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Taproban - Strigma CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.99 | 112 ratings

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4 stars Taproban are an Italian band founded in 1996. They've had line-up changes since then but the main member has always been keyboardist Gianluca De Rossi. This is their latest album and the only one I have heard so far. Generally the music of Taproban falls into the 'retro prog' camp, but with a strong RPI influence obviously. Genesis and Emerson, Lake & Palmer seem to be the main influences. The production on the other hand is more modern and clean sounding. Lots of '70s era instrumentation and gear used. In case you're wondering...the album cover has been slightly altered for PA.

"Nesia al notturno congresso delle streghe" opens the album with some chorused guitar which actually sounds more late '70s/early '80s than anything from the 'golden age' of prog. Then it gets more early-mid-'70s sounding including an odd-metered riff which reminds me of some of the darker RPI stuff. This is immediately followed by a part in complete contrast to it - with lovely flute and more chorused guitar. Almost halfway through there is some keyboards(?) which sound like mallet percussion. After 7 minutes goes into a part that sounds like early Genesis (sounds similar to a passage in 'Cinema Show' I think). After that part the music goes into moody RPI territory. You hear some phased bass and then the music changes to a mix of ELP and RPI.

The second of three tracks is "Lo sguardo di Emily" (which you can listen to on PA). This is generally a mix of RPI and Genesis. Nice bass and synth tones in this track. A little bit of Crimsonian violin at one point. Out of nowhere comes a really good reggae part...totally unexpected but it works. Ends on a very Genesis-y note although the synth and organ playing sounds more Italian. Having never heard the band's previous albums, I'm not sure how much vocals are on them. Strigma is about 95% instrumental; there is only a bit of vocals on the last track "La porta sul buio" The final almost 19-minute epic is both the most interesting track on the album and the least overtly 'retro' sounding.

Apart from the little bit of vocals from Gianluca (in Italian), this piece starts off fairly easy- going but the pace picks up after 2 minutes with some good organ soloing. Around 4 1/2 minutes is a great part with some mallet percussion, repetitive piano stabs and some interesting drumming. Nice synth playing in the middle. Later pipe organ and some vocals. Overall, a good release. Should appeal to many symph and RPI fans. I will give this a 3.5 but bump it up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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