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Spettri - Spettri CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.00 | 24 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Super-rare Italian psych from '72, this one-and-only album from the ultra-obscure outfit Spettri finally received a release almost four decades after it's creation, demonstrating even now, in 2012, that there are still many undiscovered nuggets buried deep in the vaults of various record companies just waiting to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public. A hazy, mystic, organ-doused slice of heavy psychedelia, this self- titled effort conjures up the kind of occult-styled atmospheric grandeur found on albums by the likes of British group Black Widow and Germany's similarly-styled Virus, the bulk of the four tracks featuring a gothic brew of relentlessly grinding guitars, meaty organ fills and some suitably impenetrable lyrics( all in Italian of course) nicely bolstered by the rough 'n' ready production that gives the impression that 'Spettri' might just have been recorded in some kind of dark, cobweb-covered crypt, possibly(or probably) beneath a graveyard or Transylvanian castle. This writer wouldn't be surprised if it was. Interestingly, Spettri apparently feature several former members of progressive outfit 'Biglietto Per L'inferno' - another one-hit group who recorded a stone-cold classic in the shape of their 1974 debut - in their line-up, though the origins of the group are, rather suitably it must be said, shrowded in mystery. Although Biglietto Per L'inferno's career wouldn't last much longer than Spettri's, there are several musical touchstones linking the two, especially in both outfit's employment of wildly emphatic vocals, metallic guitar riffs and the warm organ coating that proves so important to both group's overall stylistic ambience. However, whilst the former produced a more refined brand of symphonic-style progressive rock, the latter are seem much more influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Iron Butterfly, though their music still exhibits a strong progressive streak. Those with a fondness for gritty psychedelia, juicy organ-led prog and heavy rock should more than warm to 'Spettri' then, especially the two lengthy tracks on side 2 - 'Terza Parte: Essere' and 'Quarta Parte: Incubo' - that take the album deeper into progressive sonic realms, though the sound quality(this is a remastered released) might prove a slight distraction for some, especially in the album's quieter moments. That said, the rough-hewn production does lend 'Spettri' a rather authentic glaze sadly absent from most modern progressive rock, adding to the album's unique atmosphere and showing just how difficult it is to replicate the sounds and styles of the 1960s and 1970s, something that only a handful of groups have managed to achieve in the technically-enhanced 21st century(I'm looking at you Astra and Wooden Shjips). So, deliberate or not, what we have here is the real thing. An exciting little gem, 'Spettri' blends hazy psychedelic flourishes and bruising heavy rock riffs with a surprisingly deft instrumental touch, serving up a welcome dose of gritty Italian psych-rock from the genre's genuine glory days. Not very subtle then, but pretty effective all the same.


stefro | 3/5 |


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