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Alphataurus - Live In Bloom CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the great surprises of recent years for fans of Italian prog was the reformation of Alphataurus who released one highly regarded album nearly 40 years ago and then split leaving an unfinished second album, later released in the unfinished form as Dietro L'Uragano. The reformed Alphataurus features 3 original members and Live In Bloom, taken from a show in 2010 is the first recorded output of the new 6 piece line-up.

Live in Bloom features their entire first album with a couple from the second - Ripensando E... and Valigre Di Terra. Alphataurus put on an impressive performance showing they have lost none of their chops as they rip through the seven compositions, mainly symphonic prog along with the bluesy hard rock of Dopo L'Uragano. For a while new vocalist Claudio Falcone had me fooled that he was original member Michele Bavaro, his performance faithfully replicating his predecessor at times. The excellent recording and slick performance with vintage keyboards intact make this album a must for fans of the band. I'm pleased to hear a new studio album will follow shortly.

Report this review (#714349)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Live In Bloom' - Alphataurus (7/10)

Alphataurus are a band that would have been lost to obscurity, were it not for their tight musical display and resulting cult fanbase. Although they only put out one complete record in their time (as well as one incomplete, and substantially less acclaimed sophomore) Alphataurus are a staple for any self-respecting fan of Italian prog rock. Considering that the band's heyday was 1973 and little has been heard of them since then, it's quite an event to have them return, even if it's only in the form of a live recording.With word of a new studio album on the apparent horizon, it's indeed exciting to have this band back and running, although for its own merits, "Live In Bloom" does not add much more to Alphataurus than we have heard in the past.

All things considered, it is very impressive to hear this band still in such tight shape after nearly forty years since their pair of albums came out. Of the six musicians playing here (at the 2010 Progvention, an Italian festival) three of them are original members of the band. There is not a single 'weak' point to the group's performance here, however. While this is recorded in a live venue, the performance is tight and clear to the ear. Considering that poor, muffled recording is an annoyance that plagues a great many live albums, it's great to hear "Live In Bloom" executed with such clarity.

The song selection itself is precisely what one would expect from an Alphataurus set; encompassing the entire debut album, whilst plucking a couple of picks from the "Dietro l'Uragano" record as well. The music is very consistent in its quality, though while I found myself in a constant state of awe towards the bands tightness and relatively technical take on the 'symphonic' style of prog rock, I cannot say that any part particularly stood out, or captivated me as a highlight of beauty. Granted, I'm not greatly familiar with Alphataurus' studio work, but the performance feels like a fairly reproduced rendition of what's on the album itself. In other words, the performance rarely seems to take a life of its own, and that's often what separates the good from the great when it comes to releases like this.

"Live In Bloom" certainly gives Alphataurus fans something to be excited about, and though their talent and skill are still as bright as ever, I'm not left seeing the band's music much differently. Regardless; it takes some incredible skill to perform music of this style and calibre in the live setting, and Alphataurus do not disappoint.

Report this review (#779954)
Posted Saturday, June 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. It's almost shocking how good this live album is from ALPHATAURUS. Considering it's been almost 40 years since their classic debut. And considering this isn't the original vocalist. Where do these singers come from ? It's like Italy is full of guys who were born to sing. Anyway Claudio is an incredible vocalist, very powerful as this music warrants. I would be giving this 5 stars if it consisted of only the songs from the debut but we also get two tracks from the unfinished follow-up which are still good but a level down for me. I guess I should mention that ALPHATAURUS' debut is my all-time favourite RPI record.

I want to also mention the words written in the liner notes by the new vocalist who describes the experience. He says : "I must replace a very particular singer, with a voice very different than mine, cutting out an adequate role in a band where singing is less present in comparison to other genres (given the instrumental dominant of the repertoire's tracks) but not less important, in fact maybe more precious and "risky" than usual !" And "An unforgettable night, especially for who lived it as sort of jump back in time to an unrepeatable age, and i'm particularly talking about the three founders of the band : I postively envy what they have proved thinking back to the years when, still teenagers, they were able to create something that still today delivers emotions even to the ones who were never born at that time. This thought can be enough to feel intimidated in front of the historical heroes of the night, in such an important day for them; but the positive charge is strongly contagious, therefore even me and the other two new arrivals find ourselves sharing our way the chill of an unique night. For a moment I think to the two missing original members, whose lives took distant ways from the other three and consequently won't have the honour of living all this, and suddenly i feel even more proud."

I must admit I felt strong emotions listening to this cd last week, and my final listen last night driving home was one where water kept getting in my eyes on several ocassions. My three favourites start with "Ombra Muta" where the emotion hits me right away. Could these guys actually pull off the magic of the debut ? They do and then some. It should be noted that we have one guy playing organ and synths while another plays piano and keyboards. This is significant to the powerful sound. The vocals are so strong. "La Mente Vola" builds to an uptempo beat with spacey synths. It changes 3 1/2 minutes in as piano joins the beat then tender vocals join in. What follows is an explosion of power and emotion. My God ! Themes are repeated in this masterful track. My last top three is "Dopo L'urangano" which is dark with the vocals crying out. It's heavy before 1 1/2 minutes but it lets up quickly. Contrasts continue. So powerful !

This concert was performed in November of 2010, and by the crowd's reaction and the evidence of this recording you would swear this was 1973 all over again.

Report this review (#786529)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another disappointing live album? No. Not this time!! I'm really hesitant to explore/investigate live albums as I feel burned time and time again by them. Always seeming to fall below (sometimes way below) what the studio versions sound like along with the risk of having the crowd noises/clapping ruin key moments of (if not all) pieces. It's not prog but an old 1960's live Joan Baez album I have is ruined because of a constant coughing by somone in the crowd in almost every song. The Neil Young Unplugged album has the song "Uknown Legend" (which I love) that is ruined because someone in the crowd decided to shout "Yeah!!!" in the middle of the song when Neil sings. Not to mention, many live albums tend to skim over key solos or other parts of the songs that I love on the studio version.

Having said that, I dislike live albums for the most part. But my love for 1970's italian progressive rock slapped me in the face again due to the resurgance of bands reuniting (oh thank you God for that) again some 30-40 years later from italy. I mean with the likes of RRR, New Trolls, Locanda Della Fate, Murple,Latte E Miele,Osanna, Delerium (what a wonderful album their 2009 album is and everybit as good as their best 70's material), etc.., I then see Alphataurus partaking in this. Being a big fan of Alphataurus' 1973 album, I was excited when I found that they had reunited. They were supposed to have a new studio album out around end of 2010 but I guess it's taken a while as they're still working on it (but their web site says it should be a reality even if it's 2 years later). In the meantime, we have this live album from an italian progfest.

Having the read the reviews here, I could not agree more.

After listening to this for the first time, I thought "Is this some long lost high quality live recording from Alphataurus in 1973?". It's that good. Vintage analog keyboard sounds that sound "soooo 70's and not plastic/digital. Wonderful pounding/thumping bass lines. Nice solid drums. Yes I realize the orginal singer is not back but they did a wonderful job getting this new singer who never takes away from the songs and only adds. Musically, this is everybit as good as the original 1973 studio recording. And the crowd noises don't distract at all. You only hear them in between the songs and even then it's nice to hear as it reminds me that this is a live album (despite sounding so musically good of 'studio' quality).

I should probably give this a 5 star rating but I got the dialog box that said to "be sparing on 1 and 5 star ratings". After that message came up, I gave it a 4.

Thank you so much Alphataurus. Welcome back. I look forward to your new studio album. If you like italian prog from the 1970's but are nervous about this one because it's a live album from their 1970's material: don't be nervous as this is an excellent album. I'll play this just as much as the original 1973 album by them.

Report this review (#841149)
Posted Saturday, October 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

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