If an Italian group exists that very is known at international level, after Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM), is Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (BMS) one of the fundamental groups of the Progressive Italian rock. This originating group of the city of Rome is of the best examples of the development of the Italian Progressive rock and also one of the best groups than has arisen from world-wide the Progressive rock. Their music is stirring and of delicate and fresh mysticism, as well as of a exacerbated chromatist. There is a deep doubt that the music of Banco has a very classic development, subjects and with extraordinary shades, and extreme professionalism in the musicians who integrate this great group and which they are: Gianni Nocenzi -clarinet, piano, Keyboards, Flute Piccolo, Vocals, Pier Luigi Calderoni. - Drums, Renato D'Angelo. - Bass and Guitar, Francesco Di Giacomo. - Vocals, Vittorio Nocenzi. - Organ, Clarinet, Keyboards, Vocals and Marcello Todaro. - Guitar, Vocals, guitarrón. Banco has been always a pilar of the Progressive rock in Italy, It practically was present in all the festivals of Progressive rock that organized in principles of 70's like Villa Pamplihi or the Caraccalla and next to the great Italian groups of those years like PFM, Osanna, New Trolls, Le Orme and IL Balleto di Bronzo, to name those. The sound of the group is very characteristic by the use of double keyboard, courtesy of the Nocenzi brothers, who studied classic music and is to notice since they perfectly dominate to the contrapuntist technique and the long harmonic developments, are musical of fertile spontaneity and encyclopedic knowledge and without a doubt of the best keyboard players than has given modern music.
Before do the analysis of the recording that occupies to us, I want to mention the vocalist of this group Francesco Di Giacomo to who I consider one of the voices most characteristic of the Italian rock, his style to sing is of the best ones than it has listened in all my life, powerful vocalist, with a privileged voice and that knows to transmit the feeling that contains melody, with heart rendering rates and at the same time melancholic, an artist in constant evolution and that do not sacrifice the melodic architecture and he affirms to a stormy temperament and a virtuous teacher in the art of the vocalizations.
It is this first titled album in the same way that the group (BMS) and that is one of Progressive jewels of the rock done in Italy in beginning of the 70’s years, and that before the first disc of PFM, I consider that are of both more powerful discs debuts than they have left in that year by (great year by the way for the Italian rock), and fundamental if it is wanted to know the development of progressive rock in this country. The multiplicity of rates, the color that they print to them to the compositions, the difficult and laborious harmonies, the strange and dissonant rates, are finished poems that are worth by their ample breath, their noble emotion their flat, or movable lines either their expression generous and contained here there, their nostalgic and sometimes aggressive atmosphere, created by the part of the instrumentation, rich in musicality and powerfully evocative. The Bass playing of Renato is powerful and it sublimates, discreet and taciturn, but effective and simultaneously sober at moments of great musical tension, there is no doubt that is one of the underrated bass players, but if most skilful and with a great sense of the support and improvisation (please listen to the passage of Metamorfosi song in minute 4:20 in ahead). About Calderoni I consider it of the best drummers than it has given the Progressive Italian rock, with an extraordinary instinct in applying the most dissonant rates than one had imagined and it applies them with the grace of the teacher and it affirms like a great one in making meticulous but effective percutives tonalities, with great redouble and with registries of until rates of 6/8 and with surprising changes, colossal rates and handling of one melody expresses.
The guitar of Marcello is of the best ones than i had listened and here in this album made an extraordinary work like in Darwin (second disc of BMS) and a part of the Io Sono Nato Libero. Precise musician, tiles great agreed and melodic lines in their guitar, electrical or acoustic, harmonist as much completed, (they listen to the delicious and delicate passage of guitar in Il Giardino di Mago minute 10:30) with a great sense by the tonality and avoiding the generic use of riffs used in rock, choose to touch to the way of the great madrigals and English lute, he have the harmonic but sophisticated intonation and with a Mediterranean touch that offers to freshness and grace, non free of aggressive passages where it demonstrates his potential.
Before analyzes the songs, I want to emphasize the point about the production of the disc, to my seems to me a very acceptable production as far as sound, (similar to those discs of the seal Vertigo) if it were possible to be done more good but the Integral loudness of the disc is quite enjoyable, is certain also that the keyboards of the Nocenzi brothers are heard very to the front, and sometimes the voice of Francesco is heard very low in the mixture. But I believe that these minimum problems are solved making a good equalization in the stereo where being this listened to, truly to enjoy this wonderful work of art that is this first disc, capital in the Italian discography of any Progressive music lover.
Renato’s bass is revealed to the listener like an inspired bear and who knows to take the reins from the rate when he is exact, musical audacious and seeking of new sonority and combined with the instinct of the form and the relief. The drumming of Calderoni shines by its freedom of rate and that animates with new breath music, tremendous and colossal percussionist. The guitar of Todaro is powerful and sublimates, contra punting to the keyboard and the piano of the Nocenzi, and excelling to elaborate powerful and fresh notes with the prudent use of the “overdrive” effect , is no doubt that is a master of the guitar.
With his almost 11 minutes in length this song begins with a contra punting between the guitar of Marcello and the piano of Gianni, accompanied by the bass playing of Renato, the keyboard of Vittorio and the drums of Calderoni, with a syncopated rate (6/5) but very energetic, to be one of the best of solo of piano and on the part of Gianni the most stirring ones than I have listened, very idyllic and solitary, possessor of an implicit melancholy in the execution makes me remember to classic composers like Beethoven or Chopin, deep poem, intimae in which perhaps put the best thing of its heart by means of a form always in renovation. One of my favorite passages in a favorite song! A series of notes syncopates of melodies mysterious of moog of Vittorio bursts in and a series of sounds that sound chaotic on the part of the guitar of Todaro, while Vittorio and Gianni frenetically touch to the keyboard and the piano respectively, whereas Calderoni takes the fastest rate, giving a vertigo sensation to listening, suddenly returns to the calm in minute 3:23, with discreet a single one of keyboard of Nocenzi, rhythmically, there is no doubt that is a painter of the music that applies an aesthetic one refined and single they listen to that beautiful passage of minute 3:30 the 3:57, incredible and oniric simultaneously. Later to one more a power part, Renato touching in dark his mysterious notes of the keyboard, whereas Calderoni surprises to us with an unusual rate and they are created on the part of Todaro and Vittorio engages in a dialog of surprising melodic wealth. As of minute 5:09 they return to engaged in a dialog initial (and main) on the part of Marcello and Vittorio, is not doubt that the music of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso animates a mystical feeling sometimes and one dramatic one. Later it returns a change from rate that prevails with under Renato and single ones scattered of the piano of Gianni and the keyboard of Vittorio, creating a species of transition towards a slower and smoother rate, the guitar of Marcello it shines by his tonality, its sentimental and Mediterranean grace, and gives to passage to great voice of Giacomo that returns to us to shake with its low and high registries. Affirming once again that it is a great vocalist, that sings the musical pieces with freshness and an animated and stirring style. The song finalizes with a hurried rate, similar to the one of RIP, with an excellent rate of Calderoni, and Vittorio prescribes elaborated harmonies to us and that is listened to extremely Progressive, agreed excellent and heavy ones of the guitar of Todaro, and finalize the work with vertiginous melodies to the piano of Gianni, in aim one of the best ones and but finished examples of a Progressive rock combined with much classicism and too many rhythmical changes I consider that it is the best song of the disc. Excellent.
it takes us part to the second. b)... chi ride and chi geme... It begins this part with a dynamic rate on the part of the group, Todaro uses of very intelligent way the guitar, avoiding to use generic riffs, replacing them with agreed catchiness and melodic, the drumming of Calderoni takes a rate founded on 18/8 that this great teacher of the percussions dominates without problems, and stands out I engage in a dialog that it becomes between Giacomo and the Nocenzi brothers, and where these demonstrate their vocal capabilities, nevertheless they wane before the power and firmness of the impressive voice of Giacomo, the good thing is that they compensate it with its speed, pushes and felt contrapuntist in the pianos and keyboards, the bass of Renato it is constructing melodies pleasant and maintaining the primary structure of the song. After the part of the engage in a dialog, Vittorio and Gianni show the capacity to us and speed that they have in both together hands and is weaving individual single of keyboard of way, almost orgiastic, as if they wanted to finish the keyboard, improvisators notables and to that its creative imagination seems not to have you limit and after a small passage of type Floydian, they happen to the third part.
c)... coi capelli sciolti al vento... It initiates finishing the passage Floydian with notes of Gianni, who has an inspiration in the great composers of the piano and that is constructing the main lines of this part, it appears the voice of Francesco of elegant form, and it is slid gradually in melody of the song and clarinet of Vittorio accompanying with random notes. A musical passage of much suggestive beauty and I listen to music similar to the Italian madrigals of XVI century. The acoustic guitar does presence of Todaro touching elegant arpeggios, which still gives a greater Mediterranean connotation him, I believe that they are musical extraordinary and of great polyphonic masters and emphasize that I engage in a dialog between the guitar of Marcello and the voice of Giacomo that is really very melancholic and recreates a twisted and mysterious atmosphere, own of high and sublime spirits. As of minute 11:14 the bass of Renato accelerates the rate of the song of vertiginous way and followed by the drumming of Calderoni and the guitar (electrical) of Marcello, it begins brief a single one of clarinet executed by Gianni, and immediately it begins a single trepidant of Hammond keyboard on the part of Vittorio that demonstrates its accurate, audacious and improvisator technique, and that the Clarinet of Gianni is chasing through the song. Possibly the group is elevating music to pathos of sublime form and refinement, while Calderoni is maintaining hurried and constant a rate very, alternated percussions and finishing with a hard redoubling of a timbal. d) Compenetrazione. - Italian group completes part of this great Homeric work of this excellent ,and begins to recreate the passage touched with madrigal inspiration, in the third part, seems to me like a species of exhibition of the opposed ones, the great guitar of Todaro shines by its form its refinement and its sonorous inspiration, the keyboards of the Nocenzi brothers locate itself in the peak of the melodies and the voice of Giacomo sails by waters of the poetic inspiration, affirming that he is a musician who is able to affect and who this equipped with a rare intuition of the timbre and majestic sensitivity. In minute 15:37, it changes musical dynamics, appearing the solid guitar of Marcello and under Renato, recreating the thematic one of the first part of this epic, builds, with very precise interventions of Vittorio in the keyboards and that it gives him good alternative to the musical subject, as of minute 16:55 returns to the 18/8 rate, where the group firmly demonstrates that to its musical concept this taken root in the entrails of the Progressive rock and that the classic development and their constant search of the subtlest sonoric created this masterpiece that is worth by its harmonic development, its thematic complex one and their passages of timeless beauty.
This is one of the most complete works and complex than it has listened of the world-wide rock Progressive, truly it is impressive what the group made in this disc and that they demonstrate a freedom of rate, a character and a dramatic quality that animated with a new breath to the Progressive rock. Its great emotions, its lines, its strong evocation, and where one affirms to a powerful temperament and absolute masters in music which they leave like testimony, this great album.