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Semiramis - Dedicato A Frazz CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.05 | 264 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a weird experience to find out that Michele Zarrillo was involved, somehow, in the wonderful italian prog scene of the seventies. And it was a great surprise for me to listen to Semiramis. Couldn't imagine such a prog behaviour since he nowadays writes, produces and sings only melodic and romantic pop music. What a change! By the way, at the time he recorded the Semiramis unique album, he was only sixteen years old. What a young prodigy he was: he wrote the musics, he played electric and acoustic guitars and sung!

The band was also formed by Maurizio Zarrillo, Michele older brother, who provided eminent, classic and electric pianos, harpsichord, sistrum and synthesizer. Other band members; Paolo Faenza on drums, percussion and vibraphone (vibraphone is the Semiramis fascinating trademark); Marcello Reddavide on bass guitar and bells; Giampiero Artegiani on "Di Giorgio" classic guitar, 12 strings "Ovation" guitar (the same guitar used by Riccardo Zappa for his wonderful instrumental dissertations) and synth.

One of the things I've never understood is who is this "Frazz" to whom the whole album is dedicated. Maybe he is a sort of imaginary character in a surrealistic world. In the booklet's inner image there is a picture in this vein. There is the "fantastic Arlequine" named in the opener track "La Bottega del Rigattiere"(Junk Shop) and also the winged horse.

What about the music? Despite the production, which is clearly not the same of important bands such Yes, Genesis, PFM, Banco and others, the arrangements are simply wonderful!! The whole structure is some of the most fresh I ever listened to in the italian scene. Fresh and mature at the same time. Considering this is a debut album, it was a tragedy for all the progheads the band split up so soon (what a pity!).

The guitars' parts are very inspired and with the correct balance between aggressiveness (electric) and kindness (acoustic). I like in particular the vibraphone sound which often takes the scene. Just listen for example the final part (the last two minutes) of "Uno Zoo di Vetro" (A Glass Zoo): an interesting duo between vibraphone and bells. Synths and keyboards are very weel played but they never seem to have the most relevan role.

All in all the result is near the masterpiece' status. The correct evalutaion should be at 4.5

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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