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Semiramis - Dedicato A Frazz CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.06 | 306 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Delightfully Frantic Guitar-Based Italian Prog

Semiramis was a one album classic-era Italian Prog band led by vocalist and guitarist Michele Zarillo. The outfit was actually started by his older brother and some friends but had their moment in the sun when the younger prodigy joined. Michele not only sings, plays the some of the greatest prog guitar on record, but apparently wrote most of the material as well. All of the band members were still teenagers when this was recorded (Michele 15) and the youthful energy, wonder, and lack of inhibition are all over the sound. In fact, this may be the best record from a point of view of "Wow that just sounds cool" in the entire classic prog era.

Most Italian Prog is romantic and keyboard driven. Semiramis is intense and dominated by guitar. All the other instruments get their full share of the spotlight, but Michele's guitar really steals the stage. The number of complex guitar riffs and licks on this record are unmatched until the metal era quite a bit after this. The key players aren't afraid to rip and experiment either, and we get some really dissonant sections, some open free form wierdness, and traded lines that again look forward 15 years. The beginning of track 4 "Per un strada affolata" is about as pure proggy instrumental goodness as there is. (Think Steve Hackett's "Ace of Wands")

As great as this is, it can get a little ragged. This isn't a musical journey transporting the listener to new emotional planes. This is a record of monsterously talented kids loving every minute of what they're doing and just letting it rip. The sounds here have all been done before, but never with this much raw joy. There is still plenty of humor, plenty of rock n' roll get up and move spirit. The composition and songwriting is extremely solid, with a willingness to get wierd, but still clearly within the norms of the genre.

Of the 15 or so RPI albums I own, this is one of only two that I get random urges to put on. This is a 4.5 star I album I rounding down because it just doesn't hit that masterpiece button.

But again, highly highly recommended.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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