Divae

Determinazione

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The debut (and only) album by Italian prog rock group Divae, Determinazione came out in 1995, at the beginning of the genre's Internet-based revival. Uneven, it fails to establish a firm identity for the band but still manages to push a few shining moments of music, especially for the nostalgia-inclined. The instrumentation emulates the classic Italian progressive rock groups of the '70s: two keyboardists, understated guitar (often limited to a rhythmical role), bass, and drums. The album begins with an instrumental track, "E con il Mattino Torneranno Gli Eroi." It announces interesting prospects and establishes an unabashed link with Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. The next four tracks are weak, the songs "Libero" and "Robin Hood" feeling like anachronistic pop (think of Il Volo or Premiata Forneria Marconi in their worst moments). The presence of Balletto di Bronzo keyboardist Gianni Leone in "Gargantua Bestemmia Dio..." is not enough to make the 34-word behemoth rise. Finally, the listener gets to "Frammenti," and the whole band comes alive, starting with singer Alessandro Costanzo, who drops his crooner tone and climbs all the way up to the level of Deus Ex Machina's vociferant Alberto Piras. The next track manages to keep the pace, and Osanna's singer, Lino Vairetti, offers a nice contribution on "Vento Che Va." The concluding instrumental, "Il Ritorno del Gigante Gentile," although alluding to Gentle Giant, has nothing to do in contents or style with the English group (guitarist Gary Green did endorse the band, that's it). It stretches for too long, drenched in spacy keyboards that can't come up with a decent theme. This is a case of a couple of strong pieces drowned in some very average music.