Nuova Era — Il Passo del Soldato
(Pick Up Records PK 1910, 1996, CD)
by Mike Grimes, 1996-03-01:This album could have been reviewed as a new release back in 1976 if it was judged by the musical instruments used to make it. Nuova Era, especially in the keyboard department, sticks to the tried and true instruments of progressive rock — Hammond organ, Mellotron, piano, and ultra fat monophonic synthesizer. And why not? Those instruments have outlived most of the artists who got famous playing them. Nuova Era proves that an interesting album can still be made using the antique instruments. The music is based around a three piece lineup that includes bass, drums, and keyboards. The bass and drum work on the album, the vocals too for that matter, don't really stand out as good or bad. The keyboards are the highlight of this release. Walter Pini really knows how to tickle the ivories (and the plastic). His Hammond work is especially good. It seems that the vocals are less frequent than they really are because of the numerous long instrumental breaks. The vocals are not all that memorable, even though he does occasionally span the entire range of human hearing in a second or so — jumping from low natural voice to high falsetto in the blink of an eye. You must have to be able to do that to obtain your singing license in Italy. Although the instrumentation dates the sound of the material to a degree, the live feel to the album is refreshing. It feels and sounds like they are playing in the same room with you. The music isn't over-produced and slick like the albums of so many other artists today. And did I mention the keyboard player?
by Mike McLatchey, 1996-03-01:Nuova Era are one of the few newer Italian groups performing music in the 70s style of dramatic/romantic/ symphonic rock with strong hints of Banco, PFM, Metamorfosi etc. Their second album, Dopo l'Infinito, turned a lot of heads after its release in late 1989, in retrospect it certainly was one of the best early entries in the modern resurgence. The new album Il Passo del Soldato is their fourth album, three years since their last, and comes after some serious personnel changes. Guitarist/lead vocalist Alex Camiati has left the band leaving quite a hole, as his contribution to the Nuova Era sound was considerable. As the band only decided to replace the vocals, the lack of guitar has made a certain difference in the sound, but the newcomer's strong Alberto Piras (Deus Ex Machina) influenced vocals are a definite improvement on Camiati. Overall, Nuova Era retains the strong melodic feel as on their earlier albums and Pini's keyboard tones have definitely been improved. This album is much like the last couple with these personnel changes and has some very strong moments. Fans of the 70s Italian sound should warm to this quickly, its a great album and certainly one of the best of its genre this year, yet I think some directional changes are in order here for Nuova Era to retain their freshness, keep true to the "Nuova" part of the name, and not remain fully retro.
Related artist(s): Nuova Era
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Various Artists - Mannerisms - A Celebration of the Music of Geoff Mann – Priest and painter, Geoff Mann was also once the lyricist and vocalist for the English progressive band Twelfth Night. He died of cancer in February of 1993. To memorialize his life, musicians who... (1995) » Read more