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Alphataurus - Alphataurus CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 313 ratings

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5 stars I am grateful to Todd for having sent me this long request , an RPI album I knew was missing from my collection. This seminal album has been universally applauded and the clapping has still not abated after so many years. And not just for the gorgeous artwork! The music inside has all the classic RPI traits , a rumbling rhythm section and masterfully passionate Italian vocals , enveloped in acoustic guitar and keyboard mists , with some added peppery lead guitar solos that buzz delightfully. The propulsion is devilish, relentless yet playful in that inimitable Italian manner, with devout forays into the complex and the obscure. "Peccato D'Orgoglio" wastes little Rolex on getting the tension nicely ratcheted up, particularly when the grungy organ steals and then steels, the show. There are plenty mood shifts and textural experimentation that wink at early ELP but the musicians like the coquette approach, constantly creating the unexpected with vocalist Michele Bavaro and the fat bass of Alfonso Olive shining particularly bright. Pietro Pellegrini can tickle them ivories without trying to show off, a welcome relief. "Dopo L'Uragono" continues the vocal heavy vibe, shimmering in darker expanses that exude no pastoral serenity, more like a proggy Black Sabbath than anything else, highly intense and bluesy. The achingly romantic "Croma" has some heavenly spinet (a sadly rarely used instrument) and a massive instrumental theme that is, alas way too brief. Reminds me of Dutch super group Trace's finest moments. "La Mente Vola" is the highlight track here, richly symphonic, a vigorous mixture of electronica (those wily synths) and space rock, liberally flavored with slashing themes with more docile lead vocals from keyboardist Pellegrini with Bavaro taking over the chorus in brilliant fashion. A series of slithery Moog solos and an unexpected vibraphone foray crown this piece nicely, taking this far into space. Bravo! "Ombra Muta" is just as savory, an arch-typical RPI track, a heady of combination of known expectations and unpredicted twists, keeping the listener fixated and elated. The virile vocals are some of the best ever recorded in Italy, the man can belt and croon with the best of them. The wrenching guitar riffs blend well with the organ swells, the thump addictive and the soloing persistently exhilarating; this is prime Italian prog of the loftiest caliber. No collection should be without the "Bombing Dove" and my only regret is to have discovered it only now. No one's perfect but this is! 5 B-52s
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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