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Franco Battiato - Sulle Corde Di Aries CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.09 | 107 ratings

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5 stars Continuing on with my series of Battiato reviews... let's go to his third album. Sulle Corde di Aries was the last of the trilogy of what were called his 'traditional' prog albums. Though none of the 3 were alike.. beginning a progression that extended from Fetus all the way to his last album of the 70's 'L'era del Cinghiale Bianco' . These 3 albums are those that the general prog fan may identify most with. His later albums of course start to head off to the never neverland of serious avant prog.

This album marks the start of the journey that will take him to the very edge of 'listenable' music ...1978's 'L'Egitto Prima Delle Sabbie'. The tradional rock instrumentation of the previous album 'Pollution' is gone. Here he achives a perfect mix of avant, electronica, and world music (arabic and oriental)

The album begins with the track that I absolutely grabbed me hard and just wouldn't let go 'Sequenze e Frequenze' It opens with a eerie synth and clarinet and oboe beginning, which ghostly sounding voices coming dimly through the mix. Battiato enters with some vocals then the fun begins. A repeating synth tone comes in over top his vocals with swirling VCS 3 synths swirling around him Then come comes the familiar .. thump thump thump thump beat instantly recognizable in dance music with some acoustic guitar and his VCS 3. The music.. which some may honestly find boring is to extremely hypnotic and soothing. An extended VCS 3 section continues for some time. The mood and tempo shifts and we are treated to an 'industrial' sounding synth background and Battiiato launches into a extended Calimba section that is even more hypnotic than the previous section. It soon fades out and some 'chugging' synth tones fade back in with some ethereal VCS 3 over it. It continues for several minutes before the Calimba fades back in and takes us the end of the song. It may not be your cup of tea. For me though.. I found it incredibly intoxicating and hypnotic. I love listening to this song. Like a lot of his music.. not the stuff you listen to when getting revved up for a hot date.. but when you are curled up with a good book on a rainy day.

Side 2 begins with 'Aries' and celestial synth intro.. that fades out into some chanting and then has a nice saxophone the finish. Next up is 'Aria di Rivoluzione' which has alternating vocals in italian and german with some cello accents and with an arabic sounding rhythm played on percussion. A wonderful song. The closing song of the album is 'Da Oriente ad Occidente' Wonderful vocals with Battiato and opera singer Juri Camisasca. The song shifts a wonderful oboe section with some mandolin, acoustic guitar and flutes slowly entering the melody in time. Finally the song ends in a with a fade out with some mandolin playing. Great stuff and very unlike what was coming out of the Italian pop scene in 1973. Another case in point why Battiato was an artist with his sights set just over the horizon.

My favorite album from Battiato. While some may find Sequenze e Frequenze a bit long.. or even boring. I found it to be very sensual and hypnotic. The 2nd side while less challenging is well crafted prog. An all around great album.

For me 5 stars.. an essential album and one of my favorites from the Italian prog movement. In large part for just how different it was from what everyone else was doing. For the site... 4 stars. Not exactly essential but an excellent addition to any prog fans .. or music fans album collection.

edit. Have decided to give it that special 5th star. I don't award many and surely not just for those album I love. In the months since I've written this review I've exposed this album to a number of people with different tastes and standards of prog and they have been quite taken with it. See the reviews.

5 stars. An incredible masterpiece of Progressive.. ... rock.

Miichael (aka micky)

micky | 5/5 |


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