Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Forza Elettro Motrice (in short F.E.M.) began life in Meda in 2007 on the initiative of keyboardist Alberto Citterio and guitarist Paolo Colombo with the aim to rediscover the progressive rock sounds of the seventies. After some line up changes the band started to work on some original compositions and, after a first demo in 2011, in 2012 they released Epsilon, a debut EP featuring four pieces for about 22 minutes of music. The current line up features Giacomo Balzarotti (vocals, classical guitar), Emanuele Borsati (drums, percussion), Marco Buzzi (bass), Alberto Citterio (piano, keyboards) and Paolo Colombo (guitars) and the result of their efforts is quite interesting. The overall sound of the band draws on the style of Italian prog masters of the seventies such as Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Locanda delle Fate or Alphataurus but the enthusiasm of the musicians is great and their song-writing skills good enough to express something original and not too derivative.

The delicate, short opener “Nella stanza vuota” (Into the empty room) begins with a nice piano pattern, then soaring melodic vocals come in describing the search for a shelter, a hidden place where you can be alone with your thoughts, a quiet room where you can let you thoughts run free and have a rest when you are sad... “The empty room, I close my eyes / And I paint a picture with my thoughts / I am a cloud, I am a cloud / A cloud lost in a gust of wind...”. For a while you don't have to think of anything and you melt in the air, escaping from reality. Then piano and vocals give way to the following “Fuori dal mondo” (Out of the world), a good instrumental that describes the breakthrough from the daily grind. Now you're flying like a cloud looking for an imaginary harbour in the sky, baffled by fresh keyboard waves and warm guitar passages...

“Nel mezzo del cielo” (In the middle of the sky) is a complex, beautiful track with many changes in rhythm and mood. It begins with a joyful energy that takes you up towards the sky, then the rhythm suddenly calms down and gives way to a dreamy acoustic passage... “Only a few steps to take off in the sky / And suddenly the silence envelops me and the world stands still...”. The music invites you to fly high and get lost in the space, then a more melodramatic passage follows and the operatic vocals of Giacomo Balzarotti announce a comeback to reality. While you are floating in the air pursuing a thought and a new life begins to beat in your chest a sudden lightening takes you down on earth...

“Noi granelli di sabbia” (We are grains of sand) is another long, complex track. This excellent piece concludes the album describing the “landing”. Well, when you fall down after a dream the impact is not always so hard, you can survive and sometimes you can even enjoy the perfume of the earth and discover new colours around you... “And feeling the earth in the palms of my hand I rediscover its aroma... Feeling like a grain of sand and forgetting that in front of us there is the sea to gaze at...”. The music every now and again could recall Genesis while the warm, heartfelt singing of Giacomo Balzaretti depicts the need to accept what life brings to us without trying to obtain what is out of reach. You can't stop the time or the wind and you can't keep on longing to be somewhere else at all costs, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and face reality... “Grains of sand spread in the world, I will recognize my eyes / I will recognize myself / I will accept myself and my image will reappear in the mirror...”.

Well, in my opinion this is a very promising debut. The band has a good potential and the musicians are still working on a more challenging task, a concept album inspired by a science-fiction story by German writer Kurd Lasswitz. Sulla bolla di sapone. I'm looking forward to listen to it!


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