Review Summary: A one-shot Italian winner.
Locanda Delle Fate were a seven-piece progressive group, centred around keyboards and piano. They consisted of two keyboardists as well as guitarists, supported by a dynamic rhythmic section and led by an emotional and gifted singer. The short-lived formation arrived fairly late on the Italian scene; Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu
was released in 1977, when prog rock was on the way out with punk and disco on the rise. Disappointed by the lack of response to the album, the band disbanded shortly afterwards. Some refer to the LP as the last great RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) album of the seventies, and for good reason.
is a stunning exposure of well crafted melodies and counterpoints, performed with finesse and emotional involvement. The arrangements are complex and intricate, giving the listener a feast of stunning interplay between pianos, moog, flute and even some effective touches on vibes. The solos on guitar, flute and synthesizer are toned down to a subtle degree, never shattering the overall instrumental balance. The songs flow together excellently and could almost be one continuous track if not for the breaks in between, making the album very consistent. The music itself is oriented towards a lush, warm, romantic sound rooted in Italian tradition, as well as in the symphonic stylings of early Genesis. Another fitting comparison would be to Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM).
The record came out during a time when the Italian Big Three (Le Orme, PFM and Banco) were becoming increasingly less productive and at risk of losing their identity. It was right here that LDF managed something fantastic in a genuine symphonic prog vein. While certainly breezier than the conventional rawer Italian prog standards, this jewel takes its place firmly on the pantheon of progressive classics. Powerful yet delicate, the band knew exactly how to accommodate a balance between keys or vocal-based moments, bombastic interplay and delicate melodies. Still, those who preferred the edgier side of the scene tended to dismiss them as being overly sweet and melodic.
With all tracks having been extremely carefully written and constructed, Forse
is a musically superb, entertaining and soothing exercise. It is characterized by stunning instrumental passages, expressive vocals and well-crafted symphonic arrangements. Filled with harmonic flute parts, lovely piano, Hackett-like guitar leads and magnificent keyboard work (organ, harpsichord, moog synthesizers), Locanda Delle Fate offered series of songs with sheer beauty, played with passion and energy.
First among many outstanding moments, A Volte un Instante di Quiete
sets the tone with alternating energetic and laidback textures. The rustic elegance of this instrumental opener crowns the disc with immediate class, soaring guitar and graceful piano on one side, shuffling rhythm section, Hammond and flute on the other. The grand title track introduces Leonardo Sasso’s warm and melancholic voice, blending in well with the piano; the shimmering fragility is chilling, a harsh guitar riff and a blazing synthesizer conspiring to elevate this even higher. Profumo di Colla Bianca
is the third strike in a row, its whistling synthesizer and chunky bass working around light electric guitar in a pleasant progression. The stately vocals appear over a distant organ and dreamy piano; whimsical sounds pop in the middle of the piece before the swirling organ ushers in the main theme. Non Chiudere a Chiave le Stelle
starts off with classical guitar, reminiscent of Genesis’ Horizons
. It’s an intense, passionate ballad with tender vocals and frail embellishments, a devastatingly gorgeous slice of prog. Lastly, Vendesi Saggezza
is a nearly ten-minute epic that spans all inherent qualities expressed by the musicians, carrying suggestive guitar leads, twirling flute and intertwined keyboards.
Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu
is without question one of the most beautiful, melodic, richly textured, strongly symphonic albums to come out of the Italian progressive movement. It is well produced, thoughtfully arranged and simply a treat for any keyboard/piano lover. A masterpiece in the symphonic branch of prog rock, deserving of more recognition than it has received.