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Ibis - Sun Supreme CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 101 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Another great Italian prog album, this band was the result of the breakup of NEW TROLLS after the released of UT at the end of 1972. Keyboardist Vittorio de Scazli preferred prog rock, and because of legal uncertainty, the new band he assembled was called N.T. ATOMIC SYSTEM. Guitarist Nico di Palo preferred the hard rock direction. After the breakup of NEW TROLLS, he assembled a new band with keyboardist Maurizio Salvi and bassist Franck Laugelli, and a drummer (whose name escapes me) released an album under their names with a big question mark on the cover in 1973, because the band still didn't have an official name. But eventually the band got a name, which became IBIS, by which time they recruited ex-ATOMIC ROOSTER drummer Ric Parnell, and released "Sun Surpreme". Now I really can't see what the breakup of NEW TROLLS was for. This isn't really hard rock, it's progressive rock, sorta like a hard-edged YES. Definately the music does have a harder edge than Vittorio de Scalzi's N.T. ATOMIC SYSTEM album from 1973. Some of the guitar work reminds me of Steve HOWE, and some of passages sound a lot like YES. But hard rock this really isn't, maybe heavy progressive. The lyrics all have Eastern themes (however, the music isn't Eastern influenced), influenced by Eastern religion and of Satguru Maharaji and his followers. I guess the band had the idea of Eastern themes in the lyrics because of "Tales From Topographic Oceans".

The album, for the most part is divided by parts, with the first half entitled "Divine Mountain/Journey of Life" with "Travelling the Spectrum of the Soul" and "The Valley of the Mists" being my favorite parts. The music is stuff with great guitar work, as well as synthesizers and Eminent. Don't expect any Indian influences in the music here, no sitar, no tabla, no sarod, the music sticks strictly to '70s prog rock and rock instruments. Without a doubt, the first half is the best, five star all the way, but the second half, entitled "Divinity" and divided in three parts doesn't quite live up to the first half. For one thing, "Part 2" gets bogged down by a pointless drum solo, letting Ric Parnell stroke his ego. But at least the rest is better, and "Part 3" reminds me a lot of "To Be Over" off YES' "Relayer" (although "Sun Surpreme" did get released earlier in 1974 than "Relayer"). With the exception of the drum solo, this is nothing short of a masterpiece of Italian prog. And although the vocals are in English, they are surprisingly good. Essential album, as far as I'm concerned.

Proghead | 5/5 |


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