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Equipe 84 - Sacrificio CD (album) cover


Equipe 84


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.97 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Equipe 84's proggiest affair

Equipe 84 were one of the most famous Italian beat bands of the 1960s. Like Giganti and Dik Dik they made a brief but fruitful foray into the burgeoning RPI scene of the early 1970s. This album would be their most determined (and only real) effort at joining the scene and while they never truly succeeded in being recognized as such, it is a wonderful album nonetheless. It features good songwriting, great melodies and vocals, and lots of typical RPI instrumentation like organ, piano, flute, and strings, all very tastefully arranged. The sound is crisp and lively, the performances emotional and convincing. Perhaps to gain some cred on the scene they enlisted several collaborators like Ricky Belloni and Paolo Siani from Nuova Idea, Alberto Camerini, Hugo Heredia, and Gianni D'Errico. If you don't go into "Sacrificio" expecting "Darwin" or "Ys", you might find it to be the delightful gem that I did.

As if to make clear this album was a departure, it begins with nearly 4 minutes of droning noise, sound effects, and whispers which increase in pitch and oscillation for a disorienting and weird effect. Quite the opening! The title track is next and it's great! Majestic organ and the odd repeating guitar motif, along with the creative drumming lend a stifled feeling that breaks free only occasionally into the lovely chorus. "La Montagna Sacra" continues in strong fashion with a great brisk acoustic guitar and a really jumping rhythm with lively bass and drumming, along with occasional wispy synth playing. Over this the vocals are very good, relaxing, melodic, typically warm and romantic Italian singing. A nice mid section features heavily distorted electric guitars contrasting the vocals and keys. "Un Cavallo Un Amore" is a short but fantastic piece of classically influenced acoustic guitar, a la Steve Howe's "Mood for a Day."

Side two begins with the wonderful "Mercante Senza Fiori" featuring dramatic songwriting and superb guitar strokes, along with some nice use of strings and cool bass lines. Such warm, inviting music! "Se C'e" mixes an upbeat ditty with a slower and gorgeous melodic vocal over a huge keyboard sound. "Dicono" closes the album with more thunder effects and a big, lush keyboard intro. The remaining tracks are less proggy and more typical to Italian melodic pop, but even those are handled with so much class, with marvelous melodies and interesting arrangements.

While "Sacrificio" is not as overtly progressive and challenging as some of its peers of the period, it is an immensely beautiful and likeable album if you give it a chance. If you crave complexity and dissonance, look elsewhere. If you love great melodies and want to enjoy some beautiful RPI of the more traditional school, try "Sacrificio." The CD was recently issued in a limited edition of 700 as a Korean mini-lp sleeve. The colorful color art looks great on the outstretched gatefold, and the inside includes the original band photos and lyrics. They also include a reprint of a color drawing plate that must have accompanied the original vinyl release. I can't give this fine music less than 4 stars personally, but if I was rating solely on how progressive it is I could not give more than 3.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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