From: "Jeff Marx"
Well, the Italian prog scene has proven to be a gold mine for those who love keyboard-driven prog of the ELP/Triumvirat variety. What with Le Orme, PFM, RDM, Romantic Warriors, Empire, Metamorfosi, I could go on and on. I'd like to introduce you (unless you know him already) to keyboardist Walter Pini and Nuova Era.
Nuova Era has been around since the eighties, and from what I gather, had been a guitar/keys/bass/drums/vocals outfit with several releases under their belts. The 1995 release of "Il Passo Del Soldato," was their first without a guitarist, allowing Walter Pini to stretch out and take full control of the melodic/compositional content . This of course is a good thing.
Pini's got the full battery of keyboards; Hammonds and other organs in all their Emersonian percussive glory, analog synths which Pini handles like a pro, plus some nice piano work in front of and behind string/mellotron washes. Pini's playing is technically superb, with speed, finesse, and expressiveness.
There are short 4-minute pieces and longer 7 to 11-minute ones which are all beautifully-developed with massed keyboards(mellotron, organ and analog synths)layered to great effect. Vocalist Claudio Guerrini has a very expressive, and emotional delivery which fits Walter Pini's own exressive, emotive styles like a glove. The bass and percussion hold their own and add their own distinctive elements.
Boy do I wish I could read Italian as all liner notes and lyrics are in Italian, but don't let that stop your enjoyment of all the deliciousinstrumental work.
As far as I can make out, this album seems to focus around war and battle concepts taken from human history....it actually has a bit of a Metamorfosi-"Inferno" "feel" to it. Lots of dark dramatic musical passages abound.
All nine cuts on this 53-minute disc are winners, combining some of the best keyboard playing this side of ELP, Triumvirat, Metamorfosi, and Le Orme. If this isn't among the best keyboard-oriented prog releases of the past 20 years, than I don't know what is! I can't recommend this highly enough!
From: Mark Fonda <>
I have had this for a while and I rated it good, but not great... I'll have to listen to it a few more times. :) How do you like the old-time photo's (black & white) of the band members? One is with them all standing around the grave of what looks like an Italian war hero. They're all dressed in top hats, vests, boots and bow ties... 'unique' is all I can say!
np: Nuova Era - Il Passo Del Soldato (yes, Jeff, this IS a fabulous keyboard virtuoso... I think the first time around I got thrown off by the first track which is more vocals-oriented and didn't give the rest a fair listen. This will now displace Lito Vitale in the Top20 list!!)
From: "Jeff Marx" <>
That's interesting Mark...my thinking for the five or six times I've listened to this album has been that the key was getting through the first 1 or 2 tracks which kind of set the table for the rest of the album. The complexity and performance level ramp way up by tracks 3 and 4, it's a nice way to build intensity in an album!
From: Jeff Marx <>
I got an e-mail from Walter Pini of Nuova Era fame, but as I don't read Italian, I'm lost. Can any kind e-progger help me with a translation? I'd guess it's something about a solo album of his? Thanks in Walter Pini (Firenze) Italy.
Salve, Parli Italiano? Spero di si. Sono il tastierista e compositore dei NUOVA ERA Walter. Volevo solo ringraziarti per la tua recensione che ho trovato nel web girando tra i siti che trattano il progressive. Tra poco deve uscire un nostro CD con pezzi dal vivo e registrazioni inedite. Titolo:"CATTIVI PENSIERI" edito per la Pickup records.
From: Luca <>
I hope you can understand this quick translation...
Hi, do you speak Italian?. I hope so. I am the " Nuova Era" keyboardist and composer, Walter. I just only want to thank you for your recension that I have found on the web turning (amongst?) progressive related site. Soon a cd of us will be released with live and unreleased recordings. Named:" CATTIVI RICORDI" from Pick up records.