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Triade - 1998 - La Storia Di Sabazio CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.76 | 67 ratings

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4 stars A rare and unique album that up until a few years ago was a mystery, as with some other early Italian bands the identities of the musicians were not certain. But now they are known thanks to the work of some good sleuths. Triade were from Florence and came together to make this keyboard saturated album in 1973. The band also opened dates for PFM and Banco but broke up shortly after this release like so many other Italian groups. The album was split into two halves: Side 1 was an entirely instrumental and heavily classical suite of keyboards written by Coccimiglio, while side 2 was more typical classic Italian prog written by Nobile. Because of this the album does lack a certain overall cohesiveness but it certainly has some nice moments. Furthermore the sound and production are really pretty good for '73 thanks to the efforts of noted producer Elio Gariboldi.

The "Sabazio" suite is quite simply a classical music and keyboard lover's dream. Organ, piano, cello, bass, and percussion drive the piece. I suppose in spirit it could be compared to keyboard-heavy Italian albums like Rustichelli Bordini, Toto Torquati, and to a lesser extent Tower but Triade has its own charm. The cello gives parts of the suite a dark heaviness. The drum playing is quite good and this keeps the piece moving well. Some of the piano portions are simply gorgeous in the fourth part. The suite is an enticing and elegant piece of music. I'm not sure how good it is in comparison with classical music as my knowledge in the classical realm is quite limited. But I certainly find it appealing. "Il Circo" is quite a shift to a rocking beat and heavy organ but it works. "Espressione" sounds more like typical classic Italian with synths, acoustic, and piano leading to warm, pleasant vocals. It's the softer and more romantic side of Italian like early PFM, in this case with no drumming. Great piano song and nice acoustic work that would appeal to anyone. "Caro Fratello" is similar to "Il Circo" being an uptempo rocker with the organ, but here it expands to include mellotron, acoustic guitar, and the mellow vocals. Nice jamming early with organ, drums, and some pretty good bass playing that you can hear perfectly in the mix. Bands that actually know how to mix the bass so you can hear it get points from me-it's sad how so many bands now bury the bass and have the drums too loud. After the vocal section it ends with a dramatic organ run, this is a very cool track. "1998" begins with a wash of acoustic strumming panned back and forth in the stereo spectrum. Soon the gentle vocals, bass, and drums are back and then well played acoustic sections mix with nice keyboards. All of the music on side 2 is rather upbeat in mood, not really dark or heavy. This is Italian that aims to please musically more than it aims to shock you or push your buttons. It ends rather abruptly but at least not as a fade-out!

The album takes much heat for not being very original and perhaps it isn't in the sense that people note ELP influence, but in another sense it is somewhat unique. While perhaps not a thorough representative of the complete Italian sound the dual nature of the two sides does provide an interesting experience to me. I also find the sound to be expressive without being overly, intentionally gaudy, which is nice sometimes even though I also appreciate those kinds of albums too. I do agree there are more well-rounded Italian classics you should own before getting to this one but I personally find this quite enjoyable. It has spirit and high quality performances throughout. For classical music buffs and keyboard nuts this album is recommended, for others there are other Italian classics to check out first. 3 stars, round up if you're an Italian fan, round down if not.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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