Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cervello picture
Cervello biography
Founded in Naples, Italy in 1970 - Disbanded in 1974

CERVELLO are another example of a seventies Italian prog band who only managed to release one album. They quickly appeared at a number of festivals including the Palermo Pop Festival. The line-up consisted of Gianluigi Di Franco on vocals and flute, Corrado Rustici on guitar and flute, Remigio Esposito on drums and vibes, Antonio Spagnolo on bass and violin and Giulio D'Ambrosio on sax and flute. They had a connection with OSANNA as Rustici was the brother of Danilo Rustici, their guitarist.

As well as family ties CERVELLO also occupied similar musical territory to OSANNA. A high standard of musicianship is present on "Melos" and they should appeal to fans that enjoy the wilder excesses of RPI, not only OSANNA but the likes IL BALETTO DI BRONZO and RACCOMANDATA CON RICEVUTA DI RITORNO. They combine a fairly eclectic blend of musical styles ranging from acoustic folk, occasional avant moments to more bombastic instrumental workouts. The excellent guitar work of Rustici display's a John McLaughlin influence at times. Notable is the absence of keyboards, in their place sax and flute playing a more prominent role.

Unfortunately the band was short lived and split up in 1974 with Rustici joining OSANNA and then NOVA before embarking on a solo career including production work. Vocalist Gianluigi Di Franco, who sadly died in 2005, collaborated with Toni Esposito on "Kalimba De Luna" and "As You As" before embarking on music therapy work.

"Melos" remains essential listening for anyone seriously exploring the Italian prog scene and is rated highly by many fans of the genre.

-Paul Fowler/Nightfly

See also: WiKi

CERVELLO Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Show all CERVELLO videos (1) | Search and add more videos to CERVELLO


Live in Tokyo 2017Live in Tokyo 2017
Corrado Rustici 2019
$13.20 (used)
Sony Music 2014
$30.65 (used)
Melos by CERVELLO (2013-05-04)Melos by CERVELLO (2013-05-04)
$32.52 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CERVELLO Melos japan gimmick cover '83 LP italy prog Osanna Museo Rosenbach USD $53.99 Buy It Now
Used CD - IL DIAVOLO NEL CERVELLO - Ennio Morricone - Dagored - Dozens Listed USD $25.00 Buy It Now 12h 7m
Enrico Ruggeri Cuore Muscoli E Cervello 3 CD NEW sealed USD $37.85 Buy It Now 18h 57m
Sfregio - Marcio Nel Cervello [CD] USD $18.70 Buy It Now 1 day
Cervello Melos Mini LP CD JAPAN BVCM-37426 NEW / Corrado Rustici Osanna PFM USD $19.99 [1 bids]
1 day
Jordi CERVELLO MALOV & IOFF violin MASSARSKI cello USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CERVELLO Melos original 1973 Italian prog lp with die cut cover PFM King Crimson USD $499.99 [0 bids]
4 days
Il Diavolo Nel Cervello - Coloured Vinyl - Limited Edition - Ennio Morricone USD $31.90 Buy It Now 4 days
Fabio Frizzi - Un Gatto Nel Cervello (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $17.46 Buy It Now 5 days
Fabio Frizzi - Un Gatto Nel Cervello (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $18.96 Buy It Now 5 days
Piero Montanari-STANLIO & OLLIO:DUE TESTE SENZA CERVELLO-NEW 2CD USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Fabio Frizzi/Giorgio Cascio-Zombi 2/Un gatto nel cervello-new CD USD $23.00 Buy It Now 6 days
CERVELLO ELETTRONICO Process of Elimination 2010 CD Crunch Pod Techno-Industrial USD $5.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Ennio Morricone "IL DIAVOLO NEL CERVELLO" score Japan SLC CD out of print USD $25.99 Buy It Now 8 days
I POOH-Parsifal JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI PFM Banco Museo Rosenbach Cervello USD $39.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Cervello Melos JAPAN CD MINI LP USD $25.00 Buy It Now 9 days
CERVELLO Melos JAPAN CD BVCM-37426 2003 OBI USD $65.87 Buy It Now 10 days
ENNIO MORRICONE - Il Diavolo nel Cervello PURPLE VINYL LP (NEW) ITALIAN OST USD $21.67 Buy It Now 11 days
MUSEO ROSENBACH-Live In Studio JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI PFM Banco Cervello Osanna USD $99.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Ennio Morricone: Diavolo Nel Cervello, Il (New/Seal CD) USD $14.05 Buy It Now 11 days
Fabio Frizzi - Un Gatto Nel Cervello (A Cat in the Brain) (Original Soundtrack) USD $19.07 Buy It Now 12 days
Fabio Frizzi - Un Gatto Nel Cervello (A Cat in the Brain) (Original Soundtrack) USD $19.74 Buy It Now 12 days
Sfregio - Marcio Nel Cervello NEW CD USD $16.45 Buy It Now 13 days
Carlo Rustichelli East LP - 7 Uomini E Un Cervello/Scacco Internazionale Mint USD $145.72 Buy It Now 14 days
Ennio Morricone Il Diavolo Nel Cervello aka Devil In The Brain OST LP AMS Vinyl USD $30.04 Buy It Now 17 days
Cervello Elettronico-Cervello Elettronico - Bipolar CD NEW USD $26.36 Buy It Now 18 days
CERVELLO - Melos - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $27.95 Buy It Now 19 days
Enrico Ruggeri - Cuore Muscoli E Cervello [New CD] Italy - Import USD $15.83 Buy It Now 21 days
Enrico Ruggeri - Cuore Muscoli E Cervello [New CD] Italy - Import USD $18.70 Buy It Now 21 days
Ennio Morricone - Il Diavolo Nel Cervello (Colonna Sonora Originale) Vinyl LP USD $40.90 Buy It Now 22 days
Gappa-Cervello in Fuga CD NEW USD $18.59 Buy It Now 22 days
MORRICONE, Ennio - Il Diavolo Nel Cervello (Soundtrack) - Vinyl (LP) USD $33.62 Buy It Now 23 days
Cervello Elettronico Logical Fears industrial noise alternative electro USD $8.95 Buy It Now 24 days
Cervello-Melos Italian prog psych cd USD $15.99 Buy It Now 24 days
Jordi Cervello Alexis Soriano Musica Para Cuerda sealed Spain cd USD $2.99 Buy It Now 24 days
Cervello Elettronico - Bipolar CD NEW USD $23.79 Buy It Now 25 days
Ennio Morricone: Diavolo Nel Cervello, Il (New/Sealed CD) USD $17.88 Buy It Now 27 days
(CC848) Sfregio, Matcio Nel Cervello - DJ CD USD $5.74 Buy It Now 27 days
CERVELLO Melos K32Y 1st PRESS JAPAN CD K32Y-2145 1988 USD $43.85 Buy It Now 27 days
Fabio Frizzi-Un Gatto Nel Cervello-LUCIO FULCI OST-NEW CD USD $22.00 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy CERVELLO music online Buy CERVELLO & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

CERVELLO discography

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

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

4.19 | 207 ratings

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

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

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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars CERVELLO was one of countless bands from the early 70s Italian prog scene that only managed to squeak out one album before disappearing as quickly as they emerged on the scene, but like many others who contributed to the rich and diverse tapestry of sounds that constituted the jazzy symphonic soundscapes, managed to incorporate a local flavor into their musical mix. CERVELLO (Italian for 'brain') emerged from Naples and is closely related to Osanna as multi-instrumentalist and band leader Corrado Rustici was the younger brother of Osanna's Danilo Rustici and much like the music of Osanna, the music deftly fortifies their complex punctilious prog arrangements with clever uses of local Neopolitan folk flavorings, jazzy touches and heavy outbursts of rock bombast. The band formed in 1970 and went through a few lineup changes before their ultimate demise in 1974.

The one and only album MELOS (released in 1973) is an English word borrowed from Greek that means a succession of tones that constitute a melody which signifies the overall emphasis on the seven tracks that could not be mistaken for anything but early 70s Italian prog with the romantic operatic vocal style of Gianluigi Di Franco, pastoral acoustic passages that sooth the soul accompanied by airy flute sounds, the jazzy touches of vibraphones and sax and an extraordinary vocal and instrumental interplay at which the Italian scene excelled. Despite the Osanna connection, CERVELLO is noticeably less rock oriented and the majority of MELOS is a light, airy musical journey on Mediterranean zephyrs with only occasional bursts into guitar oriented rock that clearly finds inspiration from early King Crimson in their incessantly intricate and complex time signature workouts.

One of the defining characteristics of CERVELLO was the complete absence of keyboards which was almost unheard of in the Italian prog scene. While related Osanna eschewed the predominant use of keys, they still implemented their atmospheric prowess for certain effects. Minus the keys, the atmospheric generating power of MELOS is derived from a heavy use of four flutes (played by three members), vibraphones and acoustic guitars. Bass pedals were implemented through a Binson Echorec which produced strange distorted cello effects which also give MELOS its own distinct flavor. Sizzling saxophone solos also point to a Van Der Graaf Generator connection, a band whose early years found them spending more time in Italy than their native UK because it was the Italians first and foremost connected to their ambitious eclectic sound before the rest of the world caught on.

MELOS is really one of the more complex albums i've heard from the Italian scene and despite the word implying 'melody' which it does supply an ample supply of, much of the music is fortified in university level musical complexity that implements the full power of jazz to offer bizarre counterpoints and jittery time signature workouts. While Robert Fripp seems to have provided the blueprint for angular guitar riffs, Mahavishnu Orchestra type soloing a la John McLaughlin joins in during the most aggressive moments of MELOS. Much of the album however is heavy in atmospheric drifting via flute, vibes, acoustic guitar and Di Franco's charismatic and operatic vocal style. MELOS is truly a musical journey, a summary of an entire career squeezed into a mere 36 minute experience but one that has been mastered and executed in relative perfection. The album excels at an unpredictably zigzagging between various styles whether they be the sensual romantic softer sides or the jarring bombast and freneticism of the heavier rock segments.

MELOS is cited by many as being one of the pinnacles of the entire Italian prog scene and deemed a veritable masterpiece by many. This is not one of those instant warm and fuzzy albums much like the more pop infused albums that bands like Il Balletto Di Bronzo or Metamorphosi dished out, but rather a heavily fortified prog powerhouse reserved for only the big kids in the club. Such was the case with my own experience regarding CERVELLO's solo releasea, while initially expecting something more in the lines of Osanna's classic 'Palepoli,' what i got was a unique amalgamation of various prog styles which ultimately once experienced and fully digested, provides a quite satisfying experience and unique stamp within the greater realms of Italian prog. However, something about MELOS seems unfulfilling. Despite the excellence and technical workouts on par with the greats of PFM and Banco, somehow MELOS seems scattered and random in all its eccentricities and misses the mark at taking that final step into ultimate cohesion. Nevertheless, although not a top tier album of the Italian prog scene in my book, is a fastidious work of art that is guaranteed to please the truly adventurous proggers of the world.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Eclectic, exotic, experimental, unusual, and definitely interesting. Introducing to the world 17-year old guitar phenom, Corrado Rustici. This album is one of the best recorded and mixed albums from this classical Rock Progressivo Italiano scene--especially in the drums department. Also, all chord presentations coming from the guitars are so harmonically unusual when thrown into the rest of the melodic key structure. Truly an innovative and experimental adventure in music making.

1. "Canto del Capro" (6:29) opens with three minutes of weird, creepy psychedelia before establishing a fairly fast- paced psych rock song. The musicians are performing very tightly, at a very high level of competency. The dissonant flutes, guitar plucks, and reverse electric guitar over long, steady Mellotron chord progression are so fresh and creative. An odd but brilliantly inventive song. Brave youths! (9.5/10)

2. "Trittico" (7:19) opens with strong vocal sung over electric guitar arpeggi, trading the lead with flutes and vibes. Again, such an unusual and inventive foundational sound and construct! Guitar harmonics takes the lead in the third minute before vocal effects project the singers' voices to be in several places in the sound. Then, suddenly, at 3:06 the band kicks into high gear with rapid fire lead guitar licks, drum flourishes, sax, bass, and vocal stepping into the oddly-timed pace. Everything drops back into pastoral pace at 4:20--though lead guitar is playing his arpeggi at a much faster (William Tell Overture) speed. These guitarists are so talented--moving in and out of time signatures, in and out of acoustic and electric sections, in and out of strumming and picking. The song has a very odd fade-in and fade out closing of "la-la-la" drunk men's vocal chorus. Amazing song! (9.5/10)

3. "Euterpe" (4:32) opens with acoustic guitars and recorders before vocalist. I love the vocals of Gianluigi di Franco because they feel so common and relaxed, not forced or operatic or melodramatic. This song is John McLaughlin- inspired Corrado Rustici's breakout song--the one that lets us know just how fiery his lead style is. And yet, the fact that he has held back (or been held back) over the first 14-minutes of this very adventurous, very experimental album, just let's me know how band-oriented and non-ego driven this young man was. (9.5/10)

4. "Scinsione (T.R.M.)" (5:43) Probably the weakest song on the album, but still exploratory and innovative, not straightforward at all, it just doesn't have the beauty, surprise- or wow-factors of the previous songs. The sustained, almost-droning synth occupying the background throughout (and then climbing to the fore in the final minute) is absolutely brilliant--as is the multi-tracks of Corrado dueling with himself at the end. (9/10)

5. "Melos" (4:58) Vibes, slow acoustic guitar picking, gentle voice is soon joined by Pete Giles-like drumming, flutes to make for a gorgeous if slightly King Crimson-like song. The interplay of multiple vocalists in the second minute is cool. The two-guitar interplay that follows with singing over the top is a little awkward, but the cacophonous buildup that follows with Corrado's blistering, bluesy guitar soloing over thick mix of saxes and Mellotrons is awesome. (9.5/10)

6. "Galassia" (5:48) opens with cymbal play soon joined by distant flutes, guitar picking and voices. By the time the one minute mark arrives the soundscape had moved more forward--except for the vocals that soon ensue--which remain in the far background. Drums, guitars, flutes, even Mellotron are all forward of the voice. Vibes and electric guitar take turns soloing over the acoustic guitar pretty picking--until voice and Mellotron jump in to declare their messages. At 3:25 everything drops out for a brief vocal section before a heavy, frenetically paced instrumental section comes crashing in. This insistent, crazed weave seems to creep steadily forward even till the end. (9/10)

7. "Affresco (1:11) is an adventure into space and effects with vocal, flutes, and picked guitars weaving together over the top--the most forward presentation of sound on the album! Surprise and flawless. (9/10)

A true masterpiece of progressive rock music and one of my favorite albums from the classic period of RPI.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jeromach

5 stars What a marvelous album!

In my quest through Italian progressive music lately this perhaps might be my most rewarding find. It's that good. But not immediately. Melos (the song) I found mind-blowing the first time I heard it, but all the rest really had to grow on me. But that's only good, because:

I'm afraid I regard music from another angle as most people do, I am not particularly interested in its technical aspects nor who's who and who did it with whom, For me the most important part about music is in which way it can play MY strings, i.e. my internal strings. It must "act" on me, it must impress me, it must touch my emotions, it must make me misunderstand. Perhaps the latter being the most important; since in that way it's adventurous in the most ultimate way.

Melos does it all. It did take some time (the misunderstanding), but then it hit very hard. Apparently from first listen until now I played this album some 12 times. Today particularly I really had to fight my tears (touching my emotions). So, this album really took me by surprise (impressed me), but not at the first listen! It indeed is a grower, and a very rewarding one at that.

I read the other reviews on it, I need to say that "technically" I can underscribe David's(Guldbamsen) remark on the way it sounds; "It's like a harmonious bird convention with added tumultuous rock". It is. Despite the sometimes harsh "looking" sounds in fact it's rather pastoral. It at times being harsh only accentuates that, but in it's core it's just very very beautiful. Real maybe, earthen, true. Another friend for life made in front of the loudspeakers here.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Utnapishtim

5 stars The Neapolitan society is very particular, full of paradoxes. Wonderful places, a lot of art, a cultured population that lives within many crimes. In particular the music scene is full of creativity. I'm Italian, but only recently I have discovered that there is even a Neapolitan Scale!!! In short, we can say literally "a world apart". It would probably be possible create a sub-genre in Prog Rock, characterized by the Neapolitan bands with Progressive and jazzy tones.

Among many bands, especially in RPI, surely emerge those bands that have created only one album, leaving for the rest of life in the imagination of the listener, unforgettable melodies and a hint of dissatisfaction for the only one prog gem.

The talent of these one-shot band's musicians is often forgotten, probably for little know names. But here the band formations is very impressive. The charming and powerful voice of Gianluigi Di Franco goes well with incredible guitar of Corrado Rustici, brother of Danilo who plays guitar whit most popular Osanna. Unfortunately Gianluigi Di Franco died in 2005.

It's hard not to be impressed by the attention to details. Starting with the cover in which there is a pack of canned brain. On original LP cover is possible to open this box under which appear the members of the band locked by spider's web. The band's name CERVELLO already offers an idea of their creativity. They want to recreate atmospheres of the past, of an old Greece lost, with magical and mysterious moments. But the surprise is when the album plays! In the opening track "Il Canto Del Capro" (the sing of the goat) you can feel clearly a kind of black magic, as if a pagan ritual was in front of your eyes. While the 4/5 of the band are playing the wind instruments (flutes for most) a bleak chorus sometimes as bewitched, falls into the scene: "Magica Danza Ci PorterÓ Il Seme, Vivido Intruglio Disseta La Mente, Magica Danza Ci PorterÓ Il Seme". (magic dance will bring to us the seed, vivid concoction quenches the mind, magic dance will bring to us the seed) WOW! A shiver down to the spine.

Other songs are spectacular. Di Franco's voice reaches the culmination in "Trittico" (triptyque / maybe mean an Opera in three parts) after a soft dreamy intro. Sophisticated time changes introduce an increasing singing with haunting guitars until come back again gentle chorus. And when the track appears to be over a galloping rhythm with an unforgettable "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA" concludes the song. As two lighthouses the voice and the guitar light up the mind in "Scinsione (T.R.M)", which at 4th minute is characterized by a wonderful crazy guitar. To embellish the album there's "Melos", (melodic aspect of a song in Greek time) 5 minutes of musical essence with a superb guitar solo.

"Galassia" (galaxy) is my favorite song. I'm a dreamer and when listening is at the end of the album it's as if I started to wander in dense universe, accompanied by that hypnotic voice, and then be awoken by the redundant final rhythm. It's always the old unmistakable emotion, truly unique! This track, their structure and the fact that it is toward the end of the album reminds me "The Fountain Of Salmacis" by GENESIS. It's an innate analogy that my mind always do.The album ends with the strange "Affresco" (fresco / a painting technique) that as in a painting sets this ancient journey into the Greece of Gods, of the sacred and profane, lulled by ritual symphonies.

One of the most significant album of RPI. A tribute to human intelligence and art. A unique album in the history of Prog Rock destined to remain a solitary gem.

5 Stars

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

5 stars Melos translates into flour-smog in Danish(Mel-os) I think that says something about something quite vague which has never been successfully transcribed nor understood before this very moment.

I vividly remember reading Jim's(Finnforest) extraordinary review of Melos from back before I joined this site. Now whereas the surreal art work depicting a psychedelic can of tomatoes in the process of being opened already inevitably had drawn my attention, it was the review of the music standing next to it that made me purchase the album in a heartbeat. So first and foremost a great big thank you goes to Jim for introducing me to this music. Wow, looking back now, I can hardly imagine having lived the last 5 years without Cervello's Melos in my life. It means so much to an invisible brother.

To start out on the wrong foot musically though, I'd like to point out the obscure and completely unrelated fact, that this record sounds remarkably close to an Italian version of Burnin' Red Ivanhoe. Yup, I know..... Who the feck is Burnin' Red Ivanhoe? Still, comparing obscure bands to equally obscure bands is something I genuinely adore. BRI are a Danish band with one particular Karsten Vogel behind the saxophone. Their brand of psychedelic jazz rock is one that I haven't heard reproduced anywhere other than on Melos. Cervello are however from Italy, and you certainly get a whiff of the ol Mediterranean seaboard in the cheeky vocals, the constant flirtations with acoustic folk elements and perhaps even more so in the general warm vibe that permeates this gem.

That vibe comes from the lack of synths, or at least I certainly think so. Instead of focusing on the more luscious and creamy character of the symphonic school of melodies, Melos feeds off the natural and slightly breezy sway of jazz rock. Though most notably associated with the musical equivalent of all chops and no sauce, the fusion offered up on this baby is beyond melodic. It's like a harmonious bird convention with added tumultuous rock. Through simple quirky reed sections with a mere 3 chords, this album soars into unknown heights of sonic bliss. Similarly to the aforementioned Danes, these guys have a way with melody that is second to none, and then with a charming crooked smile on their lips, like had the cheese just slit off their crackers, and a youthful nonchalance about em, Cervello then wraps up the remaining room of the album in a wild and adventurous strain of rock, that I have come to love so dearly.

There are moments on here where I get short out of the blue chills and feel the urge to spread my arms out and leap into the air. The ending pirouette rock of Euterpe with the sax and guitar lapping up against each other in the most ingenious manner conceivable, - the teenager inflicted anxiousness of the vocals that mixed with a nasal quality to them appear bittersweet and poetic throughout the record, - the inspiring windswept flute melody of Trittico, - the colourful spacey twang of the guitar in Scinsicne - all of these are highlights on a release that seems to be immune to any low points or meandering musical riff raff. I hoover them up tenaciously with my ears and feel invigorated and ready to explode, like had I just licked the surface of a small star.

If you decide to dive into this album on account of its rather peculiar take on RPI or just find yourself intrigued by the enigmatic cover, the one thing that truly matters is that you're diving into it - plowing yourself through one of the most original sounding records from the Italian scene. And if anything, Melos continues to show itself as a timeless piece of art each and every time you return to it. Cervello hit a nerve back when they recorded this thing, that's for damn sure, and as a consequence of that we're now able to tap into the mainline whenever we feel the urge for an electric jolt of genius.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Short lived one-album wonders Cervello had family connections to Osanna via Corrado Rustici, so comparisions between their sole album and the Osanna's Palepoli period may be inevitable, though there's something earthier and folkier about Melos, with its gentle pastoral passages balanced with more rowdy and rough about the edges moments, helped in particular by boisterous vocalist Gianluigi Di Franco. It's not the most consistent of albums, and at points the band seem to be meandering a little in search of their sound; in truth, they don't really seem to have hit on a coherent sound for the band yet, and I wonder whether their inability to carve out a distinct identity for themselves might have contributed a little to their disbanding in the following year. Still, it's decent enough stuff and whilst I wouldn't make it my first recommendation for a prog tour of Italy, it's worth a listen if you've already covered the basics of the Italian prog scene.
 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another Italian group with a short life,Cervello came from Napoli and performed in early- to mid-70's with Giulio D'Ambrosio on sax/flutes, Remigio Esposito on drums,but the driving forces of the band were singer/flutist Gianluigi Di Franco, guitarist Corrado Rustici and multi- instrumentalist Antonio Spagnolo.Corrado was the younger brother of Osanna's guitarist Danilo Rustici.The sole album of the band ''Melos'' was released in 1973 on the Ricordi label,with several re-issues following in the future.

Often compared to OSANNA,the sound of Cervello is less hard but somewhat more diverse,throwing influences from Heavy Rock,Psych,Jazz,Classical and Mediterrenean Music into the mix.Unlike many other Italian bands of the time,the style of the band is nor symphonic neither jazzy,it is actually a very Fusion-like style of Progressive Rock with Lizard-era KING CRIMSON, GNIDROLOG or even Swiss band CIRCUS being the most suitable refrence points.The arrangements are quite complex with a great number of breaks, featuring plenty of saxes and flutes and swinging from energetic electric prog to mellow folkish rock with acoustic passages and a very psychedelic atmosphere.Vocals are great from romantic lines to more Avant-Garde choirs.Much-based also on atmosphere,the mood of the album leaves its dreamy pastoral face to jump on really dark and complicated themes.The musicianship overall has a strong theatrical vibe (OFFICINA MECCANICA spring to mind),but it is not always consistent on the whole,particularly due to the many different styles presented.

The band split up a year after the release of the album,with Corrado Rustici participating in Osanna's album ''Landscape of life'' and later being a member of Jazz-Rock act Nova together with his brother Danilo.Singer Gianluigi Di Franco remained also within the music industry as well,until his death in 2005.

''Melos'' is a nice and quite different release from the usual Italian Prog vibes of the 70's with a much personal sound and a great discovery for those into dramatic,complex and intricate Progressive Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

5 stars The first time I heard Melos, I hated it. Superficially, it is a discordant mess, seemingly random, and obnoxious. It sounds like nothing, and nothing sounds like it. And now some ten years later, that's exactly why I love it so much. It would be impossible to sum up in a few paragraphs what Cervello were able to accomplish here, it must simply be heard. But it will take most listeners some time to really warm up to Melos, as it is chock full of avant garde musical ideas, other-worldly sounds, and a general sense of mystery; just the right amount of creepy and transcendent in equal doses. I seriously would give it ten stars if I could.

Cervello were a short-lived group of five musicians from the Napoli area, all multi-instrumentalists and all extremely talented. Guitarist Corrado Rustici is the younger brother of Osanna's Danillo Rustici, and would later join that group in a limited capacity. But Cervello have more in common with Semiramis than Osanna, blending a traditional rock sound with atypical instrumentation like vibraphone and 12-string guitar. Add a charismatic and super-talented singer and you've got all the ingredients for a prog classic. "Canto del Capro" begins the album with a sense of dread and a foreboding tone, a theme that will be sprinkled throughout. What sounds like a low-tuned Mellotron* plays the same note repeatedly while flute and muted electric guitar interject; cymbal splashes and vocal scatting augment an already spurious arrangement. Then Rustici, as if out of nowhere, begins a melodic arpeggio and the entire band fire on all cylinders. At this point, your head is already spinning and the first song isn't even over yet.

"Trittico" will please Genesis fans with its symphonic introduction; but it won't last long as three minutes in, singer Guianluigi Di Franco hits an inhuman crescendo, and the song explodes into a barrage of saxes and Frippian guitar runs. The original theme returns and the song draws to a close, and "Euterpe," with its similar instrumentation, begins. This song has one of the coolest guitar solos I've ever heard, and Corrado Rustici even surpasses the reputation of his talented brother. "Scinsione (T.R.M.) recapitulates the horrific sound of the album's opener - I would not recommend listening with headphones on in the dark. The middle section with the brooding Mellotron* sound and oscillating effect still freaks me out to this day. Luckily the title track will bring some much needed melodic relief, before "Galassia" shatters any illusion of the status quo...the end of the song features some of the most complex, high-level technical skill in all of Italian Prog. What sounds like 12/4 time is broken up into poly-meter, a bar of three then four then five, then back to standard 4/4 time for two measures! It's enough to make your head spin if you can keep it above water. "Affresco" is a brief and somber end to this masterpiece of progressive rock music. Highly recommended.

*There is some debate as to whether keyboards are used on Melos. Though none of the musicians are listed as playing keyboards or synthesizers specifically, bassist Antonio Spagnolo is credited with "Pedals." I believe the Mellotron sound heard may actually be an organ pedal processed with various effects; a Mellotron can only hold a singular note for so long before the "tape runs out" - so it is unlikely a Mellotron or similar mechanical synthesizer was used for the droning sound on "Canto del Capro" and "Scinsione (T.R.M.). It makes more sense that a pedal organ was used, as this would also allow Spagnolo to reproduce the song live while playing bass, a la Geddy Lee.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Cervello is another one-off band from Italy in the '70s, and the music on "Melos", their only album, is noisier than most RPI albums I've heard. Noisy and at times some avant-garde elements are present, but definitely not as much as Area. The music here ranges from soft and beautiful to quite harsh. As "Canto del Capro" starts the album off with some odd avant sounding flute and bizarre psuedo-choir, I wasn't sure what to expect. Initially my expectations were another purely beautiful RPI album. This album is quite a bit racier in pace, and is usually very rocky with strange touches. There even some passages that makes me think of various Zeuhl bands. I think tracks like "Trittico", "Euterpe", "Melos", and "Affresco" stand out because of the healthy combination of avant or heavy passages and beautiful passages, with more emphasis on the beautiful passages.

This is a very entertaining album, and it feels much different from most RPI that I've heard. "Melos" would definitely not be an album to serve as an introduction for RPI, but if you're already a fan and are looking for something on the wild side then you should track this one down.

 Melos by CERVELLO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.19 | 207 ratings

Cervello Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Cervello is one of those RPI bands that shone as short and bright as a supernova. Seemingly coming from out of nowhere and hitting hard with a unique masterpiece before fading into oblivion again. For many RPI tifosi this album ranks as a masterpiece, and going by the quality, originality and artistic honesty this is largely deserved.

This sort of album is entirely unique and not easily compared to any UK bands. Within the RPI scene there's the obvious relation with the wild sound of Osanna, Il Balletto Di Bronzo and Semiramis, but that doesn't mean anything to anyone but the few people familiar with the scene. And those in the know obviously have the Cervello album already.

So let's name one UK band, one that was possibly more popular in Italy then in their homeland, Van Der Graaf Generator. Cervello inherited the bewildering song development of Pawn Hearts, and even within a 5 minute format their songs are an adventure, complete with delirious sidesteps and controlled chaos. The use of flutes and sax help to extend the comparison, but Cervello has the guitars prominent in the sound and doesn't use organs.

Also the vocals are very different, they may be equally passionate, imaginative and creative but the voice of the lead vocalist is very different from Hammill's, more nasal, or 'trumpet-y' as I call it, and possibly an aspect of the sound that might be a bit difficult to get into, unless you are already a convinced fan of the style from the other RPI bands mentioned above.

A masterpiece of RPI but a very difficult one where I have to force myself to listen to, even though each listen is an enjoyable discovery. 4.5 stars for sure, maybe more within a few years.

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives