Week of December 2, 2007

De De Lind

Matteo Vitolli - guitar, flute
Gilberto Trama - flute, sax, keyboards
Vito Paradiso - vocals, guitar
Eddy Lorigiola - bass
Ricky Rebajoli - drums

Io Non So Da Dove Vengo E Non So Dove Mai Andro. Uomo E'Il Nome Che Mi Han Dato, 1973 Mercury 6323 901
CD: Mercury (846 414-2) 1992; Vinyl Magic VM CD 083. Also in Japan and South Korea

If one masterpiece should be singled out as the jewel of Italian rock, my vote would go to De De Lind's one and only album, which also wins the competition for the longest title. What is so special about it? I will try to explain this by the way of a short analysis.

The music of De De Lind has an otherworldly combination of poetic beauty, dynamic range, a considerable philosophical depth and, most of all, strong passion. The whole album forms a united work whose name translated to English is 'I don't know where I'm coming from and I don't know where I will go to. Man is the name I was given.' The album starts in heavy blues-rock style with psychedelic undertones and Jethro Tull-like flute lines. This gives no indication of which way the album will develop, but already reveals a vocalist with extraordinary intensity and commitment. This rather powerful introduction suddenly calms down followed by an unsuspected modulation of key (one semitone up) after 5:12 minutes, lifting the music to a higher dimension of pure beauty with flute and acoustic guitar playing meditative and dreamy tones. However, after 6:12 minutes the flute melody fails to reach its harmonic conclusion. Instead the mood becomes more dramatic with vocalist Vito Paradiso anxiously singing a section with increasing volume! Then the flute makes another attempt with the same melody, succeeding in reaching a harmonic conclusion this time. The reward is a quick crescendo into a full rock band sound, in which the majestic main melodic theme of the album (carried by the electric guitars) is revealed. It's regal and powerful with strong psychedelic overtones. This theme is repeated with some variations, including additional vocals.

The third section of the album ("Paura Del Niente") starts with melodic material contrasting the main theme. The sung melody is soft and mellow in nature. This provokes (after a moment of complete silence) a sharp instrumental reaction with furious flute playing and angry guitars. For the rest of the section there are various instrumental developments. Section four ("Smarrimento") starts with an angry solo flute melody in the best Ian Anderson "Locomotive Breath" style. Some inspired flute variations gradually invite the whole band to play the powerful reaction from "Paura Del Niente". A heavenly section of acoustic guitar and vocals follows. Then there are further dynamic variations, including a reprise of previously played melodies. Section five ("Cimitero Di Guerra") ends with the full band treatment of the first flute melody from "Smarrimento". Section six ("Voglia Di Rivivere") starts in a very thoughtful and dreamy mood with many melodic references to the main theme of the album. This returns at last in its full glory in a marvellous full-blooded onslaught. Unexpectedly, this satisfactory conclusion is not completed and the last section follows.

Section seven ("E Poi") is a kind of epilogue, obscuring the previous feeling of fulfilment. The lyrics in this section are the long title of the album. In this way, the album ends by referring to the meaning of its title.

Luckily, the group made no further albums - they would only have been painful anticlimaxes to what they had already done.

Taken from Scented Gardens of the Mind - A guide to the Golden Era of Progressive Rock (1968-1980) in more than 20 European Countries, by Dag Erik Asbjørnsen, Borderline Productions, ISBN 1-899855-12-2

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