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Alphataurus - Alphataurus CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 316 ratings

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3 stars I’ve readily admitted in the past that Italian symphonic music really isn’t my bag. That said, it’s good to stretch one’s horizons once and a while, and from what I’ve read this is supposed to be one of the more interesting Italian albums mostly because the English influences are supposed to be pretty readily apparent.

Turns out that’s largely true, and particularly the Van der Graf Generator-like tempo changes and the ELP keyboard arrangements. But on the other hand these could just as easily be attributed to just about any bombastic symphonic prog band, and I could see the argument being made for the latter half of “Peccato D'orgoglio” sounding just as much like Grand Funk or some other seventies blues-rock bands with artistic tendencies. And really, music isn’t supposed to be about getting off on a band because of how much they sound like another band, so the comparisons probably take away from the pleasure of discovery anyway.

The vocals are all in Italian of course so unless you understand the language the point of most of them is lost. This is a problem for me since the lyrics are an important part of the musical experience for me. Others may not have this issue and so may find this not to be an issue even if they don’t speak Italian.

The other observation is that this isn’t nearly as symphonic or embellished as some other RPI music I’ve heard. Michele Bavaro even manages to come off sounding like a slightly less-soulful Robert Plant on tracks like “Dopo L'uragano”, which kind of surprised me. I didn’t expect that out of a band like this.

The two tracks that do live up to my expectations of Italian symph are “Croma” and “La Mente Vola” are both keyboard-driven, embellished and almost orchestral affairs with flowing tempos whose emotional moods resonate well. “Ombra Muta” is also keyboard-laden, but more in the heavy prog vein and with an abundance of electric guitar.

This is not what I expected from an Italian symph band, but I like the keyboard work and especially when it strays into heavy rock territory. Guitarist Guido Wasserman seems pretty versatile and shows several styles ranging from blues to folksy to almost classical. Overall this is a very good album but not one I would consider an excellent addition to most prog rockers’ collections. Essential for Italian fans maybe, but simply very good for most of the rest of us. Three stars.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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