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Gli Apostholi - Un'Isola Senza Sole CD (album) cover

UN'ISOLA SENZA SOLE

Gli Apostholi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.52 | 4 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Into the 80s was not always bad!

Gli Apostholi's debut was released in 1979 and was a more succinct affair built around an eclectic vision of the canzone. Two years later the band had added a new guitarist and a full time bass player, making them a 5-piece. It seems pretty clear they were shooting for a fuller sound which intentionally or not, resulted in an album appropriate for a progressive *rock* database.

The album is quite different in both style and sound than their wonderful song-based debut album. "Un'Isola Senza Sole" features slightly longer, more developed rock songs with a beefier or more muscular sound. As our bio mentions this is a bridge band along with bands like Atons and there is some of that period rock influence happening, but there is also a reminiscence for the 70s RPI going down. The presence of flute and dreamy guitar solos reminds me of Camel in some way although these tracks are not as elaborate as some classic Camel recordings. Using more English references one could point to later Badfinger albums when the Beatles sound was giving way to a heavier combination of album rock and art rock. There are also RPI signatures present but to be honest no one is ever going to mistake Apostholi for Banco.

The eight tracks in the 4-6 minute range are led primarily by the electric guitar and even reminded me of Dire Straits in tracks like "Pomeriggio." They are tastefully accompanied by acoustic and classical guitars, period keyboards, and some very good sections of flute. Walter Bozzatti is again handling the vocals although this time around he has help. The vocals are understated by RPI standards but they fit the melodic and mature style of Apostholi, as mentioned previously they are somewhat close to Stefano Testa's vocals in my opinion. The addition of Tullio Mazzaretto on guitar is probably the ingredient which transforms Apostholi most significantly. This guy can really wail and when given the chance he doesn't hold back. "Tra Gli Ultimi Raccolti" displays some subtle yet gorgeous interplay between light synth background, nimble-as-hell rhythm section, and refined, near-perfect guitar artistry. In moments like these Gli Apostholi is nearly timeless with songwriting that could be from any period, with moods and melodies simultaneously bright and melancholic. Then, "Racconti" clearly reminds us that Apostholi maintains one foot clearly planted in the Italian song tradition. This is a band one can cite when people make the foolishly general suggestions that nothing good came from the 1980s. One need only start poking around. It's a bit of a shame this band didn't release a few more albums, I think it would have been fascinating to see where they took things next.

While I personally prefer the eclectic, pared down approach of the first album, both Gli Apostholi albums are quite good and recommended to RPI fans who are willing to move beyond the intense and avant-garde tinged flavor of the classic period's well-known albums. Folks who want to learn the whole story of RPI will want to visit this chapter as well.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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