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Triade - 1998 - La Storia Di Sabazio CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.75 | 71 ratings

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3 stars A criminally short album and yet another victim of the "one-album-wonder" curse, 1998: La Storia di Sabazio is a respectable offering but not one I reach for often. Emerson, Lake & Palmer comparisons aside, Triade actually reminds me more of Latte e Miele than Le Orme. Comparisons to all of the above are easily made as the album is fairly derivative, but more by wearing influences on its sleeve instead of a strictly hero-worship kind of way. The second side is the more original of the two, and probably more listenable as well. The longish title track in particular will be a breath of fresh air to even the most cynical RPI apologists, as it presents a different take on the sweetly melodic and romantic genre to which it belongs. 1998: La Storia di Sabazio is a good album, but not essential or even necessary.

Triade was a bit of a mystery for many years, as the original Derby LP did not specify the band members' complete identities, only pictures and songwriting credits. Luckily this situation was resolved in 2003 thanks to the tireless research of Augusto Croce, which in no small part led to the CD reissue on BTF/AMS two years later. The wonderfully recorded album begins with a side long, instrumental suite: "Nascita" kicks things off with dark organ and cello overtones, before drums and bass conspire to attack in a classically-inspired fashion; "Sabazio: Il Viaggio" is silly at first, but turns far more sinister as tritone intervals dominate the harmony between bass and Hammond - some nice melodic synths transition to the next movement; "Il Sogno" features cello in a more obvious way, and to good effect before bass and keys piddle along to interrupt; "Vita Nuova" uses classical music as a framework for this pleasing piano composition; "Il Circo" recapitulates many of the previously used elements in a more aggressive way.

"Espressione" begins the disparate second side, which largely abandons the organ-bass- drums format in favor of lush keys, acoustic guitar, and vocals. I could definitely handle an album's worth of this material, but these 16 minutes will have to do. "Espressione" is a joy and the best example of traditional RPI on the album. "Caro Fratello" regrettably returns to an ELP impersonation for the first two minutes, but is luckily saved by airy synths and guitar for its duration; drums enter toward the end and give the song a pensive, driving feel. An extended organ solo closes the track. "1998 (Millenovecentonovantotto)" is a worthy closer as it does the best job at integrating these various elements - the classical musicianship, singer-songwriter vulnerability, and gentle tension - into a cohesive concept and one that finally works, at least for these six minutes. 1998: La Storia di Sabazio suffers from a case of quality over quantity, as the former is abundant...there's just not enough of it to go around.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |


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