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WICKED MINDS

Heavy Prog • Italy


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Wicked Minds biography
In the early Nineties three young Italian musicians were playing trash metal and did a support act for MONSTER MAGNET. The famous band their psychedelic hardrock gig that evening inspired the guys, then it took a while until they released an album entitled "Return To Uranus". In 2003 Wicked Minds finaly released their real debut CD "Crazy Technicolor Delirium Garden". On 2004 the band joined the Italian Tendenze Festival and in 2005 Wicked Minds went to Belgium to do a gig at the known Spirit Of 66 Festival in Verviers. The Italian psych hardrock label Widow Records contracted Wicked Minds, they were joined by singer J.C. Cinel and in 2006 Wicked Minds released their second album Wichflower as a five piece band.
The sound on witchflower is sounds heavy and dynamic with obvious hints from URIAH HEEP along DEEP PURPLE, ATOMIC ROOSTER and HIGH TIDE. But Wicked Minds is more than just a derivative, they are good and experienced musicians who can write good and elaborate compositions, from dreamy and mellow with warm vocals, flute and acoustic guitar to harder-edged and bombastic with fiery, often biting and wah-wah drenched guitar and floods of Hammond organ. Also interesting is the pleasant integration of vintage keyboards like the Solina string-ensemble, Fender Rhodes piano, Minimoog synthesizer and even Mellotron. This adds an extra dimension to their sound and makes it worth listening for not only the hardrock and metal fans.





Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
This band delivers a powerful and compelling sound with floods of Hammond organ, often biting, wah-wah drenched guitar and strong vocals. Wicked Minds has obvious hints from early Uriah Heep but their tasteful and varied arrangements and blend of vintage keyboards like the Fender Rhodes piano, Solina string-ensemble, Moog synthesizer and Mellotron adds a special flavor to their sound. An interesting bands to check out!



Discography:
- Return To Uranus (?)
- Crazy Technicolor Delirium Garden (2003)
- Witchflower (2006)


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HomiesHomies
East Side 2002
Audio CD$4.29
$0.99 (used)
Visioni Deliri E IllusioniVisioni Deliri E Illusioni
Import
Black Widow 2013
Audio CD$19.85
WitchflowerWitchflower
Import
Black Widow 2006
Audio CD$39.99
From the Purple SkiesFrom the Purple Skies
Import
Black Widow 2005
Audio CD$49.99
$44.98 (used)
Misundastood Platinum EditionMisundastood Platinum Edition
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$14.99
$42.61 (used)
UnforgivenUnforgiven
East Side 2004
Audio CD$7.99
$2.99 (used)
MisundastoodMisundastood
G-Spot 2006
Audio CD$6.99
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WICKED MINDS discography


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WICKED MINDS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.27 | 11 ratings
Return to Uranus
1999
4.29 | 17 ratings
Crazy Technicolor Delirium Garden
2003
4.31 | 58 ratings
From The Purple Skies
2004
3.39 | 19 ratings
Visioni, Deliri e Illusioni
2011

WICKED MINDS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.24 | 8 ratings
Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2006
2007

WICKED MINDS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WICKED MINDS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 19 ratings
Witchflower (CD + DVD)
2006

WICKED MINDS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

WICKED MINDS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Visioni, Deliri e Illusioni by WICKED MINDS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.39 | 19 ratings

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Visioni, Deliri e Illusioni
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The new Wicked Minds album is a hommage to the 1970s Rock Progressivo Italiano scene and not really a proper studio album. The basis of this album is the Wicked Minds musicans. The vocals and some other parts has been done mostly by the original vocalists. Sophya Baccini and Stefano Lupo Galifi is very much present here. The latter one does the vocals on Museo Rosenbach's classic Zarathustra. I am though not that much into who played and did the vocals where and for whom. So I leave the minute details to the dedicated Rock Progressivo Italiano followers out here.

Neither am I a big fan of concepts like this. Yes, this scene deserves a tribute or two. But not by re-recording the old songs and inviting in vocalists on each tracks. The songs, although they are great, feels a bit unnatural in their new settings. I prefer the originals. Hence I am restrained in my joy.

This is a very good tribute album though with some great music. I am sure the dedicated Rock Progressivo Italiano fans will find this album more interesting than I do.

3 stars

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 Witchflower (CD + DVD) by WICKED MINDS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.14 | 19 ratings

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Witchflower (CD + DVD)
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well I don't think this is nearly as good as "From The Purple Skies" but if you like how that sounded chances are you'll like this one too. The heavy Hammond organ is more dominant on this one, while the guitar is less so. To me that's the biggest difference between the two although I think the former has better songs on it too. Another long one at almost 79 minutes.

"Through My Love" opens with drums as organ and then heavy guitar comes in. Vocals before a minute. Ripping guitar solo before 3 1/2 minutes.The organ follows suit a minute later. "Witchflower" opens with reserved vocals, flute and floating organ. It then kicks in heavily as contrasts continue.The guitar sounds great after 2 1/2 minutes. "A Child And A Mirror" opens with organ before piano takes over then the vocals arrive. It kicks in before 2 minutes as contrasts continue. Some killer guitar and organ later. "Here Comes The King" is an uptempo rocker with vocals. "Before The Morning Light" opens with synths and mellotron before heavy drums come in. Solo guitar before a minute then everyone joins in. Check out the organ and guitar 3 minutes in and later after 6 minutes. "Burning Tree" is mellow with acoustic guitar, flute and reserved vocals.

"Shadow's Train" opens with heavy organ then vocals as a full sound follows. This one is all about the Hammond. "Black Capricorn Fire" is different from the rest. Organ, drums and flute as vocals join in. Some pleasant guitar too. Kind of catchy without those heavy organ runs they usually use. "The Court Of The Satyr" features solo acoustic guitar throughout. "Sad Woman" is one of my favourites. This one just kills. Spacey yet intense to open. It kicks in heavily around a minute. Raw guitar then the vocals come in. Not a fan of the chorus though as it reminds me of how they usually sound on this album (which is good just not great). Back to that heavy guitar and rough vocals. Nice. It ends as it began. It blends into "Scorpio Odyssey" then guitar and vocal melodies come in. It's dark then vocals and light drums take over. Flute before 2 minutes. "Soldier Of Fortune" is a DEEP PURPLE cover which I could have done without.

3.5 stars. I had a lot of fun with this. Some fantastic moments on this album.

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 From The Purple Skies by WICKED MINDS album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.31 | 58 ratings

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From The Purple Skies
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What's purple and that hums?

An electric grape.

Or, maybe Wicked Minds' album, 'cause from start to finish it's purple-1974 baby, yeah! The color purple suits so well this album: Deep Purple influences, dawn of the day atmosphere and the art cover. It's true, even the song titles are evocating violet, purple and mauve!

Big fat Gibson Les Paul and Marshall stacks, macho 70's vocals, frenetic vintage drumming and tons of blistering Hammond, this album will satisfy the 8-track-player-in-your-El Camino-nostalgia in you guaranteed. But this album is not all testoterone and biker moustache, some soft rock with flute passages can be heard and a lot of space-age attitude also...but it's mostly pedal to the medal.

Although Black Bonzo did it before (and pretty well I might ad), this italian band is giving it all out, and I mean all out.

Give Wicked Minds a big round of applause for total commitment to make this album a great and hair- messing-loud-old-school-rock-fest.

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 Witchflower (CD + DVD) by WICKED MINDS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.14 | 19 ratings

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Witchflower (CD + DVD)
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars These wicked minds released a great heavy rock album for their (almost) debut. It was called From The Purple Skies but it was totally Heep oriented. The result was an excellent album which I even rated with five stars (and you might know that I don't use this rating frequently - five % of my reviews actually).

On this one, they are more heading towards Purple. This is especially true during the wild opener Through My Life: this is an electrifying song which introduces you perfectly in their musical world: seventies vintage hard-rock. And, yes, I still like this.

There are also some rock ballads on Witchflower (this aspect was just ignored on their debut). Although it might be a good idea to do so, this band is more convincing while they just rock like hell. Both aspects are present during A Child & A Mirror which starts kicking at half time. But then, be prepared for an explosion for a minute or so. The delicate keyboard opening is fully Lord inspired (Jon, I mean).

Mighty Heep is not forgotten of course. The title track and especially Here Comes The King reminds us this great band. Super-fast beat (remember Easy Livin?), strong bass and wild sound overall. Fasten your seat belt!

The long Before The Morning Light is an average slower beat heavy song but thanks to a really emotional guitar solo (thanks Lucio Calegari) it is somewhat saved. Some sweeter moment during the acoustic and mellow Burning Tree will introduce you to some more Heep material (Shadows Train). Very heavy organ, powerful bass and eccentric drumming are the cocktail.

The jazzy Black Capricorn Fire almost starts as Lazy (another jazzy one) and offers some contrast with the other songs of this ultra long album (almost eighty minutes). Some fluting is available for a change, which provides some Tull feeling (this is welcome as well of course) but this song changes too many times from style and is not very cohesive as a whole. The mix between symphonic and heavy is not too bad though.

It is maybe a preview for their next album, who knows: Sad Woman has severe accents of Sabbath. I have to say that by this time, this album sounds a bit too much for me.

While I could be enthusiast over their previous recording, things are not quite as good here. The album is also much too long, which ends up with some dull feeling. Scorpio Odyssey is the longest track from Witchflower: it is a mix between Mark I (vocals), doom metal and fine fluting. Another formidable guitar break comes at the rescue as well. Very emotional again. The closing part is fully Van Der Graaf oriented (the sax is of course not alien to the feeling).

Their cover of Soldier Of Fortune is not bad, but frankly, this is not the most representative Purple song out there. I would have prefer to get Speed King for instance. It would have suited the style of Wicked Minds much better. But Lucio Calegari is again phenomenal during his solo. While the previous album was more keyboards oriented, this one opens the way for more guitar.

As you can see, the band tried to open their horizon to other giants of the seventies. It leads to some hectic moments and my overall feeling is a bit of a deception. This is a good derivative heavy album, while Purple. was a great one. Three stars.

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 Witchflower (CD + DVD) by WICKED MINDS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.14 | 19 ratings

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Witchflower (CD + DVD)
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by WOJTEKK

4 stars Oh, how I like such records. No problems with acceptation. Album to player, soup to the cooker, potatoes to the peeling. Eye here, ear there, while leg knocks out the rhythm. It’s good, that I live on a ground floor, because neighbours could be angry.

Wicked Minds plays classic hard-rock, strongly rooted in genre from before 30-35 years. And plays well. Even better on “Witchflower” than on “From The Purple Skies”. Just like previously, CD full up to the cork – 79 minutes of music. And like previously their own version of rock classic – was “Gypsy” of Uriah Heep, this time it’s “Soldier of Fortune” of Deep Purple. Previously it came out middling, now it’s much better. Vocal of course worse than on the original, because Coverdale is a world’s top-league, while Cinel, though a good vocalist, he is no match to David C. But the whole thing is much longer than original and adorned with few nice instrumental parts. Just like on the previous album the main inspirations are Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, and in “Through My Love” – new version of a tune from 1993 – very good song a bit in style of Whitesnake. The rest of the songs are just a thrilling, juicy hard- rock – with drive, plenty of melodies, riffs and lots of keys (especially hammonds!) and obligatory for genre penchant to bigger epic-classic forms – this time the longest and the best on an album is “A Child And The Mirror” – with VDGG-like pieces of saxophone, partially acoustic “Burning Tree”, instrumental miniature “The Court of The Satyr”.

DVD includes two recordings of concerts from years 2004-2005 – severe, sound fairly-poor, film not better – one motionless camera. Musically – you can hear that band is formed by good instrumentalists, who are able to play a good concert. But you have to reach it through not too friendly for the spectator circumstances. Apart from that there are three videoclips and few songs from the regular album in earlier (demo) versions.

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 From The Purple Skies by WICKED MINDS album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.31 | 58 ratings

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From The Purple Skies
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by WOJTEKK

4 stars Uriah Heep – „Easy Livin”… which album it is…? Aaa, “Demons And Wizzards”. So we are home. The Italians from Wicked Minds bet on classic. The title song of “From The Purple Skies” reminds in fact this famous hit of an old Uriah (Thom was looking in the music for some similarities to SBB – probably in elbow!) similarities to Uriah Heep are unquestionable – Apollo Negri plays a bit like Hensley, J.C sings like (and looks like) David Byron, but they are directed by progressive rock and the whole thing has got a climate similar to, for example, famous debut of Biglietto Per L’Inferno – that is an Italian Uriah Heep, in heavy-progressive version, passed through Italian classic of prog-rock from the early seventies. Sound and arrangement from before 35 years, image as well, equipment – of course. Old fashioned? Eee, I don’t know, I like such things. But it’s longer than records from that days – it has got over 80 minutes, while masterpieces of the time weren’t even 40 minutes long.

What Italians from Wicked Minds play is very simple to verification – just as thirty and few years ago, the concrete melodies are a groundwork now. Are – then it’ll succeed. Are not – then the whole herd of Petruccies won’t help, you can’t make an album on solos only. When there are melodies, some sensible riffs (in case of Wicked Minds not really, but like you can hear in “Queen of Violet” it is helpful) then some solos will be invented. Especially, if there are some good musicians with imagination in band. Keyboardist and guitarist Lucio Calegari have many occasions to show their artistry. Most of the songs are 6-8 minutes long. So there is much time to show yourself, but without “overelaboration”. However at the end we have 18-minute suite “Return To Uranus” and musicians have a place to play much more. The rest also keeps a very high level, one of the best songs “Space Child” begins gently – violin(?) , flute, then it gains a rocky power, then again romantic guitar solo, again with flute in the background. “Queen of Violet” is also distinguishing, the hardest on an album, where Negri carouses nice on his hammonds. They also risked to record their version of “Gypsy” of Uriah Heep. And it wasn’t a good idea – they didn’t manage to match the challenge.

Fortunately it’s the only give-away on the album.

Hard, vintage and goood!

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 From The Purple Skies by WICKED MINDS album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.31 | 58 ratings

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From The Purple Skies
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This album is the second one from the band , but since their debut had a very limited distribution (only 500 copies), it can be considered as the first one, in terms of availability.

This is really a good album. Surprisingly enough for an Italian band, their music is on the very heavy end. Even if thEet are contemporary in terms of release, they play an early seventies heavy rock with loads of SPLENDID keyboards.

The opening and title track is named From The Purple Skies, but it has all in common with the best Heep's songs. And the album is a vibrant homage to this great band. It can be effectively considered as too much derivative (which is in a way true) but I'm so glad to listen to these sounds back again.

You should listen to Drifting and these wonderful keyboards: you are submerged by the beat, the great musicianship. It is a wild song (like most out of this album - if not all). The vocalist is insisting too much though on the Byron side.

Each track is a gorgeous piece of music. This album is a real good damned one: not a single moment of relaxing: it is wild from start to finish (and it last for about eighty minutes). Bloody dynamic and inspired as well. It is extremely rare to have such a long album without any dull moments.

I have had a real good time to listen to this fabulous recording. To name highlights would consist to name almost each song of this great album. These organ sounds are truly exceptional. I just love them. A whola lotta.

Even the bluesy oriented Rising Above is worth (and I do not particularly like the genre). Thanks again to the HUGE work of Paolo Negri on the keys. But he is shining on the entirety of this excellent album: Space Child being another great song.

They even covered the great Gypsy in a very respectful way, just to show where the influence was. Wicked Minds is very much more Heep than Purple oriented IMHHO.

The nirvana is almost being reached with the epic Return To Uranus which was featured on their first album. But again, I can't compare the versions (although I have seen their debut for sale on the net for 20?+postage). I might well do this investment since I am so impressed with this release.

This long track sounds more improvised and less structured but the same GIGANTIC organ is present during these eighteen minutes+, and they sound as an enchantment to my ears. This must be the eight highlight from this album.

You might know that I'm not keen on rating with five stars, but this a great, a fantastic return in the early seventies I love so much. I can't think of another rating.

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 Witchflower (CD + DVD) by WICKED MINDS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.14 | 19 ratings

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Witchflower (CD + DVD)
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Deep Heep and Whitesnake love child

Wicked Minds is an Italian heavy rock band doing the retro thing in a big way, obviously their heroes are Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Sabbath, and Zeppelin. They are playing to a fan base looking to recreate the glory days of 70s guitar rock. Sometimes I enjoy bands in this vein such as Gov't Mule who in the Allen Woody days were capable of doing some sincere homage to the Allman Brother Band and creating a scene in their own right. Even Dark Star Orchestra as a cover band are so good they make me forget the material is not their own. Wicked Minds do a reasonable job of touching on Purple and Heep, they occasionally visit Tull as well. They achieve some nice jams but unless you really get off on such obvious retro hard rock you would be so much better off just hunting down the real thing which is always going to be preferable. "Burning Tree" is a good track with acoustic and flute employed to haunting ends but it's a brief respite from the whole David Coverdale vibe. To be fair though I have to say that if you do enjoy the thought of an updated Purple sound you may really like this, but I don't think the material is as strong as even 80s fare like "Perfect Strangers." It's not awful stuff but it's not mind-blowing either, just raw, bluesy, and rather predictable for prog fans. For Wicked Minds fans this is a nice package though. It comes with a DVD that features several videos, excerpts from two different live shows, and a "making of" featurette. The "Purple Skies" video features a couple of delightful young ladies getting to know each other in a most personal way mixed with footage of the band jamming.now that's rock and roll!!

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 Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2006 by WICKED MINDS album cover Live, 2007
3.24 | 8 ratings

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Live At Burg Herzberg Festival 2006
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Wicked Minds are an Italian band from Piacenza that started in 1987 as a trash metal band and only in 2000 (after keyboardist Paolo "Apollo" Negri joined with his Hammond) found a "new dimension", more hard-progressive oriented, releasing two very interesting studio works ("From The Purple Skies" in 2004 and "Witchflower" in 2006). This live album captures them performing live in July 2006 at Burg Herzberg Festival, in Germany, and features eight tracks oozing love for vintage seventies sounds.

The album is well recorded and all the members of the band display a great musicianship. Although the music draws heavily on classic hard rock (Uriah Heep and Deep Purple above all), Wicked Minds never play by rote and they always try to add something different to their sound, combining their "sources of inspiration" with their own tastes. The song-writing is definitively good and they succeed in avoiding plagiarism: the delicate ballad "Drifting" and the final "Shadows Train" in my opinion are outstanding songs that would perfectly fit the tastes of every hard rock fan, but all the album flows away without really weak moments. You can find here more than seventy minutes full of enthusiasm and energy... If you love bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, give a try to this work: I'm sure that you won't be disappointed!

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 From The Purple Skies by WICKED MINDS album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.31 | 58 ratings

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From The Purple Skies
Wicked Minds Heavy Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I remember a year ago I received the name of this Italian band as a result of my forum request on finding a URIAH HEEP/DEEP PURPLE-related NEW band. A year passed, I’ve found their album and I’m shocked!!! This is the best presence a fan of 70s Hard Prog can make to himself!

I must say this is the best album from this Spring I heard so far. Imagine TRUE old 70s sound and manner, a-la URIAH HEEP, DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN, even JETHRO TULL and PINK FLOYD! Also related bands are 2066 AND THEN, KHAN, IRON BUTTERFLY, BIGELF etc. Awesome mixture of genres, which is usual for early 70s but pretty rare in our pragmatic days. Good Lord, I love those times, though I was born much later.

The album lasts for 78 minutes, and personally I see it as a 2LP (6 tracks vs. 4 tracks). These guys have both atmospheric and rocky parts in their long songs, they even covered UH’s “Gypsy” – and I prefer it to original so far!!! Closing “Return to Uranus” 18- min long epic is the most psychedelic stuff here, THE DOORS-related at times, but it’s mostly heavy, u’know ;) . Amazingly melodic (though riffy), brilliantly played and recorded, album has LOADS of analogue instruments (lovely fuzzy Lordish/Henslish Hammond!). And the band themselves are analogue! I mean I expected sissy boys with hair cut short in booklet (like some Retro-Prog bands look), but hella no! They are extremely hairy and posing in almost SABBATHish scenery and clothes! I like bands WITH appropriate image, and WICKED MINDS are brilliant in all aspects. Now I want their DVD!!!

Don’t even try to explain your doubts now. Don’t make this album even more overlooked, it’s a shame!!! Write or call to BLACK WIDOW label, purchase “From the Purple Skies” and welcome back to 70s!!! Utterly recommended and not be missed! A Must for every fan of good old days!

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