It was a very pleasant surpise to see this waiting at my doorstep one day. Having not even heard of the work of Nicola Randone and company (or even listened to any Italian-scene symphonic prog) before this, I think I am able to consider this piece without having any existing expectations or bias towards it.
Dressed in a very attractive ‘novel’ (yes, there’s an accompanying novel that comes with it- too bad I can’t understand the language!) form, the production standard is evidently high, probably not hurt by the fact Randone is a graphic designer in real life. Having compiled both the visual and musical aspects of this project, this is an album really made his own. While on one hand, I can’t understand the words the man is saying, phonetically speaking; Italian is a beautiful language and Nicola does it justice with a very pleasant sounding voice.
Musically, this is symphonic prog with obvious Italian flourishes, sounding at times like it is soundtracking a Spaghetti Western flick. Operatic influences can also be heard in the way that the songs are sung; if you took away the rock instrumentation, you could be sure you were listening to a classically-based work instead.
Clocking in at a relatively long seventy-nine minutes, this can be a big bite to chew off unless you have the time to sit down and really enjoy it. The only reason that the length may affect the cohesion and love of the album is the fact that throughout the majority of the album, things are kept relatively mellow and almost ‘balladesque’ in nature. There is no shame in that however, as the arrangements and performance is almost always thoughtful and intelligent. It also only adds to the enjoyment of the uncommon moments where things pick up the energy, sometimes even using the sort of riffage you might hear in a progressive metal album.
Due to the wealth of different things that are going on here, ‘Linea Di Confine’ can take a little while to grow, although I personally loved it from first listen. Randone proves that there is certainly potential to create a real classic with a little more variety and dynamic, but as it stands, this is a near-masterpiece and I thank the man greatly for bringing this new, beautiful music into my life.