Exposé Online banner

Sophya Baccini's Aradia — Big Red Dragon (William Blake's Visions)
(Black Widow BWR 162, 2013, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-04-17

Big Red Dragon (William Blake's Visions) Cover art

Sophya Baccini began her musical career in 1990 as the singer in the Italian dark progressive band Presence. She has a long career in prog rock and musical theater. In 2009 Sophya released her critically acclaimed first solo album Aradia. Then in 2012 she decided to form an all female band and thus Sophya Baccini's Aradia was born. Their first release is the ambitious Big Red Dragon, a musical interpretation of William Blake’s visions. The band is Sophya Baccini (vocals, keyboards, and synth bass), Chicco Acetta (guitars), Francesca Colaps (drums), Stella Manfredi (violin and viola) and Marilena Striano (piano on “Beatrice”). And to augment the band on Big Red Dragon, Sophya enlisted some past and present prog rockers: Christian Decamps, Enrico Iglio, Pino Falgiano, Aurelio Fierro Jr., Sonja Kristina, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempo delle Clessidre), Steve Sylvester, Roberto Tiranti, and father and son Lino and Irvin Vairetti (Osanna). This all-star cast creates some very powerful and majestic symphonic progressive rock mixed in with dark Italian progressive. Following in the wake of Fabio Zuffaniti’s recent rock operas Merlin and Rime of the Ancient Mariner, this is Italian music theater rock at its best. Chicco’s guitar chops soar through the music lending an early 80s feel to many of the tracks. Many times when someone attempts a project like this the music tends to sound the same from track to track, which is not the case here. Sophya composed unique musical interpretations of each vision and then juxtaposed them in such a way that the sum total keeps you actively engaged throughout the disc. And the closing song is a beautiful and majestic cover of Sir Hubert Parry’s hymn “Jerusalem,” also popularized by Emerson, Lake, and Parmer. Some of the highlights for me are the opening track “William,” “Satan,” “La Porta del Inferno,” and “While He’s Sleeping.” There is a lot happening musically on this disc as Sophya takes you through a range of emotions and Blake’s visions. This is certainly a highpoint in contemporary Italian progressive music!


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Christian Décamps, Sonja Kristina Linwood, Osanna, Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jorge Reyes - Ek Tunkul – I must have been sleeping at Best-of-'97 voting time as this old favorite managed to slip right out from under my nose. Ek Tunkul was Jorge Reyes' very first (and best) solo recording from back in...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues