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La Fabbrica dell'Assoluto - 1984 - L'Ultimo Uomo d'Europa CD (album) cover

1984 - L'ULTIMO UOMO D'EUROPA

La Fabbrica dell'Assoluto

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.93 | 124 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Every year in every progressive rock-related style, there are those couple of particular titles that stand out and hugely impress right from the very first play, destined to become a truly special work that makes a massive impression, only growing in stature and reputation as rave reviews and good word-of-mouth spreads. In the RPI style, La Fabbrica Dell'Assoluto's "1984: L'Ultimo Uomo d'Europa", based on George Orwell's book `1984', leads the way in 2015 by a great distance, being a varied and complex symphonic work with the same tough energy and rough production laced with danger found throughout the defining works of Il Balletto di Bronzo, Biglietto per L'Inferno and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Coated beginning to end with a battery of vintage keyboards, buzzsaw-like guitars, relentless bass, thrashing drumming and a dynamic vocalist, this album proves to be something very special indeed...

An opening nightmarish collage of random noise, vocal snippets and a deranged Banco-like narration is blasted by a spiralling whirl of noise, as filthy maniacal Hammond rumbles like the Devil himself, rusted-metal guitars slice the air and delicious whipping drums sound like they were recorded inside a wet cardboard box! Claudio Cassio's voice soars to the heavens throughout `4th Aprile 1984', into a mix of classical guitar, twirling synths, heavy riffing snarls and seductive bass grooving through the mire of `Chi Controlla...', and `O'Brien' lifts into Marillion-flavoured symphonic Mellotron-flecked heavens with droning synth ambience and classical piano fancy. Deeply disorientating psychedelic swirls and eerie vocal taunts float through `Bispensiero', `La Ballata Dei Prolet' is a solemn organ reflection that grows in power, and the relentless breakneck `L'occhio Del Teleschermo' erupts with delirious F.E.M-like colourful keyboard kaleidoscopes.

Gothic flavours return to the darkly romantic and melancholic `Giulia', with a sweetly and sadly crooned vocal full of longing backed by shimmering organ, ruminating bass and reaching guitar strains, the piece soaring on hopeful flights of fancy once the drums arrive. `Lo Sguardo Nel Quadro' overloads on classical bombast with slinking keyboard eruptions and slithering bass murmurs, but it's the twelve minute `Processo Di Omologazione' that goes completely mental, a whirring blur of instrumental noise and fury with all the deranged schizophrenic direction and tempo changes of the classic first Banco album. Symphonic grandness, furious jazz-fusion runs, stomping hard-rock bursts, intimidating gothic mystery, haunted swooning vocals, strangled saxophone and searing Mellotron veils all feature, making it quite possibly the best track to appear on an Italian prog disc in 2015. `La Stanza 101' eventually lurches and prances with malevolent glee, `La Canzone Del Castagno' (with a guest vocal from Pino Ballarini of vintage Italian prog band Il Rovescio della Medaglia) overwhelms with imposing regal presence, and `Amava Il Grande Fratello' is a ghoulish pantomime of searing infernal Mellotron curtains closing on the listener.

For its entire 55 minute length, you'll be hard pressed to find a more thrilling and satisfying modern Italian symphonic work that stands just as strongly as many of the vintage classics so beloved by generations of Italian progressive music fans. This is not merely some fawning imitation, instead La Fabbruca dell'Assoluto indulge in the sounds of their favourite Italian prog heroes and fuse it with youthful energy, confidence and sheer guts, offering an almighty kick up the backside of the RPI style. If you don't like the overly polished, safe modern works of both comeback Italian groups and new acts, these fellas strip back the sheen, bring back the dirt and intensity but still always remain melodic. The musicians themselves play with incredible skill and liveliness well beyond their years, and Claudio Cassio delivers a sweeping lead vocal almost on par with Alessio Calandriello's performance on La Coscienza di Zeno's `La Notte Anche di Giorno'.

Forget other bands (some whose music doesn't even sound Italian!) arrogant claims of being the new symphonic progressive stars to be placed alongside Banco, PFM, and so on. Here instead is the real deal from an unbelievably talented young band already on fire, with a virtually faultless and daring album in "1984: L'Ultimo Uomo d'Europa" that's sure to be a future classic of the R.P.I sub-genre.

Five stars, and simply the best Italian prog album of 2015.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |

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