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GLI APOSTHOLI

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Gli Apostholi biography
GLI APOSTHOLI began life as a beat group in Vicenza in 1964. They disbanded at the end of the sixties although in 1970 they reformed as a trio consisting of founding member Walter Bozzatti (bass, vocals), Luigi Terzo (keyboards) and Roberto Trentin (drums). Several years of inactivity followed until a meeting in 1978 between Bozzatti and poet Carlo Andolfato. These two old friends had not met for ten years but during their reunion, over a glass or two of wine, they discovered that their thoughts were still in tune after all the intervening years. And after hearing some of his old friend's poems, Bozzatti felt inspired to set Andolfato's texts to music.

The dream that had endured for all those years finally became reality when the band released their first album ''Ho Smesso Di Vivere'' in 1979. However, despite the band's nostalgia for Italian prog rock of the early-seventies the progressive influence on this album is rather elusive. The music could at the very best be described as sophisticated pop and the main progressive tendencies and manifestations are to be found in the lyrics and album art. Both are grounded in folklore and myth, with Andolfato's imagery carrying nihilistic overtones that are matched by Vico Calabro's opulent artwork so reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Bruegel and other ''Maestri del '500'' (16th Century Masters).

Guitarist Franco Marchiori had joined for the debut album but was later replaced by Tullio Mazzaretto, and the band was expanded with the addition of new bassist Ivano Aldighieri. It was therefore as a five-piece that GLI APOSTHOLI released their second and final album ''Un'Isola Senza Sole'' in 1981. This album sees the band's ambitions nurtured and brought to fruition with reverential songs that flow on the waves of the Mediterranean folk tradition and yet are anchored in the classic Italian progressive rock. Progressive elements are understated but undoubtedly present with the emphasis being on thoughtful instrumentation and melody rather than virtuosity and complexity, although the band does get fully airborne on a number of tracks. However the album's main significance is in its quest for the artistic ideal with the music being inextricably linked to poetry and visual art. Bozzatti's minstrel ballads resonate with the words of the poet and the shapes of the artist, the musical arrangements elevated and in harmony with Andolfato's and Calabro's recurring motifs of, respectively, a butterfly and ...
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GLI APOSTHOLI discography


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

2.51 | 3 ratings
Ho Smesso Di Vivere
1979
2.50 | 2 ratings
Un'Isola Senza Sole
1981

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GLI APOSTHOLI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Un'Isola Senza Sole by APOSTHOLI, GLI album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Un'Isola Senza Sole
Gli Apostholi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Entering the 80's Walter Bottazzi secured a more stable line-up, featuring Gigi Terzo and Roberto Trentin along with new members Tullio Mazzaretto on guitars and Ivano Aldighieri on bass.Their next step was to re-record their early album ''Un'isola senza sole'' and launch it eventually in 1983 with a different cover.All lyrics are written by Carlo Andolfato, but it appears they had some connections with another Vincenza-based group, Abissi Infiniti, as their bassist Enrico Kotterl wrote one track, ''Pomeriggio ad Acquasparta''.

Stylistically not much has changed compared to the previous album, the sound of the band relies somewhere between Melodic Rock and Pop with some folky overtones, good thing is that this work contained some interesting flute parts among the electroacoustic moments, while a few synth/flute passages show tendencies towards a more symphonic style.At the end ''Un'isola senza sole'' sounds more mature and complete of an album, they even added some harder guitar moments over pompous keyboards and the tracks are well-arranged with a fine melodic content.Still this can hardly described as Progressive Rock music, even if the instrumental parts are extended, Gli Apostholi were always a band with poppy leanings and standard song structures, building their ideas on guitar solos and accesible songwriting.So expect an album with electric power, a fair amount of synthesizers, somewhat proggy piano and flute moments and melodic, Italian vocals, a bit comparable to compatriots ABISSI INFINITI, but with an even lesser progressive mood.

Even if they never released another album, Gli Apostholi remained active for decades around the Bottazzi/Terzo/Trentin core, more recently having Paolo Savegnago on vocals (member of the band in the 60's) and Alcide Ronzani on guitars.

As with ''Ho smesso di vivere'' the album has been reissued by MP Records.Minor inclusion of the 70's Italian Prog scene.Good, melodic rock, covering any attempt for more intricate, instrumental textures.For lovers of sweet, Italian-spiced music and lyrics...2.5 stars.

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 Ho Smesso Di Vivere by APOSTHOLI, GLI album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.51 | 3 ratings

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Ho Smesso Di Vivere
Gli Apostholi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Gli Apostholi were a Pop Rock band from Vicenza, formed in 1964 and led by singer Walter Bottazzi.They disbanded in late-60's to return in 1970 as a trio with keyboardist Gigi Terzo and drummer Roberto Trentin next to Bottazzi.It is rumored that in early-70's they released their debut ''Un'isola senza sole'', but it was printed in such a limited number of copies that the original album is nearly impossible to find.Many years later, in 1979 with Franco Marchiori on guitars (a former member of the band during the 60's), Gli Apostholi released the album ''Ho smesso di vivere'' on the obscure Delfino label.

Despite sounding like a Pop Rock quartet, Gli Apostholi have an incredible fame among prog collectors and I still wonder why.''Ho smesso di vivere'' consists of 12 very short melodic Pop/Pop Rock tracks with uninteresting lyrics and lightweight musicianship and the only prog influence one can detect are some decent synth parts.Bottazzi's voice is everywhere, delivering his cliche lyrics in melodic choruses and there is actually no room for any instrumental moves.Despite Marchiori's presence on guitars the music is mainly driven by Terzo ballad-styled pianos and background synths, while all tracks feature simple grooves and limited surprises.Only a few are a bit more artistic like the melodic ''Foglie Rosse D'Autunno'' with its interesting electric guitars, the folky and quite proggy ''Ho Imparato A Distruggere'' with the interesting combination of synths, acoustic guitars and expressive vocals or the similar-sounding and very atmospheric ''Ho Acceso Un Fiore''.The rest of the material is unfortunately based on standard pop melodies and heart-felt vocal parts.

The album is very rare and quite exprensive and it is not recommended to spent this amount of money just to listen to a rumored prog rarity.This is only decent Pop Rock and nothing more and anyone still curious about its sound can purchase the CD reissue by M.P. Records.

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 Un'Isola Senza Sole by APOSTHOLI, GLI album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Un'Isola Senza Sole
Gli Apostholi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Into the 80s was not always bad!

Gli Apostholi's debut was released in 1979 and was a more succinct affair built around an eclectic vision of the canzone. Two years later the band had added a new guitarist and a full time bass player, making them a 5-piece. It seems pretty clear they were shooting for a fuller sound which intentionally or not, resulted in an album appropriate for a progressive *rock* database.

The album is quite different in both style and sound than their wonderful song-based debut album. "Un'Isola Senza Sole" features slightly longer, more developed rock songs with a beefier or more muscular sound. As our bio mentions this is a bridge band along with bands like Atons and there is some of that period rock influence happening, but there is also a reminiscence for the 70s RPI going down. The presence of flute and dreamy guitar solos reminds me of Camel in some way although these tracks are not as elaborate as some classic Camel recordings. Using more English references one could point to later Badfinger albums when the Beatles sound was giving way to a heavier combination of album rock and art rock. There are also RPI signatures present but to be honest no one is ever going to mistake Apostholi for Banco.

The eight tracks in the 4-6 minute range are led primarily by the electric guitar and even reminded me of Dire Straits in tracks like "Pomeriggio." They are tastefully accompanied by acoustic and classical guitars, period keyboards, and some very good sections of flute. Walter Bozzatti is again handling the vocals although this time around he has help. The vocals are understated by RPI standards but they fit the melodic and mature style of Apostholi, as mentioned previously they are somewhat close to Stefano Testa's vocals in my opinion. The addition of Tullio Mazzaretto on guitar is probably the ingredient which transforms Apostholi most significantly. This guy can really wail and when given the chance he doesn't hold back. "Tra Gli Ultimi Raccolti" displays some subtle yet gorgeous interplay between light synth background, nimble-as-hell rhythm section, and refined, near-perfect guitar artistry. In moments like these Gli Apostholi is nearly timeless with songwriting that could be from any period, with moods and melodies simultaneously bright and melancholic. Then, "Racconti" clearly reminds us that Apostholi maintains one foot clearly planted in the Italian song tradition. This is a band one can cite when people make the foolishly general suggestions that nothing good came from the 1980s. One need only start poking around. It's a bit of a shame this band didn't release a few more albums, I think it would have been fascinating to see where they took things next.

While I personally prefer the eclectic, pared down approach of the first album, both Gli Apostholi albums are quite good and recommended to RPI fans who are willing to move beyond the intense and avant-garde tinged flavor of the classic period's well-known albums. Folks who want to learn the whole story of RPI will want to visit this chapter as well.

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 Ho Smesso Di Vivere by APOSTHOLI, GLI album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.51 | 3 ratings

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Ho Smesso Di Vivere
Gli Apostholi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Two decent albums from a difficult period

Far from being a shoe-in at any progressive rock website Gli Apostholi caused a bit of heartburn during their evaluation process. While they had been around since the mid 60s Italian beat period there was never an early 70s statement album solidifying their RPI credentials. Instead the original incarnation split up just as the party was getting started and missed the explosion, at least from a recording perspective. It was in the late 70s when RPI was descending that a renewed Gli Apostholi became a reality. As one lets their two albums seep in over time it becomes apparent that they were indeed a part of the story. They are one of the many bridge bands who operated in RPI's most difficult period from the late 70s-80s, holding down the fort during the tough days that preceded the great renaissance which came later and continues to this day.

Their two albums are quite different with the second one having a more "prog rock" sound but with the influence of the early 80s. This one had a much more Ital-pop sound featuring the short songs and the traditional Italian song feel. This album recalls artists like selected Battisti, Enzo Capuano, Adriano Monteduro, and Franco Maria Giannini. For outside references I dare say there is a bit of mid-late 70s Cat Stevens feeling running through some parts. Here though the songs can be more folk-rock based, with an occasionally "twangy" feel while still maintaining some rock punch. The musicians are a joy to listen to, very tight, while the vocalist reminds me of my friend Stefano Testa on many of the songs. Light symphonic touches are evident, there are soft backings of piano, mellotron, and synthesizer. The guitars are more often than not acoustic with tasteful electric solos. Other tracks run the gamut from beautiful, romantic piano ballads to tight rockers with a bold bass presence. The songwriting is of good quality and interesting throughout, even if most of them fade out in relatively short order. No epic 20 minute numbers here!

This is a really worthwhile little collection of Italian songs with a very light progressive touch, mostly for fans of the Italian canzone and singer-songwriters. While you won't find it on any RPI top 10 lists, it is something worth hearing after you have a good taste for the genre. Effortless, enjoyable listening. And while the second album may be more fitting for PA I think I actually prefer this one. From the fun opening romp "Il Pesce Rosso" to the unapologetically sentimental closer this is a very touching recording. 3 1/2 stars.

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