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Area - Arbeit Macht Frei CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.28 | 656 ratings

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4 stars An intense Italian prog album that resonates with a plethora of sounds, styles, feelings and textures, Area's 'Arbeit Mach Frei' is considered one of the great Italian albums from the 1970's, often mentioned in the same breath as PFM's 'Per Un Amico', Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's 'Darwin' and Maxophone's self-titled debut. And it's easy to see(or should I say hear) why. From the Arabic-fused jazz rhythms of the album's opening bars, to the epilepsy-conjuring battery of Mahavishnu-style drums, twinkling keyboards and sassy saxophone riffs that introduce the bracing title-track, this is an album that literally grabs the listener from the start and never lets go. Each song features a multitude of interwoven sections that flow effortlessly into each other, creating a joyous prog-rock odyssey that borrows nothing from the British crowd. The level of pure invention on show is simply extraordinary, and although hints of Miles Davis, Gentle Giant and, very occasionally, Pink Floyd, can be heard through the dense musical din, Area's sound is very much of their own making. Fans of Italian prog will undoubtedly lap this sonic adventure up; fans of British prog with an open ear should, if they give the album the respect it deserves, find themselves in dreamland. The occasional pretentious moment and Demetrio Stratos' warbling vocals aside, 'Arbeit Mach Frei' is a glorious progressive statement. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 4/5 |


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