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Antares biography
Not to be confused with the German Symphonic group of the same name, ANTARES was a minor Italian band of the late-seventies that consisted of Marco Tessitore (keyboards, vocals), Joseph Kali (guitars), Ennio Barone (bass, vocals) and Lorenz Shulze (drums, effects, guitars). They released one album, ''Sea of Tranquillity'' (1979), a conceptual work based on the Apollo 11 moon landing. Very little is known of the musicians although Antonio Bartoccetti of ANTONIUS REX co-wrote two of the tracks and the album was actually recorded in Oslo. It's a largely instrumental work - the few lyrics are sung in English - that blends mainstream pop with spacey atmospheres and some electronics. Other than the Bartoccetti connection, ANTARES doesn't have a great deal in common with other Italian artists of the period and tends to draw comparisons with ELOY and PINK FLOYD. ''Sea of Tranquility'' was reissued on CD by Mellow in 1994.

- seventhsojourn

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ANTARES discography

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2.75 | 21 ratings
Sea Of Tranquillity

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sea Of Tranquillity by ANTARES album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.75 | 21 ratings

Sea Of Tranquillity
Antares Crossover Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Space rock with the Antonius Rex touch?

Well, here's a nice little Italian prog mystery. Who were Antares? What is the story behind the Antonius Rex involvement? Note the similarities in the names of the groups. It was released on a label which Rex's Bartoccetti used to release his Invisible Force single years earlier. The overuse of silly sound effects on certain parts sounds suspiciously like the Rex motif during their albums of this period. Bartoccetti is credited as a co-writer of two tracks, but there's one little tidbit I didn't see mentioned. Listen to "The Leaving" on this Antares album, then listen to Antonius Rex's "Soul Satan" from their album "Anno Demoni." I think it's the same basic track re-recorded! (And this wasn't one of the ones he was credited for, which is strange) It also sounds like the same dude singing on both versions, but this can't be. I can't remember who was credited with the vocal on "Soul Satan" but I wonder if it wasn't one of the guys from Raminghi who were working with Rex at the time. Perhaps someday someone will piece together the mystery of Antares. (Both songs mentioned can be heard on YouTube if you want a chuckle.)

Mysteries aside, Antares is actually pretty damn good except for the first song which is a somewhat dreadful attempt at commercial single. Don't let it stop you from the rest of the album which is much better. Just skip over track one. After that, "Sea of Tranquility", named after the Apollo moon landing location, improves drastically into a nice, spacey late 70s ride. Think of a cross between Rex's "Ralefun" album and an Eloy album. Easy melodies and soothing electronic space-scapes mingle with lovely acoustic and electric guitar solos. It's nothing heavy, complex, or original, but it is very pleasant stuff. The product description writers at Kinesis summed it up like this:

"After a dodgy first track with accented English vocals, it settles into mostly instrumental symphonic progressive with a spacey, Floydian feel. Rather than the Hammond and Mellotron favored by earlier progressive bands, Antares' keyboardist used Roland and Korg synths of that era, favoring more electronic (and cheesy) sounds." -Kinesis

"My Girlfriend" begins with a spoken recitation (AB?) and then becomes this lovely acoustic/electric guitar solo backed by keyboards. The piece has the same unspoken sad longing that runs through so many Rex tracks, and it feels quite related to Ralefun of the same era. I suspect this track may be Bartoccetti's other compositional offering though I'm not sure of that. Nice music though. "Apollo 11" is a lovely piano solo with trippy electronics atop. "Galaxy" is pleasant light rock with spacey synths. "Running on the Meteors" has another Nick Mason-ish drum feel loaded with tasty melodic keyboard runs. "The Return" has an almost disco beat with a light fusion rhythm and some cool guitar and keys soloing as it brings things to a close.

"Sea of Tranquility" is just one of those late 70s obscurities which very few people will ever hear, but if you like gentle spacey atmospheres with melodic guitar leads, you will find some enjoyment. Just skip the first track!

 Sea Of Tranquillity by ANTARES album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.75 | 21 ratings

Sea Of Tranquillity
Antares Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Antares from Italy is a forgotten prog band from late '70's. Sea Of Tranquility is from 1979 and aswell their swan song, after some spins the album turned to be not something special, plastic keys over some anoying vocal parts. It is mainstream symphonic with couple almost intristing instrumental passages , including the highlight Apollo 11, who is very nice, but the rest is very unpleasent, at least for me. Most of the italian bands I've heared had something good in their music, very few had unpleasent moments, this Antares is the top of unpleasent italian bands I've ever heared. 2 stars maybe in places because of Appolo 11 2.5 . At least the cover art is great because the music not, no wonder they remains very unnown and unpopular even in Italy.
Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition.

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