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  • Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Transiberiana (2019)

    Symphonic from Italy

    Everything sounds better in Italian. Even an attractive English phrase like ‘beautiful daughter of love’ goes up a notch when presented as ‘bella figlia dell’amore’. How much more so, Banco Del Mutuo Soccoso. It trips off the tongue, whereas its English translation, ‘Mutual Aid Bank’ doesn’t quite sing in the same way. This album – Banco’s first entirely new offering for 25 years – is a very welcome addition to ‘Rock Progressivo Italiano’. Indeed, having first graced the scene in 1969, it’s as if Vittorio Nocenti and company never went away.

    For old-time Banco fans and newcomers alike, Transiberiana – which uses a cross-continental train journey as a metaphor for life – contains a variety of treasures. Tracks like La Discesa Dal Treno and L’Assalto Dei Lupi reach back into the spikey and technical chops of their original British contemporaries like Yes and Gentle Giant. The intervening years – not least the stratospheric developments in keyboard technologies – mean that songs such as I Ruderi Del Gulag and dark rocker Lo Sciamano have a bleaker, industrial and more contemporary sound. These are fascinating developments, but there’s also a lot to love in the softer, more Latin and jazzy elements.

    With a bold Latin willingness to play on the emotions. After its techy opening bars, Eterna Transiberiana becomes a sweet and affecting ballad. The stand-out Il Grande Bianco uses looped guitar and dancing keyboard work to mesmerising effect and creates a satisfying sense of space and wonder.

    Perhaps the best testimony to Transsiberiana’s quality lies in the fact that the listener has no need to understand Italian to enjoy it. It is an album which transcends language. After losing two founding members in the 90s, it had looked like Banco Del Mutuo Soccoso had called it a day as a creative (if not a live) force. Transiberiana suggests otherwise. While the inclusion of two live tracks recorded in 2018, including the classic Metamorfosi, testify to their ongoing power as a live act, it’s fair to say that this album has reinvigorated the band.


    Though not my favourite, still up there amongst the best.A worthy listen to any prog fan.;)

    Edited 8 times, last by Noni ().

  • Faithful Breath - Fading Beauty ... early 70s German symphonic prog classic.

    I like this a lot 8)...Thank you for sharing!..:)

    Just got this album and their 1980 album. Shame they went to heavy metal after that!... Only got the 2 albums from Germany.:)


    First 2 albums are very good symphonic albums scoring above average on the Prog Archives site

    Both really good albums 8)  3.5/5 on the PA site

    First 2 albums are brilliant, the rest is garbage!! Don't bother if you like Heavy Metal

    They went from a good average score before 1980 to less then below average, when they went that heavy route..:?:.. Prog Archives have them.. Less then 2 on the PA web site.:(;(

    Edited 8 times, last by Noni ().

  • Yes, I have Fading Beauty and Back On My Hill, both on CD. I know a couple of people with the LPs which are really nice to see. Strange how they morphed into an 80s metal band (with viking helmets!?) later. I have no interest in those albums (they eventually changed their name to Risk).

    But that first album especially is an underground classic of the symphonic prog genre. Glad to expose more people to it!

  • Last week, i was listening to music written and produced by Guy Chambers which includes a LOT of early Robbie Williams, but also Melanie C, Jewel, Kylie Minogue and World Party.

    That, BTW, got me listening to (of all things) the works of the Spice Girls! Including all their solo stuff (just like Genesis, the Spice Girls have a complex discography of group and solo work that intertwine). I'm not ashamed to say it either. :)

  • Noni, you and I have very similar tastes! Love that Celeste album, an Italian classic! Haven't heard the new Gong yet, just waiting on the CD to arrive.

    Now playing: Novalis - self-titled album from the Schmetterlinge boxed set.

  • Noni, you and I have very similar tastes! Love that Celeste album, an Italian classic! Haven't heard the new Gong yet, just waiting on the CD to arrive.

    Now playing: Novalis - self-titled album from the Schmetterlingee boxed set.

    I have the Novalis music :)

    We are not alone on here.  COT, Ned123, Genesis1964,Chessman & Slowdancer....All have similar tastes!...;)

  • Ainur ‎– Children Of Húrin - 2007....Italy


    Their total music collection is inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien

    Edited once, last by Noni ().