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SEMIRAMIS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Semiramis biography
Founded in Rome, Italy in 1970 - Disbanded in 1974 - Regrouped between 2014-2017

SEMIRAMIS is one of the many "one-shot" bands of the 70's Italy. Their only album is one of my favorite albums of the 70's Italian art rock. Combining elements of Italian folk, heavy progressive passages (especially in the middle of the album), 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. There are more symphonic, keyboard-led parts as well where SEMIRAMIS may sound closer YES, GENESIS or BANCO. A fantastic album...!

See also: WiKi

SEMIRAMIS Videos (YouTube and more)


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SEMIRAMIS discography


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SEMIRAMIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 349 ratings
Dedicato A Frazz
1973
3.87 | 23 ratings
La Fine Non Esiste
2024

SEMIRAMIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SEMIRAMIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.08 | 6 ratings
Frazz Live
2017

SEMIRAMIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SEMIRAMIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SEMIRAMIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Fine Non Esiste by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 2024
3.87 | 23 ratings

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La Fine Non Esiste
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What is it with this year having bands coming back after years without any new releases? We got a new Sleepytime Gorilla Museum record, the seventh Bondage Fruit album, and now a new recording from an Italian prog band that only released one record 50 years ago.

Semiramis is one of many prog bands that would only make one record back in the 70s, much like Opus-5, Crack, and Cervello. Some of these bands have either come back for a live show or two, maybe an archival release, or in rare cases such as this, go back into the studio to make some new material. Out of any comeback to come about this year, Semiramis wasn't even at the bottom of my list. I practically forgot about them to be honest, but them showing up now has brewed interest in me for the group.

I think with the invention of the internet, many people were exposed to the lesser known side of prog rock, and music in general. I am guessing Semiramis noticed some of the attention that their old 1973 record was gaining on sites like Progarchives or Italian Prog, which revitalized the remaining members to start the group up again, with some new pals to complete the band. However, the old members would leave, whether it be due to fatalities of illness, or not wishing to make a new album. This left the Semiramis name in the hands of a completely different line-up then what Dedicato a Frazz was. Despite this, I find this new line-up to keep the Semiramis name in a very stunning light, maybe a bit more than their debut.

A lot of modern day symphonic prog ideals usually fall into 1 of 2 categories, slightly symphonic tinged contemporary prog (Big Big Train and Phideaux), or retro prog (don't really need to give examples of this). There are also old bands that have lasted through to the 21st century and thus have tried to make symphonic prog records for their old audience, but they sound a bit more in-line with retro prog, and not what they have done in the past, like Kaipa for example. Semiramis, surprisingly enough, has done neither of these types of ideals, instead managing to sound a lot more like what they would make in the 70s, without managing to sound like every other retro prog, or even contemporary prog band on the block. To me, this was immediately apparent after the first song, and it was really surprising too. At first I thought I turned on the wrong album and was listening to a different Italian band, funnily enough. I was expecting a modern Yes, or a Kaipa type of deal here, so this was a really pleasant surprise.

The music here is also awesome, in my opinion. You aren't getting something super crazy here in this 35 minute venture. Like, you aren't getting a 20+ minute suite, or a 2 hour rock opera, but what you get here is still some high class prog. Filled with lots of emotions and beauty, with the last song here having a rather beautiful finale type of feel, and a lot of rather great vocals from Giovanni Barco makes this record a bit of a repeated listen for me, ever since it was first released. It even made me revisit their first record, and I know this may now be an unpopular opinion, but this certainly blows that record out of the water.

I also really like the production here. While the music sounds very classical in terms of prog rock, the production still manages to make everything sounds quite new and fresh, almost like this record was created in yesteryear, but only now had it been fully produced in its best output. It makes the record very enjoyable in my mind.

I suppose if I had a critique, I feel as though some of the songs do not leave as big an impact as others. Non chiedere a un Dio and Tenda rossa are good examples of this, with me not really finding much memorability for them, as compared to some of the big tracks like Sua MaestÓ il cuore and Cacciatore di ansie. The record also feels a tad short, but I have come to expect Italian prog to be a lot more on the shorter side, but still it leaves me feeling as if there is something rather missing in the album's length that could tie things a bit better.

Speaking of Sua MaestÓ il Cuore, that song is amazing. It starts off with this rather aggressive guitar melody, with Giovanni singing rather lushfully, yet with a rather harder mix. As it makes its way to the middle, it does a 180 and becomes this rather somber sounding--piano led medley that brings me a bit more emotion than I never expected, and ending off with this before it swings right back to the flavors the band is known for at the last few seconds. This track is honestly one of my instant favorites, and certainly a favorite from the Italian prog scene. It's the reason why I chose to review this record, and it's a masterpiece of sound, and emotion. Plus it has a very fun guitar solo, so what more could you want out of your finale to your comeback album?

All in all, a certainly entertaining record that was certainly unexpected. However, sometimes the most unanticipated releases can come about as a certain favorite, at least for me. Give this one a listen, especially if you really liked the group's record from 50 years ago.

Best tracks: Cacciatore di ansie, Donna dalle ali d'acciaio, Sua MaestÓ il cuore

Worst tracks: Non chiedere a un Dio, Tenda rossa

 La Fine Non Esiste by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 2024
3.87 | 23 ratings

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La Fine Non Esiste
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

4 stars Even in the modern era where we can expect to see artists who have been long considered down and out to make a comeback some decades after their initial run in all honesty, the Rome based SEMIRAMIS which was a crucial part of the initial progressive rock scene in Italy wasn't exactly a band that i ever expected to hear from again. After all, the five members were all teenagers when they unleashed their classic prog rock masterpiece "Dedicato a Frazz" in 1973 and like many other now classic albums was a complete flop at the time of release. Add to that, none of the members really continued on in the music world and seemed to just disappear into the ethers as quickly as they emerged. 
But the 2020s is all about curveballs and proves that even an act like SEMIRAMIS can be resurrected from the dead but is it really SEMIRAMIS? We all know that one member often held legal rights to the moniker and often continues the band with a completely new cast of characters animated their vision. Well just as i suspected, this is not the classic lineup of FRAZZ (the word referred to band members' surnames: Faenza, Raddavide, Artegiani, Zarrillo, Zarillo and if we were to extract which letters remain from the classic lineup then i'm afraid to tell you that it would only be the F for Faenza. Yes, it's drummer / vibraphonist Paolo Faenza who has resurrected the SEMIRAMIS band name and assembled a completely new younger team of eager beavers to unleash his retro sounds of the 70s.

Coming a staggering 51 years after the band's one and only album, "Dedicato a Frazz," the sophomore unit LA FINE NON ESISTE (The End Doesn't Exist) perfectly symbolizes a band once considered a mere anomaly in history to a brand new resurrected musical entity. Truth is stranger than fiction, that's for damn sure. The new band consists of Giovanni Barco as the new vocalist, Emanuele Barco on electric guitars, Marco Palma on acoustic guitars, Ivo Mileto on bass and Daniele Sorrenti on keys, organs, synth and flute. Paolo Faenza is back on percussive duties and LA FINE NON ESISTE comes across as a 70s album revisited with six tracks at about 38 minutes of playing time. Needless to say, this sounds nothing like the first SEMIRAMIS album but what i wasn't expecting is that it's actually pretty good!

There actually are some similarities to the classic SEMIRAMIS sound. This is after all classic RPI from the early 70s timeline in style and it wouldn't even surprise me if many if not all of theses tracks were originally designated for a sophomore album that was to emerge after the debut but for commercial reasons was completely scrapped. The music is a bit heavier than the average RPI album with feisty guitars but still rocks all those classical piano runs and of course features the romantic operatic vocal style however this is no group of teenagers and all the excesses that made the debut so phenomenally good are nowhere to be heard. This sounds like a seasoned RPI band that has grown comfortable in its skin and simply set to autopilot. The tracks are all melodic and memorable and the musicians are quite competent in tackling this classic style of 70s RPI. Of course lyrics are in Italian and the tracks all stand on their own because this is not a concept album the way "Dedicato a Frazz" was. Chock filled with lots of rhythmic shifts and dramatic deliveries, LA FINE NON ESISTE is a classic progressive rock in every aspect and focuses more on faster tempos and heavier guitar heft than many Italian proggers did in the past or implement in the present. The guitar often takes the lead with heavy power chords, feisty licks and the occasional solo. Of course the keys and organ give it that period piece retro sound.

"Dedicato a Frazz" is one of my absolute favorite releases of the original Italian prog scene and even when i got wind of this second album emerging in 2024 i had no expectations that it would even come close to the sheer magnum opus nature that the album has exuded over the ensuing decades. These half century later comebacks rarely amount to anything other than a good publicity stunt but in this case i'm surprised that i like this album as much as i do. The compositions are well thought out, extremely beautiful in their performances and Giovanni Barco has the perfect classic RPI vocal style! Yes this is retro but this is retro done right and while these types of bands are a dime a dozen in the modern world, there's something about the quality of this album that actually makes it feel like a legit 70s album in the modern day. This is actually more than a novelty, this is music i actually enjoy! Those feisty guitar parts really put it over the top so all i can say is bring it on Paolo!

 Frazz Live by SEMIRAMIS album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.08 | 6 ratings

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Frazz Live
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars SEMIRAMIS, consisting of very young musicians at the time, were one of the several RPI bands that managed to make just one album in the early/mid seventies, Dedicato a Frazz (1973). I wrote about it roughly like this in my Finnish-language book on international progressive rock:

"Already the cover art gives some ideas about the style and possible influences, and more than to the front cover I refer to the gatefold's inner painting of dark, autumnal atmosphere, which I find in spirit somewhere between In the Court of the Crimson King and Nursery Cryme. But one cannot blame Semiramis for imitating anyone. In the highly dynamic and occasionally very intensive music there's not a single moment that would directly point at a certain band. Well, maybe the clinging percussion on the instrumental 'Uno Zoo di Vetro' resembles the Larks-era King Crimson. For the intensity the album can be compared also to Van der Graaf Generator, even if the sound per se hasn't got a lot in common -- with the possible exception of the occasional aggressive edge on the vocals.

Guitars, drums and bass are being played quite heavily without plainly falling on the heavy rock side. On the more central role are keyboards, varying from harpsichord and church organ flavours to thick synth carpets and jazz-nuanced electric piano. Here and there the intensity of the music is broken by more delicate passages, but perhaps in the end the album suffers from sameyness to a certain degree."

In retrospect, I think I didn't listen to the album as dedicatedly as it would have deserved, when I wrote that last, somewhat reserved sentence. Perhaps I was just a couple of further listening sessions away of naming the album as one of the finest RPI classics, at least on the heavier end of the spectre (as opposed to the pastoral end, which is closer to my heart). I could have re-listened to the studio album also, before writing this review, to find out how my reception might have changed. But even without doing that, I firmly believe that this concert performance from April 2017 simply sounds better. The sound is, how to put it, more open and nuanced, ie. the live factor does really good for this music. The line-up is missing the original vocalist Michele Zarrillo, which may be another reason for slightly more amiable impression. Now, don't start thinking this performance would be less dynamic or 'weaker' than the original 1973 recording. -- Actually I wish someone who's admired the album for ages would review this DVD, just to get another point of view and a closer look on the sonic differences. Anyway, for me, SEEING the band performing the music live often brings the music closer to me. This is exactly what happened now.

This is a DVD+CD set, with identical contents on both, except that the CD contains one bonus studio track, 'Mille Universi'. It's closer to the electric guitar oriented hard rock than the progressive finesse of the concert, which performs the original album Dedicato a Frazz in its entirety plus nearly 9-minute 'Morire per Guarire' not found on the album. Very powerful prog song it is. The DVD extras are a brief picture show and interviews of the band members. This leads us to one remarkable minus on this release: there are no English subtitles (although English language is used on the leaflet), which means non-Italian speaking viewers won't get much out of these interviews. Sad.

Another feature that I'm not quite convinced of, is the way each track is preceded by a near-minute narration, written and spoken by Giampero Artegiani (not listed on the band line-up). The leaflet contains Italian words for both these narrations and song-lyrics. Again, I would have appreciated English subtitles -- or printed translations -- at least for the narrations. On the first viewing of the show these narrations felt quite OK, but most likely they start irritating me on further viewings (on the CD these sections are separate tracks and therefor can be skipped, unlike on the DVD). Sonic level is faultless, and also from the visual point of view the concert film is very good. Several camera angles, a good balance of close-ups and broader scenes, and a fairly good lighting. Close to the ending a human-like, finely dressed doll is hanged up from its neck. Otherwise there are no theatrical aspirations on behalf of the stage settings or the band.

Despite some minor negative remarks I strongly recommend this set if you're interested in the Rock Progressivo Italiano of the classic era, whether you already have the original album or not.

 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

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 ;)

Faenza

Raddavide

Artegiani

Zarrillo

Zarillo

 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

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

 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by greetingsfrombergen

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 developed, or let say progressed more:-) If you meet a confused person who tells you every thought in his mind all the time, you will be exhausted after half an hour. This is how this album makes me feel. The vocals are a bit to feminin for my taste as well, even if I normally do like the sound of a tenor. The overall sound is not bad, however On Luna Park there is a disturbing clapping noise through the second half of the tune, not even in beat. Conclusion: This is mediocre and I would have loved the more matured Semiramis!
 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
 Dedicato A Frazz by SEMIRAMIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 349 ratings

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Dedicato A Frazz
Semiramis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

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 more impressive than the 16-year-old Michele Zarillo. Zarillo puts on a veritable guitar clinic and is able to achieve feats those twice his age couldn't. And though his singing is quite capable, his guitar talent is nearly unsurpassed except by the greats - Fripp, Howe, and Hackett - and equal to that of Corrado Rustici in my opinion. In fact, Semiramis evoke the sound of Rustici's group Cervello in their daring and unabashed zeal for pushing the envelope; a sense of one-upsmanship is at play but never to the point of impetuousness. And like Cervello's Melos, Dedicato a Frazz will require many repeated listens to fully appreciate. The album may feel schizophrenic upon first listens, but makes sense with time. I promise.

A perplexing combination of Eminent, vibraphone and 12-string guitar opens "La Bottega del Rigattiere." As Zarillo starts to sing a thunderous drum roll announces the beat, and does the beat ever drop hard. Just when you start to bang your head to Zarillo's heavy riff, the song abruptly shifts to a playful interlude and back. Get used to that. Dedicato a Frazz will transform an inordinate number of times, some transitions more jarring than others. The fabulous "Luna Park," one of my favorite songs in the entire genre, leaves a burnt trail of destruction in its path as Zarillo and company torch through numerous tempos and time signatures. The level of creativity is so high at times I can't picture a group of kids sitting down and brainstorming it. "Luna Park" is truly astounding and something every prog fan should experience.

The madrigal "Uno Zoo Di Vetro" features tympani and a heaping helping of Eminent before Zarillo drops a bomb at the 1:25 mark. His guitar riff is so devastatingly raunchy I can't even describe it but the closest thing I can think of is "Epilogo" from Il Balletto di Bronzo's Ys. A magical break three minutes in sees Semiramis in a symphonic mode, shedding any heavy prog tendencies. A brief vibraphone solo then bridges to "Per Una Strada Affollata." This is another fascinating and exhausting exercise but one that pays dividends for the patient listener. Again Zarillo steals the show, executing a poignant classical guitar solo with experience well beyond his years. The representative "Dietro Una Porta Di Carta" summarizes everything to this point well, and still manages to create an identity all its own. "Frazz" impresses with a sublime chord progression in the middle; this section really personifies to me what RPI is all about, and though it only lasts a minute it leaves a lasting impression. "Clown" offers almost too much of a good thing, but before you know it the album is over. Dedicato a Frazz leaves you wanting more, which is the hallmark of a 5-star album to these ears.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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