Sunday, 25 November 2012

A PHILOSOPHICAL TRIP

Giorgio Cesare Neri is an Italian prog artist from Genoa, a composer and multi instrumentalist that in the past worked mainly on music for theatre. His debut album, “Logos”, was released in 2009 on the independent label Black Widow. Giorgio Cesare Neri composed, arranged and recorded this work in his home studio playing electric and acoustic guitars, bass, mandola, dulcimer piano, keyboards, sequencer, flute and percussion. Some guests musicians as Roberto Maragliano (drums), Giuseppe Alvaro (vocals), Gian Castello (flute), Roberto Tiranti (vocals) and Vittorio Ristagno (narrative vocals) contributed to enrich the sound. The result is excellent and the album is really worth listen to.

Giorgio Cesare Neri

“Logos” was conceived as a spiritual path, from birth to the final curtain of death, a journey through life with sudden bursts of energy, broken hopes, melancholic feelings, dreams, moments of joy and anguish. Spacey guitars and keyboards can melt in a catholic mass while frenzied rhythms can give way to quiet and reflexive passages where narrative vocals quote passages from philosophical works. Well, probably the nice artwork by Stefano Scagni describes the content of the album better than my words.


The opener “Intro” features a calm, dreamy atmosphere. It leads to “Id & Trad”, identity and tradition, where the rhythm rises with guitars and keyboards in the forefront conjuring up a kind of cosmic trip. When the rhythm cams down you can hear a prayer in Latin... “Pater noster qui es in caelis / Santificetur Nomen Tuum... Amen.”. On the following “Alleanza” (Alliance) the rhythm rises again and your journey can continue. The reflective “Seconda navigazione” (Second navigation) begins with narrative vocals and a quote from Plato's Phaedo reminding that you can cross the sea of life on a raft heading the human reason or on a safer ship trusting in a divine revelation. “Addio” (Farewell) is a short instrumental interlude featuring piano and strings that leads to the lively “Le braccia e le ali” (The arms and the wings). On the short “Guerra” (War) you can hear echoes of war and shootings in the background, then a soaring Gregorian chant and a prayer. “Godinus 7” is a long, complex instrumental in two parts. The first one features an exotic flavour and Oriental smells while the second one is more aggressive.


Next comes “Tuona il cannone” (The cannon is thundering), a beautiful song about the absurdity of war and false morality. A bird of prey takes off in the evening on behalf of the Grim Reaper while tired men have to bear a heavy burden of pain, Death carries out her duties as a scythe during the harvest while the cannon is thundering... Giuseppe Alvaro wrote the lyrics and provided the lead vocals as well. Here Italian melody is blended with Celtic influences. On the following “Per tutti e per nessuno” (For all and for no one) narrative vocals quote a passage from Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra... “Let my pride then fly away with my folly...”. Then comes the long, complex instrumental “L’ultima danza” (The last dance”), one of my favourite tracks on this album, where you can find some echoes of PFM. The calm, dreamy “Sipario” (Curtain) concludes an album without weak moments.

Giorgio Cesare Neri: Logos (2009). Other opinions:
Raffaella Benvenuto-Berry: Those who wish to explore the current Italian progressive rock scene beyond the more ‘traditional’ symphonic prog bands will definitely find “Logos” an intriguing prospect. Lovers of psychedelic/space rock may also be interested in checking out an album where the more straightforward sounds of the genre are tempered and mellowed by the influence of the Italian musical tradition. Hopefully the album will not remain a one-off, and that GC Neri will continue producing more music of the same high quality... (read the complete review HERE)
Jim Russell: "Logos" has a most curious sound indeed, a combination of appreciations for the classic Italian prog scene mixed into a drive up spacey rock avenues. In fact the two influences are both well represented, there are long droning guitarscapes that will bring Ozric or Karet to mind mixed right in with the classic Italian symphonic sound on other songs. Neri proves himself adept at bringing these two different, wild horses into the same shed and the result is a unique experience... (read the complete review HERE)
Jon Neudorf: Immediately upon playing this CD the 70s psych influence was especially prevalent. To these ears, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind must have been huge influences as well as other artists from that bygone era such as Yes and ELP. This is clear in the symphonic touches spread throughout the CD, although I would say these styles take a back seat to the space-rock vibe... (read the complete review HERE)

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