Everybody who knows a bit of history about the Italian progressive rock bands in the seventies, knows Il Rovescio della Medaglia. They were formed in Rome in 1970. After several album releases and various line-up changes, they split up in 1976. Early 90s guitarist Enzo Vita decided to reform the band with a new line-up, which featured musicians of the group RanestRane and released several albums once again.
The newly reformed band - which included the already mentioned Enzo Vita on guitar, Riccardo Romano on keyboards and vocals, Massimo Pomo on guitar, Maurizio Meo on bass and Daniele Pomo on drums - was also part of the line up that appeared at the Italian Progressive Rock Festival in Tokyo in 2013. During the almost fifty minutes of audio of their recorded show one would expect to hear a selection of tracks taken from their entire back catalogue. However, to my surprise, you can only enjoy their entire third album Contaminazione, which was originally released in 1975 and is probably their best album ever. An album that had a lot of classical influences, mainly thanks to the contributions of composer Luis Enriquez Bacalov and a real orchestra and conductor. The album was performed a few times in the past, but never with a real orchestra. Although the credits don't clarify anything, it seems this recording was made with a real orchestra. Therefore, the album was now performed for the very first time with an orchestra, forty years after it's first release. What you hear on Live In Tokyo is really stunning. The strong lead- and close harmony vocals in collaboration with the amazing keyboard and electric guitar parts, just kicked ass when I heard it the very first time! The band must have practised a lot to nail the whole piece. From the first track Absent For This Consumed World to the last track La Grande Fuga, the musicians of both band and orchestra just sounded incredible! So bravo to all of them for making this album worth listening to, even if the music sounded dated from time to time and the classical influences (Vivaldi and Bach) were all over the place. Thanks to today's modern recording techniques, the music written in the seventies comes very much to life in your living room. It is as if you were present at Club Citta on the 27th of April in 2013.
Highly recommended to those who enjoy music, made by several Italian progressive rock bands in the seventies; bands such as PFM, Banco, Le Orme and The New Trolls, but equally recommended to those who love keyboard orientated bands such as ELP, The Nice and Ekseption, who incorporated classical influences into their music also.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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