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Cervello - Melos CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.12 | 233 ratings

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5 stars Cervello were formed in Naples in 1970 on the initiative of guitarist Corrado Rustici, brother of Osanna's guitarist Danilo. In 1973, after a good live activity and thanks to the help of Danilo Rustici, they could release a debut album for the label Ricordi, "Melos". The line up featured Corrado Rustici (guitar, flute, vibraphone, vocals), Gianluigi Di Franco (lead vocals, flute, percussion), Giulio D'Ambrosio (sax, flute, vocals), Antonio Spagnolo (bass, acoustic guitar, flute, vocals) and Remigio Esposito (drums, vibraphone). Cervello's overall sound is absolutely original: no keyboards but bass pedals set through the Binson Echorec and many flutes, guitars and harmony vocals to weave a fabric where Mediterranean roots are perfectly intertwined with other influences ranging from British progressive rock bands like Genesis and Gentle Giant to the West Coast sound and Mahavishnu Orchestra. The main source of inspiration for the lyrics was ancient Greek Tragedy and Mythology. Well, all in all Naples was founded by the ancient Greeks with the name of Neapolis...

The opener "Canto del capro" (Goat song) describes a rite in honour of Dionysus where Satyrs and Maenads dance and drink a magical substance while blood spills out from a ritually slaughtered goat. The music starts softly, the atmosphere is mysterious and dark then solemn music, dance and wine transform the anxiety of the faithful into a "mystical eruption". In some way a rituality that today is missing... "Scream, perhaps the faith will come back!".

The long and complex "Trittico" (Triptych) is melancholic and nostalgic. Here the souvenirs of ancient rites celebrating joy and pain disappear in a foggy past... "Everyone will try to tell his story in vain / The temple will crumble / My voice will never come back to life again / Anger crushes me / I would like to find a peace / That perhaps I never enjoyed...". The anxiety of freedom rides away in the wind. A new deal is coming, a new society where falsity and cruelty rule... "I feel hope in life fall down... I'm powerless / That's why I sing into the silence...".

The atmosphere of "Euterpe" is lighter. This track begins with cheerful flutes and beautiful melodic lines. In Greek mythology Euterpe was the muse of music and was called the "giver of delight", here she's a young girl who's growing up giving birth to a charming music that can bring to life again on the notes of a fiery electric guitar solo... "Clear illusion of healthy moments / Where sincerity reflects herself...". On "Scinsione (T.R.M.)" beautiful harmony vocals contrast with sudden jazzy bursts and changes of rhythm and mood. It's an experimental track where music and words are meant to underline efforts of mimic representations (Tentativi di Rappresentazione Mimica), depicting in a sequence looks, sobs, hallucinated looks, irresolution, disdain, ambiguity, joy, ecstasy... "Fantasy, candid visions / Sea, endless coast / Coral shapes are wondering... Drops of songs / Sacredness...".

The title track is melodic and dreamy. Melos is a Greek word that defines the melodic side of a song. Here soaring vocals take you up and your mind starts wondering in the sky... "Masks of bone are kissing each other / A silent moon turns back and begins to paint the air again...".

"Galassia" (Galaxy) is an introspective track inviting you to an inner quest. Look for your ego as a way to explore infinite worlds... Shadows and lights, flights of comets and new suns. "Joy soars and glides clear / Into a white and endless foam...".

The short and calm "Affresco" (Fresco) concludes this beautiful album in a "celestial way". Karma becomes wind and a divine light begins to shine... "Total splitting of the body from the mind / The infinite nothingness, the peace...".

On the whole "Melos" is an excellent album that would have deserved a better chance at the time. The work went almost completely unnoticed and the band split up in 1974. Anyway, as years passed by, it reached an authentic "cult status" among Italianprog lovers...

andrea | 5/5 |


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