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Ibis Sun Supreme album cover
3.87 | 107 ratings | 14 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Divine Mountain / Journey Of Life (Swift River Rushing, Flowing) :
1. Part 1: Vision Of Majesty (3:41)
2. Part 2: Travelling The Spectrum Of The Soul (5:56)
3. Part 3: The Valley Of Mists (4:54)
4. Part 4: Vision Fulfilled (4:38)
- Divinity (Dedicated To Satguru Maharaji And His Followers) :
5. Part 1 (3:59)
6. Part 2 (7:16)
7. Part 3 (5:56)

Total time 36:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Nico Di Palo / guitar, vocals
- Maurizio Salvi / keyboards
- Frank Laugelli / bass
- Rick Parnell / drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Convertino/Giardini

LP Polydor ‎- 2448 022 L (1974, Italy)
LP Vinyl Magic ‎- VM LP 081 (2015, Italy)

CD Polydor ‎- DCI-23138 (1989, Japan)
CD VM 2000 ‎- VM CD 081(2003, Italy)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IBIS Sun Supreme ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IBIS Sun Supreme reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dick Heath
4 stars As a long-term prog fan I'm always on the lookout for bands and albums I missed the first time around. A visit during Easter 2004 to one of the UK's foremost prog specialists, Ultima Thule at Leicester, had me coming away with this album (and too, the obscure German neo-psychedelia of Vinegar - I had never heard of either band beforehand). UT's owner Alan freeman, told me in his opinion "Sun Supreme" was one of the great but forgotten albums, but at last the store had the CD in stock.

An in-store play of the first four tracks (orginally side one), had me hooked. Having then bought the CD, I've played it continually for 3 weeks, not tiring of the music. Those first four tracks as movements of one composition, do have all the makings of an excellent piece of prog. Here is a development from an opening acoustic guitar piece towards a central theme played over and then reiterated, reminding me of the peeling of church bells. A major piece? But before suggesting it ranks with any classic prog track by Yes, Genesis, Krimson etc., I need time - such as those albums of the 70's got - before making that decision. In the meanwhile, I invite others to check the album out as one of those superior prog albums.

In passing, I feel it necessary to comment on a previous reviewer's suggestion of a Led Zeppelin influence: this seems way off the point. In particular, Ibis's multi-harmony choruses, guitar and Hammond organ suggest early Yes. (BTW it is the best song English I've heard to date on an Italian prog album). And to the excellent guitar, bass and keyboard work, the drums and rhythms of Rick Parnell reinforce the whole; these are subtle and a real joy, owing nothing to the heaviness of Mr Bonham. ( I'm suggesting to Darkness fans they ought to check this album out!). If, as several reviewers have suggested in other publications, that "Sun Supreme" is not the best Ibis album, then the others must be amazing?

A great album which finishes far too quickly

Review by Proghead
5 stars Another great Italian prog album, this band was the result of the breakup of NEW TROLLS after the released of UT at the end of 1972. Keyboardist Vittorio de Scazli preferred prog rock, and because of legal uncertainty, the new band he assembled was called N.T. ATOMIC SYSTEM. Guitarist Nico di Palo preferred the hard rock direction. After the breakup of NEW TROLLS, he assembled a new band with keyboardist Maurizio Salvi and bassist Franck Laugelli, and a drummer (whose name escapes me) released an album under their names with a big question mark on the cover in 1973, because the band still didn't have an official name. But eventually the band got a name, which became IBIS, by which time they recruited ex-ATOMIC ROOSTER drummer Ric Parnell, and released "Sun Surpreme". Now I really can't see what the breakup of NEW TROLLS was for. This isn't really hard rock, it's progressive rock, sorta like a hard-edged YES. Definately the music does have a harder edge than Vittorio de Scalzi's N.T. ATOMIC SYSTEM album from 1973. Some of the guitar work reminds me of Steve HOWE, and some of passages sound a lot like YES. But hard rock this really isn't, maybe heavy progressive. The lyrics all have Eastern themes (however, the music isn't Eastern influenced), influenced by Eastern religion and of Satguru Maharaji and his followers. I guess the band had the idea of Eastern themes in the lyrics because of "Tales From Topographic Oceans".

The album, for the most part is divided by parts, with the first half entitled "Divine Mountain/Journey of Life" with "Travelling the Spectrum of the Soul" and "The Valley of the Mists" being my favorite parts. The music is stuff with great guitar work, as well as synthesizers and Eminent. Don't expect any Indian influences in the music here, no sitar, no tabla, no sarod, the music sticks strictly to '70s prog rock and rock instruments. Without a doubt, the first half is the best, five star all the way, but the second half, entitled "Divinity" and divided in three parts doesn't quite live up to the first half. For one thing, "Part 2" gets bogged down by a pointless drum solo, letting Ric Parnell stroke his ego. But at least the rest is better, and "Part 3" reminds me a lot of "To Be Over" off YES' "Relayer" (although "Sun Surpreme" did get released earlier in 1974 than "Relayer"). With the exception of the drum solo, this is nothing short of a masterpiece of Italian prog. And although the vocals are in English, they are surprisingly good. Essential album, as far as I'm concerned.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Formed by Maurizio Salvi, Nico Di Palo, Gianni Belleno and Frank Laugelli from the recently disbanded (but to be reincarnated) New Trolls. After their first albusm the drummer Belleno leaves and Ric Parnell from Atomic Rooster joins. Together they release this beautiful album that is Sun Supreme.

They lour you in with some relaxing nice acoustic guitar that goes on for a while and you start wondering when the real thing will will start. Then it hits you. The full bands kick in with ELP like keyboards, vocal harmonies and heavy guitars and bass in the background, singing together a wonderful tune. What wonderful mellotrons, nice guitar work and good vocal performance. The first four songs are actually one long track as are the last 3 songs. These were also the side A and B of the vinyl release. What I like about this album (and these four connected tracks especially) is that you get classic symphonic prog, classic rock, nice rock ballad tunes and some hard rock all in one and in the first 4 tracks it is going without interruptions in a joyful display of good music. A reviewer said he hears Led Zeppelin here and there is some merit to this claim. First, the vocals have some resemblance to those of Plant. Second, there are some guitar repetitive moments that can remind one of some Led Zep guitar riffs. The second track, meaning Divinity, starts in a similar fashion as the first. Light nice tune that suddenly becomes a burst of energy of guitars and keyboards. This one has more experimentalization in it. Divinity part 2 for instance has some weird electronics sounds and a drum solo. Divinity part 3 starts off with an ambient like atmosphere that turns into a nice farewell from this album with the vocals singing the chorus. This track has a free spirit and looser structure and it allows the musicians to show their full capabilities and I think you hear that they know their craft very well.

Like Dick Heath noted, I too believe it is a tad short and it could have been even better with more tracks on it. Nevertheless, it is a splendid album and an excellent addition to you progressive rock music collection.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "climb the point and we can't reason why. Overhead, another kind of sky. How we can wait? We see vision of majesty..."

After the release of their classic album Searching for a Land, it was quite clear that New Trolls' members couldn't remain together longer. Too much the differences between musical ideas of the two enemy/friends Nico di Palo and Aldo De Scalzi. Two leaders cannot easily share the same place!

So the band split up but the litigation continued in the Civil Courts for the use of the famous name of the band. De Scalzi won the game while Di Palo, after a first album titled "Canti d'Innocenza, Canti di Esperienza" under the undefined name of "Nico, Gianni, Frank, Maurizio" thought it was a good idea to ask the fans which would have been the best choice. IBIS was what fans suggested him, and so Ibis it was for the second album of the band, the memorable "Sun Supreme".

"Sun Supreme" is a wonderful gem, magnificient opus with strong performances of guitars, acoustic and electric guitars. I was really blown away since the very first listening 'cause I did not expect such high standard of quality. Di Palo wanted to explore more hard rock territories but he and the band knew how to mix their choice with a relevant progressive structure that still remains well imprinted in the record. Flute and keyboards never seem to go too far. Vocals provided by Di Palo are fine and lyrics are completely sung in english 'cause they strongly hoped this work could have been a starting point for greater success even outside of Italy. A special mention goes for the drummer, a certain Ric Parnell, ex Atomic Rooster.

The opus is a subtle concept on spirituality and ascension of spirit to the highest peaks of interior consciousness. The metaphore is the climbing of a high mountain upon which, over the clouds, the one who can be there will have the opportunity to see and contemplate Divinity.Two long suites then, one for each half of the album. Titled respectevely "Divine Mountain/Journey of Life" and "Divinity", both divided in shorter sections (and even sub-sections).

The music is so refined and different from what we're used to listen to from the italian classic prog scene. An interesting mix between Led Zeppelin and King Crimson (with only a Jethro Tull's touch): folky and symphonic with a strong "heavy-prog" structure. Some keyboards' and vocals parts are worth of mention for they really help to improve the general standard of the album.

Wonderful! Hope to read many other opinions on this site. I'm so curious to know what people think of it!!

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Revealing Science of Ibis

When the New Trolls split and De Scalzi did the Atomic Systems album, Nico Di Palo took the rest of the "UT" line-up and formed the group that became Ibis. After releasing one album together they replaced their drummer and did this one, Sun Supreme. While many feel the album inferior to its self-titled follow-up it does have some moments. Again the choice was made to use English vocals and again there are huge British influences all over this thing. In this case, while you still have the hard rock sound of the Trolls releases, I have to laugh as I realize that Di Palo must have been immersed in his Yes albums like everyone else. Sun Supreme sounds to me like a huge tribute to classic period Yes, albeit with the slightly rougher Troll sound. Even the lyrics are an obvious ode to Jon Anderson with mystical and flowery imagery.

Part 1 of "Divine Mountain/Journey of Life" opens with really nice acoustic guitar playing in the Steve Howe vein. Vocals begin and then the drums join in, still with the acoustic and some bass. The mood is peaceful and floating. Part 2 brings the keyboards and electric guitar in and things get rocking and very Yes-ish with the vocals. Unlike other Trolls material that annoys me by mimicking other groups, here it works because the material is interesting enough on its own and more complex/mature in composition. Part 3 returns to acoustics at the beginning but soon explodes into what I'll call the "main thematic riff" and it is quite cool, dramatic in a "Perpetual Change" kind of way but juiced up with some heavy-rock influence and power. Quite good. Part 4 features a heavy repeating riff that builds slowly back to the themes of part 3 bringing real connectivity to the piece. Half-way through the tension drops and we return to the gorgeous acoustic sounds of part 1. A nice side-long track to be sure, although one must point out it falls short of actual Yes epics like CTTE, Gates, Revealing Science, or Awaken. But it's good to hear these musicians doing something more interesting than their version of "Highway Star."

Side 2 is called "Divinity" and part 1 is soaring and heavy, reminding me a bit of "Heart of the Sunrise" to continue the Yes comparison. Nice drumming and guitar flourishes amidst the mellotron, but the bass is unfortunately too muddy to be fully appreciated. Part 2 is their own personal "Sound Chaser" with its wild instrumental jamming, though sadly it succumbs to a full blown 5-minute drum solo. It's nice the first time you hear it but let's face it, a 5-minute drum solo can be a bit of a buzz kill on repeated listenings unless it is pretty spectacular. Part 3 is a gentle mellotron laden closer with bird noises and a nice up front bass part plus more Anderson "peaceful" lyrics---reminds me of "To Be Over."

This is a solid album that I enjoyed much more than other Troll related titles, but I can't go more than 3 to 3 do so would be putting this on the same level as classic Yes albums. Ibis is good but they're not *that* good. To suggest this is a 5-star masterpiece is dreaming in my book, but check it out and judge for yourself! The Vinyl Magic mini is a nice gatefold with lyric/bio booklet.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars While their first effort was solidly anchored in the heavy sounds, this one (at least partially) is a more a traditional Italian symphonic work. But it doesn't mean that it is full of tranquil and pastoral moods.

It starts kicking nicely during Travelling the Spectrum of the Soul. Very strong keyboard attack (hi Keith) but fine mellotron work as well. The song is complex and mixes several influences. Even folkish for a while. During this brief moment it sounds almsot as a medieval tune, but it won't last for long. All of a sudden the listener is transported into the most modern and beautiful sounds that this genre (and only this one) is able to offer. A very strong part indeed. My fave from this album.

A certain psychedelia also perspires from this work especially during the first part of The Valley Of Mists. But this one is soon turning to those heavier sounds, typical of the band. Much less romantic.

I can cope with the comparison to Tull (during their hard-rocking days) but couldn't find any trace of Led Zep in here. But I should maybe listen more Led Zep music.

Sun Supreme is an interesting album which investigates several musical genre but I do not consider this one as a masterpiece. A good album with a fine Yes oriented finale during Divinity .

Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I feel pretty comfortable with giving this a 3 or a 4 star rating. I really like the music but the YES flavour is too strong for my tastes. The English lyrics don't help either. As most know IBIS was formed out of the ashes of the NEW TROLLS, and I have to agree with Finnforest that it does sound like a YES tribute album.

The music basically consists of two side long suites divided into sections. First up is "Divine Mountain / Journey Of Life". Part 1 opens with intricate guitar melodies as reserved vocals join in around 1 1/2 minutes. Drums and bass a minute later but it's still mellow. I like this first part a lot because it does sound very Italian with no tatse of YES yet. Part 2 kicks in right away with some nice organ work. The YES vibe can't be denied here both vocally and instrumentally. This part ends with acoustic guitar and blends into Part 3. Vocals join in before it kicks in heavier at 1 1/2 minutes. Great section. Part 4 ends the first side. It settles down to start then builds. Vocals 3 minutes in as it settles back.

The second side called "Divinity" is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 kicks in before a minute. Some nice bass here. Vocals before 2 minutes and lots of synths too. Part 2 is dominated by keyboards then we get a drum solo after 2 1/2 minutes that goes on to the end. Way too long as this is a 7 minute section. Part 3 features the sounds of seagulls and waves as drums join in followed by vocals and a fuller sound.

I like this album a lot. A low 4 stars.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars From the great reservoir of so-called 'clone' albums comes one that almost seems like an exile from the Yes discography. Ibis, presumably named for the sacred birds of the ancient Egyptians, was an offshoot of New Trolls and their 'Sun Supreme' album paid more than a nod and a wink to Anderson, Squire, Howe et al. Hopefully that doesn't completely put the kibosh on the album because from a purely musical point of view it sits comfortably within the 'excellent' category, but for me its lack of originality makes it just another good sheep amongst the large flock.

The lyrics even smack of Jon Anderson at the peak of his spiritual highlands: 'to repossess we overflow, into time, into mind, into space, into out, outwards on, onward flow'. Sound familiar? Overall 'Sun Supreme' is certainly a luxurious-sounding album but its lack of Italianate features might actually make it of greater appeal to symphonic rather than RPI fans.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The name of Ibis was decided by the readers of Ciao 2001 after a poll organized by the magazine, however drummer Gianni Belleno had already left the group to continue his career with Tritons.He was replaced by English drummer Ric Parnell, formerly of Atomic Rooster.In the meanitime the band had signed a good contract with Polydor and was ready for a brand new start, as taped on their sophomore effort ''Sun Supreme'', released in 1974.

Ibis abandoned totally any links to the Hard Rock-orented New Trolls sound of the previous release and, more importantly, they even sacrificed the Italian language to sing in English.The new album was composed of only two multi-part sidelong tracks, each around 17 minutes long, where the YES influence is more than apparent.The first was entitled ''Divine Mountain / Journey of Life'', divided into four parts, and opens with a lovely acoustic crescendo by Nico Di Palo, before turning into a Progressive Rock orgasm with dramatic keyboards, including some great synth and harsichord parts with a fully orchestral approach, STEVE HOWE-influenced electric guitars and very deep bass work by Frank Laugelli.There are also plenty of multi-vocal arrangements and what sets Ibis and Yes apart are actually some harder guitar themes, the rougher lead vocals and the smoother, more romantic passages, which remind more of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.The three-part ''Divinity'' suite of the flipside marks no significant changes.The opening movement is superb, full-blown Progressive Rock with atmospheric synthesizers and organ, a frenetic rhythm section, magnificent guitar solos and melodramatic vocals, all in a Classic Symphonic Rock tradition.The second part though is ruined by the dull and very long drum solo of Parnell, hurting the track's consistency and that's because the closing theme is another beautiful offering by the band.Mellow Orchestral Prog built around a growing texture with lovely vocals and a unique atmosphere, exactly as an outro of a Prog album should be,

This second work by Ibis is a bit stronger than their more Hard Prog-based debut.The extreme resemblances to YES and a couple of dead moments are obvious flaws, but overall the album is tightly constructed with plenty of dynamic material.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 4.5 Stars. This album flows gracefully and makes a great addition to the catalog of obscure progressive collectors. ELP, Genesis, and Yes influences are evident, yet don't weigh down the overall feel. This album is creative and cerebral, although one wonders how romantic it may sound in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1115234) | Posted by Suedevanshoe | Thursday, January 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After the split of new trolls (just the first, it's look like their way to resolve personal and musical conflict over the years), Nico di Palo formed the ibis. Somebody say that they follows the hard rock way of nico to play music, but I don't agree with it. The sound it's more hard than t ... (read more)

Report this review (#87808) | Posted by tucker | Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Work released in 1974 "Sun Supreme". Total album of grand theme like man and god.The sound heavy, classical, symphonic rock. The performance does boldly and is exact. The total image is a dark, transparent feeling and is peculiar. It is an exactly progressive rock, and exactly Italian rock. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#66622) | Posted by braindamage | Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 1972 New Trolls split (they reunited in 1976 for Concerto Grosso n. 2) after making no less than 3 great prog albums, "Concerto Grosso n. 1", "Searching for a land" and "Ut". Vittorio De Scalzi formed New Trolls Atomic Sistem and Nico De Palo Ibis, two highly recommended bands. De Palo and other ... (read more)

Report this review (#19353) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 21, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars it's like a mix between Led Zeppelin , a song at times like Balletto di Bronzo ( in English) and floating keyboards like Triade or Il Volo . The guitar is very innovative and rythmic is fine and inventive .The sound and mood are originals . Earn its reputation ... (read more)

Report this review (#19352) | Posted by | Saturday, November 8, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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