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Biglietto Per L'Inferno - Biglietto Per L'Inferno CD (album) cover

BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO

Biglietto Per L'Inferno

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.09 | 243 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars In the sea of progressive rock that flooded the world in the early 70s, no country seems to surprise me more than the musical Renaissance that was sweeping Italy. While other European countries like England, France and Germany were finding some of their progressive acts successful abroad, it was Italy that had one of the most fertile home grown movements and included amongst the bigger names like PFM, Banco and Area was a tidal wave of one-shot wonders that poured out from the Italian prog scene with one outstanding example after another of unique and progressive takes on the burgeoning movement. BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO (Ticket To Hell) is just one of many such bands that joins the ranks of Museo Rosenbach, Maxophone, Semiramis, Alphataurus, Alusa Fallax, E.A. Poe, Flea and Locada Delle Fate amongst others who released only one classic release in the 70s before disbanding. This band emerged in 1972 in Lecco, the Lombardy region in Italy from two dance-hall cover bands (Gee and Mako Sharks) and once together wasted no time in garnering a significant following resulting from their reputation of putting on outstanding live performances. This caught the attention of Maurizio Salvatori, owner of Trident Records and finally in 1974 the band released their debut eponymous album.

While barely making a blip on the radar of the musical world in general at the time the debut album was released, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO has passed the tests of time and since then has become one of the classics of 70s Rock Progressive Italiano. While the band utilizes all available Italian influences such as PFM, Banco and other symphonic prog influences, the band equally embraced the more straight forward hard rocking techniques of bands that embraced the most luscious melodic developments and ran away with them. While comparisons to Deep Purple can come to mind for the hard driving guitar riffs mixed with keyboards, i would say that BIGLIETTO's sound is probably more reminiscent of Osanna for their own melodic hard rock that expanded the progressive tendencies more through the thematic developments and trade-offs rather than a barrage of complex time sigs, nonrepetition of themes or just taking things on a bizarre trip to Planet X. The results of this mix of hard rock and progressive themes makes this a much easier sound to digest upon first listen unlike behemoths of complexity that may take several listens to take in. Despite their influences on board, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO successful created a new formula of delivery of instantly addictive hooks while taking you on a wild ride of originality.

Part of the band's original sound comes from two keyboardists both named Giuseppe (Banfi and Cossa) and they really display an impressive command of the music. Generally speaking one keyboardist delves out some classical inspired runs while the other handles atmospheric duties. They always complement each other quite well and there is no sense of competition at all. As with much of Italian prog of the 70s, BIGLIETTO does indeed alternate between soft tender passages and harder edged rock guitar. Marco Mainetti handles guitar duties and he is clearly a major player of the day. He delivers some of the heaviest riffs in prog much less this type of symphonic variety. He is equally capable of delivering some scorching solos that add a definitive edge over the contemporaries. The rhythm section of Fausto Branchini (bass) and Mauro Gnecchi (drums) is equally compelling and able to shift gears at the drop of a hat but one of the most notable members of this musical cast is vocalist and flautist Claudio Canali who just tears it up vocally and dishes out some of the most virtuosic flute runs i've ever heard in rock music making Ian Anderson seem tame in comparison! There are times where it feels like a Jethro Tull meets Van Der Graaf Generator scene. Canali is also the mastermind behind the lyrical content and although my Italian isn't proficient enough to understand every single word, the title of the band should give it away regarding the content. Ticket To Hell is the theme indeed where Canali explores the ills of Italian society including murder, suicide and social decay. While the lyrics tend to be dark and brooding, the music is lively and quite exhilarating.

As with many others i have been flip-flopping over whether to award this beautiful music 4, 4.5 or 5 stars. It is true that is derivative in many key ways of other bands who came before and despite seamlessly incorporating these styles, BIGLIETTO is with no doubt riding the crest of the great progressive tidal wave that would soon crash against the shores of a changing musical reality. However, despite it all there is more than enough originality woven into every track on this epic album and it flows perfectly from beginning to end like one large ever expanding track. There are no weaknesses for my tastes and every musician dynamically blends his talents into a satisfying whole. While the complexity is not up to the heights as other bands of the day, the energizing effect is quite effective. The music is simply brilliant on many levels and is gratifying time and time again. Due to all of the positives that this beautiful creation resonates i will have to go with 5 for despite it all, it was riding the crest of that wave at the moment when this kind of sophisticated music was at its peak.

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |

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