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Semiramis - Dedicato A Frazz CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.06 | 306 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars From the moment you lay eyes on the macabre album cover, you realize Dedicato a Frazz is not going to be a typical prog album. Semiramis still manage to haunt and amaze me with this 1973 odyssey every time I hear it. Even more amazing is that mere teenagers wrote and recorded a masterpiece, none more impressive than the 16-year-old Michele Zarillo. Zarillo puts on a veritable guitar clinic and is able to achieve feats those twice his age couldn't. And though his singing is quite capable, his guitar talent is nearly unsurpassed except by the greats - Fripp, Howe, and Hackett - and equal to that of Corrado Rustici in my opinion. In fact, Semiramis evoke the sound of Rustici's group Cervello in their daring and unabashed zeal for pushing the envelope; a sense of one-upsmanship is at play but never to the point of impetuousness. And like Cervello's Melos, Dedicato a Frazz will require many repeated listens to fully appreciate. The album may feel schizophrenic upon first listens, but makes sense with time. I promise.

A perplexing combination of Eminent, vibraphone and 12-string guitar opens "La Bottega del Rigattiere." As Zarillo starts to sing a thunderous drum roll announces the beat, and does the beat ever drop hard. Just when you start to bang your head to Zarillo's heavy riff, the song abruptly shifts to a playful interlude and back. Get used to that. Dedicato a Frazz will transform an inordinate number of times, some transitions more jarring than others. The fabulous "Luna Park," one of my favorite songs in the entire genre, leaves a burnt trail of destruction in its path as Zarillo and company torch through numerous tempos and time signatures. The level of creativity is so high at times I can't picture a group of kids sitting down and brainstorming it. "Luna Park" is truly astounding and something every prog fan should experience.

The madrigal "Uno Zoo Di Vetro" features tympani and a heaping helping of Eminent before Zarillo drops a bomb at the 1:25 mark. His guitar riff is so devastatingly raunchy I can't even describe it but the closest thing I can think of is "Epilogo" from Il Balletto di Bronzo's Ys. A magical break three minutes in sees Semiramis in a symphonic mode, shedding any heavy prog tendencies. A brief vibraphone solo then bridges to "Per Una Strada Affollata." This is another fascinating and exhausting exercise but one that pays dividends for the patient listener. Again Zarillo steals the show, executing a poignant classical guitar solo with experience well beyond his years. The representative "Dietro Una Porta Di Carta" summarizes everything to this point well, and still manages to create an identity all its own. "Frazz" impresses with a sublime chord progression in the middle; this section really personifies to me what RPI is all about, and though it only lasts a minute it leaves a lasting impression. "Clown" offers almost too much of a good thing, but before you know it the album is over. Dedicato a Frazz leaves you wanting more, which is the hallmark of a 5-star album to these ears.

coasterzombie | 5/5 |


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