1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“Formed at the end of the seventies under the name of "Sagittari" (Pino Di Santo, Ettore Vigo, Mimmo Di Martino, Marcello Reale) later joined by Ivano Fossati in 1970. In 1971 the band presents their first album "Dolce Acqua" which offers an atmosphere based on a soft acoustic sound mixed with soft rock and a touch of jazz, enriched by Fossati's flute creating a sort of Latin version of the more famous Jethro Tull. The popularity of the band took a giant step in 1972 by appearing at the Sanremo song festival with the song "Jesahel" soon becoming a number 1 seller with over a million copies sold. (Delirium Myspace.com, 2009).
“Despite Fossati leaving the band (for military service) and being replaced by English flute and sax player Martin Grice, Delirium record their second album "Lo Scemo e il Villaggio" reaching a new level of full artistic maturity with a splendid album of progressive rock jazz. In 1974 it's the turn of delirium 3 "Viaggio negli Arcipelaghi del Tempo" the most progressive of their works, enriched by a full string section and for the first time Di Martino uses the electric guitar. This
album is generally considered amongst the top works in Italian prog. In 1975 the group disbands.
After years of silence and thanks to drummer Di Santo's insistence in 2003 the band reforms with Vigo, Grice and two new members Fabio Chighini bass and guitarist-vocalist Roberto Solinas. Delirium are back in splendid form with their first ever live. "Vibrazioni Notturne" recorded at the end of summer 2006 in which they present a mixture of old classics revitalized, new material and a couple of perfect covers for a live show, Jethro Tull and a splendid version of "With a Little Help from my Friends".” (Delirium Myspace.com, 2009).
Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
This is their latest project and effort to reach their fans with new material.
2. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1. Intro (Dio Del Silenzio Reprise) – Thunder, then rain kick this album off, along with flute and soft keys before the vocalist begins singing in Italian. Nice opening.
2. Il Nome Del Vento – Piano and strings open this song along with supporting keys. I don’t speak Italian, but the vocalist sounds great supported by a group of female background singers. Guitar riffs run through the opening and you are surrounded with an almost orchestral sound with everyone working together in time. The guitar takes over through the middle and end of the song, with constant support of female vocals and strings.
3. Verso il naufragio – Very atmospheric piece of music. Keys and sax open this song with an almost Pink Floyd sound, supported by strings. Very cool. One of the best songs on the album. Then crashing guitar, drums and the piano takes off on a run with support of the string ensemble. Lots of drama and power in this earthy song. Then the guitar riff and theme begin. Very cool. Catchy riff that runs throughout the song. Very complex stuff with keyboards and synths taking over. Drums and broken glass, then the sax is back. An almost Pink Panther theme ending with sax and heavy keys near the end is very jazzy and a cool way to finish off.
4. L’acquario delle stelle – Soft keys and flute open this number. Reminds me of an early Genesis, Trespass era sound. Very nice touch. Then the strings kick in and add volume and full orchestral sound.. Very early Genesis themed music. Almost sounds like a full orchestra. Then the vocalist takes over and piano supports the building theme and guitar riffed mid - section. Piano brings us back to the classic prog sound before keyboards take over, supported by guitar. The vocalist speaks some of the final lines, while birds, wind and sea supported by flute close the song. Amazingly wonderful.
5. Luci Lontane – Piano and vocals start this song off supported by baritone sax. Sounds as if you are in a smoky bar with the pianist, baritone sax, string section and the vocalists. You don’t have to understand the language to hear the passion coming through in the power of the vocalist. The baritone sax, piano, strings all come together and work in unison to create a very jazzy, yet proggie sound, complete with guitar rips grinding throughout. Then keyboards providing another surprise. You are never bored with this music full of many changes and variation.
6. Profeta senza profezie – Beautiful piano and baritone sax open this one. Baritone sax solo along with strings, piano and a different vocalist. Groovy jazz themed sound with prog background makes for an interesting mix. They keep adding different instruments and make the piece a slowly evolving panorama of sound. Sax closes this song out perfectly supported by strings and piano.
7. Ogni Storia – Baby crying opens this song up with keyboards and bass. Then a baritone sax takes center stage before being replaced with guitar and keys. Another groovy jazzy mix of moving rhythm. The male vocalist provides the storyline supported by female singers. Guitar riffs fill the air along with piano and keyboards. The guitar solo towards the end is powerful and grinds this one to the finish, along with a baby crying.
8. Note Di Tempesta – Hitchcock strings open this one. Very dramatic. Piano and sax supported by keys get this one off to a fast start. The guitar kicks in and we are off and rolling. All of this would be wonderful to see live. How they pull off all of these many rhythms and music changes off live must be impressive to watch. Wonderful keyboards that just take over the song supported by guitar and drums, with piano a constant reminder. Cool grinding guitar riff really bounces off the flute and piano playing throughout this piece. The band laughs at the end almost delighted they pulled off all of the changes and instrument changes in the piece.
9. Dopo Il Vento Single eerie flute and sound effects. Then the guitar and drums open one of the proggiest numbers on the album. Very cool keys, strings and horn section with flute or sax running throughout. No time to get into a routine because there are more changes coming. The guitar is back and supported by drums and strings. The epic of the album. Then we switch to a jazz, then more of that quiet Trespass sound again, but different. The original vocalist is back accompanied by flute and those full strings. The 60’s Jethro Tull sounding flute solo is so cool and perfectly placed just after the middle of this epic. Then a piano solo with flute supporting. Then the keyboards kick in with strings and flute accompaniment. Almost sounds like a full orchestra and then the guitar starts up again you feel the power of the finale.
10. Cuore Sacro – Flute opens this up as if Ian Anderson was on stage. Very cool, then the pipe organ blasts forward! A crashing end to a powerful build up. Piano solo is wonderful reminding me of some of the best piano pieces in early prog. Vocals supported by piano, then pounding almost disco rhythm, and the flute is back. Very cool effects. Never a dull moment on this album. Those cool organ sounds from the 70s along with the flute everywhere. The strings kick in as the power builds. The piano finishes this off with flute and vocals, along with the closing sound of the wind blowing.
11. Bonus track – L’aurora Boreale – Flute and keys open this track, supported by sax. The drums and rhythm guitars kick in building the theme, along with acoustic guitar and congas. Very cool effect. The lead electric guitar takes over supported with keys. The flute jumps in and out and adds to the building momentum. Very nice bonus track. Those warm soft keys take you back to Brandy from the 70s band Looking Glass, but this time with a prog twist.
3. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
Virtuoso musicianship. I defy you to get bored during any one of these songs. In fact that is their strength and weakness. The songs are long enough to allow for the many transitions of instruments and sound changes, but not long enough to completely satisfy the craving to hear more. Just as you are getting the rhythm and feel for a song, a new one begins. You don’t have a chance to get bored. You also want to replay the album to go through the experience again.
Very original works that harkens back to the best sounds of the 70s while at the same time bring those sounds forward into the 21st Century.
4. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes, definitely. Very original and something that demands your attention to really appreciate it.
Rating: 9/10. Very good and my first experience with the band and Italian prog in general. It makes me want to explore their earlier works and the entire Italian prog scene more closely.
Reviewed by Prof on July 29th, 2009