LogoS formed in Verona in 1996 as an Italian progressive rock cover band of the 70s, presenting songs from legendary Le Orme and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso. In 1999 LogoS released its debut album entitled Logos, followed by Asrava in 2001 (closer to Nineties King Crimson, aggressive and dark). Then it took many years (in 2010 the band opened the Biglietto Per L'Inferno at an Italian festival) before LogoS released the successor in 2014, the concept album L'Enigma Della Vita (CD and vinyl), on the Andromeda Relix label. LogoS got international acclaim and performed at several foreign festivals, like the Dutch ProgFrog (see review) and the French Rock Au Chateau (along Ars Nova from Japan, and Pendragon). In 2016 LogoS met Marica Fasoli at one of her exhibitions where the artist presented the first works of the successful series dedicated to origami. The painter tells the band the story of little Sadako; the group is fascinated by it and immediately involves Marco Zuffo, young author of the lyrics of the album that the Logos are writing in those days. Within a few hours the group and Marco come to the decision to write a song about Sadako, immediately involving Marica in the project. In the summer of 2020, 75 years after the bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, the Andromeda Relix label released the album with Pick Up Records distribution. On this new album LogoS features the original band members Luca Zerman on keyboards and lead vocals, Fabio Gaspari on bass, and Alessandro Perbellini on drums, along Claudio Antolini on keyboards who joined LogoS in 2004. Guitar player Massimo Maoli has turned into one of the guest musicians.
Sadako E Le Mille Gru Di Carta is my first musical encounter with LogoS, and I am very pleased with the melodic and harmonic keyboard driven prog. The two keyboard players deliver lots of exciting work on Hammond and synthesizers, like in the spectacular short opener Origami In SOL, Un Lieto Inquietarsi and Zaini Di Elio, often Emerson Lake & Palmer comes to my mind. But also, Le Orme and Banco, and the Japanese bands Ars Nova and Gerard, due to the lush and sumptuous keyboard sound, and the classically trained background is obvious. The track Paesaggi Di Insonnia is coloured with powerful saxophone work, along majestic Mellotron choirs and dazzling synthesizer flights. And Il Sarto is a wonderful ballad, embellished with churchy Hammond (in the vein of Procol Harum), inspired Italian vocals (evoking Angelo Branduardi), acoustic rhythm guitar, and in the end a beautiful accordeon sound, with tubular bells. What a contrast with the many sumptuous parts on this album!
My highlight is the alternating epic titletrack, starting and ending with tender piano play, but in between cascades of dynamic changing atmospheres, from mellow and mid-tempo to bombastic. The keyboard work is awesome, the slow and bombastic synthesizer flights reminds me of Japanese Gerard, along strong echoes from Rick Wakeman solo (Minimoog and Mellotron choirs). Halfway Massimo Maoli delivers fiery guitar runs, a tasteful addition to the omnipresent keyboards. The band succeeds to keep my full attention during the entire running time, close to 22 minutes, this is LogoS at its compositional peak, elaborate, dynamic and varied!
My only negative comment concerns the (native) vocals, the band uses two singers, one sounds inspired, the other mediocre (in the second and fifth track). And perhaps a bit more guitar can boost the variety and depth in the music. But in general, I am delighted about LogoS, this new effort is a 'wet dream for keyboard driven prog aficionados'! And now the question “What's next?”, a 'masterpiece', or even a 'classic'? This band has the tools!
**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)
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