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Acqua Fragile — Moving Fragments
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records MRC122/MRCLP041, 2023, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2024-02-10

Moving Fragments Cover art

The two studio albums released by Acqua Fragile in the 70s are generally regarded as among the top tier of Italian progressive rock, and are certainly among my favorites of the genre. I was aware that the band had reformed, but hadn’t heard A New Chant (2017) until after this album arrived. Moving Fragments is the second album of the band’s new era, and the original core of the band — singer Bernardo Lanzetti, drummer Piero Canavera, and bassist Franz Dondi — is intact, currently joined by Claudio Tuma (guitar) and Stefano Pantaleone (keyboards); there are also a number of guest musicians on a track or two each: Rosella Volta (vocals), Brian Belloni (guitars), Giancarlo Brambilla (guitar), Gigi Cavalli Cocchi (drums), Dario Mazzoli (samples), Davide Piombino (guitar), Sergio Ponti (drums), Stef Burns (guitar), and David Jackson (saxophone, flute). Musically, the album is a superb example of contemporary Italian prog, blending elements found on the band’s classic albums with modern touches that enhance the impact without overwhelming it or sounding gimmicky. Lanzetti’s distinctive voice is one of the most prominent features, and I know some listeners are not fond of his gravelly vibrato. I happen to enjoy his singing, and it’s coupled with some very inventive music, full of unexpected twists, dramatic turns, and colorful arrangements. Volta’s vocal duet with Lanzetti on “IA - Intelligenza Artificiale” is a lovely variation on the band’s norm. “Black Drone” is especially enjoyable with Jackson’s contributions. Most of the lyrics are in English, with “Il Suono della Voce” being the only one in Italian. Given the number of guitarists who play on the album, it’s a little surprising that keyboards are more dominant in the sound; and it’s fortunate that there are no concessions made to prog metal. The bottom line is that I don’t see why anyone who liked Acqua Fragile or Mass Media Stars wouldn’t also enjoy Moving Fragments. This band has lost none of their spark, and they show that progressive rock still has something to offer 50 years on.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Acqua Fragile, David Jackson, Bernardo Lanzetti

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