Monday, February 8, 2016

Apoteosi - 1975 - Apoteosi


01. Embrion (2:35)
02. Prima Realta / Frammentaria Rivolta (14:40)
03. Il Grande Disumano / Oratorio (Chorale) / Attesa (8:36)
04. Dimensione Da Sogno (3:48)
05. Apoteosi (5:50)

- Marcello Surace / drums
- Federico Idà / bass, flute
- Franco Vinci / guitar, vocals
- Silvana Idà / vocals
- Massimo Idà / keyboards, synthesizer
- Coro Alessandroni / choir (in Oratorio)

APOTEOSI is a prime example of the countless Italian bands of the 1970s that disappeared after the release of one hit-and-run album. They seem to have been very much a family thing, with the Idà clan firmly at the band's core; their line-up consisted of Massimo Idà (keyboards, synthesizer), Silvana Idà (vocals), Frederico Idà (bass, flute), Franco Vinci (guitar, vocals), and Marcello Surace (drums). Apotheosis is the act of raising someone to godlike status, and APOTEOSI'S music comes across as the musical equivalent of this idea. Their self-titled album from 1975 contains lofty musical ideals and is a conceptual work inspired by their homeland of Calabria in Southern Italy. APOTEOSI formed while the members were all very young; Massimo was only fourteen at the time, while guitarist Franco Vinci had formed his first band THE GREEN AGE at the age of just seventeen. In spite of having played together for a considerable period, the band had no live activity of note. Their main influences included UK giants ELP, Yes and Genesis, and the Italian big three of PFM, Banco and Le Orme.

In addition to the three Idà siblings, their father Salvatore also played a pivotal role behind the scenes. He produced the album for his own small label, Said Records, and even composed one of the tracks. Despite the band members' tender years, they were technically accomplished musicians and their compositions have strong classical overtones. The album features the delicate female vocals of Silvana Idà, who also sang on some folk singles released on her father's label, although the disc is noteworthy for the lengthy instrumental passages spearheaded by brother Massimo's keyboards, which include Hammond B3 organ, Eminent string ensemble and Arp Pro-Soloist synthesizer. This album is definitely one for fans of melodic, keyboard-driven music, with 14-year old Massimo's expressive piano-playing being the cornerstone of the album.

Massimo Idà's classical studies were apparently interspersed with his work as engineer, studio musician and arranger in his father's studio. Since the break-up of APOTEOSI, Massimo has worked as a session musician and music producer for television; Silvana Idà left the music industry to start a family (her son currently plays in a rock band); Frederico Idà died in 1992; guitarist Franco Vinci continued to play and is active in the blues field; drummer Marcello Surace works as a studio musician. The original album is something of a rarity, having had a very limited distribution, and vinyl copies are highly sought after as a result. The album was reissued on CD by Mellow Records in 1993.

Italian prog lovers like me , would be agree with my position of consider this album as a beautiful piece of symphonic rock. From Italy, one more of the uncountable bands that gave light in the 70`s and died at the same moment, exactly in 1975, (how many beautiful albums can you count of this year?, sum this one), it`s kind of strange that a band with an extraordinary talent and musical compositions, create one album and then despite it`s quality (i dont really know the reasons here in Apoteosi) prefer to die and not make a new effort.

Apoteosi features female vocals, beatiful female vocals i mean, and a complex and great keyboard sound, to people who loves italian symphonic , and dont know this album, please give a chance to it, it`s excellent and it`s a clear example of the beauty sound of symphonic prog, with the always particular sound of Italia.

Only 5 songs we will find here, the first one is something like an introduction, an instrumental short song, but pretty nice to open the album. Then probably the most beautiful of them all," Prima Realta / Frammentaria Rivolta" whose lenght is almost 15 minutes, showing us the quality of the members of the band, from the vocalist trhough the bass to the synths. Also using the always beautiful sound of flute, but what i love the most are the keyboards, a complex and creative symphonic atmospher created by them, the song has some tempo changes which are always healthy and enjoyable in a prog song, also i think the guitar work is fantastic.

The third song is also great, since the beginning with that organ sound, and the progression reminding me a bit of PFM ( i know, the other reviewers have already said that, but it`s the true it happens also with me), but actually so many bands were influenced by PFM, talking about Italian bands, this third song changes a bit in reference of the vocals, here you will find male vocals, which are not outstanding at all, but pretty good and sooo italian, great as well.

"Dimensione da Sogno", if i have to point my less favorite song or a "weaker", it would be this, it`s better than the first, but the first was an introduction, so is understandable, and attention, this song is alos great, but not as greater as the other ones, again with the beautiful female vocals and the piano with a softer sound, maybe a bit of Rennaissance?, a classical composition tending to be a song to sing, but again, this is also a good song.

The last song has the same name of the band- album, and its excellent, almost 6 minutes of pure progressive sound, excellent bass playing and great atmospheric background. The sound is actually repetitive, but excellent and this shows us the other side of the band, leaving a bit the symphonic side, and entwring to the psychedelic side, simply great!

1 comment: