Artist/ Band: Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Title: En Concierto, Ciudad De Mexico, Mayo 28, 1999 (Live In Concert, Mexico City, May 28, 1999)
Label: Sol & Deneb Records
Year of Release: 2000
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

First of all, I should tell you that I am a big fan of Italian Symphonic Progressive Rock. I did not hear much of it when I first got into prog in the late 70’s, but when I re-discovered prog about 10 years ago I found a wealth of quality recordings from bands like Banco, Le Orme and PFM produced in the golden years of prog. From Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso I initially purchased Darwin and the 1975 English language compilation simply titled Banco. I had the amazingly good fortune to see show closers Banco rock the house down at Progfest 2000 and Le Orme do the same for Baja Prog 2001.

Although initially more impressed with Le Orme on record (especially the phenomenal Felona e Serona), I felt Banco put on such a great performance that I was looking for a live representation of their show. Well here it is! Two CDs of the most incredible playing and singing recorded in Mexico City, May 28, 1999. Their sound is augmented by an additional guitarist since the albums I have in my possession. Filippo Marcheggiani, with long time guitarist Rudolfo Maltese, lend an edgier sound to the songs; playing intricate guitar lines to accompany the precise playing by keyboardist Vittorio Nocenzi. The songs that I have heard from other sources that are repeated on these two discs definitely rock harder, so I would imagine the entire set is like that. Even in the quieter pieces there is an undercurrent of intensity that cannot be ignored.

Powerful singing by Francesco Di Giacamo is evident throughout. I don't know what he's saying, but he sings it with such conviction it truly just doesn't matter. Tiziano Ricci and Maurizio Masi lay down the rhythm from which all other music is produced, and should be mentioned as bass and drums respectively (and respectfully). I was going to list some of my favorite works from this album, but realized that I would be listing most every song from this two disc set. Suffice to say if you are a Banco fan, even if you have all the other albums (maybe especially if you have all the albums) get this album! If you are new to Banco, and are not averse to prog in other languages, this is probably the best album to begin with. I warn you though, once you open this door to Italian Symph, you cannot go back.The Review:

Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 10th, 2007


Disc 1:

1. Brivido (6:48)
2. Il Ragno (5:42)
3. Sirčne (6:38)
4. R.I.P. (requescant in Pace) (9:05)
5. Bisbigli & Passagglio (1:55)
6. La conquista della positione eretta (10:36)

Disc 2:

1. E mi viene da Pensare (6:46)
2. Canto di Primavera (7:11)
3. L'Evoluzione (8:11)
4. Moby Dick (5:41)
5. Roma-Tokyo (6:29)
6. Lontano Da (7:15)
7. Traccia (3:19)

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