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Reale Accademia Di Musica - Reale Accademia Di Musica CD (album) cover

REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA

Reale Accademia Di Musica

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.14 | 154 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Emerging from the remnants of band I Fholks that supported two very big names in Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, Reale Accademia di Musica released a sole gentle beauty of a work with their self-titled album in 1972. A mix of easy to approach tunes encased more dynamic and adventurous progressive instrumentation and instrumental passages throughout the six pieces on offer here, with plenty of early Pink Floyd influences, a strong presence of exquisite piano and fleeting moments of the classical drama many vintage Italian prog albums are known for. While there may have been more ambitious albums to originate from Italy in the Seventies, there is plenty of superb playing, superior vocals and tasteful instrumental diversions on this forty minute album that makes it really rather special.

Opener `Favola' is a humble and pleasing acoustic introduction with a warm vocal, soft horns and even a few gentle Mellotron wisps. There's such a placid, laid-back quality to it, and it's very easy to instantly enjoy. Sombre moods bookend the nine minute `Il Mattino'. Moments of dark classical piano that move from melancholic to pretty, strident and restrained are jolted with up-tempo energetic eruptions of whirring Hammond organ, wild guitar, murmuring bass, a weary vocal and eerie keyboard shimmerings. There's even just a quick tease of some little P.F.M-styled prancing gallops! `Ognuno Sa' closes the first side, an accessible acoustic acid-folk vocal piece in the style of the toasty and lazy early Pink Floyd meanderings, highlighted by numerous lead piano solo spots throughout.

After a dramatic build, side B's `Padre' brings a gutsier, brooding quality, with mournful organ, thoughtful bass ruminations and a darker reflective vocal. The second half holds a Pink Floyd-like dreaminess, with lengthy droning passages and a gorgeous slow-burn electric guitar solo that flies straight to the heavens in the middle. `Lavoro In Citta's features a downbeat introduction with slinking dirty bass and a deeper vocal, bristling with danger before lifting on serene Mellotron wings into heavenly skies with warm group vocals and an emotional bluesy guitar soloing, all in six minutes. The sprightly jazzy grooves in the final minute is an unexpected and welcome addition as well!

Then we reach the final piece `Vertigine, full of panning psychedelic Rick Wright-styled organ ambience, chugging thick bass and wild acid rock guitar fire with just a little bit of classical regal pomp, but it's mostly dominated by an absolute orgy of snarling and ghoulish Hammond organ with a heaviness not found anywhere else on the LP. In some ways it sounds like it belongs on a different album altogether, but this daring closer has that extra added spice of danger and debauchery that all the best vintage RPI albums have, and it hints at just how many directions the band could have headed in on further albums.

But sadly Reale Accademia di Musica would split very soon after this sole album (although an unreleased follow-up `La Cometa, as well as a version of the group supporting singer- songwriter Adriano Monteduro for a co-credited album, both in 1974, are stories for another time!). It only means this contemplative, mostly mellow but frequently thrilling work stands alone. The upfront, dazzling variety of the constantly present piano is worth investigating the album for alone, but there's also an eclectic variety of sounds both unpredictable and laid- back that makes it perhaps one of loveliest, most stirring and unique vintage Italian progressive-related works.

There may be many higher profile bands and artists throughout the Seventies RPI era to warrant your attention first, but if you take the time to listen to `Reale Accademia di Musica' in a quiet and undistracting environment, a truly magical musical experience is waiting to be discovered.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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