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AREA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Area picture
Area biography
Formed in 1972 in Italy - Disbanded in 1983 - Reformed from 1993 to 2000 - Active again since 2009

Undoubtedly one of the more adventurous, AREA were also a very important band on the seventies Italian prog scene, their first three albums in particular come highly recommended and essential listening to anyone discovering the RPI genre.

The band formed in 1972 stabilizing with a line-up of superb musicians for their debut album featuring ex I RIBELLI vocalist Demetrio STRATOS, ex I CALIFFI guitarist Paulo Tofani, bassist Patrick Djivas (later to join PFM), drummer Giulio Capiozzo, keyboardist Patrizio Fariselli and on sax, flute and clarinet Victor Busnello. "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work will make your free) was released on Cramps records in 1973 and is a very accomplished debut by anyone's standards featuring an exciting blend jazz, rock and prog with Arabian and Greek (Stratos was Greek) influences along with a touch of the Avant. The bands lyrics show a politically left wing stance and Stratos was already displaying his inventive vocal style, using it as an instrument much of the time rather than in the traditional sense, something he would develop to further extremes on future albums (including solo work).

By 1974, when their second album "Caution Radiation Area" was released, Djivas had jumped ship for PFM being replaced by Ares Tavolazzi and Busnello also left but was not replaced. It's a harder listen than the debut leaning more towards the avant with a heavier emphasis on free jazz, once again the musicianship is exemplary and features some incredibly powerful moments. In comparison "Crac!" released in 1975 whilst still displaying the same inventive mix of styles was more accessible and is an ideal early port of call to the uninitiated. That year also saw the release of their first live album "Are(A)zione".

Two further studio albums followed where the band continued to expand their musical palette, "Maledetti" released in 1976 where the band used a host of other musicians to help out and "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano". By this point Tofani had left the band. It would also prove to be the last album to feature Stratos who sadly died of cancer in 1979 at the age of only 35.

The three remaining musicians attempted to continue bringing in some outside help in the brass department for the all instrumental album "Tic & Tac". Clearly Stratos was a talent t...
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AREA discography


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

4.27 | 722 ratings
Arbeit Macht Frei
1973
3.97 | 245 ratings
Caution Radiation Area
1974
4.24 | 404 ratings
Crac !
1975
4.08 | 212 ratings
Maledetti
1976
3.88 | 172 ratings
1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!
1978
2.68 | 58 ratings
Tic & Tac
1980
2.49 | 32 ratings
Chernobyl 7991
1996

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

4.03 | 76 ratings
Are(A)zione
1975
2.47 | 26 ratings
Event '76
1979
3.53 | 18 ratings
Concerto Teatro Uomo
1996
3.04 | 13 ratings
Parigi-Lisbona
1996
3.81 | 7 ratings
Live in Torino 1977
2005
3.63 | 8 ratings
Live 2012
2012

AREA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 9 ratings
Anto/Logicamente
1977
3.05 | 2 ratings
Area '70
1980
3.13 | 4 ratings
Gioia e rivoluzione
1996
3.43 | 4 ratings
Revolution
2003
3.00 | 3 ratings
International POPular Group
2004
4.51 | 5 ratings
Area Gold Edition
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Concerts Box
2007
4.32 | 6 ratings
The Essential Box Set Collection
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Area
2013

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin
1973
2.67 | 3 ratings
L'Internazionale
1974

AREA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Area '70 by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1980
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Area '70
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 518

Area was an Italian progressive rock band formed in the end of 1972. They are known for be one of the most important prog bands in the genre. They have been compared to Gentle Giant for the extreme complexity of their music combined with an elegant use of varied polyrhythms. They also had a very strong attitude in managing the Middle East musical structures and other elements, from odd rhythms to the use of tone fourths. All of these elements are always joined together by a free-jazz style. To each they add many electronic elements. Area became with Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme as the four best and most important Italian progressive rock bands of all times.

"Area '70" is a compilation of Area which was released in 1980. It features tracks from four of the five studio albums of Area, plus a non-album's track, when Demetrio Stratos was still on board. It has one track from "Arbeit Macht Frei" of 1973, one track from "Caution Radiation Area" of 1974, three tracks from "Crac!" of 1975, two tracks from "Maledetti" of 1976, plus a non-albums track. However, it hasn't any tracks from "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!".

"Area '70" has eight tracks. The first track "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" was originally released on their debut studio album "Arbeit Macht Frei". It's a track with its lyrics about the Black September of 1972 when the Palestinians committed terrorist attacks. The track begins with an Arab feminine voice reciting a poem. Musically, it's a very difficult song to be described. We really must hear it to can understand it. It seems to be built around the ethnic and traditional music, probably from Greece. This track represents one their finest moments. The second track "Cometa Rossa" was originally released on their second studio album "Caution Radiation Area". It's a typical track of Area, which seems to be built around the ethnic and traditional music too. In this case, we are in presence of some influences of the Arabic music. It's very close to some of the tracks presented on "Arbeit Macht Frei". It represents a perfect introduction to the band that shows their unmistakable and original type of music and the unique vocal style of Demetrio Stratos. The third track "Gioia E Rivoluzione" was originally released on their third studio album "Crac!". It's a track where the powerful voice of Demetrio Stratos stands out. It's an acoustic and very peaceful track. It has a very unusual introduction that features some acoustic guitars and powerful melodic lines. This is a track of the band that shows a tendency towards a more conventional tunes and a less intricate and complicated sound, in contrast with the more experimental forms of many of their tracks. It became as one of the best Area's tracks. The fourth track "L'Elefante Bianco" was originally released on their third studio album "Crac!" too. It's a track with some ethnic sounds and is essentially an instrumental track with many variations all over the same theme. This is a track full of energy with some Eastern influences and some nuances of the southern Mediterranean music. The fifth track "L'Internazionale" is a track that was never released on any of the studio album of the band. It was originally released as the A side of their single "L'Internazionale" in 1974. The track was usually played in almost all their live shows and was usually included on their compilation albums too. It's a vanguard associative of a free experimental version of the communist hymn, "The International". The sixth track "La Mela Di Odessa" was originally released on their third studio album "Crac!". It starts with an instrumental part and follows with great musicianship by the entire band, with Demetrio Stratos' vocals following the music and giving to it a very nice feeling. This is a complex track that begins with some experimental sounds and a drum solo. It's a typical jazz rock fusion track with symphonic tendencies. The seventh track "Gerontocrazia" was originally released on their fourth studio album "Maledetti". It starts with a cradle song in ancient Greek. During the song we can hear play txalaparta, a Basque percussion instrument, that I never heard before on the previous albums of Area. That demonstrates again the interest of the band in the ethnical music. The eighth track "Scum" is from "Maledetti". It's a track where the music takes a free jazz/fusion direction and when the piano of Fariselli takes the front and sounds in a strange tonal style. It has some electronic effects and Demetrio does some speech about the women rights. This is a very oriented jazz piece.

Conclusion: "Area '70" is another good compilation album of Area. It has tracks from four of their five essential studio albums, only missing tracks from "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano". Thus, we have here what are in general considered the four best studio albums of Area. Still, and unfortunately, it's a pity that none of the tracks of "1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!" weren't chosen, because this is another amazing album too. As I mentioned above, these are all albums with the participation of their charismatic front man and lieder Demetrio Stratos, who unfortunately passed away in 1979. The compilation covers the different sides of Area, their most popular and melodic side and their most avant-garde and experimental side, when the band was at their most creative peak. So, "Area '70" is well representative of the band and a great showcase of Area. I think it must be rated with 3 stars, indeed.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 International POPular Group by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
3.00 | 3 ratings

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International POPular Group
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 514

Area was an Italian progressive rock band. They began their musical adventure at the end of 1972, gathering musicians from different backgrounds, pop, free jazz, electronic experimentation and contemporary, with the common will of the overcoming of individual artistic experiences to arrive at a "total music". Picking matrices of different music, from jazz to progressive through the vanguard, Area have proved among the most courageous and original band of the Italian progressive scene. But to make their mark was also and, above all, the incredible voice of their singer Demetrio Stratos.

"International Popular Group" is a compilation of Area released in 2004. It features tracks from all five studio albums of Area, plus a non-albums track, when Stratos was in the band. So, it has one track from "Arbeit Macht Frei" from 1973, one track from "Caution Radiation Area" from 1974, two tracks from "Crac!" from 1975, four tracks from "Maledetti" from 1976, three tracks from "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!" from 1978, plus a non-album's track.

"International Popular Group" has twelve tracks. The first track "Return From Workuta" is from "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!". It opens with a strange and amazing vocal work from Stratos. The piece is timeless and we only perceive a synth carpet with a heavy and suffered contrabass accompanying the melancholic vocalization of Stratos. The second track "Nervi Scoperti" is from "Crac!". It's an instrumental with nice guitar and keyboard solos. It's a vibrant and tense piece where the drumming is the star. It begins with Fariselli assuming the leading role with his piano, preparing the ground to Tofani flourish and complemented by Capiozzo work. The third track "Diforisma Urbano" is from "Maledetti". It's a terrific instrumental piece. It's a perfect, fantastic and surprisingly upbeat funk jazz/fusion track. Here we have Demetrio putting his voice as an instrument adding to the song a beautiful, strange, unique, intense and special touch of colour. The fourth track "Implosion" is from "Crac!". It's a free instrumental experimental track where each member plays improvising in their one way. It begins very calm and soon develops with some sudden musical changes of mood and rhythm. The fifth track "MIRage? Mirage!" is from "Caution Radiation Area". It's a surprising track. It's a track with a mix of contemporary classical music and free avant-garde jazz/fusion music. It has a dark and a dissonant atmosphere with improvised moments. It's only recommended to the hard fans of the band. The sixth track "Arbeit Macht Frei" is from "Arbeit Macht Frei". It's a song with strong political lyrics. Ironically, its title was taken from the Nazi motif on the entrance of Auschwitz, in Poland. The music is close to avant-garde jazz, very innovative, and which begins to typify the band to a new and unconventional approach. The seventh track "Hommage A Violette Nozieres" is from "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!". It's a ballad with a typical Mediterranean atmosphere, almost pop. But, we can find here harmonious choices and rhythmic solutions of great refinement and complexity. Vocals are in a stratospheric level. It's one of the tracks in which Stratos reaches the apex of the vibrato. The eighth track "Gerontocrazia" is from "Maledetti". It starts with a cradle song in ancient Greek. During the song we can hear play txalaparta, a Basque percussion instrument, that I never heard before on the previous albums of Area. That demonstrates again the interest of the band in the ethnical music. The ninth track "Caos (Parte II)" is from "Maledetti". It's an avant-garde piece. It's a strange chaotic track with electronic sounds, noises, and voices. Each musician does what they want. It's one of the strangest and difficult pieces I heard. It's interesting but is too much experimental. The tenth track "Evaporazione" is from "Maledetti". It's a short track where we can hear someone running, whistling and talking, without any music. It's an introduction to that album where Demetrio says there is something important to say on that album. The eleventh track "'FFF' (Festa, Farina e Forca)" is from "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!". It's an instrumental piece, starting from a single drum that later flow into an almost ambient relaxing part to culminate in another jazz style in which Fariselli shows off all his piano skills. The twelfth track "L'Internationale" is a track that was never released on any studio album of the band. It was originally released as the A side of their single "L'Internazionale" in 1974. The track was usually played in all their live shows and included on their compilation albums. It's a vanguard associative free experimental version of the communist hymn, "The International".

Conclusion: "International Popular Group" is another good compilation of Area. It covers almost all the studio material recorded by the band before the premature death of Demetrio Stratos. So, it has tracks from the four studio albums released by the band when he was in Area. It means that all these tracks belong to Area when they were at their most creative peak. And those who are used to Area's music know that all the tracks chosen to be part of this compilation are all great and amazing, in its own way. They cover the different sides of Area, their most popular and melodic side and their most avant-garde and experimental side. Thus, we can say that "International Popular Group" is a compilation well representative of the band and an excellent showcase of Area. I really think that it must be rated with 3 stars, indeed.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Gioia e rivoluzione by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.13 | 4 ratings

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Gioia e rivoluzione
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 510

"Gioia E Rivoluzione" is a compilation album from Area, which was released in 1996. The name of this compilation album was taken from a track with the same name which was recorded on their third studio album "Crac!" which was released in 1975. The front art cover of this compilation, beyond an enigmatic hair feathered of the American Indians, has also the front cover of four of their studio albums "Arbeit Macht Frei", "Caution Radiation Area", "Crac!" and "Maledetti", the front cover of two of their live albums "Are(A)zione" and "Event'76" and the front cover of one of their compilation albums "Anto/Logicamente". However, it only features tracks that belong to their first four studio albums, "Arbeit Macht Frei" from 1973, "Caution Radiation Area" from 1974, "Crac!" from 1975 and "Maledetti" from 1976.

"Gioia E Rivoluzione" has twelve tracks. The first track "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" is from "Arbeit Macht Frei". The track begins with an Arab feminine voice reciting a poem. Musically, it's a difficult song to describe and we must hear it to understand it. It seems to be built around ethnic and traditional music, probably from Greece. The second track "Arbeit Macht Frei" is from "Arbeit Macht Frei". It's a song with strong political lyrics. Ironically, its title was taken from the Nazi motif on the entrance of Auschwitz, in Poland. The music is close to avant-garde jazz, very innovative, and which begins to typify the band to a new and unconventional approach. The third track "L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin" is from "Arbeit Macht Frei". It's a true avant-garde music. It has many experimental noises of several different instruments, including the voice of Demetrio Stratos. This is a weird and bizarre track with vocal echoes, musical explosions, strange instrumental sounds, which abruptly ends without warning. The fourth track "Cometa Rossa" is from "Caution Radiation Area". It's built around the ethnic and traditional music, in this case, influences of the Arabic music. It's a perfect introduction to the band showing their unmistakable type of music and the unique vocal style of Demetrio. The fifth track "Lobotomia" is from "Caution Radiation Area". It's an experimental track, a real amalgam of distorted electronic sounds and noises. It intends to provoke the listener, something like lobotomize the listener itself. It reminds me the new classical contemporary music. The sixth track "L'Elefante Bianco" is from "Crac!". It's basically an instrumental track with ethnic sounds with variations all over the theme. It's full of energy with Oriental influences and nuances of the southern Mediterranean music. The seventh track "La Mela Di Odessa" is from "Crac!". It has great musicianship, with Demetrio's vocals following the music and giving to it a real nice feeling. It's a complex track with experimental sounds and a drum solo. It's a typical jazz rock fusion track with symphonic tendencies. The eighth track "Gioia E Rivoluzione" is from "Crac!". It has the powerful voice of Demetrio. It's an acoustic and peaceful song. It shows a tendency towards a more conventional tunes and a less intricate and complicated sounds, in contrast with the more experimental forms. The ninth track "L'Internazionale" is a track that was never released on any studio album of the band. It was originally released as the A side of their single "L'Internazionale" in 1974. The track was usually played in all their live shows and was included on their compilation albums. It's a vanguard associative of a free experimental version of the communist hymn, "The International". The tenth track "Evaporazione" is from "Maledetti". It's a short track where we can hear someone running, whistling and talking, without any music. It's an introduction to that album where Demetrio says that there is something very important to say on that album. The eleventh track "Il Massacro Di Brandeburgo Numero Tre In Sol Maggiore" is from "Maledetti". It's a short fragment of the classical piece for a string quartet of Bach's "Brandenburg Concert number 3 in G major". It's a deconstructed of the original piece to symbolize the demolition of the music corporatism. The twelfth track "Citazione Da George L. Jackson" is a track that was never released in any studio album of the band. It was originally released as the B side of their single "L'Internazionale". It's a short track with some improvisations played over a spoken text cited by Stratos. This is a very strange and weird track.

Conclusion: "Gioia E Rivoluzione" has tracks from four of their five essential studio albums, only missing tracks from "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano" released in 1978. These are all albums with the participation of their charismatic front man and lieder Demetrio Stratos, who unfortunately passed way many years ago. Area released five studio albums and two live albums before Demetrio's death in 1979. The track selection is excellent, representative and well balanced showing the diverse type of influences of the band. "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)", "Arbeit Macht Frei", "Cometa Rossa", "L'Elefante Bianco" and "Gioia E Rivoluzione" shows their popular and melodic side, the side more accessible to the listener. "La Mela Di Odessa" is a typical jazz song. "Il Massacro Di Brandeburgo" shows their classical side. "L'Abbattimento Delle Zeppelin", "Lobotomia", "Evaporazione" and "Citazione Da George L. Jackson" show their experimental and electronic side, a side more difficult to all who aren't familiar with the avant-garde music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Area Gold Edition by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
4.51 | 5 ratings

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Area Gold Edition
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 504

'Area Gold Edition' is a compilation album of Area, which was released in 2007. This a very special compilation that features all tracks released on the first four studio albums of Area, the albums from 1973 to 1976. So, it includes the six tracks of 'Arbeit Macht Frei' from 1973, the five tracks of 'Caution Radiation Area' from 1974, the seven tracks of 'Crac!' from 1975, the seven tracks of 'Maledetti' from 1976, plus four live tracks, three tracks from 'Are(A)zione' of 1975 and one track from 'Event '76' from 1979. But, strangely, the tracks weren't put in their usual chronological order.

So, 'Area Gold Edition' has twenty nine tracks. 'Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)' is from 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's built around the ethnic and traditional music, probably from Greece. 'L'elefante Bianco' is from 'Crac!'. It's almost an instrumental with ethnic sounds and variations all over the theme. 'Cometa Rossa' is from 'Caution Radiation Area'. It's built around the ethnic music that shows their type of music and the unique vocals of Stratos. 'Le Labbra Del Tempo' is from 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's a complex track influenced by jazz with an interesting rock section that often changes its structure. '240 Chilometri Da Smirne' is from 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's an avant-garde instrumental free jazz piece with a nice sax work. 'Labbattimento Dello Zeppelin' is from 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's an avant-garde, weird and bizarre piece with experimental noises of several instruments, including the voice of Stratos. 'Gerontocrazia' is from 'Maledetti'. It has several influences that demonstrate the great interest of Area in the ethnical music. 'Scum' is from 'Maledetti'. It's a free jazz/fusion track with electronic effects where Fariselli takes the front with his piano. 'Giro, Giro Tondo' is from 'Maledetti'. It's an avant-garde jazz/fusion track with some emotional vocals dominated by piano. 'Nervi Scoperti' is from 'Crac!'. It's an instrumental, a vibrant and tense piece with some nice guitar and keyboard solos where drums are the star. 'Gioia E Rivoluzione' is from 'Crac!'. It's an acoustic and peaceful track with melodic lines that features acoustic guitars and powerful vocals of Stratos. 'La Mela Di Odessa' is from 'Crac!'. It's a complex jazz rock fusion track with symphonic tendencies and experimental sounds. 'Consapevolezza' is from 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's a jazz/rock track with exotic atmospheres, hypnotic rhythm and suggestive vocals. 'Zyg (Crescita Zero)' is from 'Caution Radiation Area'. It's an experimental track with distorted industrial noises and electronic experimentation showing the psychedelic rock side of Area. 'Brujo' is from 'Caution Radiation Area'. It's a wild free jazz/fusion track with nice electric piano, bass, percussions, guitar works and some vocal experimentation of Stratos. 'Mirage? Mirage!' is from 'Caution Radiation Area'. It's a track with a mix of contemporary music and free avant-garde jazz/fusion music. 'Megalopoli' is from 'Crac!'. It's an instrumental intricate track full of energy and influenced by jazz rock fusion style. 'Caos (Parte Seconda)' is from 'Maledetti'. It's an avant-garde track, with some chaotic electronic sounds, noises and voices. 'Il Massacro Di Brandeburgo Numero Tre In Sol Maggiore' is from 'Maledetti'. It's a short fragment of a deconstructed version of the classical piece from Bach's 'Brandenburg Concert number 3 in G major'. 'Arbeit Macht Frei' is from 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's an avant-garde jazz track, innovative, which typifies the band to an unconventional musical approach. 'Evaporazione' is from 'Maledetti'. It's an introduction to that album where Stratos tells us there is something important to communicate. 'Diforisma Urbano' is from 'Maledetti'. It's an instrumental track, a perfect, fantastic and surprisingly upbeat funk jazz/fusion track. 'Lobotomia' is from 'Caution Radiation Area'. It's an amalgam of distorted electronic sounds and noises that reminds me the contemporary music. 'Implosion' is from 'Crac!'. It's a free instrumental and experimental track where each member plays an instrument improvising in their one way. 'Area 5' is from 'Crac!'. It's a weird, experimental and bizarre track full of improvisation, with solos and noises. 'Event '76' is from 'Event '76'. Here, the band tries a concept of random improvisation. The result is an 'ordered chaos'. Freedom is the focus of the music. 'Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero) (live version)' is from 'Are(A)zione'. 'Are(A)zione' is from 'Are(A)zione'. It's a track with free improvisations of a harmonic invention made by the band. 'L'Internazionale' is from 'Are(A)zione'. It's a vanguard associative of a free experimental version of the communist hymn, 'The International'.

Conclusion: This is an interesting compilation of Area, not only because it has a great set of tracks, but also because the tracks weren't put in a chronological order, despite the first four albums are present here in total. So, we have here what are in general considered the four best studio albums of Area, although I continue to consider that '1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!' is another amazing album, not much lower than the other four. Besides that, here we have also three great live tracks from Area's best live album, 'Are(A)zione' and an original live version of their most experimental album, 'Event '76'. So, 'Area Gold Edition' is an excellent compilation and a great showcase of the Area.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Essential Box Set Collection by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
4.32 | 6 ratings

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The Essential Box Set Collection
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 500

"The Essential Box Set Collection" is a very special compilation album from Area which was released in 2010. This is an interesting package that includes their debut studio album "Arbeit Macht Frei", from 1973, their second studio album "Caution Radiation Area" from 1974, their third studio album "Crac!" from 1975, their fourth studio album "Maledetti" from 1976, their debut live album "Are(A)zione" from 1975 and their second live album "Event '76" from 1979.

As I've already reviewed these six albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read all those reviews. However, in here, I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of all those albums.

"Arbeit Macht Frei": "Arbeit Macht Frei" is a pure jazz rock/fusion album with great intensity. This will probably appeal more to fusion lovers and avant-prog fans than to the average RPI fans. It's more adventurous and challenging. It's emotional and unforgettable. It's an adventurous and intricate album that will repel some and compel others. This is one of the most important Italian prog albums of the 70's, one of the best releases of that sub-genre. "Arbeit Macht Frei" put Area at the level of their compatriots, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme.

"Caution Radiation Area": "Caution Radiation Area" is very different from "Arbeit Macht Frei". "Arbeit Macht Frei" represents Area's early sound, eith folk melodies, Canterbury Scene sound, acid psychedelic stile and avant-garde experimental jazz, all together filtered and mixed through a special Italian sensibility and taste. "Caution Radiation Area" is more experimental with electronic effects. It's the album where the experimental music was more introduced. It's darker and intends to provoke and disturb the usual listener. It's more "radioactive" and needs a caution approach.

"Crac!": "Crac!" has a great mix between jazz and RPI. It has a perfect fusion between the instrumental parts and Demetrio vocals in RPI. It has some of the best and most popular songs of the band, "L'Elefante Bianco", "La Mela Di Odessa" and "Gioia I Rivoluzione", keeping the long instrumental parts, one of the greatest features of Area. "Crac!" is one of the most influential albums in the Italian prog scene. It's a classic album in its genre and is highly recommended for those who love to check something different and fresh. This album should be part of every serious prog collection.

"Are(A)zione": "Are(a)zione" is an excellent live album. It's probably their best live album. The live versions are closer to the original versions. It's a short album with only five tracks. Still, it has two lengthy amazing tracks "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" from "Arbeit Macht Frei" and also the title track "Are(A)zione", which is an original track. So, "Are(A)zione" is perhaps the perfect choice for anyone to start with Area, and in some way it tells their story better than the band's studio albums, or even better than their compilations. This is an excellent addition to any prog collection.

"Maledetti": "Maledetti" is much more experimental than their previous third studio album "Crac!". Its music is chaotic with several influences like traditional Greek music, Arabian music, avant-garde music, free jazz, jazz rock/fusion, funk, Mediterranean music and classical music. Despite "Maledetti" isn't as good as "Arbeit Macht Frei" or "Crac!", is better than "Caution Radiation Area". It's more balanced and it's less dark, more modern, and especially, it has two of their greatest masterpieces "Diforisma Urbano" and "Gerontocrazia". This is one of the finest and creative works from Area.

"Event '76": The radical concept of music of Area isolated the band from the developments in the music scene. It's hard to found any imitators or followers of them. It remains the courageous and difficult attempt of a radical reinterpretation of music, art and interaction. Area was far ahead of their time on the prog music, which never went down on such a thin ice. If there is one of their works that shows so clearly that radical concept, is "Event '76". It's anything but a reference for the usual proghead. But, who deal with the free forms of jazz and the contemporary music maybe is able to like it.

Conclusion: "The Essential Box Set Collection" is an excellent compilation album of Area. It includes almost all the studio albums from the band with the presence of Demetrio Stratos. The only exception is the absence of their fifth studio album "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!" released in 1978. And that it was really pity, indeed. If "1978 ? Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!" was included, we would have here the complete essential studio works from Area. But, it includes also two live albums. "Are(A)zione", is probably Area's best live album and "Event '76" is, surely, Area's most avant-garde album. So, here we have a great showcase of Area's music, which shows the different facets of Area, their most experimental and their most RPI too. So, this is an excellent package for those who don't have yet all these works. It's always a great introduction to the very own world of Area. It's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Revolution by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.43 | 4 ratings

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Revolution
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 496

"Revolution" is a very special compilation of Area and was released in 2003. It was released by Akarma Records and in its front cover we can see a picture of the group, besides a picture of Che Guevara. This is a package that includes their debut studio album "Arbeit Macht Frei", released in 1973, their second studio album "Caution Radiation Area" released in 1974, their third studio album "Crac!" released in 1975 and their debut live album "Are(A)zione" released also in 1975.

This is a very interesting compilation because it includes, in my humble opinion, the two best studio albums from the group "Arbeit Macht Frei" and "Crac!" and also "Caution Radiation Area" one of their best studio albums too. However, all their five studio works with their vocalist Demetrio Stratos in the group are all great and absolutely indispensable musical works. Furthermore, the compilation includes also "Are(A)zione" which is probably the best live album of them.

As I've already reviewed these four albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read all those reviews. However, in here, I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of all those albums.

"Arbeit Macht Frei": "Arbeit Macht Frei" is a true pure jazz rock/fusion album with great intensity. This will probably appeal more to fusion lovers and avant-prog fans than to the average RPI fans, because it's more adventurous and challenging. In many ways, it's a perfect album. It's emotional and unforgettable. It's an adventurous and intricate album that will repel some and compel others. This is a landmark, one of the most important Italian albums of the 70's. It's, in my opinion, one of the best releases of that sub-genre. "Arbeit Macht Frei" is a masterpiece of the band, putting Area at the same quality level of their compatriots, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme.

"Caution Radiation Area": "Caution Radiation Area" is a completely different kind of work than "Arbeit Macht Frei" is. "Arbeit Macht Frei" represents the highlighted Area's early musical sound, which featured folk melodies, Canterbury Scene sound, acid psychedelic stile and avant-garde experimental jazz music, all together filtered and mixed through a very special and very particular Italian sensibility and taste. "Caution Radiation Area" is much more experimental with plenty of electronic effects. So, this is the album where the experimental music is completely introduced. As its name indicates, it's darker than their previous debut. It obviously intended to provoke and disturb the listener. "Caution Radiation Area" is more "radioactive" and needs an extreme caution approach, especially by the newbies with Area.

"Crac!": "Crac!" is one of the best prog albums released by Area. The energy on this album is incredible. It has an excellent mix between jazz and RPI. It has a perfect fusion between the instrumental parts and Demetrio vocals in RPI style. It has some of the best and most popular songs from the band, like "L'Elefante Bianco", "La Mela Di Odessa" and "Gioia I Rivoluzione", which quickly became some of the most played live by the band, keeping the long instrumental parts that have become one of the greatest features of the band. "Crac!" is one of the most influential albums of the early 70's in the Italian prog rock scene. This is a classic album in its genre and it's highly recommended for those who love to check something different fresh and new. Sincerely, this album should be part of every serious prog collection.

"Are(A)zione": "Are(a)zione" is a great live album from a great live band. It's probably the best live album released by the group. On "Are(a)zione" the live songs are closer to the studio versions. It has also a very good production. This is a very short album with only five tracks. However, it has two lengthy amazing tracks "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" from "Arbeit Macht Frei" and the title track "Are(A)zione", which is simply an original track. So, this is a very good live album and it's perhaps the perfect choice for anyone to start with Area, and in some way it tells their story better than band's studio albums, or even better than the compilations of them. This is an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Conclusion: It's always a bit difficult for me to rate this kind of compilations, box sets, with the complete original albums from a band. Why? Because, If you have already the four original albums from the group, you don't need to buy this compilation because it hasn't practically anything new to offer, unless you have only the vinyl versions. In this case, this package is a good complement for you, probably with a cheap price than the four CD's, individually. However, if you don't have these four albums yet, you need urgently to leave your home to buy them. Concluding, this is a great box set with four of the best albums from the group. If you own this compilation or the four albums individually, you only need to buy their fourth studio album "Maledetti" of 1976 and their fifth studio album "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano" of 1978 to have the essential discography of Area. So, this is a high recommended compilation.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Event '76 by AREA album cover Live, 1979
2.47 | 26 ratings

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Event '76
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Review Nš 473

Picking matrices from different styles of music, from jazz to progressive rock music through the vanguard, Area have proved to be the most courageous and original band of Italian prog rock scene. Area began their musical adventure at the end of 1972, gathering musicians from different backgrounds, like pop, free jazz, electronic experimentation and the contemporary music, with the common will of the overcoming of the individual artistic experiences to arrive at a kind of a 'total music'. But to make their mark, it was also and above all the incredible voice of their singer, Demetrio Stratos.

In the begining, the band consisted of Victor Edouard Busnello, Giulio Capiozzo, Yan Patrick Erard Djivas, Patrizio Fariselli, Leandro Gaetano, Paolo Tofani and the Greek Demetrio Stratos who was born in Alexandria, Egypt. Subsequently, Busnello leaved the group and Djivas would become part of Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM). Djivas would be replaced by Ares Tavolazzi. The sixth member of the group-shadow was Gianni Sassi (Frankenstein), the founder of the Cramps Records and creator of some of the most interesting cultural projects in that period. Sassi also handles with the text and image of the band. The music of Area is 'music fusion type internationalist', as was defined by Stratos, the singer and soul of the band. Area tried to make a music style 'total'. Stratos came with his experiences from Greece, other had experience of electronic music in London, two were from jazz and another from contemporary music. All tried to merge, having a combination between rock, jazz, contemporary, Mediterranean and Balkan music.

All this together represents a shift from experimentation, which was very close to the music of John Cage, to jazz- rock, folk from the Middle East and to the Mediterranean folk. One of the goals of the group, in fact, was to tie a purely experimental sound to the Italian and Mediterranean sounds, to rescue them from the world of subculture in which criticism has relegated the Italian music. While Area was coming, like many other Italian groups of the time like Banco Del Muttuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme, Area was also characterized by the radical nature of the content and the musical language adopted by them, which identify utopias and desires of that generation of the 70's.

Area had their heyday between 1973 and 1979, before the death of the singer Demetrio Stratos in 1979, where the charismatic and characteristic voice of the band fell silent. During those years Area plays a partly enriched style by experimental sounds and jazz rock, which sometimes takes up also oriental elements. The textual messages announce radical leftist positions. In those years, the band released five studio albums 'Arbeit Macht Frei' in 1973, 'Caution Radiation Area' in 1974, 'Crac!' in 1975, 'Maledetti' in 1976 and '1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!' in 1978 and two live albums 'Are(A)zione' and 'Event '76' in 1979. The last one will be the subject of this my review.

'Event '76', is a live album of Area which was recorded in 1976 in the great auditorium of the University of Milan. It was recorded at the time when the group was working on their fourth studio album 'Maledetti'. Unlike the 'Concerto Teatro Uomo', which was recorded during the same period, there are no area classics to be heard here, but only excessive collective improvisations. In addition, not all band's members are going on, as bassist Tavolazzi and drummer Capiozzo stayed at home. The saxophonist Steve Lacy and the percussionist Paul Litton took part in the event, which can also be heard as a guest musician on 'Maledetti'. The sound of the recording session is quite good, much better than that the sound of the 'Concerto Teatro Uomo'. However, it's quite far from the quality of a professional live recording, really.

'Event '76' has only three tracks, 'Caos' part one and two and the title track 'Evet '76'. As I already indicated, there are only free improvisations on 'Event '76' in the sense of the song title 'Caos'. This is a wild avant-garde sound clutter, a kind of a bizarre but fascinating free-jazz rock decorated with the crazy vocal acrobatics of Stratos. To describe the music that Stratos and colleagues perform is quite difficult, really. In 'Event '76' the band tries a concept of random improvisation. Each musician tries to improvise. The result is an 'ordered chaos'. The musician is no longer bound by the play of other musicians. His improvisation is now indeed free. And this freedom is the focus of the music.

Conclusion: The radical concept of music of Area, somehow isolated the band from the developments in the music scene, a certainly wanted development. In this respect, it's hardly surprising that Area found hardly any collaborators or imitators. What remains is the courageous, but very difficult, attempt at a radical reinterpretation of music, art and interaction. Seen in this way, Area was far ahead of their time and also of the prog music, who never went down on such a thin ice. And if there is one of their works that shows so clearly the radical concept of their art, I think it's 'Event '76', really. Area's 'Event '76' is anything but a hot recommendation for the usual proghead. However, those who have learned to deal with the free forms of jazz and the contemporary music will be able to discover a fascinating and truly innovative band in Area. But, this isn't a good starting point. As memowakeman said: 'Caution: Improvisation Area!'.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Caution Radiation Area by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.97 | 245 ratings

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Caution Radiation Area
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars The direction Area took with their sophomore album demonstrates the sort of creative process that I often find myself most fond of. As a followup to Arbeit Macht Frei, Caution Radiation Area is not an album I find universally better or worse, but just rather different, focusing on some aspects far more while deemphasising others. This approach is quite appealing due to the way it really can demonstrate a band not being content with just sitting still and sticking to one sound, presenting a willingness to experiment and come up with something new and exciting. In the case of this album, it was clear that the band wouldn't be happy until they further explored the avant prog sound they brought to the table, taking the atonality and aggressive complexity to a whole other level. In the process there is certainly less of a focus on both groove and melody here, to the point where even any vocal inclusions sound incredibly frantic and strange. This ultimately leads to an album that seems deadset on challenging the listener, and sounding even more off the traditional beaten path of Italian prog than their already remarkably distinctive debut.

Despite probably being the most accessible track here, Cometa Rossa sets the album up perfectly, both with those jazzier elements being in the mix, and with the frantic, complex instrumentation rearing its head. While this track definitely has some form of melody to it, it all feels obscured by the band's desire to get weird with it. None of the instrumental sections or sense of rhythm stands still long enough to allow the listener to fully settle into anything, as they are instead thrown around a lot by the ensuing onslaught of ideas all condensed within a short timeframe. Tracks 3 and 5, Brujo and Lobotomia respectively, embody this approach the most prominently and cleanly. Brujo is a nonstop bombardment of jazzy proggy greatness that often times feels closer to a jumbled mess of notes as opposed to much that feels carefully composed or structured at all. It clearly has no intentions of attempting to do anything relating to finding a melody or really anything to grasp onto at all, as it flails wildly and refuses to be following the same train of thought for more than a few seconds at a time. This song also showcases a lot of the reason why the vocals manage to sound so particularly strange besides Demetrio Stratos' breathy, crazed delivery. The way the music practically cuts out, or at least tones it down majorly gives these vocals a rather eerie vibe thanks to how isolated they often sound, making for yet another layer of strangeness on top of everything else.

The album's atmosphere really reaches its peak with its final two songs. Mirage! is a long, explorative track that keeps switching between some sections of echoey, progressively intensifying vocals and somewhat more structured instrumental parts to end up with the most interesting, dynamic song on the album, with the almost space rockish atmosphere that gets established here. Lobotomia closes everything off rather nicely, being the most experimental, challenging piece here, with a somewhat sparse start quickly devolving into a wall of high pitched beeps and buzzes, bringing forth a strangely mechanical sound and ending things on an extremely memorable note. Overall I am quite a big fan of what Area did here, taking their established sound and then just going in a different direction while retaining a lot of their core sound palette and identity. The jazziness certainly still comes through, especially in the drumming, and yet, this is just considerably more insane across the board. This might have led to a compromise in terms of how memorable and "fun" the album was, but this direction is just so cool and interesting that it's a small price to pay, even if it ends up not having a songs as tremendously great as their debut's title track. If you liked the more full on elements of Arbeit Macht Frei, give this album a listen, there really is a lot to love here.

 Arbeit Macht Frei by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.27 | 722 ratings

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Arbeit Macht Frei
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars For quite a while now, I've become increasingly more interested in exploring Italian prog, largely due to the often fundamental differences between it compared to the vast majority of classic progressive rock that I've heard. Of these, one of the primary defining aspects that separates it from the main genre is its more prominent influences from classical music and the way it much more seamlessly blends orchestral elements into its sound. When comparing this to the symphonic elements in prog often putting the majority of its focus onto the keyboard sections, you end up finding a much more diverse and lush range of sounds to discover when looking a bit deeper in this material. This however, is also where Area's work, in this case, their debut Arbeit Macht Frei comes in when it comes to further setting itself apart. While taking the more dynamic sound that Italian prog tends to take, rather than leaning more into classical influence, it instead take a different approach, drawing its influence from jazz and combining it with a far more intense, avant garde sound that at times feels as if it's pushing its particular era of prog to its limit in a glorious way. This also isn't just a case of this being interesting on paper, as in execution, Arbeit Macht Frei also completely succeed in making this sound into something truly interesting to delve into, with a great amount of consistency and interesting ideas to back things up.

The album feels quite noticeably split into 2 parts, with the first half being full of complex and intense proggy moments that are a joy to listen to and contain a nice balance of catchy melodies and dissonant improvisation. The opening track Luglio, Agosto, Settembre sets things up rather nicely, with some spoken word breaking into dramatic, operatic vocals by lead singer Demetrio Stratos, before quickly breaking into an upbeat synth melody. This immediately brings in a lot of interesting ideas, with the synth and eventually brass melody being reminiscent of Arabic music and being contrasted with the bizarre vocal performance that's both passionate yet somewhat dissonant, all of it working together in an imperfect yet extremely effective sense of harmony and cohesion between all the band members. The title track takes a lot of what made this opener good, such as the extremely dynamic nature of it combined with chaotic bursts of energy to create the album's best piece. After a while dedicated to aimless soundscapes being created by the drums and keyboards, the central bassline comes in while other instruments are phased in and out of the mix to create an unusual, yet atmospheric start to the song. Once the saxophone appears, the song really gets going, finding its structure and upping the energy in a satisfying way that sets the stage for some of the madness to ensue. The switch-up halfway through once the vocals get brought in is the moment where the song begins to go from good to great, with the instrumentation shifting to completely centre around an extremely fun, groovy melody that ends up exploding into a dizzying cacophony as bass is replaced with the guitar as a frantic solo is being played in the background, constantly intensifying to near-explosive extents.

After this, Consapevolezza takes the album in a more conventional direction, with its sound and approach being reminiscent of the more frenetic segments from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's work, just with a jazzier twist on it. I like the way it takes the listener on a little journey while simultaneously highlighting the extremely passionate vocals, but on the whole there's not too much outright amazing with this one, even if it's still a very enjoyable listening experience. The 2nd half of the album demonstrates an interesting shift in approach, putting extra emphasis on their jazzy side, being much closer to jazz rock and at times coming close to something you'd hear in fusion, with the instrumental passages becoming longer and focusing even more on the complex interplay between everyone in the band. The first 2 of these 3 songs have little more to be said about them, just that there seems to be a distinctly more atmospheric feel to them, and that the use of brass instruments is brought up significantly, contributing to what makes them both as good as they are. The final track feels like the true culmination of everything this album stands for and demonstrates the perfect balance between its 2 sides, leaving plenty of room for long winded instrumental sections while also giving additional attention to their weirder side. Here's where you get the vocals in particular being pushed to new heights with some wild, dissonant wailing with moments of a more beautiful passion mixed within, ultimately leading to yet another of the album's absolute best songs that only gets better with each listen.

On the whole, this is one of the high points in the Italian prog I've heard, not the absolute peak, but very high up there for sure. The main thing that does this for me is just how distinct and unique it is , taking such a radically different approach in sound to a lot of other bands of the genre and era and then making it work so well. While this doesn't really give the listener much if they're looking for something prettier sounding, for the more experimental side of Italian prog, I cannot think of a better band in general. Essential listening for prog fans who like their music on the more intense side of things I feel this one is practically essential listening, as while it occasionally falters and has some moments that are on the more subdued side, for the most part this will give you the sort of stuff you're looking for.

Best tracks: Luglio agosto settembre (Nero), Arbeit macht frei, L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin

Weakest tracks: Le labbra del tempo

 Maledetti by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.08 | 212 ratings

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Maledetti
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "Maledetti" is a very brainy concept album where the notes to the text count more than the lyrics of the songs (by Gianni Sassi), which as usual are too hermetic to really represent politically militant texts or a very surreal or complicated concept. The musical creativity of Area has reached its maximum in the three previous records, one different from the other, and now seeks a synthesis, difficult, relying on the great creativity of the group, in particular of Fariselli and Tofani, authors of the music.

1. Evaporation (1:45). Intro with electronic noises (Tofani) simulating the explosion of the computer that ruled the world and Stratos singing: "We have lost the memory of the fifteenth century." 2. Urban diphorism (6:18). Diforisma is a word that does not exist in Italian, however it implies a split, and the piece of music wants to indicate this break. The concept began, the computer broke and we need to understand who can take the power. The song is characterized by Fariselli's synths which then gives way to a beautiful Tofani electric guitar solo. Below is the rhythmic session, with Walter Calloni on the drums and both Tavolazzi and Hugh Bullen on the bass: the first, however, plays the double bass. The sound of the two basses is fantastic. About three and a half minutes Stratos' voice arrives, it seems to say something but they are still onomatopoeic sounds. The lyrics of the songs, that is, their lack or excessive brevity, is in my opinion a limit of Area: a group with an exceptional singer like Stratos should not do without singing, however good the instrumentalists are. After the vocalizations of Stratos the music starts again, very sustained, always with Fariselli to rage the synths and then again the guitar of Tofani arrives. Remarkable instrumental piece. It is no different as a structure from many "Crac" pieces but it is much more elaborate and inspired. Rating 8.5.

3. Gerontocracy (7:30). That is power to the old men. This piece, originally sung in Greek, is one of the absolute masterpieces of Area and Italian prog-rock. Beautiful start with voice and percussion and saxophone. Around three minutes the singing starts in Italian. Then comes the instrumental part, which follows a Mediterranean and oriental melody, until it becomes jazz-rock thanks to the double bass of Tavolazzi. The synths of Tofani and Fariselli set a Gentle-Giant math-rock in the central part of the track. Finally towards the end the voice of Stratos returns: often after the first album Area forgot to give a complete shape to the songs but this time it does not happen, the music is well developed and ends properly, remaining exceptional at the beginning and very good for the rest of the piece. A piece like this, long, properly sung, and with an excellent instrumental part, accomplished, has even been missing since the debut of "Arbeit Macht Frei", and "Caution Radiation Area" would have remained an absolute masterpiece, if had put a track like this in the end. Rating 8.5 / 9.

4. Scum (6:30). That is power to the women. Beginning with the piano, fast, with the immense, fantastic bass by Tavolazzi, what a prodigy of musician! Syncopated blues rhythm, which then becomes a free-jazz, very high musical level, the music always revolves around the initial phrase of syncopated piano, which could resemble the music of certain songs of the early Steely Dan. Here we see what Steely Dan could have done if they had the courage and creativity of artists without genre frontiers (instead they only made good jazz-blues, classy but conventional, always respecting the song-form - Area run the opposite danger: they risk being transport too much from creativity, neglecting to give a complete and homogeneous form to their art). However, the jazzy pianism of Fariselli and Stratos is very incisive here, and Capiozzo gives his best. It's all improvisation on the same theme, much more free- jazz than both Caution and Crac. But around 5 minutes the track becomes experimental, the voice of Stratos arrives, reciting, theatrically that in our society there is boredom, and women are neglected, so women fearlessly just have to overthrow the government, and destroy the male sex. And on these words: destroy the male, the A side closes, after a short piano sentence. Rating 8+.

A-Side Rating: 8.5 / 9. Great. Yet, with Area, apart from the first album, I always have the impression that their poorly disciplined creativity makes them do less than they could - their technical potential for vocals and instruments and their creativity are among the highest of contemporary music. Occasionally they lack the composition, the formal refinement of the pieces and the overall balance between instrumental and sung parts, leaving little space for Stratos voice.

B-Side 5. The Brandenburg Massacre Number Three In G Major (2:20). Instrumental piece played by a string quartet, and based on the music of J. S. Bach. The piece would like to deconstruct Baroque classical music (the 1700s), classical music, but in reality it is very respectful of original music, and more than anything else it has a slower and less cheerful rhythm, and a more serious tone. The piece remains beautiful but the credit is from J. S. Bach. If Area wanted to change the music, the intent failed, and they ended up putting a short instrumental record on the disc that summarizes Bach's concert. Rating 7.5 (for Bach rating 10).

6. Giro, Giro, Tondo (5:55). That is power to the children. Vocal, polyphonic beginning, where Stratos gives his best, demonstrates what it means to "sing the voice" (title of his best solo work). Then comes Fariselli's synth and the rhythm section, with Walter Calloni (drums) and Hugh Bullen, who try not to regret Capiozzo and Tavolazzi, and therefore they do a lot of work. Stratos sings the few verses of the song, which will remain the only sung part of the whole second side. It is incredible that a group like Area continues to use so little one of the greatest rock singers of all time, preferring to focus almost everything on instrumental pieces. Of course, after the singing by Stratos, the third part of the piece starts at about three minutes, it is a free-jazz instrumental moment, a long frenzied piece conducted by Fariselli's synth, with the rhythmic section that continues to make its virtuosity. The ending is not entirely successful: the first three minutes are fantastic, the rest are a nice free-jazz exercise, but without a real direction. Rating 8.

7. Chaos (Part Two) (9:00). Avant-garde song of 9 minutes where every minute and a half there is an instrument in the foreground to improvise. Stratos starts with vocalizations alternating with guttural and also vulgar and unpleasant sounds, then Steve Lacy's soprano sax alternated with a demented piano by Fariselli. The percussions of Paul Lytton arrive. Some piano phrases evoke the musical motif of the cartoon "The Pink Panther". With the passage of time the piece becomes more musical thanks to the sax alternating with the voice of Stratos who this time performs in sound experiments of a certain musical content, but .... I spoke too early: the unpleasant vocal sounds return, accompanied by the percussion and by Tofani, who participates with the synth. This new atmosphere is unknown if it is more dramatic or demented or grotesque. John Cage is behind the scenes. When the sax returns, the music returns (music: what Area occasionally forget): it is free-jazz. Piece difficult to evaluate, in my opinion reckless improvisation, aimed at surprising is more an academy exercise than a musical creation. I appreciate it intellectually, but above all for free-jazz pieces (in particular the work of Lacy's sax), in my opinion the avant-garde and experimentalism must be at the service of music and not an end in themselves. Rating 8?

Second side almost entirely instrumental, where Stratos is either absent or accompanies music with phonetic experiments. Extemporaneous side, which includes a transcription of baroque music with string quartet and a completely avant-garde and improvised song, perhaps the pinnacle of experimentalism reached by Area. But it is an academic experimentalism. B-side rating: 8?

In its inhomogeneity, Maledetti is a more balanced album than Caution Radiation Area and Crac. It is halfway between these two predecessors. It is very experimental and theatrical, but compared to Caution it has more accessible songs and Stratos can give its best in at least in two songs. Compared to Crac, in general it has more elaborate, more courageous songs, it only lacks a hit such as L'Elefante bianco.

Anyway, I can consider this album a real masterpiece. His quality doesn't reach that of Arbeit Macht Frei but we fly on a wonderful sky, at a big heigh.

Rating 9+. Five Stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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