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4 stars 4.5 - really. For my ears, a tad slightly better than their 1973 debut and that's saying a lot considering I'm a huge fan of 1970's RPI and prefer 1970's prog over today's prog (although there's excellent new prog as well so I'm not saying new prog is bad). This is a new album in 2012 with a crisp clear sound in the studio but the style is still vintage 70's.

2 years in the waiting. It did not disappoint. I remember finding out over 2 years ago that Alphataurus was working on a new album. It was mentioned that it would possibly be ready sometime in 2010. It was not released until last month. I am not sure of all the reasons for it but I am glad that their 2nd "official" studio album (the incomplete "Dietro L'Uragano" not being included) was released.

In this day and age, it is so nice/refreshing to hear an album like this that works hard to sound nostalgic and so 70's like. The members may be pushing 60 (so what!!!) and it may have been almost 40 years since they're last studio album (wow!!!) but this album sounds like it could have been made 1 year after their classic 1973 s/t.

For the singer Claudio Falcone, I do not consider him to be a step down from the singer on the 1973 s/t album. I consider Claudio Falcone to be a positive addition to the group considering Michele Bavaro was not available. Claudio fills in perfectly and is a very important part of the Alphataurus team. Vocal styles similar to Bavaro but Claudio has his own unique touch and I consider both Bavaro and Falcone as equally important to Alphataurus' history. They made an excellent choice in Claudio!!

Musically, the band has not digressed at all in talent. They added some new band members and both the original and new band members gel together along with the singer for an end result being an album that is pretty much as good/on-par as the 1973 album.

The 1974 album "Dietro L'Urangano" by them was an "incomplete" album that was mostly instrumental with 4 tracks that had potential (Claudette being the best). It was released around 1993 or so as a "never before released and stuck in the archives" album that Mellow Records released. I enjoyed this album too but it was obvious that the group had to "shelve" this. None- the-less, it contained some good stuff but the album "begged to be done" someday even if the group had to reform some 40 years later...

And that's exactly what happened :-) Besides the (1:52) track "Idea Imcompuita" track from Dietro, the other 3 tracks were "redone" back in the studio some 40 years later with the reformation of Alphataurus. And they were done brilliantly with energy and drive. Not to mention the superb sound quality but now you have the addition of vocals in the forefront (not done on the original Dietro album).

And it's not over there. The album opens up with new material in 2 tracks which total close to 20 minutes. The Progressiva Mente reminds me of Locanda Delle Fate's classic album (including the vocals) and the 2nd track Gocce is dark and sinister and has all the qualities of good/solid italian progressive rock. The keyboards and synths bring back that 70's nostalgic sound well. I could be wrong but I think I'm hearing analogue keyboards rather than the modern digital stuff that you hear so much of these days.

All and all, this album was worth the weight and it was an all out well-done effort by Alphataurus. They proved to me they had something to say even 40 years later. And they said it with energy and vigor.

I sure like some of the new albums done by 70's progressive bands. I was quite happy with the new albums by Delirium, Locanda Delle Fate, New Trolls (Seven Seasons), Murple, etc... Now adding to that list, we have Alphataurus. 70's Osanna, "Are you out there somewhere getting ready to do Palepoli part 2? Il Volo? Alusa Falla? Maxophone?".

As Tommy used to say on his Forest of Progressive Rock web site in the late 90's: "You're sure to like this if you like italian progressive rock", I'm echoing his comment: "You're sure to like this new Alphataurus album if you like 70's italian progressive rock".

In many ways, this album may be more progressive than their 1973 debut. The debut was excellent but had some non-progressive music (ie, hard rocking blues, etc..) in as well. This album is 100% progressive!!

If you like Alphataurus' first album (or even their 2nd incomplete album released by Mellow) and have concerns about this one (because it is in the modern times) as to whether or not it's worth buying: please wipe those concerns away as there's really no reason to not get this album!!!

Report this review (#847281)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The one and only album, until now (not including the unfinished Dietro U'Ragano) from Italian's Alphataurus, released in 1973 is one of the classics of the RPI genre. At the heavier end of the RPI spectrum it held a captivating amalgamation of bluesy heavy rock and trippy prog. Now almost 40 years later, after releasing earlier this year the excellent Live in Bloom, they are back with a new studio album, AttosecondO. Not surprisingly, it's not the complete original line-up but Pietro Pellegrini (keyboard's) and Guido Wassermann (guitar) are here from the seventies incarnation. Reformation's of old bands often fall flat and disappoint but bolstered by the standard of playing on Live In Bloom I had high hopes for this.

Despite being a new studio album, a large proportion of AttosecondO comprises of reworking's of the unfinished Dietro U'Ragano, now presented presumably how they were intended to sound in the first place. I'm pleased to say it's an unmitigated success. The sound of AttosecondO is not surprisingly slicker than their 40 year old debut, better played too. They still retain a few of the hard rock edges in places but in truth AttosecondO could be the work of an entirely different band. This is not meant in any way as a criticism - it would be ridiculous to expect a band to return after such a length and sound the same. It's much more symphonic in sound than the original band, more complex too. Those who've enjoyed the comeback album's over recent years by Delirium and Latte E Miele are certainly advised to check this out but Alphataurus rock harder than either and despite my fondness for the former two bands better for it. There's the obligatory nod to the classic seventies band's here but in truth the new Alphataurus have more in common with, though not necessarily sounding like the new breed of RPI such as Il Tempio Delle Clessidre, La Coscienza Di Zeno and Ubi Maior to name a few.

This is a great album from start to finish - only five tracks with only one under eight minutes giving them plenty of opportunity to stretch out, the powerful rhythm section laying the foundation's for some impressive instrumental work, including some great organ which shifts through many changes as this sort of prog should. Always put off by the fact that Dietro U'Ragano was unfinished I never got it or heard it but would have welcomed the chance to compare these songs.

While AttosecondO may not have the originality of their eponymous debut and lacks its quirky warts and all charm, it is nevertheless one of the better RPI albums of this and even recent years. A great success.

Report this review (#880799)
Posted Sunday, December 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'AttosecondO' - Alphataurus (8/10)

Almost forty years ago, a little-known band called Alphataurus released their self-titled debut to the world. Although they are still arguably little-known (largely due to the fact that they called it quits after an half and a half), "Alphataurus" is one of the wonderful gems of the Italian progressive rock scene. Alphataurus essentially perfected their sound on their first try, and with that in mind, it's an even bigger shame that they split up so soon after. While it's conceivable Alphataurus would have come out with several more great albums throughout the 70's, the band is now making up for lost time. Just earlier this year, they released "Live in Bloom", a remarkable and charismatic concert recording taken from their Progvention appearance. If that wasn't enough to indicate Alphataurus are back on their feet, they have done something that quite a few RPI fans had hoped for ages. Keeping in mind that the work-in-progress "Dietro l'Uragano" isn't considered a proper album to begin with, "Alphataurus" finally has a successor worthy of its name. "AttosecondO" may not add much upon the sound of the original, but for a scene that's still largely trying to recreate the magic that the original Italian progressive legends such as they kindled, Alphataurus sound as strong as ever.

Stylewise, it's as if Alphataurus have been frozen in time. Although the production standard enjoys the conveniences of modern technology and a lifetime of experience, Alphataurus are in essence the band they were when they left the public ear decades ago. While the stagnation of style would normally mean artistic death for a band, Alphataurus sound ear and enthusiastic. The music is a feast of vintage synths, quirky time signatures and phonic exploitation of the rich Italian language. Although the debut sounded more experimental in its context, "AttosecondO" sounds just as thoughtful. Claudio Falcone's vocals add a wonderful touch to the fleshy arrangements. Although not as theatrical a performance as some of the other Italian prog coming out these days, he has a powerful resonance to his voice. As is the case for most Italian prog, Anglophones will be left in the dark as far as lyrics go, although the emotion is certainly there.

Although Alphataurus enjoy a well-rounded sound and one of the most professional mixes I've heard in progressive rock this year, "AttosecondO" is most definitely a keyboard-oriented album. Considering that the band sports two keyboardists (Andre Guizzetti and Pietro Pellegrini) with a third on call (guitarist Guido Wassermann), this shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Alphataurus still manages to sound rich and even heavy by RPI standards however, the synth and organ textures they choose are always a joy to hear. The organs tend to add texture to the rhythm and understated guitar riffs, whereas the moog-ish synths play some bright lead work. Although the dramatic, symphonic RPI staple sound is ubiquitous throughout "AttosecondO", Alphataurus use this well-worn formula to traverse an impressive span of emotional ground. "Progressiva-Mente" kicks off the album on an upbeat, enthusiastic note, but by the time "Claudette" rolls around, Alphataurus have fallen to a melancholic depth, and though I cannot understand the Italian lyrics, the mood and mournful tone of the voice sounds like the speaker has lost someone dear to them.

Alphataurus tend to stick to the predetermined instruments and tricks of Italian prog, and they're able to do this while keeping the emotions fresh and evocative. It builds proudly upon an already-excellent Italian progressive tradition, and while it may never have the same far- reaching influence within the scene as the eponymous debut, "AttosecondO" still rates as one of the strongest RPI records to come out in a while. Their age regardless, Alphataurus have proven that their sound- and by extension, the sound of Italian progressive rock- is timeless, and that is quite an accomplishment in of itself.

Report this review (#881077)
Posted Monday, December 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Alphataurus began life in Milan in the early seventies and in 1973 released an excellent eponymous début album on the independent label Magma Records. Unfortunately, soon after their first work was released and while they were working on a second album, they split up. The result of the unachieved recording sessions was released by Mellow Records in 1992, under the name "Dietro l'uragano", but this can be hardly considered an official album. In fact, it wasn't until 2008 that two of the original members decided to have a new start and gathered a new line up to complete what they had begun long time before. In 2010 the band began playing live again and in 2012 released a new studio album on the independent label AMS/BTF, "Attosecondo", with a line up featuring, along with the two veterans Pietro Pellegrini (organ, synth) and Guido Wasserman (guitars, keyboards, vocals), new members Fabio Rigamonti (bass, vocals), Claudio Falcone (vocals), Andrea Guizzetti (piano, synth, vocals) and Alessandro Rossi (drums, percussion).

The art cover was painted by the old friend Adriano Maragoni, the same painter who was in charge of the wonderful art cover of their début album. It tries to catch the spirit of this new work, rooted in the past and projected towards the future with a sense of rebirth and perpetual change. The album was produced with the help of the off-stage Alphataurus' member Gianpaolo Santandrea who also contributed to the song-writing of two tracks. In my opinion the result is excellent, the overall sound perfectly blends vintage instruments and new technologies, good musicianship and genuine feelings.

The opener "Progressiva-mente" (Progressive Mind / Progressively) is a kind of manifesto of Alphataurus' new deal and invites you to look for new rules and to leave behind the old clichés and the ideas that someone else chose for you. The music alternates some aggressive parts with delicate, dreamy passages and a strong sense of melody. If you can avoid all the thoughts that can make you feel uncomfortable you might overcome obstacles such as false ideologies and religions and you will be able to climb up on you personal stairway to heaven... "It is not easy, it never will / Just live it at the right speed... Progressively you'll become aware / Suddenly you'll recognize yourself... Progressive mind, open mind that creates, imagines, improvises...".

The following "Gocce" (Drops) deals with environmental issues. It draws in music and words an apocalyptic picture featuring dark colours and some touches of hope. You're lying under a starry sky and you feel helpless in front of the immense power of nature, you have never felt so small before and you reflect about the merciless greediness of the human race. Melodic vocals soar like a prayer... "Mother earth, sooner or later you will collapse under the blows of your children / We are drops in the sea of immensity, the wasted sweat of civilizations / We are the blood of a world that doesn't have a soul any more...". To overcome this sense of loss you have to fight. But now it could be too late and perhaps you would have better to think of leaving this planet and embark on an interstellar journey through the stars to find a new source of life, a stream that would make you strong.

Next comes "Ripensando e..." (Rethinking and...), a beautiful instrumental track, a bright collage of musical colours and classical evocations that takes you back to the seventies on the footsteps of the days when it was originally composed. It leads to "Claudette", a long, complex track describes in music and words a dialogue between an old man and a little child. It begins softly, the mood is dreamy and melancholic... "I would like to be like you, go back to your age / A clean mind that sees everything for what it is / But life will forcefully change us / If I could save you from the truth!...". But you can never go back in time, you have to grow up quickly while the contrary winds of life rage on you. The rhythm rises while the music underlines how ever changing is everything on this earth. You have to deal with all the challenges of life while the ideal world of the fairy-tales crumbles around you. You have to learn, you have to study, everyday you become more and more conscious of what reality is. Finally you'll understand that you can't change a destiny already written and you'll follow the mercilessly rules of power. But even then, you would had better to remember the purity of your childhood.

The music of the last track, "Valigie di terra" (Suitcases of land), tells in music and words the need to set off following a dream to live, the need to move on breaking the borders of a unsatisfying reality looking for a new life and a spiritual rebirth. Now you're on the road again with nothing but a few suitcases containing your past, land for your roots. But you might have to buy other suitcases along your journey because you know that the future will give you better things to care for... "I won't stay here / I made up my mind, this is not my reality / I will follow the way that will stir my emotions / So I will come to a new life...". Well, a great conclusion for an excellent album!

Report this review (#1090904)
Posted Monday, December 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Right from the first spin I just wasn't "getting" this latest album from ALPHATAURUS, and many listens later I'm still not "getting" it. Maybe my expectations were too high after enjoying their "Live In Bloom" cd from 2010 and feeling like they had captured the spirit of their debut album an album I consider to be a top two in the RPI field. Two of the tracks on "AttosecondO" are from the unfinished second studio album "Dietro L'uragano".

"Progressiva-Mente" sounds pretty cool to start with the dark guitar expressions as the drums and synths join in. A calm with floating synths after a minute as the vocals and piano arrive. It kicks back in after 2 minutes but the tempo will continue to shift. I really like the prolonged calm after 3 minutes. It's around 5 1/2 minutes before it kicks back in. I'm not a fan of the vocal harmonies to end it. "Gocce" starts off really well with the organ and that heavy sound. Some FLOYD-like guitar early on as well. A calm with piano 2 1/2 minutes in as reserved vocals join in. More of that guitar before 3 1/2 minutes along with mellotron. The tempo picks up with synths and prominent bass as the vocals continue. Good song! "Ripensando E..." and the next song were both on the "Dietro L'uragano" record. Deep bass, synths and drums standout early on in this lone instrumental. The tempo picks up big time after 2 minutes before settling back a minute later. Love those nasty synths after 4 1/2 minutes as we get a great sound right to the end.

"Claudette" is mellow to start as fragile vocals join in before 1 1/2 minutes. It kicks in a minute later with lots of keys and drums. A catchy sound 3 minutes in as it changes again and the vocals return. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes and I love that rhythm with keys 5 minutes in as the vocals continue to come and go. Another calm before 8 minutes with piano and fragile vocals like earlier. Strings too but I'm not a fan of the sound before 12 minutes or the ending. "Valige Di Terra" opens with atmosphere and drums as keys and more join in. It calms right down with piano and reserved vocals as the organ also joins in. It does pick up some until we get a calm with piano 3 minutes in. It builds during this instrumental section. Great sound 6 minutes in and we get passionate vocals before 8 minutes but they are brief. Some nice guitar work 8 1/2 minutes in then the vocals return. Check out the bass 9 1 /2 minutes in!

Clearly I'm in the minority here with my rating but this really does pale when compared to the majestic debut.

Report this review (#1559706)
Posted Saturday, May 7, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars My biggest regret is not buying Attosecondo when it came out but I can hardly blame myself as I tend to regard these reunion albums with suspicion and for good reason, because so many of them give us such embarrassing and substandard material. You can tell their hearts aren't into it, or clueless what listeners want or they're not into the kind of music they were playing some 40 years ago. Alphataurus avoided all those pitfalls and create what has to be one of the finest releases of 2012. True only two of the members from their '70s incarnation are present but here it didn't hurt them. While not a clone of their 1973 classic this one very much stands on it's own. Tons of wonderful keyboards with the occasional Emerson-like organ moves and great use of Moog, with amazing creative and complex passages. On the opening cut "Progressivo-Mente" it sounded like there's a couple passages where they borrowed from Canadian prog artist Robert Connolly with his 1978 album Plateau but it could be coincidence. But what really amazed me about the album is the high quality musicianship throughout. This is the kind of prog I've been looking for, and when it comes for too many more recent releases quality has been sorely lacking. If a classic prog band from the '70s should reunite they should learn from Alphataurus. Not your typical reunion effort, this is an amazing album and one of the best from the 2010s.
Report this review (#2345356)
Posted Thursday, March 26, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album presents the return of the band on the prog scene and what a comeback it was. "AttosecondO" is most definitely a keyboard-oriented album. Considering that the band sports two keyboardists, but it manages to sound rich and heavy. The organs tend to add texture to the rhythm and guitar riffs, and the moog synths play some bright lead work.

You can hear juicy guitars, snappy organ solos, babbling bass solos and bluesy passages, all wrapped up in tasty Italian prog. It contains authentic rock prog and roots in the hard rock music. The sound, features many memorable melodies and is technically impressive.

The band travels from a classical sound filled with symphonic elements accompanied by a heavy prog sound. through the album you can hear other influences, and even elements that are somewhat reminiscent of metal in the way and style of playing.

Report this review (#2523137)
Posted Thursday, March 11, 2021 | Review Permalink

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