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Crystals - Crystals CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.18 | 23 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Sometimes too many chefs in the kitchen don't ruin the soup

Contrary to what anybody can expect, supergroups almost never work, sometimes the music is inferior to what fans expect from many great musicians grouped together like in the case of GTR (Hackett and Howe together was not a dream but a nightmare). In most of the cases, the group works, but they split soon due to other obligations or simply because too many egos can work together.

CRYSTALS is a special case, their only self titled album was recorded in 1974 but only released in 1992 (Only God knows why), the band was for,med by Giorgio Piazza (PFM), Giorgio Piazza (ALPHATAURUS), Marcello Todaro (BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO), Nanni Chivitenga (RACCOMANDATA CON RICEVUTA DI RITORNO & SAMADHI) plus a relatively unknown Hard Rock vocalist named Carlo Degani, and if this wasn't enough Paolo Tofani (Area) who wrote all the songs.

Looking at the list of musicians and bands involved, specially Tofano, I expected some sort of Symphonic oriented Jazz, but surprisingly their only release Crystals is closer to Blues based Heavy Prog in the style of LED ZEPPELIN than to a classical Italian Prog band from the 70's, probably that's why they went for Carlo Degani in the vocals (who has a pretty decent English accent), instead of a well known singer like Mussida, Di Cioccio or Di GIacomo, who would had been out of their natural environment.

My favourite tracks are the opener "Wrought Iron" with an outstanding bass performance by Giorgio Piazza, making it sound somehow reminiscent of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD; the soft and acoustic "Feeling" (Somebody said Stairways to Heaven?); "Is She Still Mine"" full of bluesy distorted guitar by Todaro and Chivitenga and of course "Sad Story" due to the fantastic guitar solos . But in general terms there are no weak moments or bad tracks.

Many diehard Progheads will probably rate this album lower than most Italian bands because of their relatively lack of "progressiveness", but this would be unfair, the album is a good example of what Heavy Prog would had sounded if embraced by more Italian bands and deserves no less than 4 solid stars.

It's true that we are not talking about revolutionary or extremely complex music, but the the songs and performances are delightful.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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