Genfuoco - Dentro l'invisibile. 1979 Italy
CD reissue: 1992 Mellow
LP reissue: 2010 AMS
From Siena, Genfuoco's sole album is an oddity in that it was released in 1979, at a time when Italian progressive rock was completely dead and buried. Perhaps even more strange, is that it sounds like the album was recorded in 1972. The album has this hazy psychedelic edge to it, especially considering the fuzz tone guitar, as well a distant folky vibe. Keyboards are spacey and atmospheric.
Genfuoco were, in fact, part of the Focolare Movement, an international Christian organization founded in northern Italy back in 1943. They sponsored gatherings known as Genfests (and still do apparently). There were other bands from this time with names like Gen Rosso and Gen Verde, that were purportedly more pure folk sounding (thanks to Italianprog.com for the latter data).
Despite this background, I was completely unaware this was a Christian album, and I've owned this album since the Mellow CD came out in 1992 (a very rare LP in its original state, since it was only sold at Christian bookstores and fairs). The point here is the album isn't heavy on "the message", or I should say it doesn't seem that way to me, since all the lyrics are in Italian and I don't know the language. It's also not a typical uplifting praise-be-to-the-heavens music, but rather a far more mystical sound is brought forth. And there's a nice balance between the instrumental and vocals sections. I found the songwriting to be way above standard here, and perhaps the "1972 aura" really gives this one an edge.
If you're beginning your journey into the fabulous world of 70s Italian progressive rock, don't go here yet. But once you have a taste for the fine wine, you'll find Genfuoco is a bottle that has aged well.