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Il Cerchio D’oro - Il Fuoco Sotto La Cenere album review

Il Cerchio D’oro's fire nearly sputters out

Il Cerchio D’oro - Il Fuoco Sotto La Cenere album artwork

Italian proggers Il Cerchio d’Oro have a proclivity for concept albums – see 2013’s Dedalo E Icaro (Daedalus And Icarus) and 2008’s Il Viaggio Di Colombo (The Voyage Of Columbus) – but if their new album Il Fuoco Sotto La Cenere (The Fire Under The Ashes) has a theme, it’s lost in translation. There’s a tendency for the band to wear their influences on their sleeves. The title track moves between Pink Floyd classic prog and a riff-led midsection that brings Budgie to mind, before launching into an early Deep Purple, psychedelic passage. Vocalist Piuccio Pradal doesn’t have a big voice and can sound strained when pushing at his limits in I Due Poli, which has a spacey vibe with plenty of theremin. The weakest track is the album’s closer, _Fuoco Sulla__ _Collina, where Pradal’s limitations as a singer are all too apparent and Massimo Spica’s tuneless lead guitar work quickly becomes grating. Thomas is much more fun with its bouncy organ melody, vintage synth sounds and unhurried pace. Per Sempre Qui sees the band drawing deeply from the well of Floyd again, but if you take your prog with a shot of psychedelia and forgive Pradal’s voice, you may dig this.

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.