Una Stagione All'inferno -
Il Mostro Di Firenze

(CD 2018, 55.15, Private Release, distribution by Black Widow Records BWDIST0000676)

The tracks:
  1- Novilunio(7:50)
  2- La Ballata Di Firenze(6:15)
  3- Nella Notte(5:18)
  4- Lettera Anonima(5:32)
  5- Interludio Macabro(1:44)
  6- L'enigma Dei Dannati(4:57)
  7- Serial Killer Rock(4:10)
  8- Il Dottore(6:00)
  9- Plenilunio(10:13)

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The band. Una Stagione All'Inferno (“a season in the hell”) is an Italian rock band formed in 1997 by the collaboration between Fabio Nicolazzo, coming from Genoa's gothic rock scene, and Laura Menighetti, who is classically trained. Later Diego Banchero (Il Segno Del Comando), Carlo Opisso and Francesco Scariti joined the band, with this line-up the band released the song La Ballata Di Carini which was included in the compilation E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore, published in 1998 by the Italian label Black Widow Records. The track is the theme song of the famous 70s script L'Amaro Caso Della Baronessa Di Carini, interpreted by the band in a dark progressive way. Subsequently the band was preparing to make a concept album about that script, but this didn't happen because of disagreements within the band. In 2011 Fabio Nicolazzo and Laura Menighetti decided to take up the band, and this led to the ambitious idea of creating a concept on Il Mostro Di Firenze (The Monster of Florence), and the record eventually came out in the spring of 2018 after a long process due to the topic's complexity. In the following years a partnership was created with the drummer and sound engineer Marco Biggi (ex Rondo Veneziano, ex Radio Gaga), Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth, Wonderworld, etc.) Pier Gonella (ex Labyrinth, Mastercastle, Necrodeath) and Paolo Firpo (classical saxophonist ). And also thanks to the collaboration with a string trio composed by Kim Schiffo (cello), Laura Sillitti (violin) and Daniele Guerci (viola).

The band about their music. “Il Mostro Di Firenze is an obscure sound experience, a gloomy three-dimensional journey that will take you into the delirious world of one of the most brutal crimes of Italian news. A dark and symphonic work. A dialogue with the most occult and secret parts of our soul. A still unsolved mystery...”

The music. The story is about the gruesome 8 murders on couples, making love in a car in the Italian provence Florence, between 1968 and 1985, for the horrible details I refer to the Internet. The band has succeeded in translating this horror into the nine compositions: lots of ominous atmospheres and hypnotizing, slow rhythms, blended with sound effects and a wide range of instruments to colour the dark music, from acoustic guitar, piano, violin and saxophone to Hammond organ, synthesizers and heavy guitars. And the strong Italian vocals are male and female.

In the opener Novilunio a razorsharp Robert Fripp kind of guitar parts represents the horror, you can imagine how the Monster Of Venice was pleasing his sick mind!

In Nella Notte the music changes from a dark and slow rhythm to bombastic, in between sounds of violence, emphasized by again that razor sharp guitar sound, this is horror prog.

In the short Interludio Macabro we hear a distorted, insane sounding female voice, feed your imagination!

The compelling and heavy Serial Killer Rock delivers a slow and hypnotizing rhythm with sound effects, a propulsive beat and fiery guitar play, evoking Seventies Hawkwind.

The varied track Il Dottore starts with creepy sounds, then exciting interplay between organ and strong drum beats and lots of shifting moods, embellished with powerful saxophone, howling guitar and bombastic keyboards.

And in the final, instrumental track Plenilunio (an extended reprise of Novilunio) the band reaches its artistic and musical pinnacle, what a variety in atmospheres (from mellow to bombastic) and what an awesome interplay between classical piano, fiery electric guitar and melancholic saxophone, avant-garde King Crimson in Italy!

To me this album sounds as a very adventurous and daring effort, with a lush instrumentation and strong Italian vocals. If you are up to this kind of dark oriented prog, this album is worth to check out.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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