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Semiramis - Dedicato a Frazz CD (album) cover

DEDICATO A FRAZZ

Semiramis

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.02 | 201 ratings

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AdamHearst
4 stars 'Dedicato a Frazz' is very bizarre and one of the most challenging albums from the RPI movement. It's very heavy as well; the fuzzy guitars suck you in like a violently churning maelstrom. The songs tend to evolve in surprising ways... they are extremely unpredictable and keep you on the edge of your seat because you can never tell if the next section will be a chaotic riff-o-rama or a delicate vibraphone solo. I love this dynamic in their music, the songs never drag and this band seemed to have an infinite supply of fresh ideas to cram into every song.

This album does have some problems that keep it from being an absolute masterpiece. The production quality is a bit off. Not the sound itself (I happen to like the raw over-saturated sound), it's the mixing that is very bad in places. The drums are too quiet in the mix a lot of the time, lessening their impact at pivotal moments... a real shame because Paolo Faenza is an excellent drummer with a heavy-hitting style; he sounds like a jazzier John Bonham to me. In contrast: the vocals are blaring at times (I do like the vocalist's tone... it's whoever mixed this album that i'm mad at) and the overall mix feels very uneven.

'Uno zoo di vetro' is a favorite track: jarring synthesizer noises and organ drones meet a Zeppelin-heavy riff that is pure madness. A lovely vocal part backed by acoustic guitar follows... all these songs are very bi-polar and keep the you feeling off-kilter and dizzy.

'Luna Park' may be the best song on the album... I can't see how any self-respecting prog-head couldn't love this! It's one of the few tracks where the mixing job is spot-on... all the instruments blend together smoothly: this song reveals what excellent musicians these guys really were! It has a dazzling array of different themes that come and go as they please... and some parts have a very beautiful majestic atmosphere.

Gianpiero Artegiani's Moog synth playing is a dominant element throughout the album (along with the in-your-face guitars) and are very well played and composed. All the players are very good actually... i really wish they had recorded more albums, there's no telling how grand a follow-up to this album with better sound production would have been.

You need to be in the right frame of mind to get into this because it's such a demanding listen... not something you'd put on every day. I do believe this deserves a solid 4 stars. Even with the sound problems, this is a great piece of art and not to be missed if you like harder-edged Symphonic Prog.

AdamHearst | 4/5 |

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