In just six years, Le Orme, who formed in 1966 in Venice, moved away from the psychedelic sound of Ad Gloriam into the beginnings of Italian Symphonic Rock of the ‘70s. It wasn’t until they released this unbelievable concept album that would have made ELP very happy. The story of the piece is about two planets – one planet (Felona), is filled with happiness and joy to peace to the world while the other planet (Sorona) filled with misery, post-apocalyptic cities, plagues similar to Moses, and death.
The Italian trio consists bassist, guitarist and vocalist Aldo Tagliapietra’s dramatic beauty setting the score to this dramatic rock opera as keyboardist Toni Pagliuca blisters the keyboards to give it a driven mode from beauty pastoral orchestral compositions ala Bach style to a dark and moody atmosphere that sets the entire structures while drummer Michi Dei Rossi is doing his Carl Palmer techniques to give it a real kick in the gut throughout the rest of the concept story of Felona and Sorona.
The opening track, Sospesi Nell’Incredible is a perfect example of the band’s sound and the way the mood is set into place like an Overture with a time changing opening piece that has Paglicua setting the instrumental number that sets the space operatic technique as Aldo comes in to give one the unbelievable vocals that begins the musical number along with a groove that is cosmic to begin the album up while Felona, which was released as a single, could have been Italian’s answer to ELP’s acoustic moog love song, From The Beginning. La Solitudine Di Chi Protegge il Mondo (long title isn’t it?) is almost a bridge to the acoustical Felona as the piece becomes an ambient space-like classical sound between Aldo and Toni as they would come up with amazing sounds as Toni himself does a Keith Emerson classical beauty and then it becomes a complex-like journey into ELP territory of the dramatic territory of L’Equilibro. The second side in which you listen to this, think of it as a two-part rock opera with an intermission break, and then coming back to watch the climatic finale as the two planets collide to be together as one.
It has an eerie quality and very much a darker mellow background with the sorrow planet of isolation, Sorona and the exhilarating moog and bass collaboration with an imaginative force turned into a roller-coaster ride. Attesa Inerte, intersperses the crossover of Camel meets VDGG with a bass line, roaring keyboard works, and drums sounding like a clock chiming while it segues into the Haunted House Ghost-like sound of Ritrattio Di Un Mattino. In this piece, it’s Toni doing a Goblin homage on the Synthesizer at first and then it becomes very heavenly when Aldo comes in to bring a melodramatic sound for the planets to come together as the guitar is very calm and very Genesis-Hackett sound to make sure the planets are together instead of seeing who is the best. All ‘Infuori Del Tempo soars through the heavenly solar systems in a pastoral effectiveness that would lay the acoustical folksy symphonic beauty as we get to the climatic finale, Ritorno Al Nulla, that is unbelievably the sinister and dramatic instrumentals with tension and jaw-dropping closing numbers with the instruments duking it out in the prog ring that is the ending of all endings. All this with a Space Rock Opera that would have made Star Wars creator George Lucas bow to his knees for an unbelivable Prog Space Journey? They really brought something to the table here with this concept album.