Back in 2010 I advised people who enjoy the classic progressive rock music of the seventies, to try out the eponymous debut album recorded by the Italian band Il Tempio Delle Clessidre. I stated that this album features all those elements that should especially be enjoyed by the older prog heads since they grew up with the music of Genesis, Yes, PFM and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Furthermore I mentioned that the influences from all these bands are chiefly responsible for the fantastic retro sound. Now three years later, a follow-up has been released called alieNatura.
In between those two releases vocalist Stefano'Lupo' Galifi returned to his first love Museo Rosenbach. He was replaced by Francesco Ciapica. Fortunately Elisa Montaldo remained with the band; on the debut album she was very important with her strong keyboard playing and her occasional lead vocals. Moreover, she was together with bassist Fabio Gremo, who stayed either, responsible for the compositions. Together with guitarist Giulio Canepa and drummer Paolo Tixi they once again recorded an album that will be loved by everyone who cherishes the prog rock of the seventies.
The warm and emotional vocals are still present on alieNatura. I think one of the reasons for these emotional sounding vocals is the fact that they sing in the Italian language. When Italian bands decide to sing in English this mostly happens at the cost of their emotional performance. Once more the fabulous keyboard parts are present throughout the album. You can often enjoy the sound of the Mellotron and the synthesizers in full glory just like the many excellent emotional guitar solos. For me the highlights on this album are undoubtedly Il Passo and the epic piece Il Cacciatore. These tracks mostly contain everything that's great about this band.
With alieNatura Il Tempio Delle Clessidre prove to belong to the countries in the world with the best progressive rock bands that record very enjoyable retro progressive rock. I'm convinced that if this band would have existed in the seventies they would have been part of the great progressive rock movement of that era. No doubt about that!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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