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La Nuova Era - La Nuova Era CD (album) cover

LA NUOVA ERA

La Nuova Era

 

Crossover Prog

3.47 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars A very distinctive and unique album among progressive Italian releases, the sole self titled LP by La Nuova Era sounds unlike any other and is well deserving of reappraisal. Entirely instrumental except for one short female vocal piece, the album features delicate instrumentation by way of a frequent blending of floating synths over gentle acoustic guitar, drifting ambience and classical piano atmosphere weaving around pulsing icy electronic soundscapes. Try to imagine a slightly darker mix of 70's and 80's Tangerine Dream mixed with a gentle Xian acoustics and you might have a better idea of what to expect. The somewhat murky production gives much of the album a slightly grim and confronting sound, ensuring the Christian elements maintain a very reflective and somber tone. The striking stony grey illustration of a crucifix on the cover is perfectly suited to the soundtrack as well.

The album opens with a cold and slowly pulsing spacey beat that's soon joined by brooding synths, humming electronics washing over the listener before abrasive piano suddenly punches through the mournful atmosphere. `L'Angelo Gabriele' has delicate piano, acoustic guitar and crystalline synths trilling over the top and is a more comforting piece that wraps around you. Folk ballad `Il Figlio Di Maria', the only track to feature a brief passage of lovely female vocals, brings acoustic percussion and placid recorder ambience before things turns rather strange with warping synth effects all over the finale, creating quite a disorientating effect. `Fiori Di Galilea' sounds like a cross between 70's Tangerine Dream with shimmering electronics and the hazy acoustic pieces by David Gilmour from the early acid-folk moments of late 60's Pink Floyd. `Luce Del Nord' is a brooding, monolithic stone of cold electronica that sounds like it belongs to a dark sci-fi film. Fascinating, yet far too brief at just under three minutes.

`La Beffa' (Il Processo) instantly lifts the mood, another electronic piece but this time with an uplifting and majestic melody over marching percussion and tambourine. Then, with a title like `Luciferus', it's no wonder the seventh track features gloomy synths with a stirring and ghostly hypnotic piano melody that wouldn't have sounded out of place on an album by Italian horror band Goblin! There's a real frantic sound and epic rising drama to this one, especially when the acoustic guitar solos in the second half, making it an absolute album highlight. After another sorrowful but short electronic nightmare piece over howling winds, the title track is a triumphant and grand synth passage to finish on a reflective and deeply spiritual mood.

So is `La Nuova Era' a long lost classic or very important album in the long tradition of Italian progressive music? Absolutely not. But it is a very original crossover of styles that makes it stand out from plenty of other LP's, and is an immersive, thoughtful and evocative work in it's own right that I truly treasure. I have certainly never heard a Xian album like it, or many other Italian albums that combine these particular styles and sounds in such a way. For this reason, it's an album worth listening to and being appreciated now after being forgotten so long ago, and it can be rediscovered thanks to the CD reissue by Mellow Records.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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