1984 - Mellow Records reissue: 1994
Italian band LA NUOVA ERA was a one-off project featuring
material composed by MARINELLA DI NUNZIO
(Compagnia dell'Anello) for a Christmas party.
Originally issued as a privately pressed LP in 1984,
this lesser known production was reissued by Italian
label Mellow Records in 1994.
A very distinctive and unique album among progressive
Italian releases, the sole self titled LP by "La Nuova Era"
sounds unlike any other and is well deserving of reappraisal.
Entirely instrumental except for one short female vocal piece,
the album features delicate instrumentation by way of a
frequent blending of floating synths over gentle acoustic guitar,
drifting ambience and classical piano atmosphere weaving
around pulsing icy electronic soundscapes.
Try to imagine a slightly darker mix of 70's and 80's
Tangerine Dream mixed with a gentle Xian acoustics and
you might have a better idea of what to expect.
The somewhat murky production gives much of the album
a slightly grim and confronting sound, ensuring the
Christian elements maintain a very reflective and somber tone.
The striking stony grey illustration of a crucifix on the cover is
perfectly suited to the soundtrack as well.
The album opens with a cold and slowly pulsing spacey beat
that's soon joined by brooding synths, humming electronics
washing over the listener before abrasive piano suddenly
punches through the mournful atmosphere.
`L'Angelo Gabriele' has delicate piano, acoustic guitar and
crystalline synths trilling over the top and is a more comforting
piece that wraps around you.
Folk ballad `Il Figlio Di Maria', the only track to feature a brief
passage of lovely female vocals, brings acoustic percussion
and placid recorder ambience before things turns rather
strange with warping synth effects all over the finale, creating
quite a disorientating effect.
`Fiori Di Galilea' sounds like a cross between 70's
Tangerine Dream with shimmering electronics and the hazy
acoustic pieces by David Gilmour from the early acid-folk
moments of late 60's Pink Floyd.
`Luce Del Nord' is a brooding, monolithic stone of cold
electronica that sounds like it belongs to a dark sci-fi film.
Fascinating, yet far too brief at just under three minutes.
`La Beffa' (Il Processo) instantly lifts the mood, another
electronic piece but this time with an uplifting and majestic
melody over marching percussion and tambourine.
Then, with a title like `Luciferus', it's no wonder the seventh
track features gloomy synths with a stirring and ghostly
hypnotic piano melody that wouldn't have sounded out
of place on an album by Italian horror band Goblin!
There's a real frantic sound and epic rising drama to this one, especially when the acoustic guitar solos in the second half,
making it an absolute album highlight.
After another sorrowful but short electronic nightmare piece
over howling winds, the title track is a triumphant and
grand synth passage to finish on a reflective and deeply
It is a very original crossover of styles that makes it stand out
from plenty of other LP's, and is an immersive, thoughtful and evocative work in it's own right that I truly treasure.
It's an album worth listening to and being appreciated now
after being forgotten so long ago, and it can be rediscovered
thanks to the CD reissue by Mellow Records.
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother