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FUNGUS

Heavy Prog • Italy


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Fungus biography
Founded in Genova, Italy in 2002

FUNGUS is an Italian heavy progressive rock band formed in 2002. The band's original sound was based solely around heavy psychedelic jamming, but soon the band, made up of guitarist Alejandro BLISSET, bassist Carlo BARRECA, keyboardist Claudio FERRERI, vocalist Dorian DEMINSTRAL, and drummer Stefano FIRPO, adopted a more refined and complex style.

The band recorded their first album, Careful, in 2004 and had it released on Mellow Records in 2006. That same year, the band released an EP titled 25 Grams. The band took a break from recording to tour Europe in 2007 and 2008. 2010 saw the release of the band's second studio album, Better than Jesus, which was the synthesis of all the work the band had done from 2006 to 2010. The band is currently working on their third studio album tentatively titled The Face of Evil.

The band's style is very much based in blues rock, psych rock, and folk rock.

::::Andy Webb, Andyman1125::::

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Buy FUNGUS Music


The Face Of Evil (12The Face Of Evil (12" Gatefold Double LP)
Blood Rock
$26.95
Came From Waste SideCame From Waste Side
3D 2018
$35.01
the face of evil (in the sealed room)the face of evil (in the sealed room)
Black Widow
$24.35
Fungus - Best Selection Ii -20Th Anniversary- [Japan CD] DDCM-1045Fungus - Best Selection Ii -20Th Anniversary- [Japan CD] DDCM-1045
3D Japan
$31.25
Predatory HarvestPredatory Harvest
Ultimate Massacre Productions 2017
$13.34
The Face Of EvilThe Face Of Evil
BloodRock Records
$25.38
$19.99 (used)

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FUNGUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

2.96 | 4 ratings
Careful !
2006
3.60 | 15 ratings
Better Than Jesus
2010
3.13 | 12 ratings
The Face Of Evil
2013
3.94 | 7 ratings
The Key Of The Garden
2019

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Murta
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hang On Your Live
2008

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

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
25 Grams - Promo
2006

FUNGUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Key Of The Garden by FUNGUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.94 | 7 ratings

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The Key Of The Garden
Fungus Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars 'An exciting return of the Proto Prog sound!'

Italian formation Fungus was born in 2002 'as an evolution of an improvisation project of heavy psychedelic jamming' by guitarist Alejandro J Blissett and bass player Carlo 'Zerothehero' Barreca. In 2004 Fungus released its first offical album entitled Careful with an extended line-up featuring keyboard player Claudio Ferreri and drummer Stefano Firpo, along Alejandro and Carlo. In the same year Dorian Deminstrel entered the band as vocalist and acoustic guitarist. In 2006 this new formation released the promo EP 25 Grams, on which vintage rock with progressive tendencies started to show. In 2010 Fungus released its second album entitled Better Than Jesus, an album with strong hints from The Doors (Jim Morrrison-like vocals) and Pink Floyd (psychedelia) and loaded with the distinctive sound of the Hammond organ. In the same year Cajo replaced Stefano Firpo as a drummer, then Fungus released the second chapter of the trilogy in 2013: The Face of Evil, first on CD but one year later it became a double vinyl, thanks to the addition of The Sealed Room, an unofficial soundtrack recorded for the eponymous movie from 1909. In 2014 Mercante Di Sogni replaced keyboard player Claudio Ferreri. In 2015 a tragic event changed the line-up again: AJ Blissett passed away, but Fungus didn't surrender to agony 'because love for music gives energy enough to continue the trip'. Alessio 'fuzz' Caorsi turned out to be the new electric guitarist. In the beginning of 2016 keyboard player Claudio Ferreri re-entered the band, and one year later Fungus changed its name into Fungus Family, in order to emphasize the strong bond between the members. In 2019 The Key Of The Garden (the final chapter of the trilogy) was released featuring Hawkwind legend Nik Turner 'who adds a spicy and spacey flavour'.

Well, to my delight Fungus Family sounds on this new album like the Fungus I know from its second effort: a sound with strong hints from The Doors (blues oriented prog, and Jim Morrison-like vocals), Pink Floyd (psychedelia) and Vanilla Fudge (Hammond and rock guitar). The seven own compositions (plus covers from Pink Floyd and Family) deliver lots of flowing shifting moods. From dreamy with flute and piano or a spacey synthesizer intro to a catchy beat with fiery wah wah guitar, or a slow rhythm with sumptuous Hammond organ. The colouring with the keyboards and guitar is outstanding and generates many exciting moments

A mindbowing psychedelic sounding guitar solo with wah wah and echo and lush Hammond in my highlight IQ84.

Glorious Minimoog flights and propulsive guitar riffs in Becoming To Be.

'Blues meets psychedelia' with compelling guitar and Hammond in Holy Picture.

And mellow flute, piano and vocals in the wonderful ballad Eternal Mind.

It's incredible how easily Fungus Family switches from dreamy to a mid-tempo, or a slow rhythm to bombastic outburst, what a tension and tasteful musical ideas. This is topped by the singer with his Jim Morrison-like voice, from tender to expressive, at some moments slightly theatrical or with hints from Peter Hamill (emotional outbursts). I love that emotion in prog, it adds an extra dimension.

Fungus delivers two cover versions. First See Emily Play from Pink Floyd, the band turns it into a more rock oriented song, more dynamic and powerful and less psychedelic featuring propulsive guitar riffs, fiery rock guitar and cascades of Hammond. The singer does a very good job with his gentle vocals, close to the original. Fungus creates a subtle moment in the end with first dreamy acoustic guitar and vocals and finally a bombastic rock atmosphere. And second The Weavers Answer from Family, it sounds like 'The Doors play Family', very tastefully arranged: with a distorted bass, fiery rock guitar and lush Hammond. Of course no one can top Roger Chapman his cynical and tremolo loaded vocals, but the singer presents a pleasant own rendition.

This is a compelling and dynamic time travel to the Seventies: blues rooted prog like The Doors, Floydian psychedelia, and Vanilla Fudge sounding prog with Hammond and rock guitar. The band succeeds to generate a lot of 'wow-moments', I am absolutely delighted about this new Fungus Family sound, highly recommended!

This review was recently published on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, in a slightly different version.

 The Key Of The Garden by FUNGUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.94 | 7 ratings

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The Key Of The Garden
Fungus Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Starting out as a psychedelic band, Fungus from Genua, Italy has been around since 2002. They have since established themselves as a Heavy Prog band. After releasing an EP, 2 live albums and their 3rd full length album in 2013, the band has finally come back with their 4th studio album "The Key of the Garden" released in March of 2019. This album is the 3rd in a series revolving around a concept together with "Better Than Jesus" and "The Face of Evil". The album is made up of 9 tracks (7 on the vinyl version, the "Pink Floyd" and "Family" covers are left off of the LP) and the album runs for just over an hour. The line up consists of Dorian Deminstrel on vocals and acoustic guitar, AkaFuzz on guitar, Claudio Ferreri on keyboards and synths, Carlo Barreca (the only original member still in the band) on bass, flute and trumpet, and Cajo on drums. There are a couple of guests on the album also adding additional flute, sax and percussion on a few tracks.

The album starts with the 9+ minute "Suite No. 5 ? Part I". A bright synth and guitars bring it all together with a progressive beginning which soon lightens up a bit to bring in the vocals. The vocals are deep, yet not really heavy. The accent is heavy on the English vocals, but not annoying. When the track gets a little heavier, the vocals respond by getting more dramatic. A sudden shift in tempo at 4 minutes happens, speeding up the drums and a very nice bass solo before a guitar solo starts, supported by organ. Later, things go suddenly dark and dramatic and after this, moods and meters change quite often, proving that the band is definitely progressive. You even get an acoustic section with whistling thrown in before it returns to a softer section which intensifies before the end. Right off the bat, it can be noted that Dorian's vocals are at their best on the heavier and dramatic sections.

"Eternal Mind" starts with a nice hook which involves the guest flautist Nik Turner. The feel is in a pastoral style reminiscent of "The Moody Blues", but with a dramatic vocalist. Things do get heavier on the instrumental break when the guitar busts in with a vengeance. "Demo-crazy" is a much heavier track with churning guitars and a blues-inspired beat further supported by an organ and a progressive vocal melody.

"1Q84" is an epic 12 minute track. This starts with a psychedelic edge as stylized by "The Doors", as the vocalist does his best Jim Morrison imitation. After 2 minutes, however, we get a good guitar solo and a progressive section that takes the track to its next section, this time with heavier sound in the guitars and keyboards and the return of more dramatic vocals. More progressive rhythm and a bit of complexity follow this until things smooth out for a synth solo after which follows a soft section that builds with a guitar driving the intensity forward. Next it moves into an "Iron Butterfly" feel as the track continues. Then a bit of Pink Floyd style acoustic strumming before it returns to The Doors style again. With all of this name dropping, the track seems like it can be a bit choppy, but there are some really good passages throughout the track, so it's not a complete write off, it just seems like it is trying to fit too much into one track, when fewer sections and more development would have strengthened the track.

"Becoming to Be" has the stoner vibe with a slowed down, yet heavy sound complete with fuzzy guitar and organ. The big surprise here is a growling sax that actually fits in with the heavy tone as it imitates the guitars. Nik Turner plays the sax this time as a guest. Later in the track, the mix of guitar and sax almost give it all a chaotic feel before things calm down for a returning vocal section. "Suite No. 5 ? Part II" follows this with a slight return to the feel of the first track. Since this is a shorter track than the first part at just over 4 minutes, the vocals come in much earlier this time. The last section of the suite doesn't come in until after 3 minutes, but it does give a feeling of finality to the suite with a stately heaviness which gets finished off with a guitar solo and synth riff. But, that's not the end of the album, just the suite.

A surprise cover follows this on the non-LP version of the album with the Pink Floyd track "See Emily Play". The track retains its psychedelic sound, but looses a bit of "umph" even with its heavier sound. After this we get the track "Holy Picture" which is over 10 minutes. This starts with a nice piano accompanying vocals. This soft section exposes the vocalists weaknesses with softer sections, but it builds nicely later and the drama starts again, but that is the vocalist's forte. There is an obvious edit in this track as it leads into a guitar and synth improvisation, because this expanded section is recorded live. You will hear a sudden change in the timbre mostly in the drums when it goes into the live section. This will continue to the end of the track. The last track is another cover (again not on the LP version) from "Family" called "The Weaver's Answer". I'm not a big fan of Fungus' version here, at least until it goes into the progressive instrumental break, but the vocal sections are kind of choppy sounding.

Even though the vocals are a bit shaky in a few places, Dorian shows his strength in dramatic vocals. The music is very retro sounding, which is not a bad thing. The timbre even sounds old in a few places, and a few sloppy cuts almost make it authentic like it actually came from the late 60s or early 70s. There are some impressive sections, but in the longer tracks, some of those sections could have stood a bit more development and maybe fewer subsections. All in all, I find it entertaining enough, and I tend to think this album falls between 3 and 4 stars, but it's one that probably tips the scales into its favor with some great sounds and the nice retro feel.

 Better Than Jesus by FUNGUS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Better Than Jesus
Fungus Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Five piece Italian band Fungus was founded in 2002 and released three albums. This is their second one from 2010, with the 'slightly provocative' title Better Than Jesus. It was an own production with a limited edition of 500 copies.

The music is a wonderful trip to the era between the late Sixties and early Seventies, I notice obvious hints of Pink Floyd and The Doors (especially because of the Jim Morrison-like vocals in several tracks). The Hammond organ freaks will be delighted, most of the 8 tracks contain cascades of Hammond organ, often in strong interplay with the powerful and fiery guitar work. The most captivating element in Fungus their sound is the combination of pure rock and psychedelia and the intense, pretty emotional moments. This adds a special flavour like the sensitive electric guitar with organ in the excellent first composition Share Your Suicide. And the dreamy acoustic guitar with warm vocals and piano in Hang On Your Lips and the twanging acoustic guitar, beautiful piano play and romantic vocals in Eternal Mind (it reminds me a little bit of The Crystal Ship by The Doors). Good musical ideas can also be found in Logical Fish (a strongly build-up synthesizer solo) and the instrumental Spammology (swinging with funky bass and delicate interplay between guitar, organ and piano). My first (and only) musical encounter with Fungus their music turned out to be a very pleasant time travel.

Nice addition Paul, thanks.

 The Face Of Evil by FUNGUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.13 | 12 ratings

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The Face Of Evil
Fungus Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Italian band FUNGUS was formed back in 2002, and following some years of line-up alterations in between the release of two EPs and their initial full-length debut album the band settled with their current line-up in 2007. Since then two more studio albums have been issued from the band. The most recent of these is "Faces of Evil", which was released through Black Widow Records' partner label Bloodrock Records in 2013.

Retro-oriented '70s hard rock with traditional guitar and organ combinations is the foundation for Fungus' material on their third studio album "The Face of Evil". The compositions tend to alternate between gentler and harder edged sections, and in terms of structure the band arguably relates stronger to progressive rock than a few others due to this aspect as well as some instances of multiple themes and other details of a more sophisticated nature. Still, the end result is one I'd assume will appeal first and foremost to those who love that '70s organ-flavored hard rock sound, and then especially those amongst them with an affection for progressive rock as well.

 Careful ! by FUNGUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.96 | 4 ratings

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Careful !
Fungus Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A group from Genoa, Italy, starting as a totally improvisational band in 2002, led by Alessandro Vernetti (guitar) and Carlo Barreca (aka zerothehero) (bass, Chapman stick).After numerous line-up changes the band moved on to more structured compositions and in 2004 they recorded the album ''Careful!''.This was not released before 2006 on Mellow Records, at a time when the participating members Cinzia Bernardi and Vittoria Mezzano (female vocals) and drummer William Bettucchi had already left Fungus.

Basically ''Careful!'' is a Heavy/Psych Rock album with progressive flourishes here and there, based on psychedelic guitars, dreamy female vocals or narrations and strong power rhythms, characterized by a nostalgic 70's-sounding rhythm section.Keyboards are used sporadically, mainly as a sound effect instrument than a real filler of the sound, still there are some nice parts like on ''Polipetide'' and its GENTLE GIANT-like clavinet solos.The album has an evident vintage feeling throughout, blending the British Psychedelia with more modern Indie Rock parts, including funky grooves or aggressive passages.The longer tracks even contain some trully psychedelic moments with repetitive guitar lines and hypnotic elements akin to the Kraut Rock movement, while the female singing parts become irritating with lots of sreaming parts and wordless lines.Also ''Latin Circle'' stands out for its excellent flute drives played by Barreca, another piece with a strong 70's mood, very much close to JETHRO TULL.

Nicely played Retro Psych/Prog with some superb vocal moments along with interesting and far from forgettable musicianship.Not really groundbreaking, but definitely deserving recommendation.

 Better Than Jesus by FUNGUS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Better Than Jesus
Fungus Heavy Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Let's start saying that the only weak thing of this album is the production that's not properly "perfect" on some tracks, like the engineer was not the same on all the album. On the first track, in example, the echoes of the rehearsal room hasn't been canceled and it makes it sound like just a rehearsal. Luckily it's not the same on all the tracks.

This opener, "Share Your Suicide", is opened by little vinyl noises, a keyboards layer in Vangelis/Wright style and a speech. The Italian accent of the bassist is strong but not as terrible the German of the Eloy mastermind Frank Bornemann. This keyboard layout acquires a Floydian taste tanks also to the Vocoder, but when, after 3 minutes, the proper song begins, the heavy guitar and drums justify the Heavy Prog classification. The speech over a clean guitar adds a touch of krautrock for a while. Now the the sound is "full" the environmental thing about the production is no longer perceivable, but the guitar should have had a better treatment as the solo is unbalanced to one channel.

On "25 Grams" the acoustic guitar seems a little untuned but this may have been a choice. Apart of that this song is very good. There's a good solo, the vocals are powerful, the organ in the background is at least mimic of a hammond.

"Smoke" is a sort of classic rock, and effectively it rocks. AT this moment I don't have comparisons in mind, but there's a clear early 70s mood. Uriah Heep, maybe. The "stop" at minute 4:30 with some "noises from the street" is a non essential interruption, but the reprise which follows is even more classic rock oriented. Black Sabbath, Colosseum, Family, Doors come to mind. Very nice.

on "Tanks..a Lot" the acoustic guitar is better tuned. The baritone choir and the vaguely folk environment remind me to a darker version of Tuatha De Danann without Braia's flute, but the connection with the old rock and even with some RPI is still present.

"Hang On Your Lips" starts like a hard rock song with blues influences. Also the vocals are better than on the other songs. The vibrato on the vocals is not the same of Chappo Chapman but on those chords and good enough. The whispered vocals which follow are not that good unfortunately. Question of tastes probably, but I don't like this part of the song, also because it's another one lacking in production. Apparently the author(s) wanted to give it the structure of a mini-suite. The third part with the piano in foreground is quite good and is followed by a good guitar riff.

"Logical Fish" is the most "eclectic" song. With a good bass line and frequent changes in signature it's hard to classify. Maybe it's a bit Crimsonian, but I can't say. The keyboard in the final part sounds a bit Eloy.

"Eternal Mind" crosses the borders with neo-prog. The melodic intro of piano and acoustic guitar (with a bit of flanger) sounds "neo" but when William sings it's a blues oriented song, so also this song looks back. This song reminds me to a band I was used to listen to some (ehm...many) years ago, the "Climax Blues Band" but I can hear echoes of Moody Blues too. "neo-proto-prog" ? The album is closed by a short fusion track, few more than a joke but very well arranged and played. Here the guitarist shows some jazz skill. It's the kind of closers the early Caravan were used to put in their albums, but it shows a path that the band may choose to follow in the future, who knows? It's an excellent instrumental totally disconnected from the rest of the album.

This album is very good,. I'm undecided about being "generous" and rate it with 4 stars or being a bad guy and give it "only" three. Because I've been not very fair with the solo album of the bassist "zerothehero" let's compensate a bit. It's a 3.5 stars that I'm rounding up. By the way, we may discuss about it being an "excellent addition" or not, but I think nobody will be too concerned about showing it in his collection.

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

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