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Gli Alluminogeni - Scolopendra CD (album) cover


Gli Alluminogeni

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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erik neuteboom
4 stars Here's an often overlooked gem from the Italian Seventies prog! The seven compositions on this debut album are a very dynamic and alternating blend of Sixties, blues, rock and classic featuring excellent work on the Hammond organ and also great Italian vocals and raw electric guitar. The one moment you are carried away by bombastic a church organ sound, the other there is a bluesy electric guitar or pleasant and warm Sixties atmosphere, VERY EXCITING!
Report this review (#43464)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars Ugly title and extremely ugly cover, I don't think they helped ALLUMINOGENI to increase the number of fans.

But the music is far from being uninteresting. Variety of keyboards (Hammond, grand and electric piano, pipe organ), acoustic, electric and 12-string guitars, drums and bass provide solid sound. In fact the trio sounds like 4 or 5-piece band (don't know whether they were able to reproduce such sound in live performances). I also like Patrizio Alluminio's voice, not very distinctive, but clear and pleasant.

Not an essential work, but if you are already familiar with Italian greats and would like to widen your horizons it's worth to check out this album. Fans of Hammond organ sound will be especially pleased.

Report this review (#178603)
Posted Friday, August 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars A bigger centipede will attack you! Unexpectedly this terrible sleeve made me laugh and buy itself.

Oh, but how catchy and easy-to-understand this sound by GLI ALLUMINOGENI is. Even in that peak of Italian prog period, they produced this album in accordance with commercialism of the label company. Sadly the commecialism itself should sprit GLI ALLUMINOGENI out. In their songs, track 1, 4, 6 have a bit flavour of pregressive rock but in them we can find their suffering against the Italian pop style. I guess, no I'm sure, that they should want to push their progressive principles. They re-unioned in 1993 and released Geni Mutanti, on which they should play with their policy and principles.

For above-mentioned reasons, this work is not essential progressive rock one but should put ALLUMINOGENI seal on the period, I consider.

Report this review (#199722)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars These guys originally started out during the 1960s as an Italian beat group called Green Grapes. They subsequently changed their name to Gli Alluminogeni (taking their new name from keyboardist & vocalist Patrizio Alluminio) and reinvented themselves as a melodic prog band at the turn of the 1970s. Like many other Italian bands of the period they had a short life span and disbanded with only one album under their belt. In their case the break- up was due to conflict with their record label over the quality of production on the album, which is a bit ropey to be honest. After the reissue of Scolopendra in 1991, the band reformed with a new guitarist and released a couple more cds in the following years.

Scolopendra's gatefold sleeve proclaims ''During a very strange journey... a cosmic dawn'', and the majority of the song titles are based on themes of Nature and the Cosmos. The album starts and ends with sound effects of nature and an explosion respectively, so there seems to be some kind of apocalyptic concept at play here. The overall sound is a bit dated for its time of release, and there's a fairly strong psychedelic influence with most tracks built around Alluminogeni's Hammond organ. The aforementioned production doesn't help in this respect either mind you.

So, after a moody intro with some sound effects of birds and insects, LA NATURA E L'UNIVERSO finally gets going around the 2-minute mark with some brief vocals and then a bluesy Hammond workout. This is a promising start to the album but there's an incongruous psych-pop guitar section tagged on at the end of this track. The next three songs all continue in melodic rock vein, and a couple of them include real orchestral backing. The title track is probably the best of these with its memorable Hammond refrains. By the way, the genus Scolopendra contains the largest and most dangerous of the centipedes, but I'll be blowed if I know how a centipede fits into the overall concept.

Apart from COSMO, which is a short no-frills instrumental blues-rocker, the second half of the album is more mature with greater thematic development and longer instrumental passages. The keyboards ebb and flow to good effect on the darkly psychedelic THRILLING, as the muffled tones of pipe organ alternate with swirling Hammond and meaty guitar licks. Closing track PIANETA's forceful guitar riffs, majestic organ, and damp squib explosion then round the album off nicely.

Scolopendra is one of the lesser-known RPI releases therefore it's not one of the places to start if you're new to the genre. However, if you can overlook the poor sound quality it's actually not too bad an album.

Report this review (#291044)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Gli Alluminogeni" is an Italian band which took birth in the early seventies and was reborn some twenty years later.

This album is by far the best of their production and is a good mix between psychedelic music with an Italian accent. The former aspect is more on the front line. But it's OK as far as I'm concerned.

The great opener "La Natura E L'Universo" is the best example I can think of: some good drumming and of course this solid Hammond organ sound available throughout these eight minutes of good music.

In all honesty, the music featured on this album is not always really great ("La Stella Di Atades") but once in a while, some tracks do hold fine moments, like the intriguing "Thrilling" which features some hints of "Fools" from "Deep Purple" (on their "Fireball" album) during the instrumental intro. But the whole of this song is quite challenging: fine guitar and as usual a deep and heavy organ sound typical of the early seventies. This is another highlight with no doubt.

The music is mostly instrumental, dark and heavy oriented. If you like "Black Widow", there are great possibilities that you would appreciate this band as well. Especially during the great closing number "Pianeta". A gorgeous treat of Hammond fantasy!

Some weaker songs like the title track or "Cosmo" prevents me to rate this work with four stars. Seven out of ten really!

Report this review (#307609)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Would be more impressive coming from '66 than '72

Gli Alluminogeni is another RPI band which began life in the mid 1960s as a beat band, this one from Turin. After going through a few guitarists and releasing some early singles, the band recorded their lone album (aside from the reunion stuff two decades later.) Despite coming out in the classic period "Scolopendra" is an album that does not stand up that well today. In fact some reviewers claim it was outdated the day it came out, hearkening back to 60s blues-psych as opposed to grasping the wave of advancements other Italian bands were surfing by 1972. I tend to agree, this is not first tier RPI and not a huge priority.

That's not to say there is nothing enjoyable here. I think blues/psych rock fans who love early Purple and worship the Hammond will find plenty to enjoy. Chunky power chords, trippy sound effects, and muscular drumming all contribute to an album for the jam aficionado. The band is reasonably tight, the vocals just average. I enjoy organ with a dark and desolate tinge and that is the main selling point in my opinion. The guitar work is acceptable but nothing special. One notable track is "Thrilling" which mixes some gothic organ with Sabbath-like doomy power chords. Average songs, reasonable performances, a bit behind the times. That's about it. Oh, don't forget the hideous album cover art.

"thick layers of quasi-classical keyboards (mainly Hammond organ and piano), turgid falsetto vocals a la New Trolls, imaginative guitar textures (with a heavy use of fuzz and Leslie effects) and busy drum patterns (in a rather unusual style)....reminiscent of the first albums by The Trip (or even Vanilla Fudge), and were psychedelic classical rock concertos for organ, piano and guitar." -Scented Garden

With all that is out there from the RPI classic period to pillage your bank account, Gli Alluminogeni should be way down on your list of acquisitions. It's not all that representative of the best attributes of the genre in my opinion. More for hard-rock, psych/blues-rock fans. 2-3 stars, I'll round them up.

Report this review (#349569)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Scolopendra is the debut album of the italian trio "Gli Alluminogeni". The band got the name from the leader, Patrizio Alluminio, student at the academy of music of Vercelli and graduated in piano.

The main feature of the seven compositions is the typical sixties flavour of both vocals and instrumental passages. This gives the impression of a dated work, unlikely to the band's other contemporaries.

Notwithstanding, the music is very well composed, recorded and arrenged and it's based upon the majestic hammond organ of Alluminio (sometimes church organ as in the heavy psychedelic "Thrilling") and raw electric guitar. It's not a concept album but the recurring themes are nature and cosmos. The title track is a wonderful soft-blues ballad.

Report this review (#643342)
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have tried for years to give Scolopendra a chance. Its dated production, lackluster composition and plodding musicianship prevent me from enjoying it. Gli Alluminogeni were headed in the right direction but by 1972 their brand of heavy Italian Beat had long since worn out its welcome. And although there are some psychedelic influences and unconventional ideas here and there, they are few and far between and can't save this thing from being dead on arrival. It doesn't help matters any considering the band basically disowned the album upon release, citing label Fonit's mix tampering as "too commercial." Ironically, the poppier moments such as "La Stella Di Atades" succeed most. My opinion is Fonit weren't given much to work with, and did the best with what they had. The most glaring oversight being bass. Not bass guitar; bass frequencies. This album has none. A shrill, trebly mess describes much of Scolopendra, an album fundamentally third-tier and for collectors only.

As "La Natura e L'Universo" begins, you notice immediately something just isn't quite right. The sound is phasey and disorienting, but not in a good way. This is not space rock. Despite its length, the song never really goes anywhere or does anything. I guess the silver lining is Daniele Ostorero's drumming, but even that becomes annoying by the 8-minute mark. The titular "Scolopendra" sounds a little better, adding Mellotron and acoustic guitar to flesh out the stereo image a bit more. The opposite is true of "Che Fumo C'e." A flanger effect has been added to the drums, relegating them to the background and ruining an otherwise decent track. "La Stella Di Atades" may be the best song on side one, but even it never gets off the ground and simply deteriorates.

Side two starts with the excellent "Thrilling," by far the best song here. Gli Alluminogeni sound serious, determined and actually interested in what they're doing. A heavy tandem of molten guitar and overdriven Hammond organ lead the charge while Ostorero shows power and restraint in equal doses. Vocals enter near the end and give the song a haunting vibe, amply supported by some epic pipe organ. "Thrilling" sees a band fulfilling their promise, albeit briefly. "Cosmo" returns to a kitschy ELP-inspired sound. "Pianeta" ends this uneven and unsatisfying album. If nothing else, "Thrilling" is worth repeated listens, but the ratio of bad to good is too high to really recommend Scolopendra.

Report this review (#899372)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permalink

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