Italy's best kept prog-rock secret? That's what many are saying about Perferia Del Mondo since the release of their third album Perf3ria Del Mondo. They chose a self-title this time around, but it's no debut from a new comer. On this album we find a confident and solid band at a high point. Best of all, they have found the ideal blend of 70s progressive, jazz, and psychedelia with modern twists and technological recording techniques.
Master woodwind player Alessandro Papotto (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso), co-founded Periferia Del Mondo in Rome in 1996 along with guitarist Giovanni Tommasi and bassist Claudio Braico, shortly afterwards drummer Tony Zito and keyboardist Bruno Vegliante signed on. They quickly arrived at a winning combination of sounds, drawing from many styles to form a veritable cornucopia of prog rock bliss. There is something here for everyone.
All of the tracks on this album are solid, but to me there are three truly standout tracks that merit special mention. Track 3 Suite Mediterranea immediately reminded me of my all-time favourite Spanish progressive group Amarok. When you close your eyes this piece takes right to the Spanish Mediterranean seafront, stretching out on a hammock sipping your favourite drink beneath a palm tree. What could possibly be better? Any song that gives me such a picturesque visual reaction on the first listen is a sure-fire winner in my book.
Track 5 Come Un Gabbiano is exactly what so many Italian progressive acts today are seeking, the perfect modernization of the classic 1970s era multi part composition, only not quite so lengthy as Supper's Ready, 2112, or Close To The Edge. And just when you think you've got this group figured out and remain convinced that they lean towards the mellower side of prog, roaring out of the gates comes track 7 Synaethesia with one of the best heavy guitar riff-based themes I've heard in years. Periferia Del Mondo truly covers more styles in this single album than most artists do throughout an entire career.
I have the strong impression that the best is yet to come from Periferia Del Mondo. By all means rush out and find your copy of this wonderful album, but be sure to keep an eye out for future albums, there is a fire smouldering just below the surface here.... and it's just waiting for an accelerant to make a flash explosion. You don't want to miss that, and the best way to be prepared is to know what led them there.
**** Thomas Rhymer
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