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Ibis - Sun Supreme CD (album) cover

SUN SUPREME

Ibis

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 101 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Revealing Science of Ibis

When the New Trolls split and De Scalzi did the Atomic Systems album, Nico Di Palo took the rest of the "UT" line-up and formed the group that became Ibis. After releasing one album together they replaced their drummer and did this one, Sun Supreme. While many feel the album inferior to its self-titled follow-up it does have some moments. Again the choice was made to use English vocals and again there are huge British influences all over this thing. In this case, while you still have the hard rock sound of the Trolls releases, I have to laugh as I realize that Di Palo must have been immersed in his Yes albums like everyone else. Sun Supreme sounds to me like a huge tribute to classic period Yes, albeit with the slightly rougher Troll sound. Even the lyrics are an obvious ode to Jon Anderson with mystical and flowery imagery.

Part 1 of "Divine Mountain/Journey of Life" opens with really nice acoustic guitar playing in the Steve Howe vein. Vocals begin and then the drums join in, still with the acoustic and some bass. The mood is peaceful and floating. Part 2 brings the keyboards and electric guitar in and things get rocking and very Yes-ish with the vocals. Unlike other Trolls material that annoys me by mimicking other groups, here it works because the material is interesting enough on its own and more complex/mature in composition. Part 3 returns to acoustics at the beginning but soon explodes into what I'll call the "main thematic riff" and it is quite cool, dramatic in a "Perpetual Change" kind of way but juiced up with some heavy-rock influence and power. Quite good. Part 4 features a heavy repeating riff that builds slowly back to the themes of part 3 bringing real connectivity to the piece. Half-way through the tension drops and we return to the gorgeous acoustic sounds of part 1. A nice side-long track to be sure, although one must point out it falls short of actual Yes epics like CTTE, Gates, Revealing Science, or Awaken. But it's good to hear these musicians doing something more interesting than their version of "Highway Star."

Side 2 is called "Divinity" and part 1 is soaring and heavy, reminding me a bit of "Heart of the Sunrise" to continue the Yes comparison. Nice drumming and guitar flourishes amidst the mellotron, but the bass is unfortunately too muddy to be fully appreciated. Part 2 is their own personal "Sound Chaser" with its wild instrumental jamming, though sadly it succumbs to a full blown 5-minute drum solo. It's nice the first time you hear it but let's face it, a 5-minute drum solo can be a bit of a buzz kill on repeated listenings unless it is pretty spectacular. Part 3 is a gentle mellotron laden closer with bird noises and a nice up front bass part plus more Anderson "peaceful" lyrics---reminds me of "To Be Over."

This is a solid album that I enjoyed much more than other Troll related titles, but I can't go more than 3 to 3 stars.to do so would be putting this on the same level as classic Yes albums. Ibis is good but they're not *that* good. To suggest this is a 5-star masterpiece is dreaming in my book, but check it out and judge for yourself! The Vinyl Magic mini is a nice gatefold with lyric/bio booklet.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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