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Mario Millo - Epic III CD (album) cover


Mario Millo

Symphonic Prog

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5 stars Fans of Sebastian Hardie should have a field day with this one, for it's much better than I expected. Of course, the main attraction is the perfect epic "Epic III", and - compared to the two previous epics (Four Moments and Windchase) this one is certainly a worthy follow- up. The other tracks are good as well, hailing some Camel-influences, and including a almost Disneylike waltz, very nicely done. Millo's just perfect guitarplaying and his nice sooth voice helps too of course. I rate this one as a classic, for it's a breath of fresh air al the way through the record. If only more people took the chance with this album...
Report this review (#51453)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A fine collection of excellent compositions, played well with plenty of feeling. Although not quite the beauty that Oceans Of The Mind is, still a fine progression from Sebastian Hardie and Windchase. Two songs here are more electric versions of songs from the soundtrack to 'Against The Wind', reported to be Mario's biggest seller. After Epic III, Mario went on to record quite a number of soundtracks, most either being symphonic or acoustic, or both. Epc III explores both jazz and symphonic textures, and is about half instrumental. Those who enjoy his trademark melodic feel will not be disappointed.
Report this review (#138886)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Born to Italian parents in 1955,Mario Millo is an Australian guitar virtuoso,mostly known for his performances with Sebastian Hardie and its reincarnation Windchase from mid- to late- 70's.After the disbanding of Windchase,Millo collaborated with Jon English for the soundtrack of the TV series ''Against the wind''.In 1979 Millo released on Polydor Records his debut solo album ''Epic III''.On this album Millo is helped among others by ex-Baker,Syrius bassist Jackie Orszaczky and ex-Spectrum,Ayers Rock drummer Mark Kennedy.

The album opens with the Progressive/Fusion 14-min. self-titled epic,where Millo shows off his clear CAMEL-esque influences with his excellent virtuosic playing,supported by the funky bass lines of Orszaczky and the electric piano of keyboardist Peter Kenny,while at moments he uses the folk notes of his mandolin,actually the first instrument he ever got in hand at the age of five.''Life in Our Hands'' reminds a lot of Millo's days with SEBASTIAN HARDIE,melodic rock with a memorable chorus,fairly commercial but not cheesy at all,while ''Mary's theme'' is absolutely fabulous with a mix of Symphonic and Canterbury-Fusion style close to CAMEL and fantastic chords by Millo.''Quest Theme'' is dominated by synths,acoustic guitars,flutes and choirs, creating a pastoral Symohonic Rock experience,but ''Harlequin and Columbine'' is absolutely dull,male and female vocals are blended with dated cinematic orchestrated music,a track totally out of place.The short ''Castaway'' is again in Progressive/Fusion realms with nice guitar work,while ''Sogno D'amore'' closes the album's original version in a very CAMEL-esque mood with bluesy guitars and orchestrated strings.The CD re-issue of the album contains the bonus track ''Rebecca'',recorded by Millo for the various artists' ''Australian Guitar Album'' released in 1979,a very good piece of guitar-based Progressive Rock with Flamenco hints both on guitars and piano and external use of synths.

Mario Millo prooved that he can stand alone easily,delivering a series of outstanding performances on ''Epic III'',though the album is not coherent as a whole and has a light commercial vibe in a couple of tracks.Still,the man belongs to the first league of Progressive Rock guitarists and deserves some more recognition.Strongly recommended,specially to those into guitar-driven prog adventures...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#555605)
Posted Sunday, October 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The title track raises our hopes. It does not have the immediate melodic appeal or transparent form of "Four Moments", but it does feature some considerably more complex music than we were used to hearing from Sebastian Hardie (the mid-to-late decade work of Yes seems to be an influence). The remaining shorter tracks are a mixed bag. His poppier influences come to the fore, as do his fairly recent forays into soundtrack work. The best is the fusion-flavoured instrumental "Mary's Theme". The worst is the waltzing "Harlequin and Columbine", particularly given the overly-declamatory vocal contribution from Safanya. The only other vocal track is the very poppy "Life In Our Hands", with it's distinctive synth riff. The instrumental tracks in general are pleasant listening, but rarely more stimulating than that - his harmonic ideas are fairly limited, his melodies are nice but generally fairly obvious - and generally there is a strong easy listening vibe. After the excellent title track, it's all somewhat of a letdown. One good thing about Millo working as a soloist, without Sebastian Hardie or Windchase in tow, is his freedom to hire some excellent session musicians - most notably the highly impressive rhythmic section of Mark Kennedy (Spectrum/Ayers Rock) and Jackie Orszaczky (Syrius).
Report this review (#722289)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Review Permalink

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