Let's start with a confession. After listening to prog for nigh on 42 years, I have never heard of Sezione Frenante. They have never crossed my path and so, consequently, I have never heard a note of music from them. At least there is nothing to influence my judgement. No favourite track or band member. And isn't that how a review should be.
Their press release tells us that they were formed in the 70's, changed their name, split up, did solo albums, reformed, had a period of quiet and then resurfaced with this album. Sounds like your typical prog band from the 70's doesn't it? As you can guess by their name they are an Italian prog group singing in Italian. So no chance of me understanding the lyrics although the press release again helps out here. I quote. “ Their compositions from many years ago had given life to the music inspired by the fantastic journey of the poet Dante Alighieri. Thus was born this concept album, a single long journey through unknown lands populated by fantastic images at once terrible and beautiful, solar and merciful, through to maturity in life”
So nothing too serious then. So what does it sound like musically. Yes, Alessandro Casagrande (drums), Mirco De Marchi (keyboards), Sandro Bellemo (bass), Doriano Mestriner (guitars) and Francesco Nardo (vocals) were definitely inspired by the seventies. If you didn't know that it was a release from 2014 your first guess would be 1972. There are a lot of ideas on this album. However it seems to me that none of them truly reach their potential. Just as a piece creates a mood, it stops and something else starts making the album feel disjointed. Some of the ideas are very good but never flow. Maybe joining a few tracks together might have helped. Also the vocals are high in the mix and to me, overpowering especially as I cannot understand them. However, this seems to be the way with some Italian prog. So maybe all you Italian prog aficionados will really like this. Most of all if they are into the music of bands such as Locanda delle Fate and Biglietto Per L'Inferno. Its not an album I will be returning to in the not too distant future.
**+ Dave Smith
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