review by
Stephanie Sollow
Editor of
Progressive World

Nicola Randone was the guitarist/vocalist with the now-disbanded Grey Owl, who struck out on his own in 2002 (bringing along some pieces he composed while with Grey Owl) to record and release Morte Di Un Amore. Riccardo Cascone (ex-Grey Owl) contributed bass, Enrico Boncoragio drums and percussion, and Giovanni Bulbo contributed keyboards, which includes some beautiful piano (or piano-like) accents. Morte Di Un Amore (A Love's Death) could loosely be called a concept album, in that there each piece touches upon similar, broadly drawn themes – loneliness, despair, fatalism, and tragic love. Well, with a song title like "Il Pentimento Di Dio… Dopo La Fine Del Mondo" (God's Repentance After The End Of The World), you know not to expect something optimistically upbeat. This fatalism – the "woe is me" factor – is what characterized many of the Romantic poets of the early 19th Century, namely John Keats. Without diverging into an essay on Keats and the other romantics, I'll just say that Keats ruminated often on death, including his own, which he knew was coming -- Keats died in 1821, at the age 25, of tuberculosis [...]

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[...] The music offered here is a very good collection of prog-flavored pop ballads and AOR soft rockers, featuring the excellent vocal prowess of Nicola Randone. This guy can really sing, delivering with emotion and intensity that makes him sound like a mix of Fish and Le Ormes Aldo Tagliapietra, and all the tunes he chose are tasty and well crafted. Melodic, spacious and austere in all the right places, this is music where every instrument provides vocal support, and is yet allowed to breathe and move on its own, like the very tasty guitar solos peppered through the album that have that distinctly Rotherian mix of bittersweet beauty and anger.

There are many other hints of classic English prog instrumentation on this album. For example, the opening track Visioni features a keyboard lead sound and vibe that are identical to those found on the Floydian opus Dogs, and the intro arpeggio to La Giostra is an instant reference to Alan Parsons Tales Of Mystery and Imagination. Moreover, like in most of the work by both of these bands, many of the songs are interconnected by strange ambient holophonics (heartbeats, radios tuning and thunderclaps), lending continuity to the whole album. I could go on, but you get the idea. The production is immaculate, and overall this is a very professional piece of work. [...]

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Raramente mi è capitato di ascoltare un debutto così intrigante come questo Morte di un Amore dell'artista siciliano Nicola Randone. Intrigante perché i nove brani che compongono l'album, arrangiati e registrati con grande cura, alimentano in noi la speranza che finalmente in Italia stia crescendo e prendendo consapevolezza di sé un nuovo corso progressivo, definitivamente libero dagli immancabili spettri e dalle vecchie maschere Genesisiane e Marillioniane. Una nuova scena progressiva che guarda con il giusto realismo e con la giusta attenzione al panorama musicale odierno, cercando di mediare le sue inclinazioni attraverso il contatto con realtà solo apparentemente distanti, come ad esempio quella dei cantautori italiani storici (De Andrè, Battiato, Fossati, Ruggeri, De Gregori, Guccini) dove lo spessore delle liriche e l'attenzione alla melodia giocano un ruolo centrale. In questo nuovo interessante filone, che già annovera tra le sue fila gruppi come Greenwall, Germinale e Cantina Sociale, Nicola Randone si inserisce probabilmente con una coerenza e convinzione ancora maggiore. Così, nei circa cinquanta intensi minuti di Morte di un Amore, siamo condotti per mano da un colto cantastorie e al tempo stesso divertiti da un ardito saltimbanco, siamo commossi da un eroe romantico pronto a svelarci il suo cuore e sferzati da un Savonarola implacabile nell'attaccare con irriverenza i tanti vizi presenti e passati della nostra società. A legare i nove episodi del concept, composti in origine in maniera indipendente l'uno dall'altro, ci pensano gli arrangiamenti sinfonici estremamente curati e alcuni brillanti stratagemmi sonori. Ma è soprattutto la voce generosa e imprevedibile, talvolta sopra le righe, di Nicola Randone, in bilico tra Gianni Leone, Aldo Tagliapietra, Franco Battiato e Piero Pelù a scortarci fino al trionfo della mini suite Strananoia, Amore Bianco e Morte di un Amore, in cui l'alchimia tra rock melodico, prog e cantautorato raggiunge il suo culmine. Consigliato.

Paolo Carnelli
Wonderous Stories


[...] I thought it was already impossible to create something really new within the framework of a theatrically dramatic kind of Symphonic Progressive pioneered by Genesis - however, Nicola Randone's debut album, "Morte di un amore", represents, IMHO, nothing else but a truly new manifestation of that genre. (The die-hard fans of early Genesis and any sorts of the classic Genesis sound may stop reading this review, - Randone's music is by no means your cup of tea.) This music is truly unique, so it cannot be compared to anything existing under a 'sun' of Symphonic Progressive. Symphonic Art-Rock, presented on "Morte di un amore", is for the most part lushly and very effectively orchestrated. [...] Most of those who are used to value any albums by the contents of the first two or three songs on them (i.e. straight in a store) should be enough charmed with "Morte di un amore" to purchase it immediately. (It doesn't much matter that they'll most likely be very disappointed with the album as a whole. Often, such people are quite happy 'having' on a disc at least a couple of songs they like.) Which would be useful for Randone's further creation. It's not only because of all five of the remaining songs on the album, among which the 15-minute title track is more than a mere prog killer, are real masterpieces. Also, in the presence of a proper promotion and distribution, "Morte di un amore" may become an album that can really help Progressive to get back the mainstream status, at least partly [...]
Vitaly Menshikov Editor of
PROGRESSOR


Nicola Randonen “Morte di un Amore” saa väkisinkin kunniamaininnan lähiaikojen parhaasta omakustannealbumista. Harvoin kuulee näin valmista ja kypsää tavaraa edes jo vakiintuneilta progepuolen nimiltä. Randone yhdistää musiikissaan trubaduurin laulutaitonsa mielenkiintoisesti tehtyjen taustojen kanssa ja saa aikaan hyvän kokonaisuuden. Vaikka albumin alussa tuntuukin, että mukana on liiaksi laulua, niin musiikista löytyy kuitenkin sen verran paljon omaperäistä tulkintaa ja hienoja sovituksia, että homma kolahtaa hyvin alusta alkaen. Ja meno sen kun vain paranee albumin loppupuolella. Randone tuntuu pyörivän omissa kuvioissaan tehden omaa musiikkiaan apinoimatta vanhoja suuruuksia, kuten turhan useilla progeartisteilla nykyisin on tapana. Albumi on piristävä poikkeus nykyisten melko tasapaksujen progejulkaisujen joukossa.
Raimo Erausto Editor of
COLOSSUS

 


Nicola RANDONE est sans aucun doute l'héritier d'une certaine école britannique, établie durant les années soixante-dix par des pionniers tels GENESIS. Italien bon teint, notre homme injecte également à sa musique une sensibilité toute latine, digne des grands aînés que sont PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI ou LE ORME. Le rock Progressif hautement symphonique déployé sur les sillons numériques de "Morte Di Un Amore" (2002) est parfaitement orchestré, réellement unique malgré les différentes influences citées précédemment. Un coup d'essai rapidement transformé en coup de maître !


Nicola Randone / Morte di un amore (2002) Nicola Randone, NR001. (全9曲)

Vlカンタウト[レ Nicola Randone のデビュ[EアルバムBとは言ってもŽゥŽ蜒[ベルからのリリ[スですB共を含め全曲の曲とŽ撃ŽゥgでŽ闃|けていますBヴォ[カルスタイルは元 Van Der Graaf Generator の Peter Hammill のŽ痰「のようなシアトリカルでエキセントリックなタイプでA曲調は炎 Franco Battiato を想起させるアバンギャルドFを感じさせますBオ[プニングの "Visioni" では Mauro Pelosi をŽvわせる悲壮感漂うヴォ[カルと美しいピアノの調べにみつく電Žq音などの効果音が独特の音空間を演oしていますB続く "Il pentimento di Dio" では一転してレゲエのリズムに謔ケた軽快でありながらシアトリカルなヴォ[カルを聴かせてくれますB"Tutte le mie stelle" ではまくし立てるようなヴォ[カルが印ロ的でA包みžむようなストリングスのバッキングが曲にハりを添えていますB波の音に導かれる "Un cieco" は起伏に富んだディを哀D漂うヴォ[カルがキり繧ーる曲ですB"Strananoia" ではアップテンポな曲の繧彼のシアトリカルなヴォ[カルがを得た魚のようにc横無sに駆け回るのが印ロ的ですBラストのタイトル曲 "Morte di un amore" は哀感のあるギタ[に導かれて彼のヴォ[カルが炸裂する前半部とS臓の鼓動に導かれ様Xな効果音を配したŽタ験的なサウンドコラ[ジュをŽ謔闢れた後半部の対比が素ーらしい大にŽd繧ェっていますBBアバンギャルドFが強いために一般Žけはしないかも知れませんがAデビュ[としては格段に完ャ度がb「優れものですB


Here is a new artist from Sicily performing in the Italian romantic progressive tradition. Fans of 1970’s Italian progressive rock are familiar with this style, which really requires Italian-language vocals. Randone has a fabulous voice (sometimes it seems that all Italians are born singers!) and the music, while not as complex as the best Banco or Le Orme, stands up well to his influences, which would seem to be Franco Battiato, Alan Sorrenti, Claudio Rocchi, Aldo Tagliapietra (Le Orme), and Locanda delle Fate. Behind Randone’s vocals are keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. Highly orchestrated, symphonic, lush and romantic with some spacey touches, fans of Italian progressive will not be disappointed.


Mi sono sempre piaciute le favole... peccato che il lieto fine non sia mai stato la mia specialità, ed evidentemente anche Nicola Randone deve avere lo stesso problema, visto che le nove tracce di questo suo album d'esordio uniscono ad un'atmosfera fiabesca una grande amarezza di fondo che non risparmia nessuno dei personaggi che popolano le sue canzoni[..] dovendo sintetizzare il tutto in poche parole, lo potremmo definire come un cantautore che ha nel proprio background una buona dose del lato più italiano del progressive dei '70, come si può intuire dagli arrangiamenti sempre molto curati e spesso complessi.
Grandissima la cura per i testi da cui si intuisce un'ispirazione molto spontanea che porta, come dicevamo in apertura, Nicola ad esprimersi in modo fiabesco ma al tempo stesso amaro, con qualche piccola concessione alla retorica, una piacevole semplicità nell'uso delle parole ed una grande eterogeneità negli argomenti trattati [...] Senza dubbio un ottimo esordio, con un lavoro curatissimo in cui nemmeno i dettagli sono lasciati al caso[..]
Roberto Bonfanti Editor of
Suburbia Magazine


Nicola Randone is one of many Italian musicians with a lot of experience. After some harder work with Sicilian Grey Owl he has created a new standard with 'Morte di un amore'. [...] It's always difficult to be inventive and original in the music business, but Nicola has at least proven with this album that progressive music is not necessarily a-commercial [...] I could enumerate a few bands, but this cd is really very original [...]
Claude 'Clayreon' Bosschem
Editor of Prog-NOse


The best way I can describe the style is to call it ‘progressive opera’
Jem Jedrzejewski Editor of
Hairless Heart Herald


[...] The first thing that every listener will notice about Nicola's music is his voice. He is one of the best Italian rock singers I've heard, and he proves it 30-second into the first track
[...]
steve hegede Editor of
Zoltan's PRock WebPage


[...] un’opera molto creativa e ben realizzata, con liriche tutt’altro che banali e un’atmosfera generale di buon effetto.
Alberto Nucci
Editor of Arlequins

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