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Crossover Prog • Argentina

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Polifemo biography
This band was like a who's who of Argentinian rock/prog.Basically they were an off shoot of the great Sui Generis.Legendary guitarist David Lebon(Color Humano,Pescado Rabioso,guest with Sui Generis),bassist Rinaldo Rafanelli(Sui Generis,Color Humano) and drummer Juan Rodrigez(Los Mentales,Sui Generis) came toghether in 1975 and recorded a couple of basic hard/blues rock singles that got them instant recognition.The following year they enlisted yet another important figure of the fertile Argentinian scene, keyboardist Ciro Fogliatta(Los Gatos,Sacramento,Espiritu) and started working on their first eponymus album.

The result was quite a departure from those two early singles,beign a blend of hard rock with the bombast and symphonism of prog.Most of the tracks are heavy and song based,yet the elaborated arrangements,instrumental sections and lush keyboards makes them more than your average run- of- the- mill hard rock band,although there are a few dud tracks(similar to their early singles) that seemed out of place on the album.Side two of the original vinyl was spectacular to say the least,with all three mid-lenght tracks spliced together in suite-like fashion.
The second album,released in 1977, was more of the same,yet this time the instrumental sections were longer,more elaborate and Fogliatta seemed to have more freedom and was let loose, along with Lebon,to produce some mind bogling solos of pyrotechnical proportions.There seemed to be more of a latin flair than on the first release too.

Unfortunately,before the album came out,the band broke out and Fogliatta was left ''holding the baby''.He apperantly finished producing the album by himself.
Both albums are recommended to those into the heavier side of 70's elaborated/prog rock such as Queen,Uriah Heep,Argent,mid-period Styx and maybe Santana.Both albums have been re-released on CD with the singles as bonus.

:::: Bio written by Alain Mallette, Quebec, Canada ::::

Why this artist must be listed in :
good hard driving Argentinian prog

Polifemo (76)
Polifemo II (77)

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EMI Argentina 2007
Audio CD$5.14
$5.13 (used)
Polifemo by Polifemo (2007-08-29)Polifemo by Polifemo (2007-08-29)
EMI Argentina
Audio CD$53.12
Polifemo 1978 [Audio CD] PolifemoPolifemo 1978 [Audio CD] Polifemo
Audio CD$55.00 (used)
Serie De Oro: Grandes ExitosSerie De Oro: Grandes Exitos
EMI Europe Generic 2004
Audio CD$16.79
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POLIFEMO discography

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3.06 | 12 ratings
3.11 | 8 ratings
Polifemo II

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Polifemo by POLIFEMO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 12 ratings

Polifemo Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Short-lived Argentinian supergroup, that came to life in 1975 after the demise of Sui Generis.Initially Polifemo started as a Blues Rock trio with Sui Generis's Rinaldo Rafanelli on bass and Juan Rodriguez on bass along with guitarist David Lebón (ex-Pappo's Blues and a bandmate of Rinaldo Rafanelli in Color Humano).After a first single in 1975 the trio was joined by Espíritu's keyboardist Ciro Fogliatta and Polifemo, who had already singed with EMI, debuted in May 1976 with a self-titled debut.

While the basis of Polifemo's music was still a standard well-played Blues Rock, the presence of Fogliatta and the anxious spirits of the rest of the band make ''Polifemo'' much more than a rock release full of bluesy solos and grooves.The short tracks of course are just Hard/Blues Rock pieces with strong guitar moves, expressive vocals and jazzy piano parts, very catchy and with typical song structures.As the compositions get longer though, things become more complicated.The guitars become sharper and the riffing monsterous and attacking like in the long ''Tu Forma Real'', while the rhythm section sounds a bit more powerful.Moreover the work of Fogliatta on keys becomes a main component of Polifemo's approach.Dirty organ themes, soft piano themes and suprisingly some lovely moog synth solos (am I the only one to hear some evident Italian Prog resemblances in these parts?) make the music enganging and more progressive, while the arrangements are definitely demanding with long instrumental parts and a fair amount of breaks.

While this should'nt be listed among the best Argentinian Prog releases, ''Polifemo'' is an album filled with nice moments of bluesy Progressive Rock with a touch of Classic Prog in the keyboard work.We should'nt expect less from such a talented line-up.Recommended and notice that EMI's CD reissue contains all four tracks of Polifemo's couple of early singes as bonus material.

 Polifemo II by POLIFEMO album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.11 | 8 ratings

Polifemo II
Polifemo Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The least one can say about the opening track, is that it is quite a ride! Lots of genre are mixed here: from a bluesy / lousy start, this song evolves brilliantly into the most complex genre of prog. Truly eclectic, but melodic and catchy: over eight minutes of a musical fantasy which are quite challenging.

To be honest, this album shows some very good numbers. A composition as ''Viene Del Sul'' offers such great blends of symph combined with this incredible Latin touch: a second highlight for sure.

''Superhombre'' (superman) is probably the most symphonic track of all and is quite moving: the keys here are just ''estupendos''. The rocking feel might sound a bit old- fashioned but the whole of this song is quite enjoyable.

I guess that they band thought very much of dear old Carlos while they were recording ''Trópico De Cáncer'': the guitar sounds from the master are here, some wonderful drumming along with a symphonic jazz feel are the great ingredients of this very good number. But so far, there are only excellent songs featured on this album.

The band also offer some upbeat songs (almost heavy) with the great ''Dualidad'' which starts very timidly but grows up crescendo in such a beautiful way. Vocals are great and the final rhythm is just wonderful.

It is also needed to mention that there is a certain jazzy atmosphere that can be felt in this abum (''Pie''). Although this number didn't start at all as a jazzy tune, it wis quickly evolving into these territories. But it is the type of flavours that were available on the ''Welcome'' album from who you might know.

Lots of instrumental portions were available on this album, and while you are listening to the rocking ''Oye Dios?'', you can only be grateful for this. Press next (unless you are willing to listen to a poor hard-rock Spanish song).

It is a bit of a shame that the last two songs from this album are not really on par. The closing ''Buzos...'' being the poorest of all.

Three stars (but seven out of ten is more appropriate).

 Polifemo by POLIFEMO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 12 ratings

Polifemo Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Lots of song titles are a good indication of the work you are listening to, and ''Que Hago Yo Aqui'' which means ''what am I doing here'' is no exception. Some blues oriented song with Spanish vocals. A big deal for sure (same feel for ''Vamos Al Campo'')!

Fortunately, ''12 Caras'' (12 faces) is of another calibre and pretty enjoyable: high pitched vocals, a real dynamic rhythmic section are quite good ingredients. It is rather difficult to understand why ''Que Hago Yo Aqui'' was placed as the opening number while one the worst of tracks featured here.

Actually, things are getting better and better as long as the album pursues. The long and quite symphonic ''Tu Forma Real'' is quite a moving tune, mainly thanks to the sweet vocals but also to the Trespass-esque mood of the first part of this short epic (almost ten minutes) which then evolves to a very dynamic and well crafted instrumental section. A highlight for sure.

The band is alternating the good and the weak though. It takes up with fine territories during ''Flotando'' (floating) which hasn't anything to do with a spacey song: on the contrary, this song is constructed as a fine crescendo which ends up in a quite sustained beat.

It is hard to define ''Polifemo'' music since they are frequently mixing blues, heavy prog ('' Dueña Del Comfort'' although this one is also tinted with blues influences) symphonic passages and classic rock'n'roll. I have to admit that to swallow all these genres in one single album is not an easy task.

In terms of symphonic, I guess that ''Temas?'' deserves the Palme d'Or. The arrangements are more complex and in terms of prog we are definitely in front of one of the best (even if mellow at times) songs from this work. A fine rock ballad with very good background mellotron.

The final part of this album is of no interest: two poor Spanish rock tunes which really don' t sit here.

Three stars (but this is an upgrade from a five out of ten, really).

 Polifemo II by POLIFEMO album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.11 | 8 ratings

Polifemo II
Polifemo Crossover Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With their second album, Polifemo reached their artistic peak in terms of versatility, in the framed context of rock'n'roll and blues-rock that marked the band's very essence. Two things happened in the minds of Lebón and Rafanelli, the two main writers: the former was interested in exploring the melancholic side of melodic rock, while the later became momentarily obsessed with bands such as Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, an obsession that he eventually translated into the writing of long instrumentals. Between these two sonic columns, the one of introspective atmospheres and the one of extroverted colors, the general feeling in the band was that the band was losing focus. Of course, this situation can be better appreciated by the average prog-rock fan, and since this is what I am, I think that this is the album that justifies Polifemo's entry in the Archives. 'El Sueño Terminó' is a long blues-rocker that may remind us of Poco, Doobie Brothers and Allman Brothers, while 'Súper Hombre' sets a compromise between heavy prog (a la Ave Rock) and symphonic rock (a la Espíritu), with a little more emphasis on the former trend: the 5 minute span is properly worked on through the varying moods and tempos. Between the two is 'Viene el Sol', a mid-tempo rock ballad that included enough ornaments as to meet the artsy standards that were infiltrating the band's creative process at that point. The proggiest things are encapsulated in 'Trópico de Cáncer' and 'Pie'. 'Trópico de Cáncer' is very permeable to the inclusion of jazz-rock and funky overtones in many cadences and many places of the rhythm section, with the final result sounding quite close to a hybrid of "Agitor Lucens V"-era Arco Iris with pre-"Romantic Warrior"-era Return to Forever. There is a recognizable opening motif that will only be reprised for the closing section. Rafanelli displays an enthusiastic bass solo somewhere in the middle, taking full advantage of the jam-track's friendly nature. 'Pie' is more emphatically jam-based than the aforesaid track: a very attractive excursion that shows, more than any other track in the album, what a proficient drummer Juan Rodríguez is. These two tracks, plus 'Dualidad' and 'Súper Hombre', are accountable for what Polifemo does offer to the art- rock lover. 'Dualidad' is the other Lebón-penned ballad, reiterating the melancholic mood of track 2 and even reinforcing it until a fast-paced jazz-rock coda settles in with an effective attitude. This song's mood bears an undisputed family resemblance to most of the songs that he will eventually write during his Serú Girán tenure. By the time you listen to the final notes of 'Pie', you will be reliving the band's final moments: by the time this album was in the post-production phase, Polifemo was almost officially terminated.
Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition.

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