84 mins

Rating 90/100

The sheer volume of music passing through these hallowed halls of the ‘House of Prog Radio’ is such, that quite often some magnificent musical offerings get passed by and remain unnoticed, it is, therefore, a sheer joy when a quick check of a review submission unexpectedly reveals musical content of the highest order and generates the desire to proclaim its beauty for others to check out. Such was the case of ‘Netherland Angels’ an Italian Rock Opera from 2020

The brains behind this project is singer and composer ‘Carmine Migliore’ one of Italy’s leading blues guitarists. Besides music, Carmine is also, an enthusiastic history buff and on a recent holiday he visited the ancient hill town and commune of Umbria, an area in Narnia central Italy. It is here that the archaeological site of the prisons of the Holy Office of Narni and where ‘Giuseppe Andrea Lombardini’ was imprisoned for treason and where in protest of his arrest he created a staggering array of intricate and quite mysterious graffiti. It is this fascinating oeuvre in its entirety that created the inspiration for Carmine to produce this stunning and quite complex guitar-orientated rock opera.

At 84 minutes long and stretching over 19 tracks it is indeed a remarkable piece of work full of melodic charm and stacked to the brim with beautiful hooks and memorable musical passages. Sung entirely in the Italian language and despite the music at times taking on a harder rocky edge the vocals somehow retain a standing of rural style Italian folklore combining delightful female vocals with more ruckus male accompaniments.

Carmine’s guitar is beautifully administered throughout merging blues phrasing seamlessly with violin, cello and delicate keyboards. A masterpiece of many surprise interventions too when the guitar bursts forth in all its melodic glory to swing and sway creating rock ballads fused with delicate pastoral symphonies to enjoy over and over again. There is a distinctly dramatic edge that is integrated into the mix providing both drama and excitement.

Summary: A stunning album in all respects, containing great musicianship throughout and dynamic vocals. Surprisingly, it matters little if the chance to see the stage version of this glorious enterprise does not materialise, the Cd is a wonderful addition to any collection. The possibility though of a DVD will remain high on my list. This is a rock opera of epic proportions, it is different and extremely memorable. Although pure rock it has some very beautiful moments of orchestration to cherish

1        Ouverture (Per Saecula Suite)       10:07

2        La Dottrina Di Lamech          2:30 3        Cattura Del Veneziano 2:26  4        Anima Oltre        4:17

5        La Locanda          6:23

6        La Fuga      4:27

7        1 Domenicani Sopra Minerva        2:48

8        L’accusa (Neri Maria Corsini)         2:45

9        Clemens Xiii Pontifex Maximus    4:14

10     Amore Oltre La Morte 5:49

11     L’esilio (Da Spoleto A Nami) 4:43

12     Lettere E Graffiti 6:49

13     L’agonia Della Mente  3:01

14     Graffiti       3:49

15     L’ombra     2:34

16     Attraversa 1 Secoli      1:40

17     Gli Occhi Dell’angelo   4:29

18     Il Sogno Di Annamaria          3:39

19     Animae Oltre      7:12