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Area - Arbeit Macht Frei CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 622 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars AREA's debut album from 1973 is a politically charged blend of Jazz, Canterbury and Avant-garde. Vocalist Demetrio Stratos born from Greek parents was certainly one of the best singers of any genre. He really pushed the boundries with his style and was very innovative. He tragically died of leukemia in New York where he went to receive a bone marrow transplant. He was only 34 years old. This would be bass player Jan Patrick Djivas' only album with the band as he would leave after this one to join PFM.

"Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" opens with a female speaking a prayer in Arabic before we get vocals from Demetrio followed by a full sound. Check out the dissonant sax before 3 minutes and the chaos too. It settles with some organ and vocal melodies before the uptempo melody from earlier returns. "Arbeit Macht Frei" opens with some impressive and intricate drumming. Birds are chirping (what the heck !) as cymbals, flute and bass follow in an atmospheric section. Sax 2 1/2 minutes in and then the song just takes off. A great jazzy sound is the result with lots of sax, piano, light drums and bass. Love the sound as the drums come in after 4 minutes. Vocals arrive after 4 1/2 minutes. Lots of amazing sax after 6 minutes. Drumming also impresses 7 minutes in. Fantastic track.

"Consapevolezza" is led by sax and drums early in this uptempo intro. It settles into a very Canterbury-ish sound.This part really blew me away, I mean this is Canterbury 101. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes followed by some excellent guitar. It calms right down 3 1/2 minutes in as sax, light drums and bass create a great atmosphere. Vocals return 5 minutes in. It ends with a full sound. Amazing song, and my favourite. "Le Labbra Del Tempo" opens with outbursts of sound that come and go. It settles in and then vocals come in with sax. A jazzy sound after 2 minutes. A powerful chaotic sound before 4 minutes. A calm arrives. Check out the vocals 5 minutes in ! A full sound ends it. "240 Chilometri Da Smirne" is very jazzy with lots of sax reminding me of PASSPORT. Some great sax work on this one. A bass solo after 2 minutes. The drumming and sax continue to impress. "L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin" has a spacey and haunting intro. Jazzy with vocal melodies after 1 1/2 minutes in. Guitar after 2 minutes is the best on the album. Some crazy vocals 3 1/2 minutes in to the end of the song with some avant-garde instrumental work to support him.

Highly recommended to fans of Avant-garde and Jazz. A very influential album.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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