Biglietto Per L’Inferno – Biglietto Per L’Inferno

biglietto1The debut by Biglietto Per L’Inferno is one of the most consistent albums of progressive rock that I’ve ever heard.  Although it does not have the high peaks of my top favorite prog albums (Roller, Cherry Five, Zarusthra, Animals, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, Red, Court of the Crimson King, Larks Tongues in Aspic, Drama, Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick, Minstrel in the Gallery, There’s the Rub), most true progressive rock albums–partially because of their daring nature–have some material that doesn’t work.  Yes occasionally gets a bit too “fa-la-la” happy, King Crimson sometimes loses me with their exploratory improvisations and I never want to eat Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast or go to San Tropez…and Yes, Crimson and Floyd are three of my all time favorite bands.  On Biglietto Per L’Inferno’s remarkable debut, I count about four (4) minutes of losing the thread/below par ideas, all of which are contained in one song, track 3, Una Strana Regina.  Other than that stuff—and some singing that seems a bit shy of the pitch—this album casts a spell for its duration.  That is rare.

The song Confessione is quite stunning symphonic/heavy prog, and probably the highlight, with lots of parts–loud and gentle–that all flow together, and it’s reprise is very welcome at the end of the album, but the tune that really struck me the most was the lengthy L’Amico Suicida.  An argument could be made that this is one of the most “progressive” songs ever, though of course that depends upon how you define progressive.   The song progresses from one ending to the next, refusing to give up, in an almost comical manner at times, it shifts and turns and reinvents itself.  There are about fifteen sections that could be the ending for this song, BUT owing the aforementioned consistency of BPL’s musical material, it somehow works…even though many of these part have wild instrumentation shifts or huge tonal changes or both.  Not a suite of mini-songs strung together (like 2112 or Supper’s Ready), but a long, amazing and confounding run on sentence of a song, L’Amico Suicida is a marvel that refuses punctuation.  Bravo.

Fans of Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother, Banco (esp. their debut), and PFM (who never made an album that I like as much as this one) are encouraged to seek out Biglietto Per L’Inferno, and listeners who enjoy heavier, more rockin’ things things like Thick as Brick and Salisbury will also get into this.  This is top notch RPI, perhaps only bested by Roller, Cherry Five and Zarusthra. -S. Craig Zahler

~ by martyworm on October 30, 2013.

2 Responses to “Biglietto Per L’Inferno – Biglietto Per L’Inferno”

  1. So this is a band that I had not heard of and am looking forward to checking it out. I have Ys by Il Balleto Di Bronzo. Although I enjoy that release, it never struck me as much as say Genesis, King Crimson, Rush etc. so I never delved any further into other RPI acts. I’ve always wanted to pick up Darwin by Banco de Mutuo Soccorso…just never have. Other albums you mentioned have me curious now also…Thanks!

    NP – Inquisition ‘Diabolous Nostrum Vinco

  2. I strongly prefer Biglietto Per L’Inferno over Baletto’s Ys, which I actually don’t even like enough to own and gave it away after hearing it. These albums are not in the same league in terms of cohesion, nor conveyance of an emotional journey.

    Definitely, definitely, definitely get Zarathustra by Museo Rosenbach. That album sits up there with Cherry Five (which was Goblin with a singer) and Goblin’s Roller as my top favorite RPI. Some top RPI— 1. Goblin’s Roller 2. Museo Rosenbach’s Zarathustra 3. Cherry Five 4 Biglietto debut 5. Frontiera by Procession 6. Banco’s self titled 7. Banco’s Darwin! 8. PFM debut 9 Goblin’s Profondo Rosso 10 Goblin’s Tenebrae 11 Goblin’s Zombi 11 Goblin’s Nonhossonno

    To me, all of these are Genesis-caliber or better, though I prefer King Crimson, Yes, and Floyd to Genesis.

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