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Osage Tribe - Arrow Head CD (album) cover


Osage Tribe


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.90 | 40 ratings

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5 stars Prog by it's nature has it's share of albums that you have to concentrate on to listen to.. to ponder deep meanings it it's lyrics or by bizarre twists and turns in the music. Some times it is fun to just have a prog album to turn up to 11, that makes no pretenses but taking the skill of the musicians and making music that is shear power and plain fun to listen to.

Arrowhead by the guitar/bass/drums trio known as Osage Tribe is just an album. Again, as those who know me know, I am not fluent in Italian yet, so any deep meanings in the lyrics are lost to me unfortunately. Thankfully I've never read of any such thing on this hahha. The vocals are not unpleasing at all.. being that this is a very hard aggressive album you aren't going to find beauiful singing on this. The vocals match to music well. What this album though is known for is dynamic rhythm section of RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) bassist legend Bob Callero and drummer Nunzio 'cucciolo' Fava. They propel all 5 original album tracks with power and intensity during the hardest sections yet are able to downshift right into the occasional softer section or the more prodominant jazzy sections where the group really could swing. Guitarist Marco Zoccheddu while not known as an A-list RPI instrumentalist like the other two provides firery guitar lines and even the occasional piano in the jazzier sections.

The album kicks off which Hajenhanhowa, which as it sounds is meant to establish some sort of American Indian kind of theme. Chant like vocals and a vaguely Indian type drum beat are at the heart of it. Not exactly a classic album opener..but not bad either. Almost comical in a way.. which isn't bad... who says prog can't make you laugh. A warm up of sorts to what is to follow. The title track, Arrow Head, follows with a frenetic opening with Callero going nuts around the drummer and guitarist. Callero dominates the track with a certain Jack Bruce-ian like 'busy' nature ...dancing all around the others The next track begins the stretch of the album that is to die for.. 'Cerchio di luce' begins with a soft intro that explodes.. receeds in intensity to a soft accoustic section before taking flight again. The song is highlited by a killer jazz section where Callero's walking bass lines anchor a free for all between cucciolo and Zoccheddu's guitar and overdubed piano. The interplay is incredible. Far and away my favorite track on the album. 'Air' guitar, keys, drums, and bass abound on the track hahhaha. Great fusion of jazz stylings into a hard prog masterpiece.

After that I hate to let you down and say the next track is some quiet, lovely interspective song... hah.. so I won't. 'Soffici bianchi veli' is anchored by a killer driving riff that cruises at breakneck speed, with frenetic guitar runs and the always active Callero dancing all around bluesy solos. The song again suddenly downshifts into a slower paced vocal section though Callero can't resist making it interesting again by playing counterpoint to the melody and again dancing around another guitar solo. Maybe not the most complex of songs.. but with the dynamic shifts in style and tempo that we demand of prog. The song is slightly marred by some ...I hate to say it ...horribly recorded accoustic noodlings that actually is a bit painful to listen to. Thankfully they don't last but a short bit The album closes with another midrange workout 'orizzonti senza fine'. A sweet guitar and bass intro begins the song. The vocal sections have some interesting rhythms with some clean chiming guitar. A nice departure from the sonic attack of the previous two tracks. As per prog though.. soon a repeated bass line by Callero herald a new dynamic shift to and away we go into to prog stratosphere where Zoccheddu coaxs sounds from his guitar before returning to the vocal sections and it's interesting rhythm patterns. The song again changes as it, and the album nears the end, with some tape effects over a droning bass chord closes the original album.

The new CD reissue by Vinal Magic has two bonus tracks...of which...hahah.. could be construed as offensive by Native Americans. Full of sterotypical chanting and the such. Pop singles that were included on the new CD release. The less said the better, only to note that Battiato sang on them.

For rating this album..hmmm... reading up on RPI as I do. I had found this album listed as one of the seminal albums of the Italian prog movement. Listening to it.. you can see why. Full of power.. great talents and showcasing future key members of other RPI giants. For that I have to give this album 5 stars. It is a masterpiece and a defining album of RPI. In my rapidly expanding RPI collection... there are few albums that have the power and instrumental firepower as this one. For me.. 4 stars... 'cerrchio di luce' and 'soffici bianchi veli' are well on the way to being established RPI gems for me song-wise. The campy Indian themes though knocks a star off of that, especially the first song. Highly recommended for those who love their prog hard and heavy yet with twists and turns enough to not feel simply bludgeoned over the course of an entire album.

Michael (aka micky)

micky | 5/5 |


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