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(48:40; AMS Records)
Quel Che Disse Il Tuono (“What The Thunder Said”) are an Italian symphonic progressive rock band from Milan. Their debut album came out earlier this year, but somewhat surprisingly they only formed in 2019 when Francesca Zanetta (guitar, keyboards, ex-Unreal City), Roberto “Berna” Bernasconi (bass, lead vocals), Niccolo Gallani (keyboards, flute, vocals, Cellar Noise) and Alessio Del Ben (drums, keyboards, vocals) came together. These guys are very much an RPI act, with lots of dated keyboard sounds and long instrumental passages. The 49 minute long album only contains five songs, so it gives them plenty of room to spread out, and listening to this as a promo download seems wrong as it feels as if this is something which should only ever be played on vinyl, such is its age. As one would expect from an RPI band, even though their website is in English all lyrics are in Italian (the title itself means ‘The Veil of Reflections’), but I don’t have any issue with that as it would have been just wrong if it was in anything else. Given how long they have been together, I wonder how much time they had to work on these songs before they went into the studio, as while there are sections when it is absolutely sublime there are others where it just doesn’t gel quite as it should. The vocals are not always quite as powerful as they could have been, yet there are others when they are very good indeed and a real highlight. This makes me think the band were in quite a rush to get this out for some reason. I would also have liked to have heard more of Francesca’s guitar as she often provides an edge which is sadly lacking when she is more in the background, and she uses a range of sounds moving from clean to distortion which provides additional layers. While it would be easy to compare them to the likes of PFM, there are also elements of The Moody Blues (especially with the way they use Mellotron), King Crimson and even ELP. However, if they are producing music of this quality after such a very short time together, what are they doing to be doing in five years’ time? This is RPI which is going to make a lot of old proggers very happy indeed.
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