Wednesday, 11 February 2015

BROKEN WINGS

Il Cerchio d’Oro's roots date back to the seventies when they released some singles. After a long hiatus, the band came back to life in 2006 and in 2008 released their first full length album, Il viaggio di Colombo. In 2013 they released an excellent second work on Black Widow Records, Dedalo e Icaro, with a consolidated line up featuring veterans Franco Piccolini (organ, piano, Mellotron, synth), Giuseppe Terribile (bass, acoustic guitar, vocals), Gino Terribile (drums, gong, vocals) and Piuccio Pradal (12 string acoustic guitar, vocals) plus a new member, Bruno Govone (electric guitar). During the recording sessions they were helped by some prestigious guests such as Pino Sinnone (drums), Marin Grice (flute, sax), Giorgio "Fico" Piazza (bass), Ettore Vigo (piano), Daniele Ferro (electric guitar) and Athos Enrile (mandolin) who contributed to enrich the sound. The new work is a concept album freely based upon the myth of Daedalus and Icarus where the music and lyrics do not try to tell in an emphatic way a story that probably everyone already knows, but rather focus on the emotions and feelings of the protagonists trying to stir your imagination. Well, maybe the beautiful art work by Stefano Scagni describes the content of the album better than all my words...

art cover

The music and lyrics of the opener "Il mio nome è Dedalo" (My name is Daedalus) introduce the character of Daedalus and his challenge. We meet a proud, unscrupulous genius who is able to invent an endless array of tools and who is jealous of his secrets and of his craft. The music starts softly, then the rhythm rises following the course of a baroque vanity. At last Daedalus accepts to build a labyrinth without a way out for the king of Cnosso and the following "Labirinto" (Labyrinth) is a beautiful instrumental track that depicts this challenge trying to evoke all the difficulties of the project and of its realisation... 
 

The long, complex "La promessa" (The promise) begins with a vocal part a cappella, then the rhythm rises and goes through many changes in mood and atmosphere and you can feel desperate rage, hope and overwhelming energy. This track depicts in music an words a man betrayed but still untamed, prisoner of his work and art. Daedalus is in the labyrinth now, there's no way out, his world has begun to fall to pieces around his head but he does not accept his destiny and he's planning an escape for him and for his beloved son. He swears that he'll find the way...


Next comes the calm, dreamy "L'arma vincente" (The winning means) that describes the feelings of Icarus. He's just an unconscious, curious boy attracted by the splendour of the sun and he's sure that his bravery will help him out... Then it's the turn of "Una nuova realtà" (A new reality), a beautiful track that announces the end of the nightmare and conjures up a feeling of hope in a better future. You can dream of a breakthrough obtained defeating old taboos, soaring in the air and talking to the wind...

"Oggi volerò" (I'll fly today) describes in music and words the day of the take off and the strong, fiery emotions of the departure, a dream that comes true, flying away, higher and higher, towards the sun... Then the nervous rhythm of the following "Il sogno spezzato" (The broken dream) takes you back to earth. Icarus is falling down, his ambitions are melting in the sun like his wings of wax. For Daedalus it's time for mourn and pity, his moaning will to fly for ever... Can you hear it?

Il Cerchio d'Oro 2013

The last track, "Ora che son qui (Icaro... La fine)" (Now that I'm here - The end of Icarus), describes Icarus' final lament, his last thoughts and feelings, his regrets and his pain. Now he's in the afterlife and asks just for a flower that will bring him another bit of sunlight... Can you hear him?

On the whole, I think that this is really a great album. Of course, every now and again the influence of bands such as PFM, Le Orme, New Trolls, Delirium or the Trip is apparent, but the band managed to recreate a vintage atmosphere without sounding out of date nor derivative and the final result is impressive!


Il Cerchio d'Oro: Dedalo e Icaro (2013). Other opinions:
Michael "Aussi-Byrd-Brother": It may not have the same reckless energy, rough around the edges charm that a lot of the vintage defining releases had back in the 70's, but there is no denying it is a high quality album, full of strong melodies and terrific playing. It's also nice to hear something so upbeat and full of life, from a band that is really excited and humbled at still having an audience craving quality Italian progressive music. Definitely one for fans of the first album after a more sedate pleasing listen, and deeply romantic Italian progressive bands like Locanda delle Fate... (read the complete review HERE)

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