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2 stars Ibis is a minor italian progressive band of the seventies. Their sound is similar to New Trolls and mainly to the heavy-rock side of the progressive rock. This is a record with some good intiuitions, and good musicians, the first track in particular is very good with a remarkable singing perforrmance. Unfortunately the record lacks of the same intensity of the first track, and strong ideas, leaving no taste in your moth after listening.
Report this review (#39895)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars This eponymous album from Italian band Ibis was released in 1975, it's not their debut (as you would expect from the title) but their third after the records Canti D'Innozenza, Canti D'Esperienza (1973) and Sun Supreme (1974). The prime mover is singer/guitarplayer Nico Di Palo, known as a member from the legendary Italian formation The New Trolls. The music on Ibis is varied: the two long tracks Narratio and Ritrovarci deliver sumptuous keyboards (a bit similar to my favorite Hungarian band Omega) and fiery guitar duels, the song Passa Il Tempo contains wonderful acoustic guitar and Keep On Movin' features straight rock and roll! My highlight on this CD is the composition Strada, a beautiful blend of electric piano, sensitive electric guitar, flute and a swinging rhythm-section. To me this sounds as a pleasant and varied album, no less or more.
Report this review (#89322)
Posted Saturday, September 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars So, this was the end of Nico di Palo's experience outside New Trolls. And if you think that, after their comeback in 1976, they were referred to as the "Italian BeeGees", you'll understand how much I whish that nothing similar happened and Ibis could... "keep on moving", as they say in the last song of this album ("Noi" is only a b-side to a single). A very good album, indeed, coming from a period (the mid-seventies) where symphonic prog- rock seemed to have nothing more to say - or at least, began to be the professional critics' favourite scapegoat. "Ibis" isn't experimental at all, but shows the band in their peak not only of creativity but, above all, of personality. So, after the bombastic introduction of "Premessa", in "Narratio" Di Palo stops trying to turn his band into the Italian version of "Yes" (and he stops also imitating Steve Howe) and shows again its love for heavy rock, for flaming guitar solos, and ramping rhythms. But the band manages also to give its sound a mediterranean flavour with a good taste in melodies and acoustical passages. "Passa il tempo" is a very simple ballad, but its simplicity matches with a very good tune and stunning vocal harmonies. "Ritrovarci qui" is another heavy-rock track, but it features also the melancholy and dramatic mood of the Italian "romanza", while "Strada" is the ideal meeting point between between Deep Purple and any jazz rock or Canterbury band. Let's give this little jem what it deserves, and feed its reputation with four good stars.
Report this review (#99548)
Posted Sunday, November 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This confidential Italian band will call it quit after this album.

The least I can say, is that I won't miss them. Their style of music which was much more heavy-rock oriented than truly symphonic never overwhelmed me. They delivered two good albums (according my criteria) before this one.

And their third one "Ibis" is not a great exercise. I am still looking for some passionate vocals or some grandiose compositions. But none of these are available on this album. Just a juxtaposition of average music. Produced by talented musician who just fell short in terms of song writing.

This work is not bad but to find one outstanding track is a hard work. The hard-rocking "Narratio" holds some wild guitar solo, but it is not what one should expected from an Italian symphonic band. But, as far as I am concerned, I have never categorized them in this style.

Surprisingly enough, the song "Dedicated To Janis Joplin" which I would have anticipated as more rhythmic is just a pale blues song in comparison to what I was expecting. Of course, few singers could compete with the great lady.

This album is not very long, but I won't complain since it is of little interest. The end of a short road. If you are ever curious about how an Italian version of Supertramp would have sound, you can spend some time and listen to "Passa Il Tempo". Hopefully it isn't too long and time is passing quickly.

The only serious track is "Ritrovarci Qui". Tranquil and acoustic, bombastic and powerful (but not heavy), I appreciate the great guitar work, but these keys sounds so pompous.The last songs of this album can't move me either. Jazz-rock for Strada (which at least features some good fluting) and chaotic for Keep On Moving.

I can't rate this album as a good effort. There are tons of better Italian prog albums. Two stars.

Report this review (#169855)
Posted Sunday, May 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Third and final album from Ibis, and the weakest of the three in my opinion. While the debut album had no title and no discernible information on its cover except a giant question mark, it is generally considered the birth of Ibis and would be bettered on the excellent Sun Supreme. The self-titled offering here takes a step backward, into what I would consider classic rock or worse yet, disco rock. The first couple songs aren't bad; actually "Narratio" would not sound out of place on the debut with Nico Di Palo's screechy falsetto. But "Dedicated To Janis Joplin" is where things take a turn for the worse, and never really recover. The song sounds exactly like you think it would, a cross between Big Brother & The Holding Comany and New Trolls. It even quotes liberally from "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" towards the end, and lasts about three minutes longer than it really should.

"Passa il Tempo" is somewhat interesting, at least it's sung in the native tongue and relies upon the band's signature sound more so than anything else on the album, but is ultimately forgettable. And I'm not quite sure what, exactly, "Ritrovarci Qui" is supposed to be; it begins as an acoustic piece and transitions awkwardly into what sounds like the theme to a cheesy Italian horror film. All style and no substance. The arrangement only derails from there, into an ascending-triplet riff and repetitive recapitulation of the "Premessa" theme. I'm usually a sucker for stuff like this when the album is self-referential and has some unifying coherence...but this kind of feels like an afterthought and, again, is hardly memorable.

"Strada" and "Keep on Movin'" are both so bad I usually can't even make it that far into the album. The former has some interesting ideas - the middle instrumental section wouldn't be out of place on a Volo album, but an opportunity to really stretch the idea and develop it is thwarted by a superfluous vocal section and flute solo.

I guess by 1975 the best days were behind most classic Italian Prog bands, and Ibis was no exception. I can't in good conscience rate the album three stars since I would not describe it as good. It is listenable I suppose, and necessary for Ibis/New Trolls fans and RPI collectors. It is not so bad that I would say it's only for completists...but it's pretty close. Two stars.

Report this review (#843807)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ibis' career was short but full of shakes, so Maurizio Salvi and Ric Parnell abandoned the group in 1975 and they were replaced by guitarist Renzo Tortora and drummer Pasquale Venditto, both members of Forum Livii.The third album of Ibis was recorded mainly at Studio J.S. Bach in Milan, except for ''Passa Il Tempo'', which was recorded at the Phonogram Studios.This work carried the name of the group as a title and was released again on Polydor in 1975.

With no keyboardist in the line-up, Ibis' style became again very much Hard Rock-oriented, closing to the path of their debut, it was also mostly sung in Italian except for a couple of tracks.This was definitely Ibis' most uneven album, containing some very good guitar-based Hard Prog pieces but also some very dull and cheesy moments.Despite the lack of a keyboard player, some synthesizer lines can be heard in a few cuts, although no member has been credited to play them.The music is heavily relying on the fiery, dual guitar workouts of Di Palo and Tortora, characterized by intense lead parts, punchy rhythmic tunes and angular solos, along with the very good Italian vocals.The progressive aura is still evident throughout this effort, like on the very P.F.M.-influenced ''Passa Il Tempo'', the bombastic guitar/synth trip of ''Narratio'' or the big symphonic sound of ''Ritrovarci Qui'', featuring a majestic combination of orchestral keyboards with Proto-Metal dual guitar leads.Tracks like ''Dedicated to Janis Joplin'' or ''Keep On Movin'' are not representative of the band's talent, showcasing Ibis had run a bit out of ideas.Fortunately the majority of the album offers a charming combination of good guitar-driven passages with acoustic lines and a decent dose of keyboards, delivering eventually a mix of atmospheric and heavy, pounding textures.

The story of Ibis has been finalized the same year with the return of Nico Di Palo along with Gianni Belleno to the reformed New Trolls.An attempt to revive the band as Ibis Prog Machine by Maurizio Salvi in 2007 was only brief and unsuccesful, despite bringing onboard Renato Rosset (ex-Nova and New Trolls Atomic System), Corrado Rustici (ex-Nova and Cervello), Claudio Cinquegrana (later with New Trolls) and Roberto Tiranti (bassist and singer of several Italian Metal bands and future singer of Mangala Vallis).

Last and uneven album by this short-lived but definitely prolific Italian band.An excellent find for fans of Hard Prog and Proto-Metal, with glimpses of talent and impressive songwriting, but also a couple of dead holes.Recommended.

Report this review (#1096009)
Posted Sunday, December 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

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