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Alphataurus - Dietro l'Uragano CD (album) cover



Rock Progressivo Italiano

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3 stars Comperative this record with their first album,it contains much more instrumental passages,overloaded with tons of synthesisers.It has a much more spacey sound with very long heavy parts,but sometimes a little bit too overloaded,fairly bombastic! However it's still a good record,worth to buy it.
Report this review (#18422)
Posted Friday, January 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is another bag of gold from the vaults of Mellow records and worth its weight!. This is an organ player's nightmare and will please all prog fans who love the 'ol analog keyboard sound. Altough this recording has a very dated sound, it should in any way detract from your enjoyment of this recording. There are some superb prog moments on this recording and great musicanship.
Report this review (#18423)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars mostly instrumental and with a very dated sound, this lp shows, IMO, why Alphataurus disappeared... What happened to this band ? did they get caught in some sort of Italian Prog Sect that they lost their edge that bad ? the album is not unpleasant to listen but it's not hals good as their debut... so sad...
Report this review (#18424)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Alphataurus was a group who despite have putting out of the more popular albums here at PA's with their S/T'd debut has little known or written of them. Sources aren't even sure whether they were from Genova.. or from Milan. Little of them was written of them during the groups existance. The main reference site on the web says little and a comprehensive text I have of them has even less. They were signed to Magma records formed by members of the New Trolls for several albums. After they released their first album they went back to the studio to record a second album. Personal issues tore the group apart and the album they recorded, which was completely instrumental due to the fact that vocalist Michele Bavaro never recorded any vocals by the time the group split apart for good. The album 'Dietro L'Uragano' sat unreleased for 20 years until Mellow Records released it 1993. This is what the follow up to their 1st album would have sounded like. The album was left as they left it ..with only the instrumental tracks down, with no vocals so this unintendedly is an instrumental album.

The album opens with 'Ripensando E....' a Moog and Hammond workout. The lack of a vocal track on this one really hurts.. sounds like exactly what it was. An instrumental track awaiting a vocal skin so to speak. Musically not bad.. just not intended to stand alone as an instrumental of course. Next of it ' Valigie Di Terra' which begins with an extended drum intro before the some synth chords come in. About 3 minutes in the pace and rhythm accelerates and picks up and we have a moog section, then finally we are treated to a section remenscent of the 1st album when some Hammand Organ and some great drumming and bass playing and after a song and a half into the album we are treated with something musically that stands alone well. Various sections follow that continue the unspoken rule here of not just sounding like a backing track. Anyway.. after a slow first couple of minutes this tracks satisfies the listener with something musically to sink their teeth into.

Next we have .. the aptly title.. 'Idea imcompiuta' which has a very strong jazz vibe though at less than 2 mnutes long wherever they were planning to go with it, they simply never arrived. The final track on the album is 'Claudette'' A nice electric piano intro which takes us to a bombastic symphonic main sections. Strong bass playing and some great keyboards mark this instrumental. The only one of the 4 songs that really is worth the purchase of the album for. The track is marked with some furoius sections that really rock out if that is your kind of thing.

Beware if you get this.. it is in large part what it is. An incomplete album. Only the last song really stands well alone. For myself and the site 2 stars. For hardcore RPI fans only.

Michael (aka micky)

Report this review (#123592)
Posted Sunday, May 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars An incomplete album, not much more than a collection of demos, released two decades after it was recorded. There's little of the heaviness that marked their first album, this being a far jazzier workout. The loss of BAVARO, the vocalist from their eponymous first album, has hurt the band, and the sound here, while not unpleasant, is directionless and lacks real passion. For those looking for yet another keyboard-driven album from the early 70s this fits the bill, but it simply does not compare to the band's debut. 'Valigie di Terra', in particular, is a montage of disparate themes, never quite gelling despite furious playing and excellent musicianship. 'Idea Incomputia's main bass riff (starting at 1:05) is notable as being strikingly similar to the MOODY BLUES' riff used in 'I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band'. Weird, that. The album's best track, 'Claudette', lifts the record to two stars.

Wonderful album cover though.

Report this review (#153963)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 Stars Really

This does have an unfinished feel to it.... and the sound quality is not top notch.....but there are very little vocals.....which is a plus for me ! .......and I really like the 'noodling'. If you enjoyed the first album and you are unsure about this one..... think of this album as a work in progress that was never finished.....but still is least in my books.

Report this review (#164060)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars An incomplete job ?

In that case, I wonder what would had happen if this album was released in it's complete version.... with vocals and all. The reason is that this is by no means a bad release. The album is pretty racy with some heavy hammond, organs and moog. The bass and drums lays down some pretty heavy fire too. The result is a prog-headbanger fest. Yes, I have been known to headbang to this album.

I guess fans of Keith Emerson will like this album if they get their hands on it. The four tunes are pretty much down his alley. The sound is a bit iffy and it is incomplete with no vocals. But it is still worth checking out. The material here is good enough for a release. I wish the band could return and complete this album.

3 stars.

Report this review (#188552)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Superbly skilled musicians, good and passionate songs. What else do you need?

The music you will discover is very good. On line with their debut (which was quite OK to say the least). This album will bring you into another sphere: psychedelia, harmony, skills and scaring moments.

The excellent "Valigie Di Terra" is leading to lots of emotions. Percussion work is superb, harmony is on par: this song is maybe sounding too much of an ELP affair at times, but it provides such a great feel!

This album has been released years later than recorded but it doesn't affect my feel: a good keyboards oriented album and fine compositions. OK: maybe brilliance is alien, but still: genuine Italian music is available and deserve your full attention.

The closing and vibrant "Claudette" is the best example from this album. it is a sublime song which consist of so many different parts: classical, jazzy, bombastic. A gorgeous moment of prog music for sure.

This is almost an all instrumental album and I like it. The mellotron lines of the closing epic are so huge?A fine album for sure. Three stars.

Report this review (#263390)
Posted Friday, January 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
3 stars First of all let me start by saying that I think Alphataurus first effort was a clearcut masterpiece, - which incidentally also was the predominant reason for me acquiring this album. (This could actually ruin the whole thing for you, if you dive into this record thinking it will be a serving of the same ridiculously multi flavoured exotic meal, as the last time you visited this restaurant.) At first I was a bit dissapointed with the shift in style, the beautiful and soaring vocals of Michele Bavaro are gone, and the vocals are instead done by drummer Giorgio Santanderea, who is ok but lacking in power and diversity when the 2 are compared. However the album is near all-instrumental, and the sound is more of a laid-back-jamming-with-your-buddies than highly orchestrated rock symphonies - albeit for the last tune "Claudette". I finally found the key to this record in a highly unexpected place - listening to The Stones "Get Yer Ya Ya´s Out" one night and then putting "Dietro l'Uragano" on right after, I suddenly realized that you need to listen to this as a live record. It really sounds like 4 guys fiddling about at a concert, and at times they DO penetrate the sound system speakers with a force to be reckoned with - much credited to the drumming of Santanderea (who reminds me of an italian John Bonham on steroids), and the spacey keyboard licks sometimes intertwined with high soaring moog solos, fripp-like guitarlicks but faaar more ITALIAN and throbbing basslines makes this offering a potent meat and potatoes prog-rock live feast.

The first cut serves as an opener and kindly welcomes you to the show with a dreamy instrumental fronted by a melody driven moog that takes in some jazzy flavouring combining small and sneaky rhythm breaks - suddenly transforming this song into an evil Mario brothers theme. I like it! "Valigie Di Terra" is actually my favourite out of the bunch with the thunderous drumming, the giant leaps between the valleys and the peaks, and the small parts in the song where you can hear the musicians talking to each other by jamming in different directions makes this a wonderful 10 min. symphonic semi-jam, that I listen to far too often. I´d say that probably 50% of this is sheer jam. "Idea imcompiuta" starts out like an old horror movie with horrendous sounding keyboards that leads into a terribly confused little piece with sniffling jazzy drums and a jump rope bass line, that sounds like a man chasing mice inside his scull. Very mysterious indeed. The album closes with the beautiful "Claudette" that really is the closest you get to the old Alphataurus, if it wasn´t for the jazzy stylings of the breaks and turns, and the missing Bruce Springsteen vocals of the first. The only draw back might be the reserved vocals, that in truth serves more as muffled melodic words than actual "singing". The closing part is particularly good- sounds like a rock n´ roll infused Edgar Froese on top of a wild a rumbling rhythm section, climbing and climbing until it finally erupts. What a way to end an album!

I have been listening to a lot of RPI lately - once I cleared the language barrier (Come on man - most of the time you can´t understand diddly squat of what´s reverberating between Mick Jagger´s two beeboppaluuuuing slugs - following in the Stones analogies....) - it was all downhill I can tell you. The skills of these musicians are second to no one, and combining that with a childish approach to the instruments, meaning playfulness and imagination at the front wheel, and that special something - the secret ingredient that IS RPI, you are treated with progressive rock that is apart from it´s brothers in the UK, Germany, France, the States - you name em´. Something else.

3 stars simply because of the pure thrill I get from those drums. All hail John Bon-prosciutto!!

P.S. Incidentally I think the album cover has got to be one of the most beautiful I have EVER seen, -and those crazy Italians have their fair share of head turning artworks.

Report this review (#265697)
Posted Friday, February 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Their debut is in my top three RPI albums of all time, and if pressed I would say it's number one. As they went into the studio to record their follow-up album the singer left. I'm not sure if he left during the recordings or before, but regardless the band recorded this album with the idea that vocals would be used. So without a vocalist they scrapped the album even though they recorded the instrumental parts.

Fast forward many years and Mellow Records released this album as it was, without vocals. The problem is that it sounds so incomplete without them because they obviously planned on vocals being used here. The two things I love about their debut, the heaviness and the vocals are missing here. Then add how naked this feels without vocals and I have a hard time giving this 3 stars. The keyboards are much more dominant and honestly the guitar seems to be missing in action.

Highlights for me are the last 2 minutes of "Ripensando E..." where it gets heavier. Also there's a good section on "Valigie Di Terra" around 7 minutes and later at 7 1/2 minutes when it gets heavier. "Idea Imcompiuta" is a short jazzy piece, while "Claudette" the longest track doesn't do much for me at all. The drummer adds some almost spoken vocals on that one.

Like I said earlier barely 3 stars, but probably the "fans only" rating would be more accurate.

Report this review (#266765)
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars After their superb first album, I had high hopes for this one. It is rather disappointing. For one thing, it is entirely instrumental apart from parts of Claudette. For another each piece is rather a farrago of disparate ideas.

"Ripensando e" is an instrumental which runs out of steam about halfway though. Its not interesting enough to sustain its 6 minutes.

"Valigie di Terra" is like a patchwork quilt. It begins with a drum solo, not usually the best idea. After a while an atmospheric organ appears. Good chord progressions, but it does not lead anywhere. Instead a faster and repetitive section starts. About 5 minutes in (halfway through) a memorable and rhythmically incisive passage begins. Again this peters out and another unrelated sequence starts. Some Elp-esque chords end this. Then another repeating section which goes nowhere. An odd and unsatisfactory composition which could have yielded some fruit had its ideas been developed.

"Idea Imcompiuta" is under 2 minutes but still appears to be a hodgepodge.

The last and longest track "Claudette" begins with some soft jazzy guitar over discrete mellotron. Then some organ over a good bassline which, as usual peters out before it really gets going. A few more stop-starts and a singer enters. Having waited so long, his contribution is awful.

I doubt if there has been a greater gulf between two albums then this and their own other one. That was close to a 5 star, this close to a 1.

Report this review (#302264)
Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars During the second half of 1973 Alphataurus entered their studio to prepare the follow-up of their fantastic self-titled debut.Unfortunately due to family issues the band had to break up during the recording sessions.In 1992 Mellow Records collected the tapes of these unfinished rehearsals and released them under the title ''Dietro l'uragano''.

At the time the band performed a mostly instrumental Progressive Rock without the presence of singer Michele Bavaro and their sound was now heavily keyboard-driven with an even more symphonic sound.Actually the opening ''Ripensando e'' contains strong LE ORME influences with Classical references and long moog solos in a very haunting mood.The following ''Valigie di terra'' is a great piece of moog/organ-driven Symphonic/Heavy Rock with stronger links to the band's debut, spacey synth waves until the middle and next come somes excellent Hammond organ runs with a pounding rhythm section.''Idea incompiuta'' is a short theme with a jazzy flavor in the guitar and drum parts, followed by the 14-min. ''Claudette''.Another nice piece of keyboard-based Progressive Rock with fiery organs, good interplays, massive synthesizers and even a sweet piano theme supported by the smooth vocals of drummer Giorgio Santandrea.The ending theme of the track is Alphataurus' at their best.Grandiose, nervous synth-drenched outro with a very intense and powerful atmosphere.

While Alphataurus' debut is more of a complete work, these early rehearsals of the band indicate that a possible sophomore record would have been propably another great Italian masterpiece.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#866908)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars This collection of unfinished demos from 1973 demonstrates the potential Alphataurus possessed, but the absence of vocals and poor sound quality relegate Dietro L'Uragano to collector-only status. The majority of these song structures would finally be fully realized some forty years later on AttosecondO, which also lacks the vocal duties of Michele Bavaro; his iconic wail is the main attraction of Alphataurus' stunning debut, and one which this flawed release is sorely missing. Dietro L'Uragano is about half as good as that debut album, and earns two stars accordingly.

Though far from bootleg standards, Dietro L'Uragano is not exactly studio quality either, the first half sounding slightly more listenable than the second. To make matters worse, these recordings were sullied with the use of NoNoise Sonic Solutions, a digital noise reduction tool which has notably compromised the catalogs of David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, among others. This 1992 archival release had the life sucked completely out of it, but you cannot degrade its importance or historical value because of these mastering choices. If anything, Ciro Perrino is to be applauded for his tireless attention and hard work for Mellow Records in the 1990s and beyond, salvaging and publishing many such recordings. On the flip-side, these releases were usually limited in nature, and the now-ridiculously-rare and overly expensive Dietro L'Uragano would not be a worthwhile pursuit for the average prog fan, or even the casual RPI fan.

Regarding the actual music: "Ripensando E..." is the most complete of the four tracks, not suffering terribly from lack of vocals; this actually allows more space around the instruments, particularly keyboards, and permits the band to shine on its own merits. Although the songwriting is not quite the same caliber as on the self-titled album, there are definitely some good ideas here. "Valigie di Terra" is less successful, taking almost five minutes to find a groove before finally capturing that elusive Alphataurus magic. I especially love the nasty cluster chord, previously used in "Peccato D'Orglio," courtesy of organist Pietro Pellegrini. Unfortunately "Idea Incompiuta" and "Claudette" do nothing for me, despite the appearance of vocals in the latter. Dietro L'Uragano displays a group at the peak of its powers, and though I still prefer these original recordings to the studio versions on AttosecondO, I can't really recommend either.

Report this review (#934697)
Posted Sunday, March 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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