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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Rock Scene CD (album) cover

ROCK SCENE

Various Artists (Label Samplers)

 

Various Genres

3.51 | 5 ratings

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Todd
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars LA STATALE 17 and EMPHASIS are two bands from near Bozen, Italy, who shared a split album release in 1978 by a small local label, Contrapunkt. Each band shares a side of the album, which was reissued by Mellow Records in CD format in 1994.

LA STATALE 17 plays instrumental music that recalls Camel as well as jazz rock (see particularly "La Sfinge"), rather than partaking from the RPI spirit that unfortunately in 1978 was waning. There is even a Genesis influence (see the opening piano in "La Piramide del Potere"), although not nearly as obvious as their flip side, EMPHASIS. The keyboards are typical of late 1970s, atmospheric and somewhat thin, with some great guitar work. The rhythm section is pretty good too, though not very adventurous.

EMPHASIS is more in the vein of symphonic rock, heavily influenced by Genesis (song title: "Flower"), even down to their particular usage of the flute. The vocals and song titles are in English. The music is not as complex as LA STATALE 17, but is quite melodic and very good. Bands such as KYRIE ELEISON are brought to mind for this listener.

Although both bands are from Italy, neither fits well the particular characteristics of Rock Progressivo Italiano, LA STATALE 17 with their tendency toward Jazz Rock, and EMPHASIS leaning toward Genesis-influenced symphonic prog. Both are excellent, and the CD reissue is well worth seeking. The musical diversity emerging from Italy during this time is astounding, as evidenced by this overlooked gem. "Rock Scene" is especially recommended for the RPI fan who wants to dig even more deeply into the wonderful music coming from Italy in the 1970s.

(Thanks to Augusto Croce's site www.italianprog.com for some of the information)

Todd | 4/5 |

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