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Semiramis - Dedicato A Frazz CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.06 | 306 ratings

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4 stars Ok Karl, I'll play!

For me, Prog Archives is a long-term obsession and I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at the ''Last 50 reviews'' on the home page. I particularly enjoy reading other members' reviews of the classic albums, but the front page is also great for sourcing those obscure gems that prog fans like me always seem to be searching for. Now and again it also throws up a review of an album that I'm familiar with but possibly haven't paid enough attention to. Such is the case with Dedicato a Frazz (1973) by Semiramis. This album was actually well down my pecking order of ''RPI albums to review'' before I read a stimulating review of it yesterday.

There are 7 songs in total, and at just over 6-minutes LA BOTTEGA DEL RIGATTIERE is the longest and it's a stunning introduction to the album. Semiramis manages to cram a lot of ideas into short spaces; this opening song features memorable guitar riffs, superb keyboard timbres, and wonderful interplay between vibes and 12-string acoustic guitar. LUNA PARK keeps up the momentum, but after a frenetic opening it manages to catch its breath with some lovely contrasting sections and changes in dynamics. Piercing guitar solos alternate with rousing organ and delicate vibes. This is a truly superb piece of music. 16-year old Michele Zarrillo's guitarwork is excellent, but what is more incredible is that he composed these wonderfully mature songs at such a tender age.

Although there are clear similarities between Semiramis and some of their Italian contemporaries such as Cervello and the mighty Il Balletto di Bronzo, the footprints of some of the giants of UK prog can also be felt on this album. After some Tony Iommi-style guitar and dentist-drill synthesizer, UNO ZOO DI VETRO reveals a bit of a King Crimson influence with an ambient soundscape of bells and vibes a la Moonchild. In addition, the beautiful cover artwork is highly reminiscent of the first couple of KC albums (see the inner gatefold in particular).

PER UNA STRADA AFFOLATA is probably the most aggressive-sounding piece and is played at breakneck speed in places. There are intermittent acoustic moments, but the general vibe is quite dark with Michele Zarrillo singing like a mad man toward the end. While the album is dominated by guitar, Eminent strings and synthesizer, as exemplified on DIETRO UNA PORTA DI CARTA, drummer Paulo Faenza deserves a special mention for his excellent vibraphone playing throughout the album. This is one of the heavier and more challenging RPI albums, although it's really not too challenging as Semiramis also do melody in a big way. FRAZZ and CLOWN are good examples, with their mixtures of cacophony, uber-catchy riffs, and mellow moments.

Overall this is another excellent Italian album from the '70s. However as Karl says, everyone should be listening to this album, not just the RPI fans.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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