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Delirium: Il Viaggio Continua- La Storia 1970 - 2010
While PFM, Banco, and Le Orme are regarded as the most important acts of the early Italian Progressive Rock movement, many other bands, including Delirium, proved just as innovative and vibrant. Although they only released three studio albums in the 70s (and took twenty-five years to record a fourth), Delirium's masterful usage of melodic intricacies and ever-changing timbres made them one of the most interesting prog rock acts of their time. Now, with the release of the fantastic commemorative live CD/DVD, Il Viaggio Continua: La Storia 1970 - 2010, they may finally get the attention they deserve.
Formed in 1970 out of the ashes I Sagittari, Delirium's debut, Dolce Acqua, was one of the earliest Italian prog rock albums (although it was mostly acoustic). A conceptual suite consisting of eight movements related to emotions, it was also one of the most ambitious. After some line-up changes, television appearances and festival performances, they released the much more "progressive" Lo Scemo E II Villagio. Mixing more complexity with a jazz influence, it was ultimately less successful than their debut (commercially, not artistically). However, their third release, Delirium III (Viaggio Negli Arcipelaghi Del Tempo), garnished much acclaim. Considered their masterpiece, it implemented strings and electric guitar, greatly expanding their sound. After a hiatus of over twenty years, the group reunited in 2007 for Vibrazioni Notturne (a live album) and in 2009, they recorded a new studio album, Il Nome del Vento. Beginning with a reprise of a theme from Delirium III, it simultaneously expands upon their legacy while welcoming in a new era.
On Il Viaggio Continua, Delirium faithfully and enthusiastically celebrates its catalogue, recreating some extremely colorful and complex music. The 105 minute performance flows together wonderfully as each track extends from the last, and while discussing each track would be tedious, there are some true highlights and surprises worthy of mention. Overall, it's a joyous experience to watch these stellar musicians finally get their due.
The concert begins with "Intro/Verso il Naufragio," which is an instrumental consisting of seductive saxophone and synthesizers. Before long, some catchy guitar and piano melodies erupt into a sonic splendor that mixes the symphonic majesty of ELP with the mellow jazziness of Camel. Delirium segues directly into "Movimento I (Egoismo)," which, with its flute emphasis and vocal harmonies, instantly recalls Jethro Tull. When guitarist Roberto Solinas begins singing, his gruff register is, at first, a bit odd and dissonant, but it soon becomes a welcomed part of the Delirium sound. Since he sings in Italian, the lyrics can't be evaluated fairly, so it's best to think of his voice as just another instrument.
Delirium utilize a staggering array of styles on Il Viaggio Continua; every aspect of progressive rock—biting riffs, technical keyboard interludes, shifting time signatures, beautiful melodies, engaging dynamics, harmonies, arpeggios, etc— is expertly represented. Because they began as the genre did, it is both unfair and accurate to claim that Delirium sounds like other bands (who's to say that Camel, Genesis, Yes, or Jethro Tull didn't sound like Delirium?). Honestly, Delirium is such a perfect melting pot of these other artists that they are at once derivative and wholly original. Hell, they even do a Jethro Tull medley in the middle of the set, and they end with the Beatles' classic "With a Little Help from my Friends," which is quite affective as an acknowledgment of how far they've come. It's an incredible show.
The DVD extras include archival footage, recent performances, a backstage interview (with English subtitles), rehearsals, and a photo gallery (with accompanying music). It's quite rewarding to see these retrospective additions, and they definitely enhance the value of the package. As for the CD, it sounds superb so those who want to hear the concert on the go will be satisfied.
Il Viaggio Continua is a marvelous release. In essence, Delirium combines everything that makes prog rock so special in an exceptionally cohesive and moving package. Watching these guys play music they worked so hard on yet weren't properly rewarded for decades ago is emotionally touching, and they continue to play with a shared mind and vital energy. Delirium were/are an incredible band, and Ill Viaggio Continua is a must own for all fans of Progressive Rock and, really, anyone who loves lush, dynamic and beautifully melodic music.
1. Intro / Verso il Naufragio
2. Movimento I (Egoismo)
3. Favola o Storia del Lago di Kriss (Libertŕ)
5. Culto Disarmonico
6. Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento
7. Boureč / Living in the Past
8. Preludio (Paura)
9. Dio del Silenzio
10. Dopo il Vento
11. L?Acquario delle Stelle
12. Dolce Acqua (Speranza)
13. La Battaglia degli Eterni Piani
15. With a Little Help from my Friends
Added: February 28th 2011
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: More Information
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