Thursday, February 15, 2007

Il Balleto di Bronzo - Ys,LP,1972,Italy,NWW list

Il Balletto di Bronzo
Gianni Leone - keyboards, vocals
Riccardo Spilli - drums, percussion
Alessandro Corsi - bass

Il Balleto di Bronzo - Ys
Il Balleto di Bronzo's Ys is an unequivocal classic, and stands as one of the very best albums out of Italy, and perhaps among the finest examples of dark, heavy progressive. However, newbies to the Italian scene might want to approach this one with caution, since it can be tougher to get into than some of the other popular Italian works. This was one of the first Italian albums I got, and I was frankly unprepared for it. The pyrotechnic keyboards, thundering rhythms, the angular, punishing guitars and the abrasive vocals made for a work that I found initially dense and unrewarding. For an album that many have hailed as the best progressive rock album of all time, I was a little disappointed. Of course, I've come around by now, and certainly hold this album in high regard as one of the jewels of Italian prog, but that personal anecdote should serve as a caveat for those expecting to be blown away immediately, especially if not particularly predisposed towards the more dissonant branches of progressive rock. Still, Ys is a complete monster. The music on here is thundering, cacophonous and simply unrelenting in its sheer, brute force. This also stands as one of the best keyboard-based albums of all time; Gianni Leone employs the full range of classic keys, from Hammond, Moog and Mellotron to piano and harpsichord, pitting them in savage, fiery duels that will absolutely tear your head off. These are contrasted against violent guitar riffs and surging basslines, making for a chaotic, mindbendingly complex ride. The music is punctuated by Leone's caterwauling operatic vocals, which are perhaps the toughest part of the album to get into, but are eventually endearing and nothing if not emotional. Take "Introduzione", an absolute beast of a cut that builds from volcanic climax to climax, as Hammonds and Moog duel it out for supremacy. Take the opening riff of "Epilogo," with its brilliant arpeggiated theme that simply bursts at the seams with intensity. The entire album is a series of mindblowing passages, with few spots of respite to be found. An indispensable Italian classic, without a doubt.
Greg Northrup [September 2001]

get this gem here


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this and all the others uploaded! I have a request for karuna khyal - alomoni 1985

if at all possible, that'd be great

musicgnome said...

Bronzo: Great album. I have soft spot for darker psychedelic music and this hits the spot.

Ctrl + Alt; Del said...

Pretty hot music, I just wish the vocals didn't sound so much like Journey...

Electric Voodoo said...

This is one of the all time greats!!

Tim said...

This is beyond incredible!

A record collector & death metal (!) singer recommended this band to me in 1994... his tastes being much eclectic, I never forgot the name... and half a year ago I downed it from this page (I think? been here before anyway!) and according to iTunes I've played it through 36 times just the past half year. And I'm nowhere close done with it! Amazing, amazing, amazing album!

Also saw bits of some documentary on youtube about them and got even more interested... check out the live tracks from Rome 2008, heavy stuff! They play the entire album, somewhat changed, but certainly not more commercial.

Living close to Rome, I hope to catch them one of these days... or rather "him", Mr Leone. However he seemed to perform well with his younger acolytes.

Thanks again Mutant, for another one.

Anonymous said...

this along with the first quella vecchia locanda, palepoli and melos by cervello in my opinion put italian prog way, way up there if you're going to start talking greats, the early-mid 70's in italy must have been amazing, great food, weather, women, football and all the amazing progressive rock bands you could shake a stick at!!!