Album: La Bella È La Bestia
Review: Diego Camargo
Thoughts: Syndone is an Italian band that has its story divided into two parts: the early 90’s and the reborn in the 2010’s. La Bella È La Bestia (2012) is their second album from the new phase.
Led by Nik Comoglio (keyboards) the trio is completed by Francesco Pinetti (vibraphone, marimba and tubular bells) and Riccardo Ruggeri (vocals). Session musicians include Pino Li Trenta (drums), Federico Marchesano (bass) and as a very special guest Ray Thomas (The Moody Blues) on flutes.
La Bella È La Bestia (2012) is a concept album that re-tells the famous Beauty And The Beast tale, (written by Leprince De Beaumont and first published in 1756), in their own style.
Before going into the music it is necessary to mention the fabulous artwork of the CD that was released by AMS/BTF in mini-LP replica.
The main sound on La Bella È La Bestia (2012) is a fantastic Symphonic Prog led by Nik’s vintage keyboards and orchestrations. Though we have some surprises here and there like the unusual sound on ‘Il Fiele E Il Limite’ this is what expects for you here, Symphonic Prog!
Riccardo’s vocals are something else! He interprets all the different characters in the story with different voices, which gives the album a strong feeling of the story that is being told. You can see it on ‘Rosa Recisa’ and ‘Complice Carnefice’ for instance (both with a heavy Genesis influence).
We also have our share of classical piano on La Bella È La Bestia (2012) with the short instrumental ‘Piano Prog Impromptu’, that’s very Keith Emerson (ELP) influenced.
‘Tu Non Sei Qui’ is a desperate piano ballad where the ‘Beast’ wonders about its own existence. A wonderful work by Riccardo.
Track seven, ‘Orribile Mia Forma’, has Riccardo once again stealing the show with his vocal performance. But the whole song, full of breaks and great pianos, keyboards and vibraphones, is just amazing. Probably my favorite on the album!
But not just that, this track also has a flute solo (from Concerto Per Flauto E Orchestra by Carl Nielsen) played by Ray Thomas (from The Moody Blues).
‘Mercanti Di Gioia’ is a bit of a minor track on the album and it doesn’t really shine through, but Riccardo’s vocals make it at least interesting.
The following two songs are more classical. ‘Bestia!’ has a very weird tempo and is more Symphonic. Great bass sound! ‘Ora Respira’ continues the Symphonic path with piano and strings. But Nik’s synthesizers are the best bit here.
The final two tracks on La Bella È La Bestia (2012) are the instrumental ‘La Ruota Della Fortuna’ that plays on the classic side of Prog and is very pretty, and ‘Canto Della Rosa’ that finishes the album almost as in an Opera.
La Bella È La Bestia (2012) is a brilliant introduction (at least for me) to Syndone’s music. Lyrical, theatrical and epic! Not just that, it has one of the best singers I’ve ever heard in the Prog world!
This is a perfect ‘intro’ before going to their brand new album Odysséas (2014) released by Fading/AltrOck (that soon will be reviewed here too)!