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Phaedra - Ptah CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.56 | 24 ratings

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4 stars Despite releasing their debut in 2010, Italians Phaedra were no newbies in the Progressive Rock scene.The group from Trento was found in 1998 by its only original member bassist/singer Claudio Bonvecchio, while his long time bandmate keyboardist/guitarist Stefano Gasperetti joined the group the following year.They started as a cover band but by mid-90's original ideas came to surface, leading to a self-titled demo in 1998.Line-up changes were several, but even this way the band started working on an ambitious Rock Opera in 2000.Part of it was performed on stage in 2002, but it was a very slow work in progress.Eventually the whole concept was ready by the end of the decade, featuring an 8-piece group of musicians, and in 2010 Phaedra's first work ''Ptah'' was privately released.

This sci-fi concept work is written around an ancient extraterrestrial, delivering strong social and emotional messages, an idea captured by Stefano Gasperetti.Musically though ''Ptah'' comes in the best Italian Prog tradition with more than evident PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI influences as well as notable QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA touches due to the constant presence of the two violin players, Elisabetta Wolf and Antonio Floris.What is extremely strange is that this very rich and delicate musicianship is rarely performed on electric guitars.Phaedra's music is almost entirely based on keyboards, violins and flutes with a tight rhythm section supporting, having overall beautiful folky colors.The basic path though is an elaborate and sensitive Symphonic Rock with melodic flutes, Classical-inspired violins and excellent performances on keyboards with organ, synthesizers, clavinet and harpsichord in evidence.Moreover the vocals are trully magnificent, very poetic, warm and expressive with great singing lines.Despite the lack of electric explosions ''Ptah'' remains a balanced album all the way with intricate instrumental variations, characterized by the sudden shifts from elegant flute-driven themes to darker passages with dual violins, always surrounded by the deep use of keyboards.The music gets even quite complex at moments with pronounced bass lines, orchestral movements and complicated keyboard turns, all these ideas are amazingly connected to each other, resulting a solid work with many exceptional moments.

Another great discovery from one of the best countries regarding Prog music.Old-school Italian Prog performed with passion and inspiration, offered in a perfectly executed concept effort.No less than highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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