Il Bacio della Medusa come from Perugia and were formed in 2002 by Simone Cecchini (vocals, 6 & 12 acoustic guitar, mandolin, charango), Federico Caprai (bass) and Diego Petrini (drums, organ, keyboards, piano, vibraphone, percussion). Later the line up was completed by Simone Brozzetti (guitar) and Eva Morelli (flute) and in 2004 was released an eponymous debut album. “Discesa agl’inferi d’un giovane amante”, Il Bacio della Medusa's second album was recorded between 2005 and 2006 but it wasn’t released until 2008. On this album, the line-up features a new member, Daniele Rinchi (viola, violin) who joined the band in 2005 giving his contribution to the evolution of the band’s sound and song-writing, now more balanced, rich and “classically” oriented. Then, the deal with the independent label Black Widow Records gave the band the chance to work in tranquillity and the result is an excellent mix of classical influences and rock that perfectly fits the dark, poetical lyrics. Beautiful also the art cover painted, as in the eponymous debut, by one of the members of the band, Federico Caprai, who tries to describe in images and colours the mood of this work...
“Discesa agl’inferi d’un giovane amante” (Descent to Hell of a young lover) is a concept album and the music flows away in a long suite for almost an hour without breaks with sudden changes in rhythm and atmosphere... It was inspired by the story of Paolo and Francesca, two clandestine lovers that were caught red handed and stabbed to death by Francesca’s husband (and Paolo’s brother) Gianciotto. The two characters were portrayed by the poet Dante Alighieri in his “Divina Commedia” but Dante’s poetry is only the starting point from where the band develops a very original musical and poetical journey...
The opener “Preludio: il trapasso” (Prelude: passing away) describes in music and words the moment when Paolo’s soul leaves his mortal body and begins the journey towards hell... “Look at my body / It lies bloodless on the ground... Heavy boats sail towards hell / The air is burning upon me / In the silence I’m looking for you...”. Delicate and expressive piano, flute and violin passages are the ideal background for Simone Cecchini’s passionate vocals evoking a love stronger than death and that sound even more dramatic in the following “Confessione d’un amante” (Confession of a lover). “In the crowd we’re looking for each other / But the dark is between us... Francesca I love you for this eternity / At length the light will come even into this dark caves / Let the trumpets blare / The beast is snarling upon us...”.
The instrumental “La bestia ed il delirio” (The beast and the delirium) marks a change of mood, the rhythm rises and there is room for fiery organ solos, heavy guitar riffs and “infernal dances” led by violin and flute... Then a marching beat introduces “Recitativo: è nel buio che risplendono le stelle” (Recitative: it’s in the dark that stars shine) where the voice of Simone Cecchini describes an infernal landscape with bent trees dripping blood... “The scream of the man now lies defeated on the ground / All I can do is gather my shadow / Like an old worn, smelly coat fallen down behind me... Oblivion is the cancer of knowledge... It’s in the dark that lies the magic of every light / It’s in the dark that stars shine...”.
In “Ricordi del supplizio” (Memories of the torment) a flute “à la Jethro Tull” and a mellow rock sound underline the expression of rage against the murderer... “I remember the violence of my death / His breath upon my neck...”. Then “Nostalgia, pentimento e rabbia” (Nostalgia, repentance and rage) leads to the instrumental “Sudorazione a freddo sotto il chiaro di luna”, where “the blood runs cold under the moonlight...”.
In Melancolia (Melancholy) a soaring feeling of nostalgia comes on the wings of beautiful notes of flute veined by exotic echoes... “Once I caught a prohibited apple / A bite couldn’t assuage my hunger / I drank from a springing wine source / A sip couldn’t assuage my thirst... Why on earth when I thought to love / A day like another the blade of a dagger / Led me back into the ground...”.
The last tracks are almost completely instrumental and, in a crescendo of emotions, lead to an amazing, dramatic finale for this journey towards hell of a young lover, carried away by the hot wind that benumbs his limbs... “E fu allora che dalle fiamme mi sorprese una calda brezza celeste”, “Nosce te ipsum: la bestia ringhia in noi”, “Corale per messa da requiem” and “Epilogo: conclusione della discesa agl’inferi d’un giovane amante” are the perfect conclusion for a flawless album.
Il Bacio della Medusa: Discesa agl’inferi d’un giovane amante (2008). Other opinions:
Jim Russell: If you love hard '70s rock and/or classic period Italian progressive this album is an absolute sure thing. Fantastic. My only worry is that I can't imagine how they're going to top themselves next time. This is music without cynicism-birthed purely with sincere motivations of pleasing the music lover. When I recognize that certain authenticity in a band it always makes it special to me. And now I undertake the mission of spreading the word about this deserving band. I'll be picking up more copies of this CD as gifts for rock loving friends... (read the complete review HERE)
Paul Fowler: I'm certainly glad to have discovered this excellent Italian band and the album is currently receiving well deserved heavy playing on my cd player and almost certain to make my top ten of 2008. One to lay back, turn out the lights and get lost in... (read the complete review HERE)
Read the interview with the band at Progarchives.com. Click HERE