In Alessandria we can also listen to the excellent Imagin’Aria (MySpace), to the projects of guitarist Cristiano Mussi (MySpace) and to some emerging bands such as the melodic Roccaforte (MySpace), the heavier Anziana Regina (MySpace) and the psychedelic Cosa Rara (MySpace). In the nearby town of Casale Monferrato we can listen to a melodic prog band called Abaco (MySpace) while Acqui Terme is home to another melodic prog band, Plenilunio (MySpace). Another town in the
, Tortona, in the early seventies gave us a band called I Leoni while now it’s the time of the heavy and dark Ufomammut (MySpace). province of Alessandria
And now to ASTI, about 55 km south-east of
which in the seventies gave us Locanda delle Fate (Official Website). After an ephemeral reunion in the late nineties the band is now back with a renewed line-up and in summer 2010 they played their first concert since the late seventies. Former Locanda delle Fate keyboardist and composer Michele Conta (MySpace) has not taken part in the reunion and is working on a solo project. Turin
Well, almost every city in Piemonte gave birth to at least one prog band that is worth listening to. In CUNEO we find the folk-jazz Falafel Project (MySpace), the math prog Lamalora (MySpace) and Pandora (Official Website) that after an amazing debut album for BTF in 2011 released a sophomore album entitled Sempre e ovunque oltre il sogno.
From Bra, a town 50 km south of
Turin and 50 km north-east of , there comes Colster (MySpace), an emerging band influenced by psychedelic sounds while Mondovì is home to an instrumental project called Athene Noctua (MySpace). BIELLA in the seventies gave us Odissea while today it is home to a folk-jazz project called Abnoba (MySpace), the emerging LeMura (Facebook) and an interesting band called The Mellon (MySpace), inspired by esoteric and dark atmospheres. Cuneo
Then, from VERCELLI come the veterans Il Castello di Atlante (Official Website), formed in the seventies and still in perfect shape. Another local band of great experience is the neo-prog Arcansiel (MySpace) whose roots go back to the eighties. Arcansiel’s leader, Paolo Baltaro (MySpace), in 2009 released a solo album on Musea Records. The
, to be more exact an area called Valsesia, is also home to an emerging band called Coma Berenices (MySpace). province of Vercelli
To conclude our visit through far North-West
Italy, we go to AOSTA, the capital of the autonomous region VALLE D'AOSTA. Here during the seventies Paradiso a Basso Prezzo were based. Their drummer, Guido Gressani, is still active and plays jazz with his Guido Gressani Quintet (Facebook). Now the city is home to I Treni all’Alba (MySpace) that were formed between Aosta and Turin in 2002. All the members of the band are experienced musicians with different influences and in 2008 they released their first full length album, Folk Destroyers, on the independent label Smartz Records.
Each track is illustrated in the beautiful booklet with a drawing by the painter Domenico Sorrenti and the music flows away as in a long suite where quiet acoustic and folky passages melt into fiery percussion rides and vice versa. The name of the band, I Treni All’Alba, means “the trains at dawn...”.