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Standarte Curses and Invocations  album cover
3.55 | 29 ratings | 7 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side One:
1. Dysangelium
2. What More I Have To Pay
3. Cities Of Towers
4. Ordeal
5. Robin Redbreast
6. Gehenna
7. Arrival Of The Traveller

Side Two
1. Herald
2. Mooning 'Round The Mill Hill
a) Wise Lane Revenant
b) Paddington Bury
c) Moon In Cancer
3. N.T.F.B.Y.
4. The One You Fear And Hate
5. Crossing

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniele Caputo / drums, percussions, vocals
- Michele Profeti / organ, piano, harpsicord, mellotron, moog
- Stefano Gabbani / bass, mellotron, moog

Releases information

Black Widow Records, BWRCD 015-2

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STANDARTE Curses and Invocations ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(61%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

STANDARTE Curses and Invocations reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars When Progressive rock is this convincing you must take note... Italy's STANDARTE play dark mellotron driven imaginative music with a high degree of musicianship. Imagine a band where 2 of the three members are credited with playing the mellotron and you are already half way there for me... "Curses & Invocations" STANDARTE's 2nd release combines layered symphonic keyboards with great voices (sung convincingly in english) fitted with some pretty tasty bass & drum interplay throughout. This album is full of luscious dark atmospheres and dark macabre imaging without getting too gothic or ugly for my liking. Of the most intriguing aspects of this album for me is the absence of guitar which although at first I was a little doubtful is in fact not missed at all... a true testimonial to the depth of their music. Overall a well crafted album which is full of originality and offers some great dark mellotron laden music for you too dream off to another world with.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This is an Italian keyboard-driven prog rock trio that does a very fine job who resurrect the wonderful Seventies sound, loaded with the 'Mighty Three': Mellotron, Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer, what a 'vintage heaven'! The focus on this (second) CD from STANDARTE is on the pleasant atmosphere, created by those abovementioned keyboards, along piano and harpsichord: every track you will be flooded by Hammond, Moog and Mellotron. So don't expect elaborated, refined or subtle music, all songs are very simply structured and the vocals have a very limited range. As a tribute to the Early British Progressive Movement (known for its lush keyboard sound) STANDARTE plays the first part of the song "Super Nova" from GRACIOUS. Another great surprise from the obscure Italian Black Widow label.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

Behind this sinister title hides a sombre and melancholic album, the second from Standarte. The debut sounded a lot like Atomic Rooster, with a flurry of organs and great ambiances making for a fairly enjoyable retro-prog album, but by all means, it was not groundbreaking! The least we cab say is that their second album is not anymore inventive than its predecessor, but the influences changed towards a more Scandinavian feeling somewhere close to early Anekdoten and Landberk (loads of analogue KB and an orgy of mellotrons) with shades of ITCOTCK or slightly ELP-ish hints. Clearly these guys are also influenced by some Satanism in their texts (well to be expected, as they record for the label Black Widow), but this does not mean that their music is macabre or morbid, quite the contrary, it borders often on the sublime with use (and abuse) of mellotrons (both Gabbani and Profetti play it as well as the Moog), but there is much less energy on this album as opposed to the debut. Although most tracks are good calibre with apt English singing, the highlight is clearly the three part 12 min Mooning Around Mill Hill and the almost 9 min Ordeal

If you are a proghead eternally stuck in the 70's but do not mind the 90's group dedicated at reproducing this type of music (hence the name retro prog) , then Italy holds many surprises for you among which the more recent Wicked Minds and Areknames.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is really a throw-back to the seventies sound with mellotron on every track and lots of organ. In fact this Italian band are a power trio but the organ is the lead instrument instead of the guitar. Bass and drums round out the sound although we get moog, piano and harpsichord too.These guys are on the "Black Widow" label which is a little surprising considering their sound, although if you read the lyrics and check out the pictures in the liner notes it makes more sense.

"Dysangelium" is led by mellotron early with vocals arriving a minute in.The song kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes and the contrast continues. I like when the organ leads the way late. "What More I Have To Say" is a brighter song once it gets going. Nice bass and organ in this one. "Cities Of Towers" opens with mellotron before the main melody (including harpsichord) then vocals come in.This song makes me feel good. A change 3 1/2 minutes in though as it slows down and gets heavier.The song "Ordeal" is very infectious, a THE DOOR'S-like organ led tune with a sixties feel to it, that turns quite dreamy later on. "Gehenna" is experimental to open with mellotron to follow. Vocals arrive quickly in this great sounding track.

"Arrival Of The Traveller" is a cover of a GRACIOUS ! tune.This turns out to be quite a psychedelic instrumental with lots of mellotron. "Herald" is another instrumental with emphasis on the organ. "Mooning 'Round The Mill Hill" is the longest song at almost 12 minutes.This is divided into 3 sections and is clearly one of the highlights of this album. A river of mellotron to open.The drums come pounding in as the organ lets it rip. Vocals follow.This is just the start of this most excellent ride. Organ and vocals lead the way on "N.T.F.B.Y." a catchy tune indeed. "The One You Fear And Hate" is another good song with lots of organ runs and I like the vocals.The bass is prominant as well. "Crossings" is the closing instrumental with pulsating organ, mellotron and drums standing out.

This is old school and I love it ! So much organ and mellotron on this vintage sounding album. 4 stars without hesitation.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars It is rather strange that a band of the mid nineties was so deeply rooted in the early seventies repertoire. A fine travel through time.

Of course, this album is strongly related to what ELP have produced; but not only. They sound mightier, less intricate than one of their mentor. The other one being "Atomic Rooster".

Don't look for an excess of originality here. Just take the music as it comes and enjoy. At least, this is what I'm doing. The opening number is just fantastic: this orgy of organ is so fabulous! When it is over, you only want to play it again and again.

If you think you listen to "Pictures." during the intro of "What More.", don't worry: I had the same feeling. And if you have the feeling to hear the early "Santana" ("Evil Ways") during the first part of "Ordeal ", don't worry; you're not alone. But it will evolve into a more standard song. Another good song even if vocals are somewhat weak here.

Here and there some abuses in the moog use, but Michele Profeti on the synth is generally very good. I particularly like the excellent mellotron (no surprise of course) in a song like "Gehenna". Real good!

Most of the songs are shortly formatted (except three of them), but most of them are very pleasant to listen like the wild "Herald". The epic "Mooning." starts promisingly on a soft, yet fine mood; but as soon as vocals come in, the interest is dropping seriously. Flat, dull and inexpressive. Fortunately, the last part is fully instrumental and offers tons of keyboards of all sorts (just like in N.T.F.B.Y.).

In all, this is a pleasant album which suffers from an average production and often weak vocals. Three stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Throwback to the golden age of English proto-prog (think Fields, Still Life, Quatermass), this is one heck of a release. Mellotron lovers will go hog-wild as two of the three members play the beloved instrument. The vocals are accent-free and sound very British. The band has a large sound for ... (read more)

Report this review (#18684) | Posted by | Monday, February 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I heard that Standarte is an Atomic Rooster clone. Listening to this album I didn' t get that feeling. The music is of course keyboard-driven hard prog. There are also some minor psyche elements. Almost all tracks are good. Drummer's D. Caputo vocals are really nice. I think that bass is a bit hidde ... (read more)

Report this review (#18681) | Posted by | Saturday, February 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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