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Semiramis Dedicato A Frazz album cover
4.07 | 349 ratings | 41 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La bottega del rigattiere (6:01)
2. Luna Park (5:58)
3. Uno zoo di vetro (4:28)
4. Per un strada affolata (5:00)
5. Dietro una porta di carta (5:42)
6. Frazz (5:05)
7. Clown (4:34)

Total Time: 36:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Michele Zarrillo / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals, composer
- Giampiero Artegiani / synthesizer, Classical & 12-string guitars
- Maurizio Zarrillo / grand piano, Eminent organ, electric piano, synthesizer, harpsichord, sistro
- Marcello Reddavide / bass guitar, bells, Fx
- Paolo Faenza / drums, percussion, vibraphone, Fx

Releases information

Artwork: Gordon Faggetter

LP Trident ‎- TRI.1004 (1973, Italy)

CD Vinyl Magic ‎- VM 007 (1989, Italy)
CD ‎- Tri 1004 (2006, Italy) Remastered (?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SEMIRAMIS Dedicato A Frazz ratings distribution

(349 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SEMIRAMIS Dedicato A Frazz reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
5 stars Another jewel from Italy's 70s prog rock. Intense and melodic, this album is at the same level of the monsters of the style. Very original, it's a hard job can find influences or similarities with another bands. "Frazz" is the highlight. SEMIRAMIS album is a forgotten winner, plenty of emotive intensity. Highly recommended.
Review by loserboy
4 stars Here is yet another major classic Italian prog rock album sure to please all fans of the 70's Prog genre. SEMIRAMIS blend lots of guitars (Classical and electric) with lots of excellent keyboard work. This album does get a bit heavy (which I like!) at times but always returns to the gorgeous settings promised. Considering the age of this recording , this album offers great stereo seperation and sounds even better with a good set of headphones on......Highly recommended !!!
Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars How could I go about describing SEMIRAMIS? They have one of the most unique sounds from the Italian prog scene. Well, the music tends to emphasize fast, dynamic, yet quirky playing that is unique compared to most other prog albums. Most of the compositions feature dozens of instruments which include everything from guitar, bass, and drums to vibes, synths, and mandolins. There is a cartoonish element to the band's sound that indicates that they didn't take themselves seriously. But, several sections, especially towards the end of the album, are emotional and serious. For a 1973 release, the guitar work is sometimes quite heavy thanks to great guitar work by a futuristic 16 year-old. This guy was playing heavy metal guitar years before the genre became popular. Their vocalist shouldn't bother most people, but his style is rather eccentric. "Dedicato A Frazz" is an unusual album that should be in every prog fan's collection.
Review by lor68
4 stars This is an "ante-litteram" heavy progressive album in the vein of METAMORFOSI, with a remarkable guitar and moog interplay, but the focus is more on such heavy guitar than on the keyboards, unlike Metamorfosi... a sort of compromise between the style of "IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO" and a sense of melody, often in the vein of the early PFM. Well I don't like this genre very much nor that one by "IL CAMPO DI MARTE","METAMORFOSI" and "BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO", nevertheless I recognize the importance of all these works. The songs are somewhat prolix and at times redundant, but for those times their ideas were fresh and as much interesting as the performance at the vibraphone.

Recommended, even though it is not completely essential and the production - as usual - is also weak.

Review by Proghead
4 stars Another one-shot Italian prog album, SEMIRAMIS was lead by guitarist/vocalist Michele Zarrillo, who was just 16 at the time of this album. Some people consider this one of the greatest Italian prog albums, but actually, I more rank it with the likes of NEW TROLLS' "NT Atomic System", LOCANDA DELLE FATE's "Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Pi", and IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO's "YS", that is, overrated and not living up to the hype, but still worth having. While the music is very well played, and there are plenty of aggressive passages, and nice, lush string synths (actually played on an Eminent), courtesy of Maurizio Zarrillo, Michele's older brother, the music also gets bogged down with some rather cheesy synths. Maurizio, instead of using a Moog, used a Davoli synth (same type of synth David Sinclair used on CARAVAN's "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night"), which apparently has more limited features. Regardless of my complaints of the album, it's still excellent Italian prog, and you have to bear in mind Michele Zarrillo, being only 16 at the time, he was quite accomplished on guitar for someone so young.

The album contains some bizarre artwork, with that face on the front, and Salvador Dali-like artwork in the gatefold. The original LP was released on the Trident label (which was unfortunately conterfeited in the late '80s), so you have to be careful when you buy - that is, if you can find a copy, as originals don't exactly grow on tree. Luckily Vinyl Magic, back in 1989, reissued this on CD. But, still if you like music like MUSEO ROSENBACH, IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, J.E.T., CERVELLO, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, and such bands, you'll also like this one.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Semiramis is one of the most bizarre and talented one-album Italian acts from the 70s, and 'Dedicato a Frazz' is one of my absolute favs of Italian prog. Their prog offer is astonishingly "schizophrenic", since it is founded upon a trategy of brutal contrast between the very heavy (delirious guitar solos and riffs, red hot rhythm patterns) and the realms of acoustic sensibility (acoustic and classical guitars interludes, gentle drops on vibes, string synth layers). The musicianship is top-notch, flawlessly responding to the demands of the complex compositions and fast paced rocky sections: sometimes I feel like this is the background music for a demented circus of sorts! Semiramis' sound is reminiscent (to a certain degree) of Balleto di Bronzo, UT-era New Trolls, PFM and Metamorfosi, though you can tell that Semiramis has got a peculiar musical "insanity" of their own, an "insanity" that allows them to push the boundaries of symph prog to extravagant levels of tension, contrast and dissonance. Michele Zarrillo's vocal range is very similar to that of Leone's (Balletto di Bronzo), which helps to enhance the band's heavy side. But then again, Gianpiero Artegiani makes good use of nylon and steel string acoustic guitars (the interlude of track 4, the intro to track 3, the second part of track 5) to keep the pastoral flame alight, all in the sake of contrast. He also doubles on some synth parts, which complement effectively the baroque inspired playing of Michele's brother, Maurizio (pay attention to Maurizio's first chords in track 4 - he sounds like Mozart reincarnated). The rhythm section is solid and precise - a special mention goes to drummer Paolo Faenza, whose various interventions on vibraphone are really exquisite, capable of hitting the plates with both fast paced accuracy (the intro to track 1) and relaxed solemnity (the closure to track 7). The repertoire is full of spectacular surprises - well, I feel like some of the varied musical ideas could have been explored more thoroughly, but the management of contrasts is definitely a very high point of this album and the main asset of Semiramis' music. A masterpiece indeed!
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really. Yet another 70's italian band with talent that only released one album. This one sounds like your typical Italian prog record of the times and it is a bit like your standard run-of-the-mill (however good was the genre) albumof that genre. I enjoy that Italian prog , but most band sound terribly alike (few exeptions , though) and somehow most of these bands are never far away from your typical pop singer such as Zucchero or Ramazzoti - don't get me wrong , I am not comparing this album with top 40 muse pouring out from your average ristorante- pizzeria speakers , but this pop trend has ruined the unity of more than one prog album. This does not really happen on this album , though and you will enjoy this if you are into the genre. Hunting the vinyl down should be recommended simply to get the stupendous art work of the inner gatefold sleeve.
Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars They made only one album, what a pity because this Italian band sounded so strong and promising. The album contains pleasant and melodic compositions featuring a lot of strings and fiery electric guitarplay. The parts with twanging acoustic guitars and mellow keyboards has obvious echoes from early Genesis. Highlights are some spectacular breaks delivering organ and propulsive guitar riffs, a flashy synthesizer solo and swelling keyboards, followed by a church-organ-guitar. This emphasizes how original Semiramis sounded, this album is one of the most acclaimed Italian progrock gems from the Seventies, discover why!
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a weird experience to find out that Michele Zarrillo was involved, somehow, in the wonderful italian prog scene of the seventies. And it was a great surprise for me to listen to Semiramis. Couldn't imagine such a prog behaviour since he nowadays writes, produces and sings only melodic and romantic pop music. What a change! By the way, at the time he recorded the Semiramis unique album, he was only sixteen years old. What a young prodigy he was: he wrote the musics, he played electric and acoustic guitars and sung!

The band was also formed by Maurizio Zarrillo, Michele older brother, who provided eminent, classic and electric pianos, harpsichord, sistrum and synthesizer. Other band members; Paolo Faenza on drums, percussion and vibraphone (vibraphone is the Semiramis fascinating trademark); Marcello Reddavide on bass guitar and bells; Giampiero Artegiani on "Di Giorgio" classic guitar, 12 strings "Ovation" guitar (the same guitar used by Riccardo Zappa for his wonderful instrumental dissertations) and synth.

One of the things I've never understood is who is this "Frazz" to whom the whole album is dedicated. Maybe he is a sort of imaginary character in a surrealistic world. In the booklet's inner image there is a picture in this vein. There is the "fantastic Arlequine" named in the opener track "La Bottega del Rigattiere"(Junk Shop) and also the winged horse.

What about the music? Despite the production, which is clearly not the same of important bands such Yes, Genesis, PFM, Banco and others, the arrangements are simply wonderful!! The whole structure is some of the most fresh I ever listened to in the italian scene. Fresh and mature at the same time. Considering this is a debut album, it was a tragedy for all the progheads the band split up so soon (what a pity!).

The guitars' parts are very inspired and with the correct balance between aggressiveness (electric) and kindness (acoustic). I like in particular the vibraphone sound which often takes the scene. Just listen for example the final part (the last two minutes) of "Uno Zoo di Vetro" (A Glass Zoo): an interesting duo between vibraphone and bells. Synths and keyboards are very weel played but they never seem to have the most relevan role.

All in all the result is near the masterpiece' status. The correct evalutaion should be at 4.5

Review by NJprogfan
4 stars A great one-shot Italian Symph band that is a notch below being labeled a Masterpiece. They have a wonderful guitarist in Michele Zarrillo who has a tendency to play it heavy and loud ala Deep Purple, or in their native country, Balleto Di Bronzo. Singing is done well, not soaring ala Banco, or pastel ala PFM, but Zarrillo's voice fits the music well. Keyboards are tasteful, not mimicing ELP, or other English bands, very Italian and baroque. My only gripe is that the drummer at times can't keep up with the frantic pace of the music, especially with Zarrillo's guitar historonics. I guess when your 16 years old and making your first record, you kinda throw caution to the wind and go full speed ahead. Yet, that approach is the albums highlight. It's fast paced, frantic and oh so Italian. Everything I like in prog. A 4- star album that just barely makes it under five. Another can't go wrong one for those crazy Italians!
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. The sound quality isn't very clear on my Trident cd release but having said that the music is freaking amazing ! Actually thanks to Todd I have three different versions of this album now including one with a much clearer sound. There is so much to digest so much going on here.The tempo and mood shifts happen often and at times quickly.The vocals are in Italian and they are fantastic. It's hard to believe these guys were all teenagers when they recorded this. And this has one of the most recognizable album covers on the planet.

"La Bottega Del Rigattiere" opens the proceedings with vibes bringing Zappa to mind right away (haha) but that comparison ends there very quickly. Vocals come in they sound great with that fuller sound in tow. Drums impress when the vocals stop then the guitar starts to light it up. Nice. It calms right down again then builds with vocals as themes are repeated. A change as synths come in at 2 1/2 minutes.This sounds so good, very uplifting. More of that beauty a minute later as drums impress. Vocals join in. So good. More great guitar late to end it. Amazing tune. "Luna Park" is probably my favourite as it opens with a lot of energy, slowing down a notch before the one minute mark. Vocals follow then organ as the guitar is strummed. Nice bass too as it builds. The guitar begins to rip it up then we get a calm before 3 minutes as the vocals return. Guitar starts to shred again when the vocals stop. It ends like it began, like a house on fire.

A nice contrast between the acoustic guitar melodies and the ripping solos on "Uno Zoo Di Vertro". Check out the heavy organ before a minute. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes.This is nasty ! The guitar joins in and it's not too happy. It settles with vocals. It ends with an experimental and atmospheric soundscape. "Per Una Strada Affollata" opens with synths and other sounds then the tempo picks up and the organ joins in. A calm with acoustic guitar after a minute continues until around 2 1/2 minutes when it starts to build. It ends heavily with theatrical vocals. Another highlight is "Dietro Una Porta Di Carta" a mellow song early on that sounds gorgeous.Tasteful guitar, great sounding keys as the drums and organ all eventually contribute to the sound. Vocals too. It does kick some ass later though. "Frazz" starts off with energy but settles in quickly with synths and reserved vocals. The energy returns as contrasts continue. "Clown" is all about the keys and vocals early on. Guitar before a minute when the vocals stop.The vocals return with passion. Some crazy synths too. Guitar then leads. A calm after 2 minutes and vocals join in.

Without question this is a legendary RPI release and it belongs with the giants of Italy. Chew on this one slowly though because there is a lot to digest.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There are a few albums in the rock universe written and recorded by younger teenagers and this is one of them. While those albums can sometimes be immature there is often an inherent excitement and passion that only the young, nave, uninhibited spirit can conjure. Once a musician becomes older and more seasoned they may well produce better work but there is a certain spark to youth that can be imitated but not authentically captured again. Semiramis is one of those magical products of youth that is worth hearing. It also comes from the height of the classic period of Italian prog and lives up to the competition of the great work surrounding it.

The music of Semiramis is not easy to describe. I suppose if I had to try I would say its crazy theatrical edge brings to mind Ange. Gnosis reviewer Tom Hayes gives the best description I've ever read: "So it's an established fact that in Italy during the period between 1971-1974, a music movement existed where bands would challenge each other to see who could be the most imaginative, who could create the album for the ages. They were all painters and sculptors just as in Renaissance Italy. Dedicato A Frazz is Michaelangelo's 'David'. Combining elements of Italian folk, circus, hard rock, Baroque church music, jazz, classical, and a good dose of insanity, Dedicato A Frazz pounds every sense, challenges every synapse in a flurry of ideas. After literally hundreds of listens, I still hear a different album each time. There is no weak link, no attempt at copying others works, no tries at banal commercialism. Just uninhibited reckless abandon of the imagination combined with musical expertise. Most tracks have a few hundred ideas and change moods faster than a bipolar woman left in the cold. Acoustic moments are quickly offset by heavy electric ones. Quiet moments of solitude are blasted away by militaristic might. It's never enough to have one striking contrast. No, Semiramis pile it on from every angle. Synths go awry, voices scream, guitars go a hundred miles a second, drums jettison you across the room. How could a group compose so many ideas? There are literally 15 albums on this!" [quoted paragraph by Tom Hayes, 2001]

The boys from Rome started around 1970 playing covers of Sabbath, Zeppelin, Stones and Italian groups. Younger brother Michele Zarrillo, a 15 year old musical prodigy joined the band and wrote the material on this album. The band then started playing the Italian festival scene. Drummer Memmo Pulvano fondly remembered the Villa Pamphilli festival in this 2003 interview: "We had a 24 minute song to play there, at the sound check Michele made an astonishing solo, and all the technicians stopped their work to listen to him, you know he was only 15! But I remember noticing that some popular guitarists said to the sound engineers to turn the volume down....Then the show began, and when our turn came we were very excited: we had just played in front of small audiences, and there were lots of people there! People sitting on the grass and you couldn't even see the lawn! We started playing, and I had behind me the best italian drummers, and they were watching me. It was incredible; my favorite drummers were listening at me! At the end some of them came to me congratulating, it was very satisfying because I was a self-taught drummer. Our song ended with a long guitar solo, it was common at the time, and Michele played it perfectly, but the engineers turned down the volume, it was due to the other guitarists' pressures I had noticed before! Michele was really angry for this, but they told us we had played too much. I was very sad then, but after a while Banco del Mutuo Soccorso started playing and it was a pleasure!" [interview with Memmo Pulvano, by Augusto Croce, september 2003]

It's true as mentioned by others that the production is not perfect and the sound somewhat compromised but it's really not so bad. Poor sound is a turnoff to me but I have no trouble dealing with this album. The vocals are fine robust Italian at their lively best. The guitar playing is energetic on the electric side and expressive on the acoustic side. The rest of the band are fine musicians but not the best I've ever heard. Composition is amazing for a 16 year old kid, this is material you will have to play many times to fully appreciate. A definite grower. It is a great example of the kind of spirit that makes me love these classic Italian albums so much.

This is an essential classic for anyone pursuing an Italian prog collection. For the wider website I rate the album excellent but can't claim it essential to everyone. The Trident Records mini-lp sleeve reissue is fabulous with its faithful reproduction of the gorgeous inner gatefold art, and the fine booklet with band history and rare photo of the group playing live at a '73 outdoor festival. I would give anything to have been able to witness those large Italian festivals in 72-74. If anyone here ever had the pleasure of being there, you'll have to start a thread in the forums and write a review.

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Hey, these guys are no jokers; they don't play with the cards. SEMIRAMIS are really powerful and amazing. Could someone believe that many many years ago I disdained "Dedicato A Frazz"? Well, a sad story but I thought initially they were a mere pop band and later some silly soul whispered in my ears that this release was only a kind of jazz jam recording, and then I had to drive my savings to another direction. For my surprise I found them (band & album) here in the Archives and I decided to get this album and. if repent could kill, I'd be dead for years. A jaw-breaking experience, believe me!

You're not supposed to take a rest; all tracks are nervous, explosive, and catchy in the finest progressive vein. Here one will find a cluster of tunes, harmonies, and textures that compose the cream of our beloved genre and most specifically the Italian scenario: a flurry of synths, guitars, drums and vibes working accordingly, supported by non-spoiling vocals. It's a pity that the production isn't exempt of flaws and sometimes the sound looks like coming from a distant place, disturbing the hearing a little bit.

The atmosphere settled in the symphonic rock, is completed by jazzy intermezzos, folk touches, classic elements and generous portions of hard-rock which can be easily perceived within the opening track, 'La bottega del rigattiere', where quaint intro chords give room to a short folk section soon replaced by mesmerizing tunes, absolutely stunning - you're picked and starts to salivate just waiting the next song, 'Luna Park' that keeps the mood and goes even more frenetic and exquisite.

'Un zoo di vetro' starts chilling a bit the overall warmth but immediately the temperature rises again and the seesaw movement persists throughout the track astonishingly. 'Per una strada affollata' fastens the bond - you're definitely imprisoned. 'Dietro una porta di carta' brings some of the softer moments in the album, but it's elusive, the power is still on! 'Frazz' and 'Clown', the last tracks, summarize everything you heard before and adds even more spices to the dish. And then it's over and you'll need a bath to wash out the sweat.


Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Never judge solely on appearance, for beyond the ugly face that stares at you with a mix of smugness and surprise, await one of the most rewarding releases ever to come out of the Italian musical hotbed.

Take some of Osanna's frantic, lacking-in-respect asylum-RPI with their peculiar love for sudden changes in tempo and style, some of PFM's acoustic sensibility and the usual keyboard lushness (and fondness for unique sounds from those instruments) of the sub-genre to get a feeling of roughly how this record sounds, only to later sit through the surprise of how unique this record feels. Refreshingly daring and imaginative, it may take a few spins before you can start to enjoy the music, rather than just study and observe its components.

One album is all we got from Semiramis, but it is a lasting legacy after all. Not just because it is masterfully performed music, but also because of the fact that the composition and playing is all in the hands of guys in their mid-late teens. And while instrumental prowess sure is impressive, the most meriting about Dedicato A Frazz is that it always feel like a unique piece of work, with the skills being applied on - and with the help of - own ideas and joyous creativity. With that come focus, confidence and natural energy of a very contagious sort, guaranteed to grab you, even if it ultimately fails to hook you. It's just so youthful!

In many ways a guitar-oriented album (and still not!), with distorted, heavy and sometimes angular playing giving some of the parts muscle and speed, while it may be soaring way above the rest of the music (even delivering some scattered, beautiful Gilmour-esque tones), almost lonely, in others. The acoustic pieces are just the way I want them, in excellent PFM style. Classical AND folky, just slightly edgier and packing more punch. But what I really, really like with the sound on Dedicato A Frazz are the profound layers of music that often shape-shifts in the background, yet remains intact enough not to reach solo characteristics. Guitar, bass and keys have a way of working together in a textural firework that is loose in nature, but surprisingly stable in effect. Those moments are true bliss.

And then there is that one thing that reaches really, really, really high ear-pleasing levels; the vibraphone. Amazing usage of it here. While it hardly adds much weight, it has quite a fascinating and beautiful tone in the midst of the chaos here. Innocent, childish and fragile, the vibes contribute with amazing contrast to the hard guitar parts, and propels the streak of charming inconsequentiality. It smooths rough edges and sometimes it just overwhelms you in a shocking and painfully beautiful way in one of the sudden mellow passages.

Some dislike the production qualities of this record and, granted, they aren't the best, objectively speaking. However, I think they add a lot of character to the music, and that works especially well with the music on Dedicato A Frazz. At times, some of the instruments appear distant, or just a little too separated from each other, but with the generally disparate feeling conveyed by the music, it's actually more of an asset as I see it.

Even with all this speak of inconsequentiality and abrupt changes in mind; this is a record that flows remarkably well considering it. Once again much of the credit goes to the compositional and structural skills of the musicians, for actually pulling it off. They're not doing it the easy way, but it pays off. If you're interested in a swirling, twitchy and intense ride, catching breath and gaining power in delicate acoustic and majestically symphonic parts along the way, this is what you need. Think of a place between Osanna and the Big Three, and that's where you'll find Semiramis. Keys are ranging from nervous and digital-sounding via melodic lushness la Le Orme to sweet piano parts.

The vocals are of the Italian style, and being slightly rougher they may not please everyone. But if the timbre isn't your cup of tea, the fire, passion and honesty of them (and the music) most definitely will be.

4 stars.


Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars An interesting album with so much interesting idea. The first I would like to say is the fact that some of the songs contain psychedelic moments with circus music elements.It is extremely seen in Uno zoo di vetro and Per una strada affollata. I think the ideas are not compact enough and the transition between the elements in a song are not logical enough.On the other hand I like the vocals because of the opera influence from the tenor voice. The sound production is not very good.I only will tell something about the song - Dietro una porta di carta - a true masterpiece,really the best song on the album.The songwriting and the harmony of the song is really perfect.It is the only track on the album the sound is not burden with too much elements.A mark for Dietro una porta di carta only - 4.5 stars.3.5 stars really for the album overall - I choose the lesser mark because of the sound production and the transitions between the passages.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars It would be interesting to count how many bands from this genre have released one album in the early/mid seventies and then disappeared. Without any doubt, you can add ''Semiramis'' to the list.

A classic Italian symphonic music is caressing your ears while listening to this fine piece of work. IMO, the proof of time passed fairly well on this album and I feel like it sounds quite fresh for an album been released such a long time ago (thirty-five years by now).

One of the best assets of the band is the fine guitar play of Michele Zarillo. This is not so frequent in the genre and deserves to be mentioned.

The only weaker track '' Uno Zoo Di Vetro'' sounds very much experimental and not structured at all. But it is only one song (also the shortest one of all). This shouldn't refrain you to have a listen to this album. Some very good surprises are awaiting you here; like '' Per una Strada Affollata'' which hesitates between classic music (the opening part) and hard-rock (for the closing one).

Some Crimsonian accents are to be found as well (''Dietro Una Porta Di Carta'') and some frenzy during ''Frazz'' is quite disconcerting in the midst of such a beautiful melody. It is one of my favourite songs from this album. But so was the great opener ''La Bottega Del Rigattiere''

My top fave though is the fantastic closing ''Clown''. A fine classic guitar opening, some sweet and melodic vocals sustained with wonderful mellotron and all of a sudden, the track leans again towards KC and some frenetic beats. To have incorporated so many theme changes in less than five minutes is quite a feat.

This album is harder than the average Italian prog style (''Luna Park''), but it is combined with such delicacy that it shouldn't bother the purists of the genre. Four stars for this one shot fine achievement.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Of all the Italian progressive rock albums, I think this is one of the most naughty (good meaning for us proggers) and most least refined and polished albums.

What a great album this is, I'm amazed, made by young artists! Without this sense, this product is very great. As mentioned above, there is so little connection between each of the songs in the album, and we can feel scattered feeling just in one song. We can't realize which the reason is...were they unskilled then, or did they play roughly under their strict thought? Well...both are okay. Whatever we think, we can enjoy the excellent album. The heavy play, the chorus-work, and the composition of songs are terrific.

It's regret point that there's little refinement and polishment but we can evaluate this work enough.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars At the pick of progressive rock fame in Italy,a group of young musicians published a thrilling album in 1973.SEMIRAMIS were found in Rome by keyboardist Maurizio Zarrillo around 1970.The band also played at the famous Villa Pamphilli festival along with BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO before releasing their first (and only) album ''Dedicato a frazz''.Listening to this album,you can feel the energy and lust of the band coming out of the majestic compositions.Their sound is based on Michelle Zarrillo's harsh vocals and his raw guitar attacks,supported by the atmospheric,symphonic double keyboards of Gianpiero Artegiani and Maurizio Zarrillo.The final result comes like a cross between MUSEO ROSENBACH and ALPHATAURUS,a sound balanced between symphonic rock music and frenetic jazzy interplays with a muddy production.Considered as one of the best italian prog discs of the 70's,''Dedicato a frazz'' unquestionably deserves a front place among your collection's items.
Review by Todd
5 stars One of the more difficult yet rewarding albums I've ever heard. Prog albums are well known for keeping their secrets hidden until multiple intent listenings unlock their treasures. This is one such album. There is so much to discover here (see Finnforest's and Linus's reviews above) that I don't think I'll ever tire of this album. What an incredible work this is--and to think it was conceived and performed by teenagers! All are excellent musicians, each one given his moment to shine. At times the guitar takes the lead, other times keyboards, even vibes. Throughout, the amazing rhythm section provides both anchor and accentuation.

The music is definitely on the wilder side of RPI, perhaps giving "Ys" and "Palepoli" serious competition for the wildest in the subgenre. There is an intriguing schizophrenia present here. At times there are angular, jarring riffs played by the guitar, accompanied by dissonant or minor keyboard soundscapes. Elsewhere the music is beautifully, hauntingly melodic, with lush arpeggiated guitar augmented by symphonic sounding keyboards. Perhaps the most disconcerting sound is the incredible use of the vibraphone, which is employed to great effect.

I like this post by Luca on a forum thread: "The title of their album, comes from the acronym of the surnames of the musicians (F)aenza, (R)eddavide, (A)rtegiani, (Z)arrillo, (Z)arrillo. It's a concept album, about the story of a clown, who sees life with ingenuity: his only joy comes from appearance and satisfaction for the beauty of things. Then, when he discovers the sad truth of existence, he commits suicide by hanging himself."

Even the album cover is jarring, with a beautiful, surreal picture of a man with a green face, the aforementioned clown Frazz. The inner artwork is even more surreal and matches the music perfectly! The BTF version is a gorgeous mini-lp that faithfully reproduces the artwork and provides some biographical information. The sound production is subpar, which is the only negative from my perspective. But that is not enough to detract from the status of this album as a masterpiece of not only RPI, but of prog in any genre.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Perhaps my interest in the RPI genre distorts the facts, but to me Italy seems to have produced more excellent one album progressive rock bands than any other country I can think of. Add Semiramis to that list, their album Dedicato A Frazz, released in 1973 was an album I only came across last year, but I'm certainly glad I did as it's one my favourite purchases of recent times.

The compositions are very mature for a band so young as is the musicianship. Dedicato a Frazz sits at the heavier end of the Italian prog spectrum, reminding me at times of Biglietto Per L'inferno, though overall creating a musical onslaught more intense and unrelenting, played with the fire of Il Balletto Di Bronzo. Yes, despite moments of mellow restraint this is a very busy album with fast and furious lead guitar runs and riffs against powerful synths, which while not necessarily a thing of beauty much of the time, create an exciting sound. A dexterous rhythm section follows the many twists and turns of the compositions and the vocals of Michele Zarillo (also providing the guitar) also bring to mind Biglietto Per L'inferno. What's remarkable is the way the band manage to fit so much in to each song without it turning into a disjointed mess, particularly considering that all the songs are so short, the longest being 6 minutes. Add to all this the customary amount of passion that Italian bands seem to play with and you have on your hands one hell of a good album.

It's a real shame that we only have one album from Semiramis; I believe Zarillo went onto mainstream success in Italy in a more pop orientated direction, but Dedicato A Frazz remains an album I can't fault and essential listening to those who enjoy the wilder side of Italian Prog.

Review by andrea
4 stars Semiramis were one of the many bands of the Italian progressive scene of early seventies. They came from Rome and the line up featured Paolo Faenza (drums, percussion and vibraphone), Marcello Reddavide (bass), Giampiero Artegiani (classical and acoustic guitar, synthesizers), Michele Zarrillo (guitars, vocals) and his brother Maurizio Zarrillo (piano, keyboards). Their debut album "Dedicato a Frazz" (Dedicated to Frazz) was released in 1973. It's a concept album about the dreams and the feelings of an imaginary and strange character, Frazz. Frazz is an acronym made with the initials of the members of the band... During the studio sessions Semiramis managed to shape a very mature sound, blending hard rock, progressive rock and classical influences. The quality of the recordings is not flawless and the music is perhaps not particularly original but the overall result remarkable, especially if you consider that all the members of the band were very young then. The album was not successful but, as years passed by, it become a cult one among prog collectors, not only because of the quality of the music but because of the beautiful art cover as well.

The opener "La bottega del rigattiere" (The second hand dealer's shop) is disquieting and dreaming. It depicts a strange and magical shop where, behind a double-faced window, fantastic harlequins, puppets and other objects can make you live their sinful odysseys and their sad souvenirs... "Old ice-heartened merchant / You have wiped out all the fairy tales / In your shop I can find only lost hopes... My kite is getting lost into the sky / Dancing on the notes of a waltz by that failed musician / Regretted and dead by now...".

"Luna Park" (Amusement park) describes another fantastic bittersweet dream. An innocent theatre allows you to dream an endless play where you can buy even the stars and throw them against the time that passes by... And when the dream is gone you are still searching on the ground for another coin to buy a couple of minutes to remember the lights of that dream...

"Uno zoo di vetro" (In a zoo of glass) starts with acoustic guitar and percussion, then dark church-like organ notes followed by heavy electric guitar riffs invite you to climb up into the sky from where, in an idyllic and peaceful atmosphere you can look below and see insane breathless shadows, lacking of air in a zoo of glass...

The complex and agoraphobic "Per una strada affollata" (In a crowded street) features fiery synthesizer passages and a nice classical guitar solo. Lyrics draw images of dummies looking at the crowd through the windows of the shops while fear flows into the veins of the passers by... "It's fear that flows into the veins / But it falls over in front of the buildings / Closing the way / And knocking on the door of your home!".

Next comes "Dietro una porta di carta" (Behind a door of paper), calm and reassuring... "And into the silence around me / I find back the simplicity, my personality, my boldness / I'm back from my sky / I'm alone in my room / I'm burning my tired ideals / In love with a paper / Left on a white box / Frome where reluctantly goes out a spider...". The instrumental finale makes tension take off again...

"Frazz" features strummed acoustic guitar and a pastoral mood (every now and again this track reminds me of Felona e Sorona by Le Orme). It's a reflection about the contrast between dreams and reality... "Sometime ago I was wandering about a winged horse / That used to bring you on the moon, around the sky / Into a frozen sun among golden clouds...You have many characters in a cartoon world / That smashes you down with its fake stories... At length, why searching for the truth?".

The last melancholic track, "Clown", concludes the album describing the thoughts of a jester after the show... "My comedy is coming to an end... About the love of a bearded old man / Who walks slowly with a stick / Resounding in a dark and empty street... Last spotlight on a jester / Alone, in middle of himself...".

On the whole a very good album. Well, now if look at the beautiful inside cover, painted by Gordon Faggeter, an English artist based in Rome, probably you'll recognize some images taken from the dreams described in the lyrics, like the spider escaping from the white box, the winged horse, the harlequin, the puppets, the zoo of glass, the old man, the clown...

It's very difficult to imagine that it's really Michele Zarrillo the guitarist and singer of this band. Michele Zarrillo is today one of the best known Italian melodic pop singers while Giampiero Artegiani is a successful melodic song-writer and producer as well... What a waste of talent!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Back in my teens, I used to spend most of my free time hanging around in record shops and libraries. When selecting albums, I had only two criteria to go by: the first being song lengths, the second album covers. Quite inadequate selection criteria maybe but still they brought me to King Crimson, VDGG, Magma, Schulze and Ange. Not so bad I'd say.

You got to understand we are talking about 1985-1988 here. In that pre-internet and pre-CD age, shops didn't even have individual headphones to sample new albums. And while shop owners might have played the latest Cure album for a customer, I always got a decisive "No, not that guy again!" headshake when I dangled my Jethro Tull and Rush finds in front of them!

Song lengths have become completely irrelevant for me since ages, but occasionally an album cover still attracts my attention. From the first time I saw Semiramis' Dedicato A Frazz make its remarkable appearance on the homepage, I simply had to have it. And of course the music doesn't disappoint!

Sadly enough, there are some issues with the album mix, the drums are way too much in the back and everything has too much medium range and too less vivacity. But the songs are all excellent; the first three are even superb. Never taking up more then 6 minutes, they are nevertheless very audacious and simply packed with ideas. It's sure a difficult album. At best, it won't probably be more then just 'intriguing' at a first listen. But nothing is more rewarding then biting your way through a thick skin to find the delicious fruit inside. (Hear me out, I'm even starting to talk all flowery and fluffy now)

I'd strongly suggest this album would get more regular reviews here. Not only do we need to see this artwork gracing our front page more often, also this music should be heard by the prog-masses.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ok Karl, I'll play!

For me, Prog Archives is a long-term obsession and I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at the ''Last 50 reviews'' on the home page. I particularly enjoy reading other members' reviews of the classic albums, but the front page is also great for sourcing those obscure gems that prog fans like me always seem to be searching for. Now and again it also throws up a review of an album that I'm familiar with but possibly haven't paid enough attention to. Such is the case with Dedicato a Frazz (1973) by Semiramis. This album was actually well down my pecking order of ''RPI albums to review'' before I read a stimulating review of it yesterday.

There are 7 songs in total, and at just over 6-minutes LA BOTTEGA DEL RIGATTIERE is the longest and it's a stunning introduction to the album. Semiramis manages to cram a lot of ideas into short spaces; this opening song features memorable guitar riffs, superb keyboard timbres, and wonderful interplay between vibes and 12-string acoustic guitar. LUNA PARK keeps up the momentum, but after a frenetic opening it manages to catch its breath with some lovely contrasting sections and changes in dynamics. Piercing guitar solos alternate with rousing organ and delicate vibes. This is a truly superb piece of music. 16-year old Michele Zarrillo's guitarwork is excellent, but what is more incredible is that he composed these wonderfully mature songs at such a tender age.

Although there are clear similarities between Semiramis and some of their Italian contemporaries such as Cervello and the mighty Il Balletto di Bronzo, the footprints of some of the giants of UK prog can also be felt on this album. After some Tony Iommi-style guitar and dentist-drill synthesizer, UNO ZOO DI VETRO reveals a bit of a King Crimson influence with an ambient soundscape of bells and vibes a la Moonchild. In addition, the beautiful cover artwork is highly reminiscent of the first couple of KC albums (see the inner gatefold in particular).

PER UNA STRADA AFFOLATA is probably the most aggressive-sounding piece and is played at breakneck speed in places. There are intermittent acoustic moments, but the general vibe is quite dark with Michele Zarrillo singing like a mad man toward the end. While the album is dominated by guitar, Eminent strings and synthesizer, as exemplified on DIETRO UNA PORTA DI CARTA, drummer Paulo Faenza deserves a special mention for his excellent vibraphone playing throughout the album. This is one of the heavier and more challenging RPI albums, although it's really not too challenging as Semiramis also do melody in a big way. FRAZZ and CLOWN are good examples, with their mixtures of cacophony, uber-catchy riffs, and mellow moments.

Overall this is another excellent Italian album from the '70s. However as Karl says, everyone should be listening to this album, not just the RPI fans.

Review by friso
3 stars Semiramis - Dedicato a Frazz (1973)

And you thought the cover-art was good... inside my fold-out vinyl edition of this rare Italian prog record can be seen one of the best surrealistic land-scapes filled with mysterious beings ever drawn for a progressive record. That having said, this packaging of this one- shot RPI wonder is very good.

Now, the music. Semiramis plays symphonic progressive rock with Italian vocals with influences of Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator. This is a rare combination, since symphonic beauty is often followed by crazed out instrumental passages. The title of the album, dedicated to madness, fits the music very well. The guitars can be quite heavy. Drummer Paolo Faenza also plays vibraphone on the low volume themes, which is another characteristic of this album. Bass-player Marcello Reddovide often plays fast arpeggio's of the chords which gives the music a lot of speed, even during mid-paced moments. The vocals of Michele Zarrillo are honest and intensive, but not too trained.

The compositions often lack cohesiveness, especially on side two, but they are often original. The energy this band must have had was well recorded, and the record sounds fresh and exciting. The recording-quality is however a bit poor, which made it a bit hard for me to get to like the music. The main problem are the many themes with slightly out of pitch instruments. Often the Moog-sounds are false, as well are some of guitar parts. For a musician like me this can be painful on some moments, others might not even notice. I do thing the point made by others about this band sounding a bit amateurish has largely been based on this problems with the pitch of some of the instruments. Perhaps the naive song- writing also played a role. Finally I would like to comment on the poor key-instruments used, especially some the organ-sounds that sound very dated. But I can't blame the band for this.

My brother and his wife just visited me and my brother somehow came to like Semiramis quite much as he asked for it again. I had to think again for my own opinion and I've come to the conclusion that I will give this three stars. The artwork is amazing, no - perfect! The style of the band is likable, but I just can't fit the word excellent in it. So let me put it this way; this is a great addition to your RPI collection, but if you aren't particularly interested in RPI this is just a good/non-essential addition to your collection. A small three and a halve stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars I was bowled over to discover that Semiramis were only teenagers when they recorded this album! Musicians decades older than them have tried and failed to produce similarly excellent albums in a similar vein. Granted, it's not the most original of Italian prog albums of 1973 - Trespass-era Genesis is the primary influence yet again - but the passion and the skill with which the band take to this particular musical field and make it their own is a joy to behold. Whilst the vocalist isn't much to write home about, by and large this is very capably performed and interestingly composed pastoral prog that didn't deserve to be overlooked in the Italian prog boom of 72-73, but sadly was.
Review by Negoba
4 stars Delightfully Frantic Guitar-Based Italian Prog

Semiramis was a one album classic-era Italian Prog band led by vocalist and guitarist Michele Zarillo. The outfit was actually started by his older brother and some friends but had their moment in the sun when the younger prodigy joined. Michele not only sings, plays the some of the greatest prog guitar on record, but apparently wrote most of the material as well. All of the band members were still teenagers when this was recorded (Michele 15) and the youthful energy, wonder, and lack of inhibition are all over the sound. In fact, this may be the best record from a point of view of "Wow that just sounds cool" in the entire classic prog era.

Most Italian Prog is romantic and keyboard driven. Semiramis is intense and dominated by guitar. All the other instruments get their full share of the spotlight, but Michele's guitar really steals the stage. The number of complex guitar riffs and licks on this record are unmatched until the metal era quite a bit after this. The key players aren't afraid to rip and experiment either, and we get some really dissonant sections, some open free form wierdness, and traded lines that again look forward 15 years. The beginning of track 4 "Per un strada affolata" is about as pure proggy instrumental goodness as there is. (Think Steve Hackett's "Ace of Wands")

As great as this is, it can get a little ragged. This isn't a musical journey transporting the listener to new emotional planes. This is a record of monsterously talented kids loving every minute of what they're doing and just letting it rip. The sounds here have all been done before, but never with this much raw joy. There is still plenty of humor, plenty of rock n' roll get up and move spirit. The composition and songwriting is extremely solid, with a willingness to get wierd, but still clearly within the norms of the genre.

Of the 15 or so RPI albums I own, this is one of only two that I get random urges to put on. This is a 4.5 star I album I rounding down because it just doesn't hit that masterpiece button.

But again, highly highly recommended.

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Hi Ho Silver Italy and away we go!

After having left the borders of France I am now absolutely thrilled to be located in one of the most diverse and colourful prog scenes: Italy's. Going back and forth through my lps and cds - I find my myself verging on delightfully vexed hysteria and then again somewhat confused - simply not knowing where to start in all of this.... I run through so many listening habits a year, that I'm always listening to some Italian music one way or another. What many people fail to realise - something that the RPI collaborators as well as the more well versed members continuously attempt to highlight, is that the Italian take on progressive music in the 70s was infinitely more than what the 3 biggies Le Orme, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were all about. They certainly did not make the blueprint for the Italian way. That's not the case at all - not even remotely true.

Semiramis' sole album Dedicato a Frazz is THE album I always put on, when my body screams for that good old Italian vibe. It's as foreseeable as the first rays of the summer. The weather gets more orange and humid, flowers start emerging on trees, and I immediately start searching maniacally around for this little gem.

With a cast of mere teenagers, this album is chuck full of youthful exuberance - lost masturbation seances channelled through music. The force of this band approaches the carefree proto punk of The Stooges, but then again it's much too shapeshifting and complex to be considered part of that possy. Oh and can you imagine playing prog when you were 17? Back then my friends were either playing hardcore punk or grunge - none of them capable of dreaming up something as huge and tightly woven as this little baby.

First and foremost, Dedicato a Frazz slaps you upside your face with a nonchalant hard hitting prog rock that simply storms out of the pit. Like a great big buffalo it rumbles through the prairie with flashes of Italian colour bursting out the seams by way of joyously played acoustic guitar segments, pacing classical piano runs or a zany twist of exotic vibraphone. Still the overriding principles of this album are about fury and youth - simple unassuming energy.

Vocalist Michele Zarrillo too sports a wild possessed fury. His singing brings to mind fellow countrymen Cervello, Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno and Il Balletto di Bronzo - it has that nasal fiery quality to it, coming off like an Italian version of Arthur Brown. I'm not sure many remember how melodic Brown actually was, instead they seem to recollect his crazy ways more than anything, but there was a sense of melody there quite unique, which oddly enough brings me to Michele's guitar..... Yup there's a sip of the ol wine in the fabulous electric guitar codas, licks and solos. You better believe it honey!

There's not a dud on here, every track seems to burn brightly with furious rock n commotion - mad vibraphone fuga like sections, soaring melodic vocals and some of the most carefully applied synthesizers I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Around the time this record was made, the synths had jumped on board the prog vessel like a huge tentacled monster lashing out on all fronts of the rock sphere. I mainly blame Emerson, but that's another tale altogether. On here the crunchy loud earth shattering rock blast is only embellished in small parts with these spacey robotic laser beams, and each time they feel like jumping on an elevator heading for the top of Kilimanjaro ZOOOOOOOOM!

With some serious Jon Lord organ flirtations, although infinitely more swirly and Italian at those, you additionally get a powerful thick melody enhancer in the second Zarrillo brother, Maurizio. This cat can really swing, I'll tell you - he jumps on that organ like a real schizophrenic rocker. With Maurizio, as well as the entire band, you can easily picture some headbanging involved during the groovy saucy gulps.

Semiramis should please the heavy prog aficionados - the Atomic Rooster believers, even if these cats pulled off a release that I personally think is completely original. Any progger worth his salt, should have this in his collection. I genuinely mean that. Just look into that beautiful green mug, and tell me you don't want at least a little snuggle?

So come on now and join the Italian troops, where we all are looking forward to show you the pleasures of music, that will have you doing somersaults and power yoga with pure unadulterated joy. 4.5 stars

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars SEMIRAMIS took their name from the legendary Queen of Babylon and wife of King Ninus who together are credited for training the first hunting dogs and taming horses as well as ruling regions in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. This band formed way back in 1970 by keyboardist Maurizio Zarrillo with two cousins: bassist Marcello Raddavide and drummer Memmo Pulvano. All three were exactly the ripe old age of 15 at the time. Fast forward three years and we still have Maurizio Zarrillo on keyboards and Marcello Raddavide on bass, but out was Pulvano replaced by Paolo Faenza on drumming duties and new to the team was Michele Zarrillo (brother of Maurizio) on guitars and Giampiero Artegiani on acoustic guitars and synth. The band got their big break and caught the attention of the short-lived label Trident Records and released their one and only album DEDICATO A FRAZZ. The album was a complete bust at the time but in the 40 plus years since, it has become a progressive rock classic and for very good reason.

This little beauty has become one of MY all time favorite albums! Words can hardly describe the musical genius that is stitched into every little nook and cranny of these beautiful compositions. What we basically have with this album is the purest punk rock energy of youth married with some of the most sophisticated and mature erudite compositions that would seemingly come from a band after many years of seasoning. The mix of these two overall attributes is what makes this album utterly unique in all of music history to my knowledge. The addition of the vibraphone and tympani also sets this apart from their more accomplished contemporaries on the RPI scene.

DEDICATO A FRAZZ on the surface is well within the camp of Italian prog which takes the romantic mellotron pastoral motifs from early Genesis complete with passionate vocals, swirling eddies of pumped-up melodies and classically induced compositional approach and then takes it all and adds healthy doses of caffeine, cocaine and sugar in the form of fiery bombastic keyboard runs, hyperactive bass lines, lightning fast guitar runs and powerful drum sweeps that can assault the senses and then suddenly like someone turned off the switch completely change into the most serene, pleasant and subdued music that would even please your elderly grandparents!

I simply find this to be one of the most pleasing albums to experience time and time again. It has the most seductive melodic developments with the most extreme progressive time signatures, energetic outbursts and seamlessly fuses classical music with bombastic hard rock which never sounds forced. To my ears it sounds like they recorded different versions of the album in different genres and then simply edited them together in some interesting way! However they did it, it is one of the most brilliant pieces of progressive rock to be found and it amazes me that this album hasn't caught on to the levels of PFM, Banco or Le Orme, for it has elements of all of the above and then some.

It remains unclear to me just exactly who the clown FRAZZ was to inspire this behemoth of a progressive rock masterpiece, but he must've been one crafty chap to deserve something so perfectly executed in his honor. What a shame this band did not go on to produce at least a second album but Michele Zarrillo did find success as a melodic pop artist in the 80s. Of all the teeny bopper groups i can think of who have come and gone over the decades (Arctic Monkeys, Runaways, Strypes, New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys etc) absolutely none even come close to the creativity and compositional prowess of the boys of SEMIRAMIS. Listen to this now! You will not regret it ;)






Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I did not know much about this album until recently. It was one of those records you hear a lot about it but don´t actually have the opportunity to listen to. A friend borrowed it to me a few days ago and I was very impressed. Even more so when I heard they were not successful with this album and that it was the only one Semiramis ever released. A real shame, for this is not only a great album but a promise of even better things to come. But, looking back, maybe it was too different from the average Italian music of the time. Surely, it was melodic and progressive, but it was also heavier and darker than most, with some fiery guitar parts (for the time, of course), lots of driving keys and a few strong jazzier parts.

All the musicians are brilliant and I loved the vibraphone parts drummer Paolo Faenza adds on several cuts. The compositions are very strong and although a bit daring for the period, very melodic and although sometimes sounding a bit incoherent, very well built. Like all prog masterpieces, it takes a little time to sink in, but once you get it, you´re hooked. Vocalist/guitarist Michele Zarrillo has a fine voice for the style. Thanks god everything here is sung in italian. The themes here seems to deal with the concept of madness, which may explain the wild mood swings of some tunes. I was also taken by the high quality production of the CD, very well balanced, with a crystal clear sound. All wrapped up with a dazzling cover art by Gordon Faggeter.

I really loved this album: it sounds like a good mix of Genesis, early King Crimson and Van Der Graff Generator put together, and still they had already built am identity of their own. It really makes me wish they had recorded a follow up.

A real lost prog jewel. Highly recommended for any italian prog rock aficionado.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This band sounds like a bunch of teenagers high on sugar! I love it. I hate it. The performance is really good and with a wonderful, young energy. But the album is hopelessly lost in a plethora of fragmented ideas, seldom fullfilled. Many ideas are pure brilliant, but they could have been devel ... (read more)

Report this review (#642218) | Posted by greetingsfrombergen | Monday, February 27, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From the moment you lay eyes on the macabre album cover, you realize Dedicato a Frazz is not going to be a typical prog album. Semiramis still manage to haunt and amaze me with this 1973 odyssey every time I hear it. Even more amazing is that mere teenagers wrote and recorded a masterpiece, none m ... (read more)

Report this review (#491512) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 'Dedicato a Frazz' is very bizarre and one of the most challenging albums from the RPI movement. It's very heavy as well; the fuzzy guitars suck you in like a violently churning maelstrom. The songs tend to evolve in surprising ways... they are extremely unpredictable and keep you on the edge of ... (read more)

Report this review (#202435) | Posted by AdamHearst | Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An astounding one hit wonder. This is a beautiful album, almost stereotypical of Italian Prog. It features beautiful sof tmelodies, which contrast with fast aggresive keyboards. It has one of the best album covers ever, which can only be enjoyed fully in the vinyl. Anyway's this is not a very orig ... (read more)

Report this review (#153693) | Posted by electricsilence | Sunday, December 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is one of the finest italian prog experience you can have, really... The only album released by Semiramis features very emotional vocal parts, great keyboards work, not to mention ocasionally Crimson- influenced guitar riffs ready to blow you away, for instance on "Uno zoo di vetro" an ... (read more)

Report this review (#137841) | Posted by Malve87 | Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars They only made one album and is for me a masterpiece of prog, the combination of brothers ZARRILLO in keyboards and guitar makes this a great album, with strong and powerfull voice, great synth driven, amazing and powerfulls guitar riffs and super amazing solos, beautyfull acoustic parts; Giampie ... (read more)

Report this review (#127389) | Posted by Iommi | Monday, July 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Dedicato a Frazz is a very strong effort from the one-shot band Semiramis. The guitar is definitely the strongest instrument here, and it really is hard to believe that the guitarist was only 16 at the time! I'm, well, older than that and this guy puts me to shame in terms of guitar playing. ... (read more)

Report this review (#119666) | Posted by jfleischh | Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't want to be a jerk or anything, but forget about what other reviews may said about this one. This brilliant album happens to have THE most inspiring guitar work I've ever heard in the progressive rock scene.. or maybe in any genre of music for that matter. It's far for been the most tec ... (read more)

Report this review (#99096) | Posted by cherry5 | Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Dedicato A Frazz" is one of the better album of the flourishing pop motion- progressive Italian of the first seventies. A splendid concept album, simply with some inevitable ingenuousness, that deserve to be listened again with the greatest caution and appreciated for its real (enormous) valu ... (read more)

Report this review (#75670) | Posted by ANDREW | Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First of all, let me make justice to another italian band i gave 3 stars while i should had gave 5, we cannot be precipitaded with hard listening albums, we got to get used to, im talking about the superb (also the albums cover) "pioa" by "BLOCCO MENTALLE". Now let me say about one of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#6503) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First of all, credit to Steve Hegede. -"Fast, dynamic, yet quirky" seems to sum this album up well. I really love this album! For me, it is impressive that the guitarist displays such an incredible degree of talent at an age of only sixteen! This album is a strange brew.Think of Balletto Di b ... (read more)

Report this review (#6501) | Posted by | Sunday, September 5, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I waited a long time before trying this one because the frontman of the group (Michele Zarrillo) is nowadays one of the most popular melodic italian pop songwriter, as well as the keyboardist Artegiani (and I can assure you that, living in Italy, I really can't stand the genre). And so it was a surp ... (read more)

Report this review (#6497) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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