improvisation, and yet despite this it is very easy to listen to, and so somewhat surprisingly was very successful for the band. ‘Terramadre’ is almost Miles Davis jazz in places, with trumpet as the lead instrument and a distinct jazz feel to the rhythm section, while saxophone takes over the lead for ‘Non Senza Dolore’, and the rhythm evokes Philip Glass’ repetitive minimalism. ‘Io Vivo’ is a lengthy orchestrated piece, but ‘Ne Piu Di Un Albero Non Meno Di Una Stella’ is more stripped down and played on just piano and keyboards. This turns out to be one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album, with the music being both inventive and yet having an elegant simplicity about it. ‘Nei Suoni E Nei Silenzi’ is another track where the band take the lead, with keyboards well to the fore, and ‘Di Terra’ itself is one of the best orchestrated tracks on here, even incorporating a moving guitar and piano interlude. The first two of these albums – along with their eponymous debut – are essential purchases for even the novice prog rock fan, and once you have sampled their delights you can decide if progressive orchestral rock is the next step for you. You will have to make your mind up on this album alone, though, as I have honestly never heard anything to compare to ‘…Di Terra’ is all my years of listening to progressive rock.