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Abiogenesi - Io Sono Il Vampiro CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.96 | 28 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars `Io Sono Il Vampiro' is a gloomy atmospheric hard-prog work, frequently somber but also reflective. The soundtrack to a horror movie, much of the sound is dominated by Goblin influenced moody organs and epic David Gilmour/Pink Floyd inspired electric guitar work, played with great feeling and passion. Guitarist Toni d'Urso makes such a huge impression, his massive guitar tone sounds like it was recorded in a football stadium, far exceeding the almost 4 track/lo-fi recording/production quality of the album. Abiogenesi's best album to date, proving what a talented band they are, still pushing themselves on this imaginative and immersive work.

Side A's title track has a wintery air, mainly a slowly unwinding Camel/Andy Latimar styled majestic guitar solo with a memorable main theme winding it's way through the piece. It then diverts into a more fiery finale with tasteful hammond runs and plodding bass before a reprise of the guitar theme. There's a great foot-tapping beat on the uptempo ELP styled `Leandro', a heavy organ driven instrumental that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Goblin's `Roller'. Plenty of Gilmour like guitar fills all the way too.`Di Nero Vestita' is a medieval folk lullaby played on flute and acoustic guitar, with a lovely sighed chant in the chorus. Apparently it's a Uriah Heap cover, though I've never heard the original.`Vampire Blues' has a low-key intro followed by hearty full vocals typical of many other Italian progressive albums. There's a wailing ragged guitar solo in the middle with slight bluesy elements, maniacal laughter and gothic organ. `Mary Clark', a Black Widow cover has tasty Mellotron washes throughout, funky wah-wah shimmering guitar, and it all strangely reminds me of Hawkwind's `Warrior On The Edge Of Time'!

Side B begins with a brief crystalline synth piece `Sex Vampire' - sad and mournful, fragile and precious. We then get one of the album's high points, a very different and moving interpretation of Camel's `Never Let Go', it starts with just vocals and lonely organ, before a hugely powerful and arena sized guitar solo, backed with ghostly synth effects and a driving beat that carries it forward into a dramatic climax. `Belfagor' is a very sinister Goblin-like piece, with slow dirge-like guitar riffs, long drawn out sustained notes and murky bass. Strangled guitar solos and other wordly taunting vocals call from the dark. Easily the creepiest part of the album. The best original piece on the album is `Ascolta I Sogni', a slow burning and thoughtful break from all the gloom, with a melodic and warm vocal, gentle percussion, and definite Santana/Black Sabbath elements. The dark imperial sound of `Lontano' has a dramatic vocal introduction before swirling cold synths give way to a warm extended guitar solo to the end, wrapping up the album in a suitably grand manner.

Some listeners will be turned off by the limited production sound. It sounds like the album was a rough lo-fi 4-track recording. Sometimes it lets the grand music down, other times it simply adds and enhances the glum and foggy atmosphere. Admittedly the album is full of fairly simplistic arrangements, so listeners wanting more of a challenge may be left underwhelmed. Some will also look on the reliance of covers as showing a lack of inspiration, however the three cover versions here are all arranged in very different ways to the originals, therefore justified.

I purchased the vinyl copy of `Vampiro' many years ago from Black Widow, and it was only recently when I went to review it that I noticed that the CD version not only has additional tracks, but the running-order is different too. While it annoys me when LP copies have edits or incomplete tracks, I would usually recommend purchasing the CD over the LP, but look at that amazing cover! Painted by Anna Ferrari, who also contributed to the front of the most recent Delirium album `Il Nome Del Vento', the larger format really enhances the impact of the piece and is visually stunning and evocative.

So, not a classic album, but Abiogenesi have produced a consistently good album with a number of effective pieces, and one or two truly outstanding tracks. It's never too demanding but makes for ideal tasteful, if occasionally uneasy background listening. Well worth checking out this album, and I'd love to track the movie down as well!

Three stars, closer to three and a half.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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