Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Spettri - 2973 - La Nemica Dei Ricordi CD (album) cover



Heavy Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars This is their second album for this heavy Prog band. The music still maintain that dark symphonic sound with the Italian Prog influence and the music of the British scene like Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson, the latter specifically in the song "La Stiva". The keyboards, the old Hammond, and the saxophone are stealing the show to the guitars leaving them in the background most of the times. The music is played at the fast pace, bombastic, with some slower passages to get a little breather and with the final song "L'Approdo" who is a beautiful ballad with some flute and piano passages. In the song "Onda Di Fuoco", we are very close to the Emerson, Lake and Palmer style and sound. All songs are excellent from my point of view, like it was my cup of tea. This is a nice improvement from their first album who has more psychedelic tones and guitars.
Report this review (#1436255)
Posted Tuesday, July 7, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's amazing to think this band was founded already in 1964 - and half a century later they have recorded a strong Heavy Prog album which continues the concept of their vintage eponymous album from 1972. And they have all the energy and inspiration to do it 100% all the way, as if there wasn't many decades in between. Yes, this music is totally retro in style and sound. Both the instruments used and the studio work (playing live on a 2-inch tape recorder with very few overtakes) are the same as in 1972.

Although Heavy isn't my cup of tea, I actually like this one as a representation of the genre, maybe exactly because it's so old school style, in the vein of classic BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE with lots of Hammond. There's also a notable ELP influence in the keyboard playing. Add some saxophone and flute (bringing occasional associations to VDGG) and you really have a full blown Heavy/RPI near-masterpiece guaranteed to please the listeners of vintage recordings of this kind. There are Symphonic Prog elements, maybe there should be a bit more in the songwriting before one could call this a masterpiece of Heavy Prog, but the music is firmly rooted in the Heavy soil. That is, the tempo is mostly quite fast and the vocals slightly angry - but luckily not plain aggressive or growly like nowadays so often.

Not that I can follow the story at all, but a few words on the concept: "Spettri" (1972; haven't heard that album) was about a young man searching for an answer and an alternative to the violence etc, and as the answer he gets in the afterlife(?) is the reflection of himself, he goes crazy. Or something like that. "In this new record we started from where the story ended... 1001 years after, in 2973, not much has changed... he tries a new journey that will lead him to realize that nothing will ever change unless he wins his fears and interior battles first. While walking at night on a solitary beach a seagull shows him the way to a mysterious ship which will take him on a journey that at last will land him on a new level of consciousness." Pretty deep and esoteric...

The attempt to follow the track list (and therefor to talk of separate tracks) is confusing since the list in the backcover misses the track numbers and both the division of one track in two plus three bonus tracks as represented here in the album info. A minus from that! And when I try to follow the Italian lyrics it seems even that track listing might be somehow faulty... Anyway, somewhere halfway there was a calm song with female vocals (Elisa Montaldo) which nicely brings variety, as well as the 8th track, a gentle acoustic instrumental ('La Stiva'? - but there are lyrics in the leaflet under that title?? Quite confusing really!)

But these problems don't steal the music's power. If that's what matters to you more than demands of originality or bringing something new to the genre, and enjoy both vintage Heavy and ELP-ish organ prog, and Italian lyrics, then this is your album.

Report this review (#1456723)
Posted Thursday, August 27, 2015 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Spettri 2973 MMCMLXXIII La Nemica dei Ricordi' - Spettri (74/100)

Spettri have one of the most obscure band histories I have ever come across. As a band, they technically formed all the way back in 1964 between brothers Ugo and Raffaele Ponticiello. Jumping on the progressive hard rock bandwagon at the turn of the 70s, they recorded a self-titled debut in 1972. This album, however, never saw a real release until 2011, when Black Widow Records dusted off the cobwebs and finally gave it the release it had lacked for decades. In other words Spettri really are the sort of band we shouldn't have even had a chance to talk about. For the longest time, they were ghosts in the Italian progressive rock scene very few even knew still haunted the 70s.

I actually listened to Spettri's debut when it was finally unveiled in 2011. Though there was definitely some part of me that was hoping for a truly obscure gem to leap out at me, Spettri left no impression on me outside of the fact that it sounded amateurish and only intermittently promising. Considering over 40 years have passed between now and the time that album was recorded, I would have never expected to hear a second album out of Spettri, let alone one that hits as hard as 2973 MMCMLXXIII La Nemica dei Ricordi. Spettri's second album was the follow-up no one was expecting nor truthfully excited about, but it comes with a vengeance I've seldom heard in other heavy prog released this side of the new millennium.

Italy's progressive scene has remained stalwart in large part because they're one of the very few that have widely embraced their own heritage as part of the music. Even beyond the Italian-spoken lyrics with Spettri, there's a rich taste of Italy in their music. The organ-laden heavy rock of bands like Deep Purple or Uriah Heep are a good place to start thinking of Spettri, but that may be best seen as the structural foundation to a sound that above all embraces Italy's own progressive traditions, which for those who have not yet dived into legends like Premiata Forneria Marconi or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, tends to sound like British symphonic prog forcefed through the overtly theatrical lens of a Fellini film.

To a major extent, Spettri are playing progressive rock that would have befit the 70s; mind you, this is frightfully common amongst artists in a genre that once had right to claim it was pushing boundaries. A truly retro sound doesn't bother me like it used to, especially when it's in capable hands such as this, and I don't think the past few decades of music have crept beyond Spettri's gaze either. The atmosphere throughout the album is rather dark, and they'll occasionally weave riffs into the framework that don't sound a world away from metal. Spettri's composition may impress me more riff-for-riff than in terms of their overall songwriting, but there are plenty of these ideas that stuck with me from the first listen onward. Matteo Biancalani's saxophone leadwork is consistently brilliant in the way it's woven in, at times downright reminding me of Van der Graaf Generator between the jazz interference and foreboding atmosphere.

Spettri enjoys the presence of some other RPI scene stalwarts. Stefano Corsi (of Whisky Trail) administers some Celtic harp here as a refreshing change from their heavy mainstay, and Elisa Montaldo of the ever-brilliant Il Tempio delle Clessidre lends her voice here for a brief but memorable moment. Between these guest spots and the longstanding support with Black Widow Records, it sounds as though Spettri have brought themselves away from the brink of obscurity to take active part in a scene that doesn't get near as much regard today as it deserves. 2973 isn't such a fresh-sounding album stylistically, but it sounds like such a far cry from the primitive dabblings of the archival self-titled that I cannot help but feel surprised and impressed with what they've accomplished here.

Report this review (#1484324)
Posted Sunday, November 8, 2015 | Review Permalink

SPETTRI 2973 - La Nemica Dei Ricordi ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of SPETTRI 2973 - La Nemica Dei Ricordi

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.