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STANDARTE

Heavy Prog • Italy


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Standarte biography
STANDARTE is an Italian band that has brought back a previously long-dead 70's style, that being the majestic organ-heavy hard rock of so many European rock groups of the time. All records consist of basically the same kind of music: symphonic progressive, other times jazzy, funky and/or bluesy, and quite often psychedelic. The songs differ a little, but the sound and the style stay the same.

"Stimmung" is strong throughout, and is a fine choice to discover STANDARTE's throwback style. Fans of the not-so-krautrock (but still German) 'big sound' artists of the 70s (like GROBSCHNITT, JANE, BIRTH CONTROL, and OS MUNDI) should really enjoy STANDARTE.

Standarte official website

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Buy STANDARTE Music


StandarteStandarte
Import
Black Widow 2005
Audio CD$33.59
$84.10 (used)
StimmungStimmung
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$19.99
$19.99 (used)
Curses & InvocationsCurses & Invocations
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$23.39
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STANDARTE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.60 | 21 ratings
Standarte
1996
3.53 | 17 ratings
Curses and Invocations
1996
3.07 | 12 ratings
Stimmung
1999

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

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

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Emmaus (Promo compilation)
1998

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

STANDARTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Standarte by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 21 ratings

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Standarte
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Originating from Pisa, Italy this excellent Black Widow Records discovery was active through the 90's, led by keyboardist Michele Profeti, performing initially as a trio with bassist Stefano Gabbani and drummer Daniele Caputo completing the line-up.Standarte made their debut in 1995 with a self-titled album, released both on CD and vinyl formats and featuring Steve Mattews on the spoken parts.

It makes no surprise that the band was strongly influenced by ATOMIC ROOSTER, as the album was dedicated to VINCENT CRANE, who had died a few years ago.Standarte played a massive, keyboard-based Heavy/Psychedelic Rock with Hammond organ and Mellotron particularly in evidence, being definitely one of the most retro-sounding acts of the 90's.With vocals in English and the storytelling narrations of Mattews helping on capturing a 70's feeling, the music is dominated by haunting, monster Mellotron waves and psychedelic organ washes with deep bass and dynamic drumming supporting, while the voice of Daniele Caputo is excellent with no obvious accent problems.The sound is powerful, sinister and passionate all the way with pounding grooves, dark melodies and atmospheric keyboard interludes.The album features also lots of guitar plays with a typical Heavy Rock attitude, split in rhythmic lines and punchy solos, however no guitarist is credited in the album's notes neither an official Standarte member seems to handle it.Other strong reminders are certainly DEEP PURPLE in the powerful tunes and THE MOODY BLUES in the more orchestrated parts, a combination of styles that works extremely well in an album full of raw 70's power and one the best keyboard performances to be heard by a Prog group throughout the 90's, having a nostalgic and deeply atmospheric approach.

No less than highly recommended.A true gem of the 90's, that could have been easily recorded in 1970.Dynamic, intricate and irritating Progressive Rock of a fantastic quality.

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 Stimmung by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.07 | 12 ratings

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Stimmung
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars There is actually not a lot to say about this album. Same recipe than their two previous works: weak vocals, average production and song writing. In a word: nothing extraordinary and probably the reason why the band put an end to their work after this album.

Only twenty minutes of original studio work, that's not much! Short of inspiration I guess; although "Stimmung" was released more than two years after their prior "Curses And Invocations".

Actually, this album could suit your taste if you are deeply stuck into the heavy rock of the early seventies, combined with a natural love for keyboards. But their first two albums were just better (even if not memorable).

From their new material, only Kankweezler and the title track which features excellent keys passages and rocks like hell could draw my attention. The last studio number "Sonnermensch" is also a solid piece of rock, but without inspiration and repetitive. Maybe a showcase for their new guitar player (they used to be a trio).

The major part of this album is made up of five live tracks. They are good for half an hour of heavy- rock jamming and straight-forward but not always boring music. From which the psychedelic and instrumental Moon In Cancer is my favourite.

The last song of their set during that concert (if I'm referring to the announcement) is a live version of "In My Time Of Dying" which was available on their first album: it is only remarkable during its instrumental middle-part. The intro and closing sections being average heavy-blues music which I don't fancy very much.

The sound of the last live songs is rather weak, and none of them are of high interest IMO. Again, I can't be very enthusiast for the vocals from "I Won't Start Another Song". Actually, they couldn't have said better.

Two stars for this average album.

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 Curses and Invocations  by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.53 | 17 ratings

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Curses and Invocations
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It is rather strange that a band of the mid nineties was so deeply rooted in the early seventies repertoire. A fine travel through time.

Of course, this album is strongly related to what ELP have produced; but not only. They sound mightier, less intricate than one of their mentor. The other one being "Atomic Rooster".

Don't look for an excess of originality here. Just take the music as it comes and enjoy. At least, this is what I'm doing. The opening number is just fantastic: this orgy of organ is so fabulous! When it is over, you only want to play it again and again.

If you think you listen to "Pictures." during the intro of "What More.", don't worry: I had the same feeling. And if you have the feeling to hear the early "Santana" ("Evil Ways") during the first part of "Ordeal ", don't worry; you're not alone. But it will evolve into a more standard song. Another good song even if vocals are somewhat weak here.

Here and there some abuses in the moog use, but Michele Profeti on the synth is generally very good. I particularly like the excellent mellotron (no surprise of course) in a song like "Gehenna". Real good!

Most of the songs are shortly formatted (except three of them), but most of them are very pleasant to listen like the wild "Herald". The epic "Mooning." starts promisingly on a soft, yet fine mood; but as soon as vocals come in, the interest is dropping seriously. Flat, dull and inexpressive. Fortunately, the last part is fully instrumental and offers tons of keyboards of all sorts (just like in N.T.F.B.Y.).

In all, this is a pleasant album which suffers from an average production and often weak vocals. Three stars.

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 Standarte by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 21 ratings

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Standarte
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Early seventies music released in the mid-nineties. This is what "Standarte" is offering.

And I have to say that the band is quite convincing in this heavy loaded keyboards oriented music. Heep, Atomic Rooster or Jane's fans, this band is definitively worth watching out!

From the very start of the album (Dream Love Sequence Nr.9), one knows what is going on. Keyboards have an enormous influence of course since there are no guitar player (?) within the band. All songs are sung in English, which is not frequent for an Italian band.

Standarte is nicely rocking during the scary "One Strange December Evening" which shows an excellent Michele Profeti on the keys. And the drummer/singer Daniele Caputo is very efficient too. The mood changes completely for the finale which is a kind of a remake of the closing section of "Dancing Out With The Moonlit Knight" from whom you might know.

These first two songs are excellent. Powerful, mighty yet sensitive music. The heavy scheme keeps on with "As I Wandered", but this one is a more straightforward track which can't compete with the best parts of this work.

This record sounds as a concept album, almost each track being shortly introduced by some spoken words. I don't usually like this very much but it doesn't bother me here, since these parts are short. It also sounds as there is a guitar part in "Tolerance Town" which is another very good track.

I won't say the same about the funky "Beat Pimp Muzak" and the average bluesy "In My Time Of Dying" (although this one features a great middle section). But not all numbers could be jewels, right?

We're heading the wild territories with "A War Is Declared". Violent beat, pumping and crazy organ play and again some. wild guitar! Mostly instrumental, this is another fine track. But delicate ears should avoid this one. For them, only the finale which features peaceful church organ would do.

The closing numbers are conventional heavy rock music with less originality. By no means weak, but at this time of the album, they sound a bit too much.

This "Standarte" debut is encouraging and should appeal some nostalgic old freaks. Three stars.

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 Stimmung by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.07 | 12 ratings

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Stimmung
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I think the band knew at this point in their careers that this project was coming to a close. They only had enough material for half an album, so they used live tracks for the other half. As usual this Italian band brings back the seventies sound with vintage keys, hammond organ and mellotron. Vocals are in English and this is properly filed under Heavy-prog, one of my favourite genres(hello King By-Tor!). I have to say that I can't help but love the way this band sounds. I value all three of their studio albums.

"Intro" is dark with heavy guitar that slowly rises up, drums follow. Yes this is an intro ! Mellotron comes and goes. Nice. "(We Want) A Peaceful Village" is a heavy tune with drums, organ and vocals leading the way.The tempo really picks up 30 seconds in.The guitar becomes aggressive as vocals and organ shine. It settles down some after 2 1/2 minutes before kicking back in. "Kankweezler" opens with mellotron and reserved vocals. A nice heavy sound a minute in. Some good organ runs a minute later. Guitar solo after 3 minutes as drums impress late. "Stimmung" opens like "Dont' Fear The Reaper" only faster. Organ, drums, guitar and mellotron are all so good on this one. "Sonnermensch" builds with solid drums and powerful organ. This is a fantastic instrumental.

The last 5 songs are live. "Moon In Cancer" is the highlight as far as mellotron goes. This is a live instrumental. The organ is killer as well. "Dark Satanic Hill" is another outstanding track with some great guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. "In My Time Of Dying" was on one of their previous studio albums.The organ again steals the show. They seem to just jam part way through. "Yellow Cave Woman" is another favourite of mine. Love the drumming as the guitar starts to light it up. Amazing tune. "I Won't Start Another Song" is perhaps prophetic as far as this band is concerned. The Hammond is all over this one. Nice contrasts throughout and some ripping guitar after 4 minutes.

The picture in the liner notes of Michele Profeti surrounded by banks of keyboards says it all about this album. 4 solid stars.

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 Standarte by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 21 ratings

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Standarte
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If I may follow on from the wonderful review of Sinkadotentree, this is a superb Retro-Prog album I have been indulging in (from the other side of the Globe), from Italians STANDARTE. I must say that the album opens up with an exciting Mellotronic/Spoken Word segment, recalling the way the Moody Blues opened up their 'Threshold' album. These guys rock hard, too. They obviously have a high regard for the late Vincent Crane and his band Atomic Rooster. The music is composed with great taste in mind, and doesn't fail to deliver the goods, high quality vocals (in English) also compliment their formula. Admittedly, it's taken me a few spins to get into them, but the result is most satisfying. Thanks to 'Black Widow' records for pressing this beast onto vinyl !! 4 stars.

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 Standarte by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 21 ratings

BUY
Standarte
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Maybe not quite as good as their next one "Curses And Invocations"(a toss up for me) but man I love their sound. Very much a throw back to the late sixties, early seventies organ led music. It's not surprising then that they dedicate this record to the late Vincent Crane(his picture is on the back of the album cover) the former organist for ATOMIC ROOSTER. This band is a trio from Italy with English vocals.

"Dream Love Sequence Nr. 9" opens with mellotron as spoken words come in. Reserved vocals then take over as mellotron continues to flood. The vocals remind me a little of another Italian band called TWENTY FOUR HOURS. Powerful organ runs before 2 minutes as pounding drums join in. Mellotron and reserved vocals are back as this contrast continues. I can't tell you how much I enjoy this track. Some nice bass and mellotron 5 minutes in. A complete change of melody a minute later(more uptempo) after some spoken words. "One Strange December Evening" opens again with mellotron as spoken words come in. An uptempo melody takes over consisting of vocals, bass, drums and organ. A sinister vibe 1 1/2 minutes in comes and goes throughout. This is great ! A complete change arrives after 4 minutes, as an acoustic guitar solo ends it.

"As I Wandered" opens with spoken words. A catchy vocals, organ and drum melody takes over the rest of the way. Nice. Guitar comes in after 2 minutes. "Tolerance Town" opens with spoken words. I love the organ in this one. The bass is prominant 2 minutes in, and the guitar is quite raw sounding. This is a great instrumental. "Beat Pimp Muzak" really has a sixties feel to it, thanks mainly to the organ melodies. Vocals a minute in. "A War Was Declared" is another instrumental and possibly my favourite track. The mellotron to open is like a wind storm as spoken words come in. Light drums, bass and organ start to build. The guitar 2 1/2 minutes in is outstanding ! It's like they are just jamming and having a blast. "In My Time Of Dying" uses the same words that are used on the song of the same title by LED ZEPPELIN, but a completely different melody is used. These last three tracks contain no mellotron surprisingly. This is a powerful song,quite heavy in fact. Check out the guitar and sound 2 minutes in. Incredible. The last minute of the song is different as acoustic guitar and soft vocals end it. Amazing song. "Traumland" is another killer track. I just laugh during this one because it is so good. The organ play is insane, especially 3 1/2 minutes in. The guitar sounds so dirty on this one. "I Want You" is a vocal track that is very catchy, could have been a single back in the day.

Easily 4 stars for me. Check out the Vemod-like cover as well. ANEKDOTEN would be proud i'm sure.

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 Stimmung by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.07 | 12 ratings

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Stimmung
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars

FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM!!

This is the third and until now final effort by the Italian progrock band Standarte. Their second album entitled Curses & Invocations is one of my favorite 'vintage keyboards' CD's, what a cascades of Mellotrons, Moogs and Hammond organ, Progheaven! On this album Standarte has added a guitarist to the line-up but the focal point remains the keyboard work, especially the Hammond organ, evoking lots of late Sixties and early Seventies 'Heavy Progressive' bands like The Spencer Davis Group, Atomic Rooster, Uriah Heep and early Jane. The 10 compositions doesn't sound very surprising, in fact Standarte delivers quite simple music but the atmospheres are very pleasant and I love the powerful organ and fiery guitar, at some moments I am carried away by swirling Hammond organ soli in the vein of Eddie Hardin (ex-Spencer Davis Group). The first five tracks are recorded in the studio, the next 3 tracks are 'live in Stockholm' and the final two songs live broadcasted on the radio. Don't mind the vocals and the weak compositions, just enjoy the great Hammond sound along some Mellotron waves!



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 Curses and Invocations  by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.53 | 17 ratings

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Curses and Invocations
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is really a throw-back to the seventies sound with mellotron on every track and lots of organ. In fact this Italian band are a power trio but the organ is the lead instrument instead of the guitar. Bass and drums round out the sound although we get moog, piano and harpsichord too.These guys are on the "Black Widow" label which is a little surprising considering their sound, although if you read the lyrics and check out the pictures in the liner notes it makes more sense.

"Dysangelium" is led by mellotron early with vocals arriving a minute in.The song kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes and the contrast continues. I like when the organ leads the way late. "What More I Have To Say" is a brighter song once it gets going. Nice bass and organ in this one. "Cities Of Towers" opens with mellotron before the main melody (including harpsichord) then vocals come in.This song makes me feel good. A change 3 1/2 minutes in though as it slows down and gets heavier.The song "Ordeal" is very infectious, a THE DOOR'S-like organ led tune with a sixties feel to it, that turns quite dreamy later on. "Gehenna" is experimental to open with mellotron to follow. Vocals arrive quickly in this great sounding track.

"Arrival Of The Traveller" is a cover of a GRACIOUS ! tune.This turns out to be quite a psychedelic instrumental with lots of mellotron. "Herald" is another instrumental with emphasis on the organ. "Mooning 'Round The Mill Hill" is the longest song at almost 12 minutes.This is divided into 3 sections and is clearly one of the highlights of this album. A river of mellotron to open.The drums come pounding in as the organ lets it rip. Vocals follow.This is just the start of this most excellent ride. Organ and vocals lead the way on "N.T.F.B.Y." a catchy tune indeed. "The One You Fear And Hate" is another good song with lots of organ runs and I like the vocals.The bass is prominant as well. "Crossings" is the closing instrumental with pulsating organ, mellotron and drums standing out.

This is old school and I love it ! So much organ and mellotron on this vintage sounding album. 4 stars without hesitation.

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 Curses and Invocations  by STANDARTE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.53 | 17 ratings

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Curses and Invocations
Standarte Heavy Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

Behind this sinister title hides a sombre and melancholic album, the second from Standarte. The debut sounded a lot like Atomic Rooster, with a flurry of organs and great ambiances making for a fairly enjoyable retro-prog album, but by all means, it was not groundbreaking! The least we cab say is that their second album is not anymore inventive than its predecessor, but the influences changed towards a more Scandinavian feeling somewhere close to early Anekdoten and Landberk (loads of analogue KB and an orgy of mellotrons) with shades of ITCOTCK or slightly ELP-ish hints. Clearly these guys are also influenced by some Satanism in their texts (well to be expected, as they record for the label Black Widow), but this does not mean that their music is macabre or morbid, quite the contrary, it borders often on the sublime with use (and abuse) of mellotrons (both Gabbani and Profetti play it as well as the Moog), but there is much less energy on this album as opposed to the debut. Although most tracks are good calibre with apt English singing, the highlight is clearly the three part 12 min Mooning Around Mill Hill and the almost 9 min Ordeal

If you are a proghead eternally stuck in the 70's but do not mind the 90's group dedicated at reproducing this type of music (hence the name retro prog) , then Italy holds many surprises for you among which the more recent Wicked Minds and Areknames.

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