Review from Apostolis (Prog Archives)

su %s Randone/Ultreia Review

In 2012 Randone released independently the archival album ”Single and unreleased”, containing the three cuts, with which the band participated in various prog compilations, plus two cover songs from the repertoire of Le Orme and Peter Gabriel.Nicola Randone started working on a trilogy called ”Canzoni sulla via”, the first part of which was to be titled ”Ultreia”, inspired by Randone’s pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostela.He added Marco Crispi on guitars and Maria Modica on female vocals and with the help of some guest musicians (yes, Beppe Crovella was again among them) the band launched the new effort in early 2014 on Electromantic.

”Ultreia” practically defines the long journey of Nicola Randone and his band through time, it contains hints from his early works as well as more recent echoes by his following albums, which had a slightly operatic view.Great arrangements overall, farily falling into the Symphonic Rock genre, with occasional folky colors and a strong vintage attitude, washed by the use of Hammond organ and the Mellotron.”Ultreia” is an album full of rich sounds and attractive orchestrations, balanced between energy and calmness and containing all these elements every prog fan loves in Italian Prog: Warm vocals, Classical influences, complicated structures, a thematic development and dense musicianship.I love the irritating male vocals of Nicola and his premature effort on revisiting P.F.M.’s and LE ORME’s unique sounds, but the modern touches are more than welcome, the clean production and the intelligent display of grandiose synths in the process.The atmosphere is a bit similar to I GIGANTI’s legendary ”Terra in bocca”, passing through dynamic plays with nice guitar, furious organ and sharp synthesizers to more atmospheric textures with some lovely Mellotron parts and measured use of acoustic sounds.Maria Modica comes as another surprise and his collaboration with Nicola results to series of melodramatic, sensitive and romantic vocal lines, the absolute support to an otherwise extremely well-crafted work, instrumentally speaking.

One of the best releases of 2014 and among the highlight’s of Randone’s discography.Italian Prog at its best, full of lush keyboards, modern twists and retro references.Highly recommended.

Nicola Randone, alias Art, è Scrittore, musicista compositore, leader della band Randone con all'attivo 7 cd ed 1 dvd LIVE sotto edizione discografica Electromantic Music. Qui pone frammenti di vita, espressioni dell'anima, lamenti del cuore ed improbabili farneticazioni intellettuali.