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The Badge - La Relazioni Pericolose CD (album) cover

LA RELAZIONI PERICOLOSE

The Badge

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.08 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Classical music has always been one of the biggest inspirations for many Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) artists and albums both from the vintage and modern eras, as well as being a key ingredient in much of the sound often associated with the progressive music that hails from Italy. Some implement classical elements with subtlety and restraint, while others, such as the band we have here, are more overt and obvious! Enter The Badge, an Italian band who, despite actually being around in the late 60's/early 70's, only officially recorded their own compositions from the time now, which is not as unusual as it sounds (Il Cerchio D'Oro is another that instantly comes to mind). But The Badge hail Italian prog legends New Trolls and their ground-breaking mix of classical music with rock on their album `Concerto Grosso' from 1971 as a big influence from back in the day, and they present their own fusion of those styles on, after forty years, their debut album `La Relazioni Pericolose' (`Dangerous Liaisons'), finally arriving in 2015!

The self-titled eighteen minute opener combines grand symphonic prog with instantly recognizable lavish classical adaptions and similarly inspired cultured flavours. A mix of instrumental fancy and warm raspy vocal passages, Angelo Isaia supplies an army of vintage keyboards, regal organ and glorious pretty piano (and probably a little dazzling harpsichord thrown in for good measure too!), Sergio Isaia's sweetly murmuring bass is thick and upfront, Pino Atzori's drums rattle with purpose, and guitarist Fiore Colombo reveals a very distinctive rough-around-the-edges quality that is a real standout throughout the entire disc. An instant comparison is, of course, similar styled tracks from bands such as P.F.M, the New Trolls and Osanna, but closer inspection reveals a band which many more tricks up their sleeve throughout the rest of the disc...

While that opener will get most of the attention, it's when The Badge moves away from the classical interpretations that things get much more interesting, and the band reveal an eclectic range of styles and sounds, each track full of so many instrumental diversions racing off in all sorts of schizophrenic directions! Looking at some of the highlights, `Anni '70' settles into a pleasing acoustic tune with warm group alternating vocals, and especially listen out for some beautifully scratchy Mellotron and Hammond organ humming with rays of golden sunlight! `Ancora...' is a wild Osanna-like dirty guitar driven rocker that's really just an excuse for aggressive instrumental soloing - no bad thing at all! The semi-comical `Burokrat' will probably make more sense to those who speak Italian, a 70's styled plodding rocker with loopy psychedelic breaks, and the ten minute closer `La Leggenda del Lago' raises some symphonic/gothic drama with booming church organ throughout.

Sometimes the classical moments are shamelessly crowd-pleasing, but it is not merely some gimmick - this is grand Italian prog in the most theatrical, swooning manner possible, and these elements will instantly be an attraction for fans of bands like the New Trolls. But it's actually when the band step away from the classical sounds that they display plenty of original ideas all their own, and they possess endless technical skill that delivers scorching instrumental interplay with a refreshingly rough sound and strong vocal melodies with attractive harmonies. Combined, they make the forty years that it took to get ` La Relazioni Pericolose' made well worth the wait!

Four stars for what is bound to be a very popular Italian prog album in 2015!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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