Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alphataurus Alphataurus album cover
4.13 | 421 ratings | 53 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Le Chamadere (Peccato d'Orgoglio) (12:18)
2. Dopo l'Uragano (4:48)
3. Croma (3:14)
4. La Mente Vola (9:21)
5. Ombra Muta (9:48)

Total Time 39:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Michele Bavaro / vocals
- Guido Wasserman / guitar
- Pietro Pellegrini / piano, Hammond organ, Moog, vibraphone, spinet
- Alfonso Oliva / bass
- Giorgio Santandrea / drums, timpani, congas

Releases information

Artwork: Adriano Marangoni

LP Magma - MAGL 18001 (1973, Italy)

CD Vinyl Magic - VM 051 (1995, Italy) Remastered by Pietro Pellegrini
CD Vinyl Magic ‎- AMS 189 CD (2011, Italy)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ALPHATAURUS Alphataurus Music

More places to buy ALPHATAURUS music online

ALPHATAURUS Alphataurus ratings distribution

(421 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALPHATAURUS Alphataurus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
3 stars A good album. The two jewels "Croma" and "La Mente Vola" are the highlights, IMHO, being the whole album very interesting. Two mentioned tracks are the typical Italian symphonic prog, very melodic and elegant, while the other songs are more in the hard rock vein, even when keyboards dominates all the stuff. This is a very good addition for any prog collection, but for those who begin to know the Italian '70s works, I wouldn't recommend start with it.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars The only album (the other one you may find in listings is a bunch of bad quality demo tapes for a second hypothetical album) these guys released is a small classic in Italian prog, and it came with an impressive triple gatefold depicting the horrors of war ion a strange planet.

The 12 min+ opener gives the tone for the rest of the album giving you a delightful cross of early Crimson, VDGG and ELP with some of the best Italian vocals. The second track follows suit even if it sounds a bit derived of a few Golden Earring tracks (Eight Miles High and the eponymous album AKA Wall Of Dolls), but is definitely endearing because of those seldom heard influences. Croma is a short instrumental track that will remind the Theme One VDGG track. Side 2 starts with a slow evolving synth line as a lenghty intro, but once the track gets under way, it does not seem to get a life of its own maybe the weakest track on the album. As for the closing track, it is maybe the most typically Italian prog track on this record and shows their inventivity at its fullest extent with a superbly syncopated middle section.

Vinyl Magic (cat # V M 051) made a special effort to respect the original artwork sleeve but should've added 1cm to the sleeve size because it is very hard to pull the disc without risking ripping the sleeve apart. I was thinking of sending a copy of the artwork sleeve to Dubya (W) to let him think of his actions in Irak, but since we all know he does not think.......

One of my favourite albums in the genre.

Review by lor68
4 stars Within the Italian Pop Progressive scene of such "Liguria District" (NEW TROLLS, MUSEO ROSENBACH mainly) you find a remarkable band such as "Alphataurus", whose first album started the "ERA" of the "Magma label"... while talking about their melodic aspects concerning their composition, A.T. owned a good background, regarding of their skill, such an excellent interpretation of some English successful bands of the same period, like EL&P or the melodic hard rock band URIAH HEEP; instead the harmony was a bit better, regarding of a good use of such analogical synthesizers like the Mini-Moog. Besides I like to point out that some tracks such as the memorable "Ombra muta", should be a great reference still today, if enriched with a better production and a modern approach as well... anyway in general the work at the keyboards by Pellegrini is excellent, especially inside "La mente vola"; while the guitar work is often characterized by dark guitar-riffs!! Recommended, even though it is not completely essential, above all regarding their melodies...
Review by Proghead
4 stars Here's another Italian prog band worth digging in to. ALPHATAURUS released this one and only album in 1973 on the Magma label (a followup recorded later in 1973 later surfaced in 1992 on Mellow Records). This was also the very first LP released on Vittorio de Scalzi's (NEW TROLLS) Magma label, and what a great way to launch a label! Basically this is excellent keyboard dominated prog rock, it's something like a tamer IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO (nowhere as aggressive or insane), maybe a litte ELP and MUSEO ROSENBACH thrown in, not as guitar-dominated.

The band consisted keyboardist Pietro Pellegrini, guitarist Guido Wasserman, drummer Giorgio Santandrea, bassist Alfonso Oliva, and vocalist Michele Bavaro. The album starts off on a real high note with "Peccato D'Orgoglio". It starts off almost fusion-y, but then the music slows down with acoustic guitar, in a ballad style, but then after a bit the keyboards kick in (Moog and Hammond organ dominating) with some killer jams. The next cut is "Dopo L'Uragano", which is more bluesy than the rest. It's often regarded as that album's low point, but to me it's not that bad. Then there's the instrumental "Croma" which is instrumental, which reminds me a bit of Semiramis. "La Mente Vola" and "Ombra Muta" as in the same vein as "Peccato D'Orgoglio", letting the keyboards dominate. The Italian prog scene is sure full of goodies, and this album is no exception.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What else can I say that many others haven't in praise of Alphataurus' eponymous album? Well, for starters, this is one of the top masterpieces of hard rock oriented Italian prog, or Italian prog, for that matter. The level of beauty and imagination instilled in all compositions, the fine interplay created among the four musicians, the captivating layers and chords played on synth, organ, harpsichord and mellotron, the stunning vocal lines sung by the lead vocalist. there are so many ingredients that make this dish made in Columbus' hometown such a fantastic feast. Actually, none of these five tracks sounds as heavy as some other bands catalogued in this sub-genre (Balletto, Biglietto, Museo Rosenbach, for example), but there's always that special intense fire drifting through the electric guitar lines, the keyboard solos and textures, the powerful rhythm section, and of course, the half-operatic rock linings of Michele Bavaro's singing (sometimes anticipating and over-Dioing Dio). 'Peccato d'Orgoglio' is a great 12-minute opener: this track itself is the most representative incarnation of the band's style, full of diverse motifs, all of them bearing a predominant orchestral feel, yet played with a hard rocking attitude. The guitar and keyboard parts sound really hard, and so do the sung parts. The lead singer's deliveries are both ballsy and sensitive, and the occasional harmonies are quite strong, too (similarly to the vocal harmonies in the best New Trolls repertoire). Then comes the mostly bluesy 'Dopo l'Uragano', the only piece in the album in whcih the guitar assumes a clearly prominent role - the cadences delivered on the basic acoustic guitar chords and the subsequent electric guitar riffs make it really happen for the main theme. As always, the vocalist's energy acts as a cornerstone for the effective delivery of the track. The 3 minute instrumental 'Croma' is a delicious baroque-oriented instrumental with some incorporated jazzy twists: the alternation of spinet and organ passages finds a perfect background in the massive moog layers and added colours on guitar, which come to a point of majestic explosion in the closing climax. The closing floursihes on combined synth and guitar are simply too emotional to keep the listener indifferent - amazing!! Alphataurus focuses on their symphonic side on 'La Mente Vola' (with keyboardist Pietro Pellegrini singing the lead vocal parts), which includes a short but effective vibraphone solo, as well as eerie moog passages. On teh other hand, the closure 'Ombra Muta' returns to the essence of the first two tracks. In this way, 'La mente Vola' finds the band exploring a spacey side to their music that is quite a novelty in the album, while 'Ombra Muta' comes to eptiomize what is the truest and most intimate symponic essence of Alphataurus. In short, this is an Italian hard prog delicatessen.
Review by slipperman
4 stars One reviewer of 'Alphataurus' asks if we're tired of Italian prog classics. === Never! Next to England, Italy has more than its share of classic prog bands/albums. Alphataurus' 1973 debut is definitely one of them.

This album has all the hallmarks of this country's captivating prog sound: brooding moments of relative calm, exploding climactic peaks, dramatic and theatrical vocal performances, clever rhythmic arrangements, heavy guitars and vast keyboard sounds. This describes many a pasta-prog classic: Museo Rosenbach, Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, P.F.M., Semiramis, Biglietto Per L'inferno, Jumbo. But Alphataurus manages their own niche within this impressive grouping, in large part thanks to Michele Bavaro's vocal variation. He runs the dynamic spectrum, sometimes hitting aggressive areas, reminding of Jumbo's guttural Alvaro Fella. He's never quite that in-your-face, but the emotion comes across well enough. Bavaro seems to draw from the heavy rock approach more than the usual operatic roots of many of his countrymen. This also lends the music a heavier edge. Pietro Pellegrini's keyboard work is equally versatile, helping give something like "Croma" a soundtrack-ish edge.

The songs take several listens to sink in, but they soon reveal themselves as adventurous, memorable, monumental constructs. Especially impressive are the final two tracks, "La Mente Vola" and "Ombra Muta", which almost outdo the slightly longer "Peccato D'Orgoglio" in terms of dynamic variety and attention-grabbing instrumentation. The first few moments of "La Mente Vola" might be the best on the album: absolute cosmic nirvana! There certainly isn't a dull moment here at all. A must-listen if the heavy early/mid '70s Italian prog has infected you, standing proudly next to many other Italian works of prog art.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars When I read this morning the review about Alphataurus, it immediately evoked very pleasant memories becaue this is such a captivating album. Most of the tracks are long featuring great work on guitar and keyboards (mainly Hammond and Moog), the vocals (with a theatrical undertone) are strong and the rhythm-section sounds powerful and dynamic. Enjoy this wonderful blend of rock, blues, symphonic and psychedelia with hints from ELP and Uriah Heep.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "The sun light the shadows, hurricane is just passed on. I come back to my town, alone and with pain. I do not see my people, roads are desert, I look around me and see life is going away..."

One of the most incredible treasures of the many released in Italy during the seventies. Alphataurus was a very talented (and obscure) band made of five elements arounf the main figure and role of Pietro Pellegrini on piano, organ, moog, vibraphone and spinet. The musicianship is at highest peaks, very captivating and convincing. It combines varied arrangements from harder ones to the most italian classic symphonic others. Pellegrini was after also with Riccardo Zappa. The uniqueness of the band is demonstrated also by the wonderful and original cover artwork. The elegant papersleeve Vinyl Magic 1995 remastered cd was designed by Adriano Marangoni. A dove with olive tree's little brench in his bill, is throwing bombs over a fantastic world. Maybe an extraterrestrial the distance other doves over a town. Near them, an impressive nuclear explosion. The internal papersleeve cd remaster contains a large black.and-white photo of the five band's members who seem to watch curiously to what's happening to that parallel world. Do not trust of people who preach peace if they usually justify violence their friends (ot themselves) committ. I know what I mean.

By the way, the opener track "Peccato D'Orgoglio" (Sin of Arrogance) is an outstanding 12,25 minutes long opener. A darker intro. A sort of presage or profesy regarding what it's going to happen! Special mention has to go for the vocals provided by Michele Bavaro. It seem to listen to album such as Palepoli, of another memorable band: Osanna. There a great role for the electric guitars. Keyboards, even though having preminent importance as it soon happens on italian prog scenario, are not as "dictatorial" as they usually do.

These peculiarities are evident in the second track "Dopo L'Uragano" (After the Hurricane). Another convincing opus in the similar sad and dark vein which seems to be the trademarck of the first Alphataurus' release.

"Croma" is, without any doubt the most original and prog work on the album. Many shifting mood and uptempos, strong and powerful keyboards. It is interesting that the band, in the liner notes, stated: "Album recordings were made only with the instruments of the band's members. They have not used orchestra for any of the the five tracks or its part".

"La Mente Vola" (Mind's Flying) is another long piece that took immidiately all my attention. I've got a strange feeling about it: it seems really recorded in the recent years. Just look to rithm' section and structure of the song. A very modern arrangement, well performed. My favourite one, more intimate and sweeter than the previous three. The vocals are wonderful and poetic, regarding man who understands the importance of praying God: "...above there there is Someone..."! Impressive charisma and fine work on vibraphone provided by Pellegrini!!! My favourite track of the all.

"Ombra Muta" (Mute Shadow): for the fifth time I can open my ears to pleasure. Fine and melodic structure with flash of harder and captivating electric guitar and keyboards!! With the usual dark temper.

All in all, Alphataurus appears to be, with no doubt, a real italian masterpiece. Obvious tha I recommend you all to buy it. For me it is on the top ten of the best of the best of all the italian contribution to progressive world!

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For me, this is an all-time favourite album. This is due mainly to the two songs: The brilliant Peccato D'orgoglio and one of the most beautiful songs (in my humble opinion) - La Mente Vola. The album is worth getting for these two songs alone.

Peccato d'orgoglio starts slowly with the main theme and then speeds up, giving the opportunity to the band to demonstrate their abilities as they go on developing the main theme and come up with new musical ideas. Bavaro's voice is excellent here, filled with energy and slightly rough. This one song has in it all of Alphataurus' elements and abilities rolled into. Their beautiful melodic tunes filled with passion and melancholy, their energetic fast playing and good musicianship and their song composition capabilities. This is an excellent opening track. Dopo l'uragano starts as a nice bluesy song with the guitar playing a quiet tune and Bavaro singing. At 1:20 everybody joins in and leave again after 10 second only to redo it over. Again, Bavaro shows his powerful voice here. At 2:49 the songs switches to a somewhat cheerful tune and keeps on rocking and finally goes back to the original tune. This is a very good 2nd track after an amazing opener song, and for some reason it reminds me of Led Zeppelin. Croma is next. An instrumental and enjoyable track with some bombastic sounds in it but it still fits the rest of the album. La Mente Vola (the mind flies) is the 4th track. An all-time favourite song of mine. It has a ~3:30 intro of keyboards playing a beautiful repetitive part, that goes on towards what seems to be a climax, but then dissolves in a very good manner into the song itself. Bavaro gives a great performance here as well. I can't praise this song enough. The song itself has a regular song structure, so no complex stuff here, but what a beautiful song! The lyrics are very fitting as well, look for the translation on the web. It is over 9 minutes of bliss. After such an experience it is very hard to come up with something as good. This is why this song should have closed this album. Ombra Muta is kind of a disappointment after its magnificent predecessor. Regardless, it is my least favourite song here, but it is a good song nonetheless, just not to my taste.

If it were up only to Peccato and La Mente, this would definitely be a 5 star album. However, I feel I would not be doing justice to give this album 5 stars since the other songs diminish for me the greatness of this record, from an astounding masterpiece to a very good album. As much as I love this album, I will rate it 4 stars, meaning that it is an excellent addition to your music collection.

I recommend listening to La Mente Vola last in order to enhance the albums' effect.

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars I originally came to this record hearing good things about it and some similarities to Museo Rosenbach. I wouldn't quite rate it up there with Zarathustra, but overall a job well done here.

The first track really doesn't pick up till the beginning of the instrumental section around 4:15 with nice bass/guitar groove picking up. A chaotic middles section not unlike King Crimson's 21'st Century Schizioid Man is perhaps the piece's best part.

The second track has a heavy riff which works very well, combined with some nice but theatrical vocals. I don't think that it carries enough intrigue, but overall a very nice feel to it. Croma is a short but excellent track, a combination of keys and heavy guitar work with no vocals, and having a very 'ending' like sound to it. I would have put this at the end of the album. La Mente Vola has many weird qualities to it. At the end it sounds almost like a ray gun zapping, which is quite intriguing when mixed with the organs. Theatric like vocals are present once more, and the Italian sounds beautiful, myself understanding none of it.

The last song has an almost funk like feel to it, with a grooving guitar line yet again. The mellotron towards the end of the song actually hurts it, as it's really out of place, and then the song climaxes very poorly, one of my least favorite endings.

The aspect I was displeased with mostly was the drumming, which seemed very standard and didn't appear to add much to the record. Some better phrasing could have been included to bring out more in the music.

A nice Italian prog effort, but there are a lot of holes and gaps in this record that keep it from being as good as I had hoped.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars Check out the album cover ! Absolutely gorgeous. They wouldn't disappoint on the followup either. This is one of my all time favourite RPI recordings.

The first song "Peccato D'orgoglia" features lots of time changes and mood shifts. It opens with a brief Jazz vibe then settles in with vocals. I can't say enough about the vocals here. Passion. I like the section 3 1/2 minutes in of acoustic guitar and organ then the PINK FLOYD-like rhythm from about the 4 1/2 minute mark to the 5 1/2 mark. It settles with organ before 6 minutes then kicks in at 6 1/2 minutes. Vocals join in with passion, guitar follows, what a section ! A calm with floating organ after 9 minutes then the tempo picks up again. It turns spacey before the vocals return. "Dopo L'uragano" opens with thunder as gentle guitar comes in, leading us to emotional vocals then SABBATH-like guitar riffs. Check out the passion in those vocals before 2 1/2 minutes.The song then changes completely with some great drumming, then back to the heaviness. Some piano is sprinkled in. I like this song a lot. I actually asked an elderly Italian man if he'd read some of the lyrics in the liner notes, and he told me this song was about a big storm, a hurricane. I thought that was pretty cool.

"Croma" is a short instrumental that is uplifting a minute in to the end. My favourite song is "La Mente Vola". It's like two different songs, the first part is fairly mellow with a beat that gets fuller. I like it. It changes around 3 1/2 minutes as piano and drums take over.The second part at about 4 minutes in is simply amazing ! The vocals couldn't be better and the guitar and synths are incredible. So emotional for me. Just an amazing song. "Ombra Muta" has some heavy bass and cool sounding guitar before the organ joins in. Vocals aren't far behind thankfully. I love this guy. More huge bass when he stops singing and the tempo picks up. Check out the drumming ! Themes are repeated. Some passion in those vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. Check out the guitar / drum section before 4 minutes.The organ and bass sound so good after 7 minutes. Vocals follow.

This is the perfect Italian album. I can't tell you how much joy and emotion this gives me.

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Are we sure this album was released in 1973? It's incredible how it seems to have been recorded just a couple of years ago (if not today). We know so few about ALPHATAURUS and also about the album that comes the over-repeated sentence - another solitaire gem from another obscure Italian band. The history book is full of them, but thanks goodness, these marvels are preserved.

In my opinion, for those already into the progressive music but not yet in the Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI), "Alphataurus" is the best album to start, since it contains everything we find pleasant, brilliant and amazing in the style: those everlasting keyboard chords, the guitar intermezzos, the strong drumming, the exceptional bass lines and soprattutto, the vocals. Give me these vocals and I'll conquer the world!

'Peccato d'orgoglio' opens the album in a spacey mood soon replaced by exquisite piano and jazzy drums; then keyboards and guitars do the honors for the singing part, very weird with doubled vocals. The general symphonic atmosphere is capitalized by heavy synth patterns shared with bucolic fingered guitar and rock spices. The song goes hard in the middle section, with the band acting like a mini-orchestra. The various changes and alternatives are astonishing, purely progressive. The final track part is more plain, echoing influences from EL&P and KING CRIMSON, maybe unnecessary.

'Dopo l'uragano' begins with sound effects and acoustic guitar. Strong vocals and good instrumentation hide a monochord song. This song certainly provided the inspiration for the band's second album released in the 90s entitled "Dietro L'Uragano", a timeless output made available years after ALPHATAURUS's disbanding and not considered by many sources as a real production.

The shortest album track, 'Croma', is a great moment. All instrumental, it bears the band's most meaningful feature: the mesmerizing sound, which is repeated like a powerful and tasteful mantra throughout the song.

The marvels of previous song seems a rehearsal for the fantastic 'La mente vola', an almost perfect example of how a progressive song must be. The track is divided in two parts: the first one with the mantra-like mesmerizing tunes typical of the band; the second one, after a glorious transition, dominated by splendid vocals, backed by multicolored choir and amazing musicianship. What a song!

The average 'Ombra muta' closes the album in a senseless way, after the impact of the antecessor track'.

'La mente vola' alone is a masterpiece but not the album which anyway is an excellent and compulsory addition to any serious prog collection. Final rating: 4.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Magnificent but also mysterious Italian band from Milan,who released only one full-length album under their own name and split up before finishing the recordings of their second work.''Alphataurus'' was pressed by an indepedent label named Magma,led by members of New Trolls,in 1973.

Opening track is the 12 min. ''La chamadere'',very original and half split between psych/prog with fuzzy guitars and great vocals,while in the instrumental passages rises a mystic/spacey feeling due to the obscure sounds of the organ.''Dopo l'uragano'' is more jazzy oriented with nice piano parts and percussion work,supported by doomy psych guitars.The only 3-min ''Croma'' is maybe one of the best examples of instrumental mourning fully-symphonic prog rock with awesome work on harpsichord,piano and organ by Pietro Pellegrinni.The almost 10 min. ''La mente vola'' continues from where ''Croma'' finished,starting with a grandiose three-minute synth-like dark symph section,before turning to a light symph-suite with amazing vocal parts,characterized by acoustic guitars and the heavy use of depressing piano,moog synthesizer and xylophone!Simply stunning!The closer ''Ombra rota'' is very close to what MUSEO ROSENBACH produced the same year,that is excellent mellotron/organ-driven prog rock with aggresive vocals,strong guitars and super-complex instrumental parts with lots of breaks and time changes,featuring a jazzy rhythm section and alternating keyboards.Another very strong track in the line!It is yet personally a big dissapointment that this band existed for just a short period of time...but left us a prog piece to remember for decades.A monster album that defines what prog rock is all about!A must-have!

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A most beloved RPI title

Definitely one of the classics of the early 70s Italian scene. Alphataurus reside on the heavier side of things with perhaps some influence by the likes of Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. But while I believe there is some outside English influence they are wholeheartedly steeped in RPI passion with a fertile blend of symphonic and heavy-prog. The music is really quite good. Dramatic vocals, heavy dark riffs drenched in organ with fluid bass. Some spacier sections come and go throughout providing balance. The vinyl magic reissue does a nice job with the cover art, but as someone else mentioned, once you get the CD out you will never get it back into the slot. They made the case a bit too small it seems. Alphataurus has grown leaps and bounds on me since I first heard it and I've had to up my rating. Essential for RPI fanatics.

Review by russellk
3 stars The temptation to overvalue rare works always exists. This is a rare work, though with the recent renaissance of Italian Symphonic Prog it is readily available via mail-order CD. But rare works are usually rare for a reason.

Alas, the reason in this case is not the quality of the music. This album, the band's only 'official' release, deserved wider exposure, and would have received it had the band not been swamped by the 1972-3 explosion in Italian prog. The music on this record is very good without ever reaching the heights of a few of the band's contemporaries. But what makes me sad is what this band could have become with a bit more luck.

The music is slightly darker and definitely heavier than standard melodic Italian symphonic prog, yet is clearly in the tradition. It could not have appeared before 1973, as it is clearly the result of the widespread exposure to albums like VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's 'Pawn Hearts'. Certainly the phrasing of BAVARO's vocals owes a great deal to PETER HAMMILL, and the song structures are reminiscent of VDGG and KING CRIMSON. Not to deny the obvious Italian influences, of course. The vocals are interesting, and often overwrought - though given I don't understand the language I have no idea whether the styling fits the message. Coupled with large slabs of keyboards and repeated ominous ascending and descending chords, the music evokes the heavy rock of the late 60s to early 70s, bands like BLACK SABBATH and VANILLA FUDGE - though you have to imagine those bands led by the keyboard.

All good so far. Trouble is, like much Italian prog, the ideas aren't given enough space to flourish. Motifs are introduced and dispensed with before they register. And the compositions are sometimes puzzling. 'Croma', for example, shuffles back and forth between a slightly cacophanous jazzy keyboard/guitar/bass workout and the most amazing melody that would have erved well as an outro to the opening track. I can't see the reason why these two disparate pieces are so tightly juxtaposed in this song. To my mind the two outstanding tracks are the opener, a splendid heavy prog ride, and the psychedelic slow builder 'La Mente Vola', which would have been a great closer for the album.

This is well worth acquiring for twenty great minutes of heartland 70s symphonic prog, and another twenty minutes of less essential improv-sounding work. ALPHATAURUS came close, I suspect, to making it, but sadly did not. A pleasant and sometimes engaging listen.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars I’ve readily admitted in the past that Italian symphonic music really isn’t my bag. That said, it’s good to stretch one’s horizons once and a while, and from what I’ve read this is supposed to be one of the more interesting Italian albums mostly because the English influences are supposed to be pretty readily apparent.

Turns out that’s largely true, and particularly the Van der Graf Generator-like tempo changes and the ELP keyboard arrangements. But on the other hand these could just as easily be attributed to just about any bombastic symphonic prog band, and I could see the argument being made for the latter half of “Peccato D'orgoglio” sounding just as much like Grand Funk or some other seventies blues-rock bands with artistic tendencies. And really, music isn’t supposed to be about getting off on a band because of how much they sound like another band, so the comparisons probably take away from the pleasure of discovery anyway.

The vocals are all in Italian of course so unless you understand the language the point of most of them is lost. This is a problem for me since the lyrics are an important part of the musical experience for me. Others may not have this issue and so may find this not to be an issue even if they don’t speak Italian.

The other observation is that this isn’t nearly as symphonic or embellished as some other RPI music I’ve heard. Michele Bavaro even manages to come off sounding like a slightly less-soulful Robert Plant on tracks like “Dopo L'uragano”, which kind of surprised me. I didn’t expect that out of a band like this.

The two tracks that do live up to my expectations of Italian symph are “Croma” and “La Mente Vola” are both keyboard-driven, embellished and almost orchestral affairs with flowing tempos whose emotional moods resonate well. “Ombra Muta” is also keyboard-laden, but more in the heavy prog vein and with an abundance of electric guitar.

This is not what I expected from an Italian symph band, but I like the keyboard work and especially when it strays into heavy rock territory. Guitarist Guido Wasserman seems pretty versatile and shows several styles ranging from blues to folksy to almost classical. Overall this is a very good album but not one I would consider an excellent addition to most prog rockers’ collections. Essential for Italian fans maybe, but simply very good for most of the rest of us. Three stars.


Review by andrea
5 stars Alphataurus was one of the many Italian "one shot bands" of the early seventies. The line up featured Michele Bavaro (vocals), Pietro Pellegrini (keyboards), Guido Wasserman (guitar), Alfonso Oliva (bass) and Giorgio Santandrea (drums). They released only one eponymous album in 1973 for Magma Records, an independent label founded by New Trolls member Vittorio De Scalzi and by his brother Aldo (founder of Picchio dal Pozzo). In 1973 this work passed by almost completely unnoticed and Alphataurus disbanded after a while during the sessions of a second album that was released, incomplete, only in 1993 by Mellow Records as "Dietro l'urgano". Nonetheless this eponymous excellent debut work became later a "cult album" among Italianprog fans... It was remastered and re-released by Btf in 1995 and it should be considered a must-have in every Italian prog collection, especially in the papersleeve package...

The art cover is wonderful and perfectly depicts the content of the album. It's a painting by Adriano Marangoni spread on a three fold jacket featuring white doves with an olive branch in the beak dropping bombs on a dreamy landscape... "You're going towards the void without a goal by now / Don't be afraid, come back among us / You have experienced everything, a whole life / In a phoney light you used to build up your reality... It was a pride sin / Remember you're a man / You can still live on...". On the long and complex opener "Peccato d'orgoglio" (Pride sin) the mood hangs between dream and nightmare, in the lyrics you can perceive the fear of the nuclear war and the hope for a better world, while the music swings from soft acoustic passages to hard rock, from beautiful harmony vocals to instrumental "electric tarantella" passages that every now and again remind of PFM's "E' festa / Celebration".

The second track "Dopo l'urgano" (After the storm) describes with music and lyrics a gloomy landscape, solitude and fear then give way to hope "The echo of a song tells about a flower and a stone / And on that stone another life will come into the world...". Then tension melts in the beautiful and dreamy short instrumental "Chroma", symphonic and "classical inspired"...

"La mente vola" (Mind flies) is another long and complex track that begins with an hypnotic marching beat leading to a sudden wake up featuring dramatic vocals and "moog waves"... "Suddenly you see the sun / You breath the air, you pick up a flower / You don't know anymore / What you were yesterday... Now you know / What's the wish to prey / Now you know / What's the strength to hope...

The last track "Ombra muta" (Silent shadow) is another great one, before the dream comes to an end there's still time for almost ten music full of beautiful music featuring shifting tempos and inspired vocals... "Then suddenly I woke up / With your voice hanging in my mind / I'm just at one step between the shore and the sea / Looking at the way to start again"...

On the whole a very good album, especially recommended if you like bands like New Trolls, PFM, Le Orme, BMS, Ibis...

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Let me say you'll be very happy to listen to beginning phrases of the first track.

Listen to the heavy and dark beginning...and what follows the beginning are MICHELE BAVARO's vocal with shouting style and frequently changing rhythm sections. This sound and style always remind me the French symphonic band ATOLL's! This one and only Alphataurus album has released BEFORE ATOLL's. Very surprising and amazing for me.

By this heavy sound, we may think ALPHATAURUS belongs to HEAVY PROG group rather than Italian SYmphonic one. (Namely, theor heavy sound also reminds me Rush's one...) Indeed, for example the third track has good symphonic sound as most of Italian progressive rock groups can shoot. But I wanna say that is real pleasure that ALPHATAURUS had varieties of style and easily and smoothly could shoot and push them towards us listeners.

Somrtiomes we can feel their sound should be different from other Italian rock groups'. I'm sure this point should be great. Furthermore, they could bear this album in 1973! Believe me, and be amazed and surprised at the sound and style.

Review by Todd
5 stars One of the jewels of the RPI crown!

This band of hitherto unknown individuals managed to record a masterpiece and were well on their way to another excellent recording when they split up. But what a legacy they left behind! Every instrument on the album is fabulous, but my favorites are Michele Bavaro's voice and Pietro Pellegrini's keyboards. I especially love the use of Moog in the lower registers throughout the album (for example, during the chorus of "La Mente Vola"). Amazing!

As has been noted above, probably the best two songs are the opening opus "Peccato d'Orgoglio" and "La Mente Vola." But there really aren't any weak songs on the album. "Dopo L'Urugano" and "Ombra Muta" are definitely on the heavy side. "Croma," the only instrumental on the album, is a short but complex song emphasizing keyboards and calling to mind the Italian opera overtures.

How could such a work have come seemingly ex nihilo? The band appeared and disappeared essentially without a trace, leaving us to wonder (as is all too often the case in RPI) what could have been . . .

Review by friso
4 stars I often enjoy Italian prog records for a while before I get annoyed by the out of tune and hastily recording quality of most of these records. The 'Alphataurus' record is however one I want to keep. This band has a nice variety of symphonic prog ideas and both the opening track and 'La Mente Vola' (with its stunning opening section) are great melodic progressive rock tracks. Keyboardist Pietro Pellegrini takes center stage, though the vocals of the operatic Michele Bavaro and drum/bass rhythms have their fair share as well. The band has some eclectic influences; I guess some Van Der Graaf Generator and maybe some jazz-rock Canterbury music as well. Mostly this is however your typical over-enthusiastically performed Italian symphonic prog record full of beautiful ideas and a slightly unfinished feel. The three-fold artwork is among the best of my vinyl collection.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars As far as I'm concerned, the comparison with "Museo Rodenbach" is quite daring. This band released an excellent (even a masterpiece for many) album with "Zarathustra" and I can't agree that this "Alphataurus" debut is on par.

The overall mood is dark, somewhat jazzy and frankly heavy-prog / psychedelic oriented like during the long opener "Peccato D' Orgoglio". But these borrowed sounds dated from the late sixties and doesn't sound so "creative" any longer some five years later.

ELP fans should be pleased with some bombastic passages, that's for sure but I can't be as overwhelmed than the majority of my colleagues about this work. I believe that this album deserves your investigation: it is a good heavy-prog album sung in Italian.

At times, the Italian fantasy is more present which provides a good feeling to my ears. The symphonic (but alas) very short "Croma" is one of these subtle and magical moments.

As I have said, most of this album leans toward the heavy genre, so if ever you happen to like "Ibis", there are no reason why this album shouldn't be of your liking. Just be aware that the glorious Italian symph is next door. The long closing "Ombra Muta" is another highlight.

My rating is more on the side of Opethguitarist. A good album. Three stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I am grateful to Todd for having sent me this long request , an RPI album I knew was missing from my collection. This seminal album has been universally applauded and the clapping has still not abated after so many years. And not just for the gorgeous artwork! The music inside has all the classic RPI traits , a rumbling rhythm section and masterfully passionate Italian vocals , enveloped in acoustic guitar and keyboard mists , with some added peppery lead guitar solos that buzz delightfully. The propulsion is devilish, relentless yet playful in that inimitable Italian manner, with devout forays into the complex and the obscure. "Peccato D'Orgoglio" wastes little Rolex on getting the tension nicely ratcheted up, particularly when the grungy organ steals and then steels, the show. There are plenty mood shifts and textural experimentation that wink at early ELP but the musicians like the coquette approach, constantly creating the unexpected with vocalist Michele Bavaro and the fat bass of Alfonso Olive shining particularly bright. Pietro Pellegrini can tickle them ivories without trying to show off, a welcome relief. "Dopo L'Uragono" continues the vocal heavy vibe, shimmering in darker expanses that exude no pastoral serenity, more like a proggy Black Sabbath than anything else, highly intense and bluesy. The achingly romantic "Croma" has some heavenly spinet (a sadly rarely used instrument) and a massive instrumental theme that is, alas way too brief. Reminds me of Dutch super group Trace's finest moments. "La Mente Vola" is the highlight track here, richly symphonic, a vigorous mixture of electronica (those wily synths) and space rock, liberally flavored with slashing themes with more docile lead vocals from keyboardist Pellegrini with Bavaro taking over the chorus in brilliant fashion. A series of slithery Moog solos and an unexpected vibraphone foray crown this piece nicely, taking this far into space. Bravo! "Ombra Muta" is just as savory, an arch-typical RPI track, a heady of combination of known expectations and unpredicted twists, keeping the listener fixated and elated. The virile vocals are some of the best ever recorded in Italy, the man can belt and croon with the best of them. The wrenching guitar riffs blend well with the organ swells, the thump addictive and the soloing persistently exhilarating; this is prime Italian prog of the loftiest caliber. No collection should be without the "Bombing Dove" and my only regret is to have discovered it only now. No one's perfect but this is! 5 B-52s
Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Alphataurus' debut is the band's only album recorded with vocalist Michele Bavaro present. Like so many other Italian one-album wonders, the immediate quality and maturity of the material is amazing. Really, looking at this RPI scene, what did la mama put into the pesto back in 1972/1973 !?

Alphataurus has quickly risen to the top of my most loved RPI titles. I was stunned right from the opening minute, the drum and bass section that kicks off the album even made me think I had put on the wrong album. With that jungle rhythm and repeated jazz chord picking its like a 90's drum&bass track. No way this could possibly not be from 1973. But before the first minute is over, they are launched into a slowly building prog epic, starting with acoustic guitars and sparse organs before diving into groovy riffing and gorgeous hard rock parts. The power and intensity of the vocalist is simply amazing. Well, it's RPI right.

Each of the tracks has something new to offer. We get the sweeping hard rock chorus of Dopo L'Uragano that combines the rousing organs of Uriah Heep, the heaviness of Sabbath and the testosterone fuelled blues of early Zeppelin. Then, there's cinematic romanticism in the instrumental Croma and also in the intro of La Menta Vola. That last track turns into another gorgeously uplifting chorus that reminds me again of the best Uriah Heep had on offer in 1970/1971. Ombra Muta takes a more psychedelic turn and gets some delicate jamming going in the body of the song.

To me, Alphataurus sounds like Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso doing Uriah Heep material. It combines Italian passion and adventure with irresistibly catchy and heavy grooves. Highly recommended.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Alphataurus was one of the heavier Italian bands of the '70s, but their 1973 debut is actually quite an interesting blend of styles. The multifarious opener, PECCATO D'ORGOGLIO, contains more swings of mood than an emotionally labile pendulum. This track on its own should be enough to satiate even the most demanding of prog-lovers, and its 12 minutes contain some spellbinding organ. While Michele Bavaro is an energetic and charismatic singer, Pietro Pellegrini's powerhouse keyboards are the dominant instrumental force on the album. The only exception to this is bluesy rocker DOPO L'URAGANO, which belongs to guitarist Guido Wasserman as he trades acoustic arpeggios with Martin Barre-styled electric riffs.

The soft-hued instrumental CROMA provides a pleasant contrast to its heavier predecessors, and features some heavenly crescendos and a heart-warming melody. The following track, LA MENTE VOLA, really strays into foreign territory as the first 3 or 4 minutes consist of a motorik beat. Pellegrini's piano and synthesizer dominate the remaining 6 melody-based minutes, and there's even a vibraphone solo during the closing section. The final track, OMBRA MUTA, is probably the heaviest on the album although it ebbs and flows between spacey guitar/organ and galloping drums/bass. This album is another ''must have'' for anyone building a comprehensive RPI collection. For everyone else, 4 stars.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars There is plenty of tantalizing material on Alphataurus--more than enough to get me thinking wistfully as to what might have been had they released a few more progressive albums. I could definitely picture a Banco-type of evolution, perhaps peaking with a prog masterpiece around the third album.

Oh well, if we only get one from Alphataurus, we had better appreciate the good stuff to be found in their self-titled debut. And with a cover like that, we certainly have a powerful lasting image of the band!

If you like your Italian prog a little on the raw side, then this will be more up your alley, with a gritty lead vocal style by Bavaro and plenty of heavy organ. Many of the jams can drift into somewhat generic let's-all-bang-together psychadelic rock--some solos would be nice--but the parts in between certainly have a uniqueness to them that keeps my attention.

Highlights: Peccato, La Mente. Peccato manages to successfully merge the psychadelia with some interesting prog (particularly the intro/closing theme) in a way that Ombra Muta could have imitated a bit better. Of course, the highlight is La Mente, which is what really tempts us as to what else Alphataurus might have been capable of. I would also like to see this live, because I think if the tempo was pushed a bit, this piece would really come out and grab me by the balls.

Given the creative bits, and the fact that this is a debut, I'll round up to four stars. Solid throughout, but only exceptional sporadically.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album has one of the best covers from the 1970s. This is the band's only actual studio album; there was a collection of demos released years later. Like other Italian bands from the early '70s, they make good use of synthesizer here (most likely a Moog). The music itself is a combination of symphonic prog, hard rock with a little bit of jazz-rock and folk-rock.

You can listen to the first song "Le Chamadere (Peccato d'orgoglio)" here on PA. This song has some chorused guitars along with jazzy drums and bass before it gets more folky sounding. Lead vocals are accompanied by slightly off harmony vocals. Nice echoed/delayed keyboard sound-not sure what it is exactly (harpsichord?). Later gets more energenic with some synth. After some church organ before it gets almost Zeppelin/Purple style hard rock. Vocals again now. Later gets more ELP-sounding. More church organ along with synth, followed by some great drumming and another, more energenic section with some cool swirling organ. Nice spacey synth after awhile. Earlier folk section gets reprised at the end.

Thunderstorm sounds start "Dopo L'uragano" and then it goes into Italian style blues. More hard rocking blues later. Then an awesome phased drum fill leads to a mix of boogie-rock and classical-rock. Goes back to the bluesy part with great singing. "Croma" is an instrumental. Starts off sounding folky, jazzy and classical all at once. Then goes into typical symphonic rock territory. Alternates between the two sections. I love the beginning of "La Mente Vola" with harpsichord, synth and some kind of wind instrument sound being faded in. Good drumbeat too. Later on switches to a very melodic and classical influenced ballad. A catchy and memorable chorus featuring harmony vocals. Nice synth solo followed by a vibraphone solo. The tempo increases towards the end with some cool synth squiggles.

A short vocal section opens "Ombra Muta" before some great playing from the band. Back to a organ dominated section with great emotive singing. Later starts rockin' out with cool organ playing. Some start/stop playing as a wah-wahed guitar does it's thing. Then a nice synth solo with some snare rim hitting. Later on gets more symphonic rock sounding with a guitar solo. Cool clock sounds at one point. Back to the organ dominated vocal section. The band gets crazy and wild again and the song seems to end. Instead, we get some good repetative bass and guitar playing which is almost hypnotic.

I guess your average RPI fan would like this, although it can sometimes rock harder than some Italian groups from this period. For 1973, the sound and production is really good. This is one of those Italian bands you wish made another proper follow up to their debut album. Overall, a great album. 4 stars.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Alphataurus' - Alphataurus (8/10)

With the release of a long-overdue sequel just recently, it seems as good a time as any to review this classic. Released in 1973, Alphataurus offered their self-titled debut in the midst of the so-called Italian Progressive renaissance. The musical quality was certainly there, but the quintet never achieved the same exposure and fanbase as the scene's bigger names, largely as a result of the band splitting up shortly after the album was released. Although a follow-up album was technically released, the sophomoric "Dietro L'Uragano" was left rough and incomplete. In other words, "Alphataurus" remained a solitary gem in the Italian prog rock canon for close to forty years, until the band finally rekindled spirits for a true-to-form follow-up in 2012 with "AttoSecondO". This history aside, Alphataurus' original contribution to the Italian scene remains fresh and memorable. With talent, skill, and an experimental flair shared by few within the peak RPI crowd, Alphataurus' debut is a remarkable album, made disappointing only by the fact that the band never went any farther with it.

Although the recent "AttoSecondO" followed a more traditional RPI approach, "Alphataurus" is defined within the Italian progressive scene by a sense of adventure and bending conventions that were already in firm place in the scene by the time 1973 rolled around. At their heart, Alphataurus carry the 'Rock Progressivo Italiano' flag with pride. Bombastic vocals (performed here by Michele Bavaro), a heavy synth presence and theatrical atmosphere are all present within Alphataurus' sound. Although scene legends like Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and PFM made do with these conventions and perfected them within their sound, Alphataurus deliver a more eclectic angle.

They don't achieve the refined precision of either band, but the relatively experimental attitude makes "Alphataurus" that much more of an interesting album than many in the scene. This is not to say that Alphataurus take the Italian progressive sound to the verge of avant-garde; rather, Alphataurus are consciously working with RPI staples and fusing them with sounds and variety that you wouldn't normally hear in the style. For instance, "Dopo L'uragano" contrasts familiar, warm and sophisticated vocals with doomy metal riffs that could have been ripped from the Black Sabbath canon. The album's wonderful highlight "La Mente Vola" opens with a hypnotic introduction that could have been on one of Tangerine Dream's more rock-oriented albums. Listeners who haven't heard much from the Italian progressive scene before probably won't identify these elements as being unconventional for RPI, but there is no denying the sheer variety Alphataurus bring to the table with this debut.

Of course, the downside to this variety and stretching of the RPI genre's boundaries is that the album's flow can come across as a little rough. While each composition is impressive on its own (with the mini-classical instrumental "Croma" and the ever-amazing "La Mente Vola" taking their spots as the album's best), "Alphataurus" lacks the masterful album-craft that some of the better-known Italian bands enjoyed through their glory days. Although a solid production and impressive musicianship give Alphataurus an impression of skill and experience, I get the sense here that the band had some room to improve on the next album. Had their inspiration and creative chemistry kept up, it's very possible that we would have had an even better follow-up album on our hands, possibly taking the band's penchant for experimentation down a more cohesive route. Alas, we were left with "Dietro L'Uragano" as a consolation prize, and while the arrival of "AttoSecondO" has answered many an RPI lover's silent prayers, I don't think anything could have replaced another full album by the band in their heyday. Regardless, "Alphataurus" deserves its place in Italian progressive canon, and anyone who has ever once had the outsider's common complaint that Italian progressive rock 'all tends to sound the same' would do well to check this record out. It's excellent stuff.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Offering up a heavier than average brand of Italian prog, it's no surprise that Alphataurus' debut album was a comparative success in an Italian market which back in 1973 was crammed with high-quality releases - alas, they split partway through the process of making their second album, though happily they seem to have made a triumphant comeback. The sound here reminds me of some of the more energetic moments of Meddle/Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd combined with a bit of organ-based bombast from Pietro Pellegrini which manages to avoid ELP-esque showboating whilst still being a raw and dangerous presence. Definitely one for fans of heavy Italian prog such as Il Balletto di Bronzo, this album presents a fascinating contrast to the more pastoral side of the Italian scene.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars URIAH HEEP made Italian! In a good way! Not the most complex or instrumentally challenging album of the era but a solid representation of a solid band.

1. "Peccato d'orgoglio" (12:26) a wonderful song with lots of power and emotion and beautiful melodies, without a bad section in its long construction. One of the two best songs on the album. (10/10)

2. "Dopo l'uragano" (5:06) I'm not quite sure where the band was going with this one. Led Zeppelin? (8/10)

3. "Croma" (3:17) is an instrumental that opens with harpsichord sounding keys, chunky bass and surprisingly quiet drums. In the second minute a second theme is introduced for a brief time before going back to the opening theme. Buy the end of the second minute we are fully committed to a full blown version of the opening theme. Nicely done in a kind of traditional classical music construction. (9/10)

4. "La mente vola" (9:21) I really like the tight rhythm section and foundational construct to this one. Almost Tangerine Dream-ish but truly rock'n'roll. The song builds in the third minute, with synths soloing over the opening foundation. At 3:25 everything shifts into more of a four-chord blues-rock ballad format--just before the vocals enter--doubled up by the same singer. The melody is okay, the song foundation is not as catchy or mesmerizing as the opening section. Synth and vibes soli are interspersed between the vocal verses and chorus. The descending chord progression used for the verse section reminds me of the awesome and climactic music from Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Gesthemene" from Jesus Christ Superstar. I love the first section, am not blown away by the second. (8.5/10)

5. "Ombra muta" (9:44) feels like a powerful Uriah Heep song. Great song composition and instrumental and vocal performances throughout--especially the multiple keyboards. Also, incredible rendering of all of the instruments in the engineering mix: so clear and defined and yet cohesive. Even the wild and psychedelic final three minutes. I like that the tension is not fully resolved in the end. It seems fitting. The best song on the album. (10/10)

A masterpiece of classic and true progressive rock music.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The year 1973 saw the peak of the progressive rock scene all across Europe and by this time it seemed like everyone was getting in on the act. While many bands were ratcheting up their progressiveness to grandiose pompous excess, many bands were just getting started and leaving behind one small trace of their imprint on the scene before disbanding seemingly as quickly as they emerged. Milan's ALPHATAURUS were in that category of flash in the pan artists that while forming in 1970 took three years to release their eponymous debut and then the very same year while attempting to record a follow up were riddled with personal conflicts and called it a day. Despite this short burst onto stage during the glory days of Italy's prog scene, this Milan unit nevertheless delivered a well respected and eternal slice of the prog rock universe that continues to see a steady growth in both interest and sales, so much so that the band reformed in 2010 to restart their career forty years after they began.

ALPHATAURUS were virtually unknown yet scored some festivals in 1972 when Vittorio De Scalzi of New Trolls scouted them out for his first musical act to be released on his nascent Magma Records. While fitting in with the overall sound spectrum of the Rock Progressive Italiano scene ALPHATAURUS was also notable for utilizing outsider influences such as England's Uriah Heep with their heavy rock approach as well as Van Der Graaf Generator with their moody moog saturated melodic passages that schizophrenically shapeshifted without notice. The band consisted of five members: Guido Wasserman on guitar, Pietro Pellegrini on piano, Hammond organ, Moog, vibraphone and spinet, Alfonso Oliva on bass, Giorgio Santandrea on drums, timpani, congas and Michele Bavaro as the passionately romantic lead vocalist. Their sole album of the 70s also consists of five tracks with three lengthy pieces as well as two shorter with each track having its own distinct identity making ALPHATAURUS' debut a nice diverse listening experience.

The opener "Le Chamedere (Peccato D'Orgoglio) delivers all the classic Italian sounding goods. Moody moog opening sequence followed by the pastoral Genesis inspired acoustic guitar passages that build into heavier and more dynamic crescendoes to follow. Stylistically Bavaro's vocal performances often remind me of Osanna's Lino Vairetti with his passionate pleas subtly ratcheting up into aggressive frenzies. Likewise some of the musical pieces can at times carry an Osanna tinged flavor albeit without the Neapolitan flavors that exist in the Southern Italy regions. ALPHATAURUS also borrow a lot from fellow country dwellers PFM with heavy Hammond organ attacks that hint of an ELP approach but crafted into strong flavors rather than bombastic head butts. "Dopo L'Uragano" follows suit with arpeggiated guitars buttressed with classical piano tinklings and Uriah Heep styled power chord progressions but catches the listener off guard by detouring into funk rock as well as with a roller coaster ride of changes that follow.

"Croma," the tiny track sandwiched between the others is a way cool spinet performance that cedes into a dramatic symphonic dreamscape. "La Mente Vola" features a wickedly cool moog and spinet combo intro with the track progressing into myriad different styles and shapeshifting gymnastics on its way to the ending smoking hot vibraphone solo workout. Augmented by a strong bass line, the guitar is allowed to soar in atmospheric free fall or in tasty blues fashion. Bavaro's vocal antics are hardly a one-trick pony. Versatile in all respects not only reminds of Osanna's Vairetti but has the chops to bring PFM, Banco and Museo Rosenbach to mind as well with sing-along style melodies that take progressive liberties with oft utilized time signature deviations and classically infused piano runs. "Ombra Muta" the near ten minute closer which continues the subtly seductive intro that ratchets up the dynamics scale until it builds into a Moog dominated soundscape with a pumping beefy ostinato bass line, heavy percussive drive and tastily delivered guitar chops complete with soloing techniques.

ALPHATAURUS may not stand out as totally original on the first couple listens as they evoke the other better known acts of the day with aspects adopted from all of them, however this band had an interesting way of presenting those elements in a distinct new form and added dynamics such as the often "reserved for jazz only" vibraphone to the mix with pleasing results. The harmonically rich melodic romps through the by then classic Rock Progressivo Italiano sound is as refined as a diamond cut from the deepest mines in Botswana. Romantic and pacifying, ALPHATAURUS flirted with bombast without ever fully diving in. While not as deftly virtuosic as Banco or PFM, nor as aggressively astute as Osanna, Area or Il Balletto Di Bronzo, ALPHATAURUS was about delivering heavily melodic compositional constructs that took the smoothness of bands like Le Orme and Il Balletto Di Bronzo and added a few new twists and turns. While some regard this as one of the greatest albums of the scene, as good as it is, it seems like it could've offered a few more original takes and not rely as much on the tricks and trinkets of their fellow countrymen. Nevertheless, this debut album is indeed a classic that kicks ass and delivers all the Italian prog goods in perfect pitch and that is a good thing.

Review by zeuhl1
4 stars Once one gets a bit deeper into RPI, beyond PFM, Orme, Goblin and Banco there come encounters with the phenomenon of the 'one and done' bands. A plethora of bands in a very crowded prog field in a few years span in a country smaller than California saw competition for attention and sales quite fierce, with many bands not getting the attention they deserved. Alphataurus is one of those bands who delivered an excellent album, then disappeared.

Opener Le Chamadere (Peccato D'Orgoglio) is a combination of excellent dynamic organ led prog with bubbling moogs, complex drumming, harpsichord (spinet) and symphonic flourishes. The instrumental opening section shows off the dexterity of the rhythm section right away before we are introduced to excellent vocalist Michele Bavaro. Catchy and complex at the same time with excellent moog runs that fall into the room shaking bass frequencies. Bits of Dance on a Volcano are a reference point in the closing section. One of the highlights of the album.

Song two, Dopo L'Uragano , is a riff on Led Zeppelin style rock filtered through heavy Tull that still retains a prog edge but shows off their musical abilities before returning to some vocals from Bavaro. It wouldn't be out of place in any early UK proto prog band. The closer to side one is a spinet workout that leads to a full on well charted and sophisticated faux symphonic flourish that would make the Enid proud. (another band that could convincingly simulate an orchestra without any orchestral instruments employed, which the inner sleeve notes here.)

Side two begins with La Menta Vola, a song that any prog head would love-string synths, ringing keyboards, subtle vibraphone, ambient flute, playful drum lines all lay out a slow building journey as deep moog lines begin to build underneath in an ELP fashion, with a bit of Le Orme stirred in there. Finishes with some excellent gurgling sound effects from the moog over the fade out. Ombra Muta is one of the other highlights of the album. It starts like an Italian version of Novalis, but halfway through they are off and running in a high energy instrumental organ/guitar/bass/drums UK style prog workout. (drummer Giorgio Santandrea is excellent in his busy but subtle attacks on the kit). Great synth on this song too, as keyboardist Pellegrini knows how to coax 'sound' out of a synth, rather than just play lines on it. Nice crashing fake ending that leads to an intricate low key Crimson-ish guitar led fade out to the album.

Fairly well recorded throughout, I think this one would play well with non RPI fans if folks want to go out and indoctrinate the unaware. Heavy rock and symphonic classical mix together nicely. Not perfect but an essential addition to an RPI collection. Fans of Campo di Marte and Metamorfosi will probably dig this, as well as Balleto di Bronzo and heavier New Trolls fans.

Absolutely stunning triple gatefold painting on the LP is one of the best album covers in Italian rock. Cool inner photo of the band takes up all three inner panels. Lyrics are printed on the right hand panel.

4.25 stars

Latest members reviews

5 stars What an album from one of the greatest short-lived Italian Prog bands ever. Alphataurus, the underground quintet from Milan, produced their first and last album, a self-titled 1973 effort, "Alphataurus." From front to back, this album is purely amazing. Michele Bavaro (vocals) and Pietro Pellegrini ... (read more)

Report this review (#2918301) | Posted by AJ Junior | Wednesday, April 19, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #85! Alphataurus, as a band, caught my interest instantly. I'm used to listening to foreign music, or music in other languages, so this was no large feat for me. The first song I ever heard on this album was 'La Mente Vola', and I fell in love. I found some other songs from Alph ... (read more)

Report this review (#2905784) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Sunday, April 9, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The debut album by Alphataurus contains all typical ingredients of Rock Progressivo Italiano: multiple keyboard layers, passionate vocals, Italian lyrics, quite strong melodies and decent experimenting. However, guitar is more present than on a typical RPI album. Three compositions reach ove ... (read more)

Report this review (#2153339) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, March 8, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A collection of predictable and unexciting tricks I really want to enjoy this album.... but everytime I try I fail. In my presonal opinion, there's just nothing "uniquely cool" about the album that makes it enjoyable in its own special way (Genesis pun intended). The chords, melodies and arrang ... (read more)

Report this review (#1641873) | Posted by Hrychu | Saturday, November 12, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This one's pretty wierd to me, and I know I am in the minority. Alphataurus' debut is one of Italy's best ever isn't it? I mean, compositions are awesome, instrumentation too, vocals are also fantastic and god look at that cover art. That is what most say about this album. Well, I don't know, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#1459630) | Posted by MyDarling95 | Saturday, September 5, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Yet some more inspired Italian prog manifests itself in Alphataurus' eponymous debut. Like most RPI albums at the time, the music strongly recognizes the importance of drama, intensity, and melody as musical elements. Taking influence from Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band reaches heavin ... (read more)

Report this review (#1137217) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5 solid stars. I cry when I listen to Alphataurus. I cry because since they have reformed I can not travel to see them and because of the beauty in this album. For me, there is no comparison. No candle to hold in front of Alphataurus. With all the highly intelligent songwriting they have do ... (read more)

Report this review (#605839) | Posted by Monsterbass74 | Sunday, January 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Alphataurus may be the best of the "one-shot" bands to come out of Italy in the 1970s, although with a new studio album being released in November 2012 they technically fall out of that category. The similarities to Museo Rosenbach are a good reference point, but perhaps more vocally than instrumen ... (read more)

Report this review (#491514) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first time I heard this album I was surprised by the musical composition The guitar, keyboards and excellent battery work, left me curious and perplexed at the same time, the quality that this album had. He was an early Italian prog albums I've heard, despite the lyrics are in Italian, every ... (read more)

Report this review (#472206) | Posted by João Paulo | Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the top PFI albums of all time without doubt. I certainly found it easier to get into than any other Italian band I've yet heard. "Le Chamadabre" is a 12 minute prog epic. I have my problems with the singing style on this (and Italian prog in general) which is rather overly emotional to ... (read more)

Report this review (#302256) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Dark, brooding Italian prog from the mid-point in the first wave of bands. The band took some cues from Deep Purple and Black Sabbath for their heavy, earthy tone, but they have many "pure" progressive cues as well. The vocalist is strong and assured and is the focal point of the album. The gu ... (read more)

Report this review (#246943) | Posted by Area70 | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 'Peccato d´Orgoglio' is the masterpiece of this album; it is twelve minutes of some of the greatest Prog ever recorded in my estimation. Ranging from soft graceful ballad themes to rougher-edged ELP-like parts, this song truly makes you feel like you've undertaken an epic journey by the time it e ... (read more)

Report this review (#202622) | Posted by AdamHearst | Friday, February 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A for me totally unknown Italian band and my second venture into this Italian Symphonic Prog scene. The annoying thing about this album is the screaming vocals. I am not friendly with that. On the positive side, this album has a lot of good melodies. Some of them venture into the lovely town of ... (read more)

Report this review (#186391) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, October 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars PERFEZIONE ITALIANA Unfortunately this is one of the less mentioned bands when someone talks about Italian Symphonic Prog. The mix between one of the most unique voices in the genre, innovative ideas well fused with the reminiscences of Italian Old School, some Emerson, Lake & Palmer influe ... (read more)

Report this review (#114240) | Posted by MadcapLaughs84 | Monday, March 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I read about the self titled CD by Alphataurus in progarchives, and I wanted to hear it myself. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! There are a number of tempo changes in the songs, from mellow to hard rocking,etc. I would have to compare this to early 70's King Crimson and Uriah Heep, wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#108298) | Posted by jasonpw. | Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a discovery this unique self titled album by Alphataurus. Well produced, well played and sung and, most of all, very well composed, "Alphataurus" is one of those hidden jems which never saw the light of fame but, with the passing years, have gained a "cult" status for their high-quality p ... (read more)

Report this review (#99097) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I just brought this album today and i must say i nothing more than astonishing :) First of all the cover is one of the most beatiful cover i've seen in all the cover from the prog area of the '70. The album starts off with «Peccato d'orgoglio» over 12min of pure prog with lots of differents rhyt ... (read more)

Report this review (#74690) | Posted by Fido73 | Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of my favorite Italian records, just by cover you can see this is an excellent album. Strong vocals and good musicians make this album a classic furious masterpiece of the genre. All the songs are good to me, from influences of vdgg to the noise of a storm to open second song, from th ... (read more)

Report this review (#73281) | Posted by Rafael In Rio | Monday, March 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a short-lived Italian band, often compared with Il Balletto di Bronzo. Their material is very complex though kind of boring sometimes. The lead singer is not that bad but his voice doesn't sound tight with the instruments in the mix, production problems I fear. All in all this is a nic ... (read more)

Report this review (#18420) | Posted by Prosciutto | Wednesday, January 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Are you tired of progressive italian masterpieces? Well, whatever is your question you should put you hands on this album. First of all, all the musicians are outstanding, with great moments of fast organ, fast drums, and great vocals this is not heavy prog, but real prog, just to give a pa ... (read more)

Report this review (#18419) | Posted by | Wednesday, September 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ALPHATAURUS "Alphataurus"

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.