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Res Gesta - Odissea CD (album) cover

ODISSEA

Res Gesta

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.34 | 24 ratings

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andrea
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Res Gesta come from San Giovanni in Persiceto, a small town in the province of Bologna and have been around for more than thirty years as a cover band, trying to give new life to old seventies progressive rock pieces. In 2015 they finally self released a debut album of original compositions with a line up featuring Enea Vezzali (drums), Luigi Cerasuolo (bass), Cesare Cavalli (guitar), Simone Muzzi (keyboards) and Roberto Bergamini (vocals). The album is entitled Odissea and is a conceptual one, a sparkling rock opera with more than 73 minutes of good music and strong melodies. Years of hard work have resulted in a very mature sound and although you can hear on this album some influences from the past the band managed to add their own ideas and personality with excellent results. As you can guess, the story-line was inspired by the Odyssey but the band interpreted it in a very personal way trying to link Homer's immortal poetry to our contemporary society...

The beautiful, long opener "Overture" starts softly with an instrumental section for piano that could recall Goblin, then the rhythm takes off. In the night you're welcomed on board of a mysterious ship that is setting off on a journey across a raging sea, towards unknown lands where you will find war, ambiguities, unreality and ferocious ogres to deceive. You are troubled by your own fragility and you feel lost, you don't know what are you looking for... Who can save you?

The disquieting "Guerra" (War) is a metaphor of all the wars in human history. It begins by the sound of distant hooters and obsessive bass lines, then recitative vocals evoke the image of a powerful army debarking on a beach from their battle ships under a gray asphalt sky, the rhythm rises... You can see the heroes ready to conquer and defeat their enemy: there's no room for agreements, any mediation is out of question and all the dreams of peace have to be closed in a box, put away and hidden in a remote part of the mind, because war is more remunerative than peace and money is the only real God. From the ancient walls of Troy to the Twin Towers, billions of people have been walking through the flames of an eternal hell between blood and treason, damned forever in the name of their God!

"Il giorno dopo" (The day after) is a dreamy, acoustic ballad filled with emotion and melody that comes like the calm after the storm. The day after the final battle there is still fire on the ruins of the conquered city. The night of tragedy and death is over and all stands still in this morning without heroes, there's no crowd in the streets and you feel stranded and broken inside. Now the fire is behind you and you have to wake up and set off on another journey. In front of you there are sleepless night filled with the desperate voices of your memories but you have no time to waste, you have to go on following a new route towards the horizon, to reach what you can't reach, to see what you can't see, to feel what you can't feel...

The following "Lotofagi" (Lotus-eaters) begins by an exotic percussion pattern and features a strange, mysterious atmosphere. The rhythm is slow, inebriated by the sacred flowers of the Gods you're floating among the clouds of an unreal sky, lost in a kind of artificial psychedelic peace that shines like a light into oblivion... Then the rhythm rises while soaring vocals wake you up from your seep cutting like a knife the curtain of illusion that makes you blind. Now you're back on your route across the see...

"Ciclope" (Cyclops) is a long, complex track that deals with a terrible, murderous danger that you can meet during your peregrinations. In Greek mythology a cyclops was a member of a primordial race of men-eaters giants, each with a single eye in the middle of his forehead. Polyphemus was the name of the one Odysseus met during his mythical journey but here the lyrics use the cyclops just as a metaphor to warn you about the cynicism of media and trash TV. It's described as a dangerous eye that can judge and condemn, it can destroy everything, tame people and make a man special... A wild modern monster that in some way is depicted on the album cover as well!

"Circe" is a lively, sarcastic track where the voice of Roberto Bergamini reminds me more than ever of Francesco Di Giacomo from Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. In Greek mythology Circe is a goddess of magic (or sometimes a nymph, witch, enchantress or sorceress) but here she's depicted just as a hard-headed, wise woman who fights for her peace and her moral values. She's not a witch nor a supernatural creature, she's not more wicked than a powerful king can be or than a greedy, egoist business man in our sad contemporary reality where there's no pity for the losers. All in all, if she has transformed some people into swines it's just because so they are the mirror of clergymen and merciless butchers...

"Sirene" (Sirens) is beautiful, evocative track with a Gothic atmosphere and a suggestive sense of mystery. No need for lyrics here, just the female vocals a cappella of the guests from the Macramé choir, Michela Pedrini, Serena Pecoraro and Elisabetta Dell'Argine, who weave seducing harmonies leading to the following "Calipso", a long, romantic piece describing the moment of Odysseus departure from his golden captivity in the island of the nymph Calypso. Well, it's a nice way to describe the end of an intense, complicated relationship with strong melodies, a pinch of blues and a beautiful instrumental coda that could recall a wonderful springtime song...

On "Déjà vu" the rhythm rises again, the mood is dark while aggressive electric guitar riffs are intertwined with raging keyboards waves. The lyrics describe the feelings of a man who seems to have lost his identity, the borders between reality and unreality are blurred by infinite waves and new horizons. Lost memories dance in sleepless nights... Is it magic or madness?

The dreamy, poetical "Eolo" (Aeolus) and "Overture (Reprise)" end the album leading you to a new awareness. You're riding on the wind, flying high in the silence, breathing the intensity of a moment that no one can tell. Well, your journey was nothing but a dream, now the dark night is just a distant memory and you are walking in the present, maker of you own destiny in a world that conjures up strange shadows and illusions that after a while are thrown away... You're playing a big game and now you know where the wind's blowing: get the chance and set off on another journey, pace after pace!

On the whole, I enjoyed very much this album and I'm sure that Italian prog lovers will appreciate it as well. Contact the band to get the CD...

andrea | 5/5 |

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