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Gli Alluminogeni - Scolopendra CD (album) cover

SCOLOPENDRA

Gli Alluminogeni

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.10 | 32 ratings

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seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator
RPI
3 stars These guys originally started out during the 1960s as an Italian beat group called Green Grapes. They subsequently changed their name to Gli Alluminogeni (taking their new name from keyboardist & vocalist Patrizio Alluminio) and reinvented themselves as a melodic prog band at the turn of the 1970s. Like many other Italian bands of the period they had a short life span and disbanded with only one album under their belt. In their case the break- up was due to conflict with their record label over the quality of production on the album, which is a bit ropey to be honest. After the reissue of Scolopendra in 1991, the band reformed with a new guitarist and released a couple more cds in the following years.

Scolopendra's gatefold sleeve proclaims ''During a very strange journey... a cosmic dawn'', and the majority of the song titles are based on themes of Nature and the Cosmos. The album starts and ends with sound effects of nature and an explosion respectively, so there seems to be some kind of apocalyptic concept at play here. The overall sound is a bit dated for its time of release, and there's a fairly strong psychedelic influence with most tracks built around Alluminogeni's Hammond organ. The aforementioned production doesn't help in this respect either mind you.

So, after a moody intro with some sound effects of birds and insects, LA NATURA E L'UNIVERSO finally gets going around the 2-minute mark with some brief vocals and then a bluesy Hammond workout. This is a promising start to the album but there's an incongruous psych-pop guitar section tagged on at the end of this track. The next three songs all continue in melodic rock vein, and a couple of them include real orchestral backing. The title track is probably the best of these with its memorable Hammond refrains. By the way, the genus Scolopendra contains the largest and most dangerous of the centipedes, but I'll be blowed if I know how a centipede fits into the overall concept.

Apart from COSMO, which is a short no-frills instrumental blues-rocker, the second half of the album is more mature with greater thematic development and longer instrumental passages. The keyboards ebb and flow to good effect on the darkly psychedelic THRILLING, as the muffled tones of pipe organ alternate with swirling Hammond and meaty guitar licks. Closing track PIANETA's forceful guitar riffs, majestic organ, and damp squib explosion then round the album off nicely.

Scolopendra is one of the lesser-known RPI releases therefore it's not one of the places to start if you're new to the genre. However, if you can overlook the poor sound quality it's actually not too bad an album.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |

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