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IBIS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Ibis biography
IBIS were another member of the Italian prog rock contingent of the mid- seventies, more inclined toward the "heavy" side of that genre, with songs structured around organ and guitar. Their idea was to continue the more heavy elements of the NEW TROLLS sound, there are three members of this group : screamy vocals, heavy guitar all songs in English. The closest comparison would be to groups such as OSANNA or FOCUS.

A very good album, "Canti d'innocenza, canti d'esperienza" is the ideal follow-up to "Ut", with a convincing mix of classical and hard rock influences. They recorded "Sun supreme", released in 1974 and completely sung in english. A transition album, its hard rock style and english lyrics make it too similar to many foreign bands and little convincing. Despite the new line-up the band released in 1975 what's usually defined their best and more mature work with "Ibis". Highly recommended!

See also:
- New Trolls

Ibis official website

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Sun Supreme (Shm-CD)Sun Supreme (Shm-CD)
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PID 2010
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IBIS discography


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

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

3.11 | 27 ratings
Canti d'innocenza, Canti d'esperienza...
1973
3.86 | 74 ratings
Sun Supreme
1974
2.72 | 29 ratings
Ibis
1975

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

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IBIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sun Supreme  by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Sun Supreme
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars 4.5 Stars. This album flows gracefully and makes a great addition to the catalog of obscure progressive collectors. ELP, Genesis, and Yes influences are evident, yet don't weigh down the overall feel. This album is creative and cerebral, although one wonders how romantic it may sound in their native Italian as opposed to the coarse english lyrics. Sometimes majestic and sometimes down to earth, Sun Supreme should be owned and cherished by fans of classic RPI - this is a terrific listen, an embodiment of the progressive ethos.

The final two segments of Divine Mountain are a joy to have on repeat

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 Ibis by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.72 | 29 ratings

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Ibis
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Ibis' career was short but full of shakes, so Maurizio Salvi and Ric Parnell abandoned the group in 1975 and they were replaced by guitarist Renzo Tortora and drummer Pasquale Venditto, both members of Forum Livii.The third album of Ibis was recorded mainly at Studio J.S. Bach in Milan, except for ''Passa Il Tempo'', which was recorded at the Phonogram Studios.This work carried the name of the group as a title and was released again on Polydor in 1975.

With no keyboardist in the line-up, Ibis' style became again very much Hard Rock-oriented, closing to the path of their debut, it was also mostly sung in Italian except for a couple of tracks.This was definitely Ibis' most uneven album, containing some very good guitar-based Hard Prog pieces but also some very dull and cheesy moments.Despite the lack of a keyboard player, some synthesizer lines can be heard in a few cuts, although no member has been credited to play them.The music is heavily relying on the fiery, dual guitar workouts of Di Palo and Tortora, characterized by intense lead parts, punchy rhythmic tunes and angular solos, along with the very good Italian vocals.The progressive aura is still evident throughout this effort, like on the very P.F.M.-influenced ''Passa Il Tempo'', the bombastic guitar/synth trip of ''Narratio'' or the big symphonic sound of ''Ritrovarci Qui'', featuring a majestic combination of orchestral keyboards with Proto-Metal dual guitar leads.Tracks like ''Dedicated to Janis Joplin'' or ''Keep On Movin'' are not representative of the band's talent, showcasing Ibis had run a bit out of ideas.Fortunately the majority of the album offers a charming combination of good guitar-driven passages with acoustic lines and a decent dose of keyboards, delivering eventually a mix of atmospheric and heavy, pounding textures.

The story of Ibis has been finalized the same year with the return of Nico Di Palo along with Gianni Belleno to the reformed New Trolls.An attempt to revive the band as Ibis Prog Machine by Maurizio Salvi in 2007 was only brief and unsuccesful, despite bringing onboard Renato Rosset (ex-Nova and New Trolls Atomic System), Corrado Rustici (ex-Nova and Cervello), Claudio Cinquegrana (later with New Trolls) and Roberto Tiranti (bassist and singer of several Italian Metal bands and future singer of Mangala Vallis).

Last and uneven album by this short-lived but definitely prolific Italian band.An excellent find for fans of Hard Prog and Proto-Metal, with glimpses of talent and impressive songwriting, but also a couple of dead holes.Recommended.

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 Canti d'innocenza, Canti d'esperienza... by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.11 | 27 ratings

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Canti d'innocenza, Canti d'esperienza...
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

3 stars Initially released by a band with no name and graced with only a stylized question mark on its cover, Canti d'Innocenza, Canti d'Esperienza was Nico Di Palo's first venture outside New Trolls. Eventually the nameless group would be identified only as Nico, Gianni, Frank, Maurizio; a magazine poll would later have fans christen the group Ibis. Ibis will forever be associated with New Trolls not just because of Di Palo's involvement but the musical similarities between the two groups, and the legal wranglings that ensued over naming rights. Vittorio De Scalzi of the New Trolls camp would title his group NT Atomic System out of necessity, as neither party would retain the New Trolls moniker during those proceedings. Semantics aside, both bands never really did much to differentiate themselves from the New Trolls sound and one wonders why they split at all...De Scalzi and Di Palo would put their differences aside a mere three years later for the creation of Concerto Grosso N.2.

Of Ibis and NT Atomic System, Ibis are perhaps more familiar and similar to New Trolls' heavy side; there are still ample symphonic moments to firmly assign them to the RPI category, but a Heavy Prog label could also be applied. Some of Di Palo's greatest riffs are contained within these 34 minutes, and also some of his more personal material ("Simona"). Unfortunately, the embarrassing vocals ruin an otherwise essential album. The falsetto timbre is bad enough but the decision to double, and in some cases triple- track, the vocals is lamentable. I hate to sound contrite or even shallow, but Di Palo's voice does rub me the wrong way enough to downgrade my recommendation. That being said, Canti d'Innocenza, Canti d'Esperienza is still first-tier material and should be somewhat high on your RPI list even given the three star grade.

"Innocenza Esperienza," like its namesake, portrays a sense of innocence and experience from a group essentially starting over. The energy and muscle of Di Palo's new band is immediately felt, particularly in the aggressive guitar and deliberate drumming; Ibis is not trying to be cute or clever - this is basically heavy metal with a prog tinge. This onslaught is then countered with the stunning "Signora Carolina." Musically, the second track is a ten but lyrically it is more like a four. This is particularly true during the second half when the vocals are simply laughable and practically unlistenable. Somehow it is still the best song on the album. The gorgeous acoustic introduction and symphonic piano touches during the first half nearly make up for the rest. The plush "Simona" follows, and its brevity is equal parts heart-stopping and heartbreaking; I get goose bumps every time I hear it, but the song is over before I have a chance to relish it.

"L'Amico Della Porta Accanto" again sees Ibis in heavy metal mode. The riff right before the three-minute mark is ridiculously thick and creamy, and haunting keyboards only further add to the considerable weight of the composition. "Vecchina Amica" is the longest song on Canti d'Innocenza, Canti d'Esperienza, and the best on side two. Though the booklet in the AMS/BTF CD reissue does not mention who actually sings on the verse, it sounds quite unlike Nico Di Palo (whose dated singing the liner notes do reference). A Hendrixian vibe permeates "Angelo Invecchiato" and brings the album to a close. The excellent Sun Supreme was only a year away and probably a better starting point for this group. Please take the three-star rating with a grain of salt, as this is about as close as you can get to four without actually earning it.

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 Sun Supreme  by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Sun Supreme
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The name of Ibis was decided by the readers of Ciao 2001 after a poll organized by the magazine, however drummer Gianni Belleno had already left the group to continue his career with Tritons.He was replaced by English drummer Ric Parnell, formerly of Atomic Rooster.In the meanitime the band had signed a good contract with Polydor and was ready for a brand new start, as taped on their sophomore effort ''Sun Supreme'', released in 1974.

Ibis abandoned totally any links to the Hard Rock-orented New Trolls sound of the previous release and, more importantly, they even sacrificed the Italian language to sing in English.The new album was composed of only two multi-part sidelong tracks, each around 17 minutes long, where the YES influence is more than apparent.The first was entitled ''Divine Mountain / Journey of Life'', divided into four parts, and opens with a lovely acoustic crescendo by Nico Di Palo, before turning into a Progressive Rock orgasm with dramatic keyboards, including some great synth and harsichord parts with a fully orchestral approach, STEVE HOWE-influenced electric guitars and very deep bass work by Frank Laugelli.There are also plenty of multi-vocal arrangements and what sets Ibis and Yes apart are actually some harder guitar themes, the rougher lead vocals and the smoother, more romantic passages, which remind more of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.The three-part ''Divinity'' suite of the flipside marks no significant changes.The opening movement is superb, full-blown Progressive Rock with atmospheric synthesizers and organ, a frenetic rhythm section, magnificent guitar solos and melodramatic vocals, all in a Classic Symphonic Rock tradition.The second part though is ruined by the dull and very long drum solo of Parnell, hurting the track's consistency and that's because the closing theme is another beautiful offering by the band.Mellow Orchestral Prog built around a growing texture with lovely vocals and a unique atmosphere, exactly as an outro of a Prog album should be,

This second work by Ibis is a bit stronger than their more Hard Prog-based debut.The extreme resemblances to YES and a couple of dead moments are obvious flaws, but overall the album is tightly constructed with plenty of dynamic material.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Ibis by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.72 | 29 ratings

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Ibis
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

2 stars Third and final album from Ibis, and the weakest of the three in my opinion. While the debut album had no title and no discernible information on its cover except a giant question mark, it is generally considered the birth of Ibis and would be bettered on the excellent Sun Supreme. The self-titled offering here takes a step backward, into what I would consider classic rock or worse yet, disco rock. The first couple songs aren't bad; actually "Narratio" would not sound out of place on the debut with Nico Di Palo's screechy falsetto. But "Dedicated To Janis Joplin" is where things take a turn for the worse, and never really recover. The song sounds exactly like you think it would, a cross between Big Brother & The Holding Comany and New Trolls. It even quotes liberally from "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" towards the end, and lasts about three minutes longer than it really should.

"Passa il Tempo" is somewhat interesting, at least it's sung in the native tongue and relies upon the band's signature sound more so than anything else on the album, but is ultimately forgettable. And I'm not quite sure what, exactly, "Ritrovarci Qui" is supposed to be; it begins as an acoustic piece and transitions awkwardly into what sounds like the theme to a cheesy Italian horror film. All style and no substance. The arrangement only derails from there, into an ascending-triplet riff and repetitive recapitulation of the "Premessa" theme. I'm usually a sucker for stuff like this when the album is self-referential and has some unifying coherence...but this kind of feels like an afterthought and, again, is hardly memorable.

"Strada" and "Keep on Movin'" are both so bad I usually can't even make it that far into the album. The former has some interesting ideas - the middle instrumental section wouldn't be out of place on a Volo album, but an opportunity to really stretch the idea and develop it is thwarted by a superfluous vocal section and flute solo.

I guess by 1975 the best days were behind most classic Italian Prog bands, and Ibis was no exception. I can't in good conscience rate the album three stars since I would not describe it as good. It is listenable I suppose, and necessary for Ibis/New Trolls fans and RPI collectors. It is not so bad that I would say it's only for completists...but it's pretty close. Two stars.

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 Sun Supreme  by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Sun Supreme
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars From the great reservoir of so-called 'clone' albums comes one that almost seems like an exile from the Yes discography. Ibis, presumably named for the sacred birds of the ancient Egyptians, was an offshoot of New Trolls and their 'Sun Supreme' album paid more than a nod and a wink to Anderson, Squire, Howe et al. Hopefully that doesn't completely put the kibosh on the album because from a purely musical point of view it sits comfortably within the 'excellent' category, but for me its lack of originality makes it just another good sheep amongst the large flock.

The lyrics even smack of Jon Anderson at the peak of his spiritual highlands: 'to repossess we overflow, into time, into mind, into space, into out, outwards on, onward flow'. Sound familiar? Overall 'Sun Supreme' is certainly a luxurious-sounding album but its lack of Italianate features might actually make it of greater appeal to symphonic rather than RPI fans.

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 Sun Supreme  by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Sun Supreme
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I feel pretty comfortable with giving this a 3 or a 4 star rating. I really like the music but the YES flavour is too strong for my tastes. The English lyrics don't help either. As most know IBIS was formed out of the ashes of the NEW TROLLS, and I have to agree with Finnforest that it does sound like a YES tribute album.

The music basically consists of two side long suites divided into sections. First up is "Divine Mountain / Journey Of Life". Part 1 opens with intricate guitar melodies as reserved vocals join in around 1 1/2 minutes. Drums and bass a minute later but it's still mellow. I like this first part a lot because it does sound very Italian with no tatse of YES yet. Part 2 kicks in right away with some nice organ work. The YES vibe can't be denied here both vocally and instrumentally. This part ends with acoustic guitar and blends into Part 3. Vocals join in before it kicks in heavier at 1 1/2 minutes. Great section. Part 4 ends the first side. It settles down to start then builds. Vocals 3 minutes in as it settles back.

The second side called "Divinity" is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 kicks in before a minute. Some nice bass here. Vocals before 2 minutes and lots of synths too. Part 2 is dominated by keyboards then we get a drum solo after 2 1/2 minutes that goes on to the end. Way too long as this is a 7 minute section. Part 3 features the sounds of seagulls and waves as drums join in followed by vocals and a fuller sound.

I like this album a lot. A low 4 stars.

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 Canti d'innocenza, Canti d'esperienza... by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.11 | 27 ratings

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Canti d'innocenza, Canti d'esperienza...
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Reffered incorrectly most of the times as an album under the name IBIS, ''Canti d'innocenza,canti d'esperienza'' was actually an album made by a band with no name,later known as IBIS.Found by ex-NEW TROLLS guitarist Nico Di Palo,this band was the result of the arguing between Di Palo and NEW TROLLS-leader Vittorio Di Scalzi,which led Nico and three other members of NEW TROLLS to follow a separate career.The result was this album (released on Fonit in 1973) ,presenting a big question-mark on the cover and promoted with the names of the band's members.

The sound of the album was not very far from what NEW TROLLS were realeasing on ''UT'' in 1972.Hard Progressive Rock with lots of time changes and light Classical influences with guitars on the front, multi-vocal parts and heavy Hammond organ work around.Most of the compositions are guitar-driven with fantastic breaks close to early-70's DEEP PURPLE or even ATOMIC ROOSTER and a supporting bombastic rhythm section doing an excellent work as well.Vocals are handled by three members (except keyboardist Maurizio Salvi) in a very intense style with aggresive vocal lines and harsh polyphonic arrangements.Couple of tracks feature also nice acoustic parts,while Salvi's influence definitely appears on two or three Classical-oriented instrumental parts with fine piano,organ and synth passages.This is mainly an effort for lovers of the prog rock's harder sound,Italian Prog followers,as well as most of early-70's NEW TROLLS fans.A quite good release and a recommended one.

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 Ibis by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.72 | 29 ratings

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Ibis
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This confidential Italian band will call it quit after this album.

The least I can say, is that I won't miss them. Their style of music which was much more heavy-rock oriented than truly symphonic never overwhelmed me. They delivered two good albums (according my criteria) before this one.

And their third one "Ibis" is not a great exercise. I am still looking for some passionate vocals or some grandiose compositions. But none of these are available on this album. Just a juxtaposition of average music. Produced by talented musician who just fell short in terms of song writing.

This work is not bad but to find one outstanding track is a hard work. The hard-rocking "Narratio" holds some wild guitar solo, but it is not what one should expected from an Italian symphonic band. But, as far as I am concerned, I have never categorized them in this style.

Surprisingly enough, the song "Dedicated To Janis Joplin" which I would have anticipated as more rhythmic is just a pale blues song in comparison to what I was expecting. Of course, few singers could compete with the great lady.

This album is not very long, but I won't complain since it is of little interest. The end of a short road. If you are ever curious about how an Italian version of Supertramp would have sound, you can spend some time and listen to "Passa Il Tempo". Hopefully it isn't too long and time is passing quickly.

The only serious track is "Ritrovarci Qui". Tranquil and acoustic, bombastic and powerful (but not heavy), I appreciate the great guitar work, but these keys sounds so pompous.The last songs of this album can't move me either. Jazz-rock for Strada (which at least features some good fluting) and chaotic for Keep On Moving.

I can't rate this album as a good effort. There are tons of better Italian prog albums. Two stars.

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 Sun Supreme  by IBIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.86 | 74 ratings

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Sun Supreme
Ibis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars While their first effort was solidly anchored in the heavy sounds, this one (at least partially) is a more a traditional Italian symphonic work. But it doesn't mean that it is full of tranquil and pastoral moods.

It starts kicking nicely during Travelling the Spectrum of the Soul. Very strong keyboard attack (hi Keith) but fine mellotron work as well. The song is complex and mixes several influences. Even folkish for a while. During this brief moment it sounds almsot as a medieval tune, but it won't last for long. All of a sudden the listener is transported into the most modern and beautiful sounds that this genre (and only this one) is able to offer. A very strong part indeed. My fave from this album.

A certain psychedelia also perspires from this work especially during the first part of The Valley Of Mists. But this one is soon turning to those heavier sounds, typical of the band. Much less romantic.

I can cope with the comparison to Tull (during their hard-rocking days) but couldn't find any trace of Led Zep in here. But I should maybe listen more Led Zep music.

Sun Supreme is an interesting album which investigates several musical genre but I do not consider this one as a masterpiece. A good album with a fine Yes oriented finale during « Divinity » .

Three stars.

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