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SPETTRI

Spettri

Heavy Prog


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Spettri Spettri album cover
3.01 | 14 ratings | 6 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Introduzione (0:55)
2. Prima Parte: Stare Solo (5:32)
3. Seconda Parte: Medium (9:55)
4. Terza Parte: Essere (12:03)
5. Quarta Parte: Incubo (11:00)

Total Time 39:25

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Ugo Ponticiello / vocals
- Rafaelle Ponticiello / electric and acoustic guitars
- Vincenzo Ponticiello / bass
- Stefano Melani / Hammond organ
- Giorgio Di Ruvo / drums

Releases information

Originally recorded in 1972. Remastered and released for the first time in 2011 by Black Widow Records.

Vinyl BWR 139
CD BWRCD 139-2

Thanks to seventhsojourn for the addition
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Black Widow 2011
Audio CD$16.49
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SPETTRI Spettri ratings distribution


3.01
(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
7%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
14%
Good, but non-essential (64%)
64%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)
7%

SPETTRI Spettri reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hard and heavy Hammond hour

Spettri began in the mid 1960s as another band of the Italian beat and went through several line-up changes before arriving at their new and heavy sound around 1970. The band members were strongly influenced by heavy period bands like Sabbath, Purple, and Colisseum. They composed this album and it became the staple of their live show. It was recorded in 1972 but never released until Black Widow reissued it this year. It's a concept album with four long parts about a man dealing with spiritual problems and his search for answers. Unlike many RPI bands all around Spettri at the time they were not pursuing much of the Italian song tradition, serious avant-garde or classical music influences. Rather, Spettri is going for the English hard rock/heavy prog neighborhood of their heroes and I would say the sound is well described as Purple-ish with a shot of Sabbath. Tons of Blackmore vibed guitar leads and a heavy dose of organ behind spirited and theatrical vocal performance. Here and there are bits of acoustic guitar interlude for some contrast but this is mostly about the heavy, with oodles of riffs and ominous atmospheres. The composition itself has some interesting passages but all in all is not really my cup of tea I'm afraid. It lacks the bite and intensity of something like Sabbath without having enough other elements that grab me. Probably just enough to bump in the positive direction but I'd rate the album between 2-3 stars. Those into dark and heavy rock should probably investigate on their own.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#595786) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A nice Italian album from the old times!

This is a curious case, because Spettri was a five-piece band who started playing in 1964 and recorded their first album until 1972, the fact is that it was never released until 2011 via Black Widow Records, so it was a lost gem which was fortunately rescued. This self-titled album consists of five compositions that make a total time of 40 minutes in which you will listen to classic RPI music with heavy rock tendencies.

It opens with "Introduzione" which as you can imagine, is a short track that works as an introduction. This first minute has only a voice speaking, letting us know what this story is about. They talk about a criticism to the modern society, and a man who is looking for answers in the metaphysical world. This track leads to "Parte Prima: Stare Solo" in which for the first time the instruments appear: drums, bass, guitar and keyboards that remind me of Deep Purple, Jethro Tull or even Black Sabbath. After a minute and a half vocals enter, singing for the first time in the album. After four minutes there is a cool guitar solo, then it stops and the structure returns to the way it begun.

The next three songs are long epics, the first one is actually the shortest, reaching almost the ten minute mark. It is called "Parte Seconda: Medium", and starts with a church organ and seconds later drums and guitars join and the music begins to flow. Here the reminiscence to Iron Butterfly is evident, though in that time Spettri was trying to create their own style. This track has some changes, but overall it follows the same structure and sound. Kind of psychedelic, heavy progressive rock with a clear 60s-70s feeling.

"Parte Terza: essere" is the longest one with twelve minutes length. It starts with soft acoustic guitar. A minute later it begins to progress little by little, creating new figures with different elements, offering their inherent hard rock sound and blending it with their essential progressive rock soul. At minute four vocals appear in a soft way, with that particular Italian accent; it is accompanied by an organ and some bass notes. It is flowing and reaches a climax before the seventh minute, when the intensity increases and the voice is more emotional. Then it is a short pause and the music begins to sound once again, giving us a very cool instrumental passage.

The album finishes with "Parte Quarta: Incubo". The first two minutes show a cool instrumental passage, then vocals join and a new structure is being created, with a tense and dark atmosphere. The keyboard work is great all the time, the drums are constant and heavy while the strings make some cool notes and riffs in some moments. There are some changes in mood and tempo, but overall the song flows naturally, without being forced at all. Actually, I would say this is their finest track, or at least my favorite one.

It was a good decision to rescue this album and release it now on CD, though the music is nothing extraordinary, it is worth listening, because it is one example more of the wave of high-quality bands Italy had in the 60s and 70s. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#732430) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review by Guldbamsen
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Site and Forum Admin
3 stars Dreaming yourself away from the terrors of modern society - Road-trip soundtrack

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes with a couple of stethoscopes to find out what this band is all about. Spettri's story has been handed over quite nicely in the preceding reviews, but to those of you who are too lazy to click on the orange skull beside this review; these guys started playing way back in the sixties - going through various band members for then to record this, their sole album, in 1972. It then laid on somebody's shelf for the next 40 years, when Black Widow Records finally gave the guys a fair break and released it.

As Chris mentions in his brilliant biography, the album itself revolves around a man who by way of a spiritual séance encounters the backside of the coin - the other side of the mirror. He investigates and practically throws himself into the metaphysical abyss to conjure up reasons to live. As described in many other such tales, this is indeed a path one must walk alone, and so he does - finding what can only be described as some kind of spiritual sanctuary - only to be sabotaged and obliterated by the strange and dehumanizing essence of modern society.

Musically we are never far away from the early 70s - maybe late 60s. I get Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep although the beautiful bubbling Hammond organ at times reminds me of Dave Greenslade's powerful sound from Valentyne Suite. I really love the way this organ sounds. Almost omnipresent, it delivers a potent underlining to the proceedings here, which again reek of those early heavy prog days with loads of blues based riffing - although turned way up with a good ass-kicking of distortion. Finally we get belting raw vocals that to me personally works when they're trying to relegate something docile. When they're going a hundred miles and hour, they sound slightly forced and unconvincing to me.

If you love the sounds of the heavier Italian outfits such as Biglietto per L'Inferno and Metamorfosi, then imagine these without the synths and you're not entirely far off Spettri's sound. What I personally miss a tad is the kind of sweet and, gulp I can't believe I'm saying this, romantic vibe most other acts from the scene were utilizing. Yes there are snippets of acoustic guitars scattered throughout this record, but I'd just wish they would have incorporated them more into the thing. Battered the dough with just a touch more pomodoro and vino.

My fave thing about it is the way the snarling guitar raptures from time to time - heavily supported by some catatonic frenzied organ work that seems to rise slowly up from the ground - effectively merging the dark utopian metaphysics with the feel of the band.

This one is highly recommended to fans of early progressive hard rock with an overload of Hammond organ. It's the kind of thing you put on, when you're off on a road-trip in a dirty beat down truck with beers in the trunk and fuel in your stomach.

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Send comments to Guldbamsen (BETA) | Report this review (#753701) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Super-rare Italian psych from '72, this one-and-only album from the ultra-obscure outfit Spettri finally received a release almost four decades after it's creation, demonstrating even now, in 2012, that there are still many undiscovered nuggets buried deep in the vaults of various record companies just waiting to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public. A hazy, mystic, organ-doused slice of heavy psychedelia, this self- titled effort conjures up the kind of occult-styled atmospheric grandeur found on albums by the likes of British group Black Widow and Germany's similarly-styled Virus, the bulk of the four tracks featuring a gothic brew of relentlessly grinding guitars, meaty organ fills and some suitably impenetrable lyrics( all in Italian of course) nicely bolstered by the rough 'n' ready production that gives the impression that 'Spettri' might just have been recorded in some kind of dark, cobweb-covered crypt, possibly(or probably) beneath a graveyard or Transylvanian castle. This writer wouldn't be surprised if it was. Interestingly, Spettri apparently feature several former members of progressive outfit 'Biglietto Per L'inferno' - another one-hit group who recorded a stone-cold classic in the shape of their 1974 debut - in their line-up, though the origins of the group are, rather suitably it must be said, shrowded in mystery. Although Biglietto Per L'inferno's career wouldn't last much longer than Spettri's, there are several musical touchstones linking the two, especially in both outfit's employment of wildly emphatic vocals, metallic guitar riffs and the warm organ coating that proves so important to both group's overall stylistic ambience. However, whilst the former produced a more refined brand of symphonic-style progressive rock, the latter are seem much more influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Iron Butterfly, though their music still exhibits a strong progressive streak. Those with a fondness for gritty psychedelia, juicy organ-led prog and heavy rock should more than warm to 'Spettri' then, especially the two lengthy tracks on side 2 - 'Terza Parte: Essere' and 'Quarta Parte: Incubo' - that take the album deeper into progressive sonic realms, though the sound quality(this is a remastered released) might prove a slight distraction for some, especially in the album's quieter moments. That said, the rough-hewn production does lend 'Spettri' a rather authentic glaze sadly absent from most modern progressive rock, adding to the album's unique atmosphere and showing just how difficult it is to replicate the sounds and styles of the 1960s and 1970s, something that only a handful of groups have managed to achieve in the technically-enhanced 21st century(I'm looking at you Astra and Wooden Shjips). So, deliberate or not, what we have here is the real thing. An exciting little gem, 'Spettri' blends hazy psychedelic flourishes and bruising heavy rock riffs with a surprisingly deft instrumental touch, serving up a welcome dose of gritty Italian psych-rock from the genre's genuine glory days. Not very subtle then, but pretty effective all the same.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#755118) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Spettri' - Spettri (6/10)

As far as the current 'scene' of progressive rock goes, I don't think anyone would bat an eye at the prospect of a new band harkening back to the 'classic' sound of the 1970's. Taking a look at its 2011 release date alone, I might have been inclined to see this as a group of musicians paying a rough tribute to some of their favourites. Strangely enough, Spettri recorded their debut in 1972, but it has not seen the light of day until 2011, where it was remastered and released by Black Widow records. Although I have heard of some albums going through production hell, it is a shame that Spettri did not get a chance to burst onto a more global scene. Although this debut often feels more like a promising demo than a legitimate full-length, the self-titled "Spettri" gives a glance into the past that the vast majority of proggers will not have been able to hear until now.

I like to think of Spettri as an Italian equivalent to Deep Purple. Although they don't go for the same heavy metal punch as the Purple, Spettri share the formula, that being one of organ- driven hard rock. Black Sabbath is another staunch comparison, at least as far as their trudging compositions go. Although I cannot say that Spettri would have changed the course of prog rock had they enjoyed a release closer to the time of the actual recording, there is a great deal of promise in their sound. 'Promise' and 'potential' are words that come to mind when listening to the album; although their fields are fertile, there are a few things holding them back from excellence.

First and foremost, the production will catch a listener's ear as being quite raw, perhaps too raw even for Spettri's hard rock leanings. While the demo-calibre studio quality certainly fits Spettri more than an elaborate overproduction, I can't help but hear the music as if it were a work-in-progress. The musicianship is strong, but it feels as if Spettri had not get smoothed out the rough currents in their performance yet. Ugo Ponticello's vocals hang beneath the rest of the sound, spouting metaphysical lyrics (in their native Italian). Ponticello's vocals sound much more influenced by the UK bluesmen than most Italian progressive singers, although his delivery- like the rest of the performance- feels just a pitch under the weather.

The real standout here are the keyboards, and this is what I think Spettri would have become 'known' for, had they gone forth with their music. Stefano Melani's Hammond organ has a rich, organic sound to it, and most of the band's compositions are wrapped around this, their greatest strength. Fans of hard rock with a progressive edge should find "Spettri" enjoyable, although even the album's greatest moments feel imperfect by nature. An obscure gem, but one scratched and scarred by a weak studio execution.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#771325) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars Gli Spettri were formed in 1964 in Florence by brothers Ugo and Raffaele Ponticiello on vocals and guitars respectively along with bassist Giuliano Giunti and drummer Ubaldo Palanti, replaced later by Mauro Sarti, future drummer of Campo Di Marte and Bella Band.They had a few singles out around mid-60's, evolving slowly from a Beat to a Hard Rock band.By 1968 the line-up included Giorgio Di Ruvo and a couple of years later keyboardist Stefano Meloni and bassist Vincenzo Ponticiello enter the scene.In 1970 they started working on an ambitious long Hard Rock suite, finished in 1971 and recorded the next year.This work never got an issue, only released 40 years later by the team of Black Widow Records as a self-titled album.

''Spettri'' is a 39-min. long Hard Prog epic piece, divided in four movements, where the Hard Rock influences of the group come in evidence with strong vibes from DEEP PURPLE and even plagiarizing the style of LED ZEPPELIN in the guitar parts, nevertheless this is an interesting and highly energetic epic track with guitars and organ in the forefront.The whole piece is based on Ugo Ponticiello's poetic lyrics with fiery grooves from guitars and keyboards, sometimes entering more complex realms akin to MUSEO ROSENBACH minus the symphonic influences, while there are still some certain psychedelic overtones around.The long parts eventually lead the band to intense psychedelic jams with sharp organ fanfares and the rhythm section in great shape in an attempt to combine the emerging fundamentals of a more complicated Rock music with old-styled atmospheres.The tracks contain some great breaks and even smooth passages with lyrical moments in a storytelling mood, bursting usually into organ-driven Heavy/Hard Rock with endless solos.The longest movement ''Essere'' seems to be the most interesting as well with impressive organ work, calmer vocal parts and complex themes.

Informations say that Spettri kept playing, even if failing to release this work on time, while changing their musical style until their demise, propably sometime during the 70's.

Powerful, bombastic, old-school Hard Prog/Rock with thematic variations and solid performances.Not very diverse, but certainly well-played and enjoyable music.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1128542) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 08, 2014

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