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3 Aug 2017

Spettri ‎ "2973 La Nemica dei Ricordi" 2016 Italy Heavy Prog

Spettri ‎ "2973 La Nemica dei Ricordi" 2016  Italy Heavy Prog

Album originally recorded in 1972.
Recorded through Neve 1976 desk on a 2 “ 24 track tape recorder, mixed and mastered on ¼” original 70’s recorders.


official website…

 This is their second album for this heavy Prog band. The music still maintain that dark symphonic sound with the Italian Prog influence and the music of the British scene like Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson, the latter specifically in the song "La Stiva". The keyboards, the old Hammond, and the saxophone are stealing the show to the guitars leaving them in the background most of the times. The music is played at the fast pace, bombastic, with some slower passages to get a little breather and with the final song "L'Approdo" who is a beautiful ballad with some flute and piano passages. In the song "Onda Di Fuoco", we are very close to the Emerson, Lake and Palmer style and sound. All songs are excellent from my point of view, like it was my cup of tea. This is a nice improvement from their first album who has more psychedelic tones and rdtprog ..........

 It's amazing to think this band was founded already in 1964 - and half a century later they have recorded a strong Heavy Prog album which continues the concept of their vintage eponymous album from 1972. And they have all the energy and inspiration to do it 100% all the way, as if there wasn't many decades in between. Yes, this music is totally retro in style and sound. Both the instruments used and the studio work (playing live on a 2-inch tape recorder with very few overtakes) are the same as in 1972.
Although Heavy isn't my cup of tea, I actually like this one as a representation of the genre, maybe exactly because it's so old school style, in the vein of classic BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE with lots of Hammond. There's also a notable ELP influence in the keyboard playing. Add some saxophone and flute (bringing occasional associations to VDGG) and you really have a full blown Heavy/RPI near-masterpiece guaranteed to please the listeners of vintage recordings of this kind. There are Symphonic Prog elements, maybe there should be a bit more in the songwriting before one could call this a masterpiece of Heavy Prog, but the music is firmly rooted in the Heavy soil. That is, the tempo is mostly quite fast and the vocals slightly angry - but luckily not plain aggressive or growly like nowadays so often.

Not that I can follow the story at all, but a few words on the concept: "Spettri" (1972; haven't heard that album) was about a young man searching for an answer and an alternative to the violence etc, and as the answer he gets in the afterlife(?) is the reflection of himself, he goes crazy. Or something like that. "In this new record we started from where the story ended... 1001 years after, in 2973, not much has changed... he tries a new journey that will lead him to realize that nothing will ever change unless he wins his fears and interior battles first. While walking at night on a solitary beach a seagull shows him the way to a mysterious ship which will take him on a journey that at last will land him on a new level of consciousness." Pretty deep and esoteric...

The attempt to follow the track list (and therefor to talk of separate tracks) is confusing since the list in the backcover misses the track numbers and both the division of one track in two plus three bonus tracks as represented here in the album info. A minus from that! And when I try to follow the Italian lyrics it seems even that track listing might be somehow faulty... Anyway, somewhere halfway there was a calm song with female vocals (Elisa Montaldo) which nicely brings variety, as well as the 8th track, a gentle acoustic instrumental ('La Stiva'? - but there are lyrics in the leaflet under that title?? Quite confusing really!)

But these problems don't steal the music's power. If that's what matters to you more than demands of originality or bringing something new to the genre, and enjoy both vintage Heavy and ELP-ish organ prog, and Italian lyrics, then this is your Matti ................

Spettri have one of the most obscure band histories I have ever come across. As a band, they technically formed all the way back in 1964 between brothers Ugo and Raffaele Ponticiello. Jumping on the progressive hard rock bandwagon at the turn of the 70s, they recorded a self-titled debut in 1972. This album, however, never saw a real release until 2011, when Black Widow Records dusted off the cobwebs and finally gave it the release it had lacked for decades. In other words Spettri really are the sort of band we shouldn't have even had a chance to talk about. For the longest time, they were ghosts in the Italian progressive rock scene very few even knew still haunted the 70s.

I actually listened to Spettri's debut when it was finally unveiled in 2011. Though there was definitely some part of me that was hoping for a truly obscure gem to leap out at me, Spettri left no impression on me outside of the fact that it sounded amateurish and only intermittently promising. Considering over 40 years have passed between now and the time that album was recorded, I would have never expected to hear a second album out of Spettri, let alone one that hits as hard as 2973 MMCMLXXIII La Nemica dei Ricordi. Spettri's second album was the follow-up no one was expecting nor truthfully excited about, but it comes with a vengeance I've seldom heard in other heavy prog released this side of the new millennium.

Italy's progressive scene has remained stalwart in large part because they're one of the very few that have widely embraced their own heritage as part of the music. Even beyond the Italian-spoken lyrics with Spettri, there's a rich taste of Italy in their music. The organ-laden heavy rock of bands like Deep Purple or Uriah Heep are a good place to start thinking of Spettri, but that may be best seen as the structural foundation to a sound that above all embraces Italy's own progressive traditions, which for those who have not yet dived into legends like Premiata Forneria Marconi or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, tends to sound like British symphonic prog forcefed through the overtly theatrical lens of a Fellini film.

To a major extent, Spettri are playing progressive rock that would have befit the 70s; mind you, this is frightfully common amongst artists in a genre that once had right to claim it was pushing boundaries. A truly retro sound doesn't bother me like it used to, especially when it's in capable hands such as this, and I don't think the past few decades of music have crept beyond Spettri's gaze either. The atmosphere throughout the album is rather dark, and they'll occasionally weave riffs into the framework that don't sound a world away from metal. Spettri's composition may impress me more riff-for-riff than in terms of their overall songwriting, but there are plenty of these ideas that stuck with me from the first listen onward. Matteo Biancalani's saxophone leadwork is consistently brilliant in the way it's woven in, at times downright reminding me of Van der Graaf Generator between the jazz interference and foreboding atmosphere.

Spettri enjoys the presence of some other RPI scene stalwarts. Stefano Corsi (of Whisky Trail) administers some Celtic harp here as a refreshing change from their heavy mainstay, and Elisa Montaldo of the ever-brilliant Il Tempio delle Clessidre lends her voice here for a brief but memorable moment. Between these guest spots and the longstanding support with Black Widow Records, it sounds as though Spettri have brought themselves away from the brink of obscurity to take active part in a scene that doesn't get near as much regard today as it deserves. 2973 isn't such a fresh-sounding album stylistically, but it sounds like such a far cry from the primitive dabblings of the archival self-titled that I cannot help but feel surprised and impressed with what they've accomplished Conor Fynes ............

The Spettri, one of the many groups that were part of the dark prog of the 1970s, came back from the mists of mythical times. The Black Widow, a meritorious Genoese label always very careful to dissect the hidden nuggets of the Italian underground galaxy of the time, made available in 2011 the legendary debut album of the Spetters, which at the time was not published. It was a disc featuring abrasive and heavy sound, where the influence of groups such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, but also prog of giants such as King Crimson and Emerson Lake & Palmer. Now the Black Widow gives us the new fatigue of the Florentine group ambitiously titled "2973 - MMCMLXXIII - The Enemy of Memories", a record that could have been released safely in 1973. It seems that time has never passed and the Spetters have Wanted to connect the time machine to make a backward journey until 1972, the year they record the first album. The concept of "Spectra" was centered on a man with the ugliness of the world and the disadvantages of civilization seeking answers to the social revolution. The story here is ideally linked to the previous one even though, in this case, the protagonist undertook a sort of metaphysical journey in search of himself. The instrumentation used (hammond, leslie and guitars) is the same as in the 1970s and the band of brothers Ponticiello even wanted to record with the same technology available in 1973! "2973 - MMCMLXXIII - The Enemy of Memories" thus maintains all the spontaneity and freshness of that legendary period. Sepulcher riff "sabbathiani" characterizes the initial and pulled "The lament of the seagulls". In the next "The Ship" the setting tends to a lot on the prog, with the piano and the sax highlighting that made me think of the King Crimson. In "Fire Wave" the beginning is in pure Emerson, Lake & Palmer while the central part is very atmospheric and rich in pathos. The incipit of "The Enemy of Memories" is still in pure King Cremisi style. In "The White Dolphin" we find guest Elisa Montaldo of the Temple of Hours to a voice in a fair and delicate trace. The concluding "The landing" is surely one of the tops of the album. We find here as the guest of Stefano Corsi of the great Whiskey Trail to the Celtic harp: so ends the journey of the protogonist on a mythical island and all takes on a fantasy and mythological dimension. Honor to the Black Widow for giving us the Spettri !......

On February 17, 2012, on these black-and-white screens, I began the review of the Spettri's homonym - a well-known moniker that's all a program - so: with a really gorgeous cover, it features a canvas oil entitled“La vita dopo la morte “ by Ferìda, 1976, which unknowingly creates a perfidious blend between image and music, sees the light, forty years later, Spettri, a work held in the drawer since 1972 by the same group.

As the booklet written by Daniele Nuti - sixteen pages, including texts and technical data and with a packaging embellished with Laura Strino's interior design - the band is formed in Florence in 1964, in full Beat fermentation and includes: Ugo brothers And Raffaele Ponticiello (voice and guitar), Giuliano Giunti (bass) and Ubaldo Palanti (drums), shortly replaced by Mauro Sarti (La Verde Stagione, Campo di Marte). Ours come out with some 45 laps and are noticed in live coverage for quality and power, since they first use the 100 watt GRS guitar amplifiers for the Revolutionary era within the Florentine circuit.

There are several changes of line-ups and a straightforward turn towards harder sound, around 1970, with covers of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. The band's interest in the avant-garde genre - a term similar to the Progal-Litteram period - is growing, including the Colosseum, King Crimson and all the connected musical imagery.

Today, Anno Domini 2015, is the turn of the sequel of the same album, always under the prestigious label Black Widow Records. The title of work, consisting of eight songs plus three additions, is perfectly in line with the mystery and curiosity that accompanies the Spetters: 2973 - MMCMLXXIII -La Nemica Dei Ricordi. . The release goes hand in hand with a lavish booklet of twenty-four pages with photos, drawings, all the various texts and annotations to be able to taste the "Spirit of the Spirits ...". Within these, the band specifies that the album resumes history from where it stopped in the first job, but 1001 years later, in 2973.

Strong collaborations of high rank - Elisa Montaldo (The Temple of Hours) in the voice in Il Bianco Dolphin and Stefano Corsi (Whiskey Trail) to the harmonica and Celtic harp in L'Approdo - Stefano Melani (Keyboards and more) Raffaele Ponticiello (Guitar), Vincenzo Ponticiello (Bass), Mauro Sarti (Battery, Flute, Gong), Matteo Biancalani (Saxophone) and Ugo Ponticiello (Voice) use La Nave to "Become aware that no real change can be achieved without first Defeat the monsters that are enclosed in their inner being. "

The orgy Prog for forty-eight minutes enclosed in the grooves of La Nemica delle Ricordi begins with The Lament of the Gulls and the thing that blows to the ear is the crystalline, gloriously metallic hardness of the guitars, stuff that if one did not know anything It could easily approach those of Death SS and HM.

The Spectrum styling key can go beyond the Lesson of the Seventies while remaining in the tradition of canons. The second track, La Nave, is the band's manifesto: varied, timely and time-consuming, with keyboards coming to know that Deep Purple's nerves are very dear to Virgin Steele. Summing up the Hammond supporting La Profezia, a piece of the Sabbath in which the voice of Ugo Ponticiello becomes malignant to constitute the worthy counter-verse of the magical sax labeled Matteo Biancalani. Strangely the second part of the piece, for who writes the highlight at the express pathos level of the entire disk.

The tension remains high with the next Fire Wave, close to the Black Widow, though it is sparked. Still profound purple to dictate the La Nemica delle Ricordi plant, able to turn into a velvety epic vomit on the finals, embellished with fragile sax inserts, even though fundamental to the economy of the emancipated feeling. The calm after the storm - it is the case to say it - takes on the musical appearances of Il Delfino Bianco, innervated by the presence of Elisa Montaldo. The Stiva thinks of the darkness of the atmosphere, though it always remains a background light, which comes out loudly on the suffocating and sweet notes released in The Landing, episode closed, fucking liberating at the end. 

La Nemica Dei Ricordi., for chronicle, can be used as a bonus track, the mono version of three pieces deliberately recorded in analogue, chosen by the band for the entire output of the album on ellepì, to remain faithful to Line of the Seventies: The Lamentation of the Gulls, Prophecy, and Straw.

Although it is only in July, 2973 La Nemica Dei Ricordi. owns the stumbling blocks of the podium, within the genre, of this 2015.

Intriguing, to say the least “Steven Rich” Ricetti..............

Line-up / Musicians
- Stefano Melani / Hammond, Leslie GRS, Arp Odissey, Piano, Mellotron, Wurlitzer
- Raffaele Ponticiello / Guitar Gibson, Yamaha, Ampli Marshall
- Vincenzo Ponticiello / Bass Guitar
- Mauro Sarti / Drums, Flute, Gong
- Matteo Biancalani / Sax
- Ugo Ponticiello / Lead Vocals
- Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre) / Vocals on "Il Delfino Bianco"
- Stefano Corsi (Whisky Trail) / Celtic Harp and Harmonica on "L'Approdo"

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Il Lamento Dei Gabbiani (5:37)
2. La Nave (7:24)
3. La Profezia (7:07)
4. Onda Di Fuoco Pt. I (3:56)
5. Onda Di Fuoco Pt..II (2:50)
6. La Nemica Dei Ricordi (7:17)
7. Il Delfino Bianco (4:05)
8. La Stiva (5:50)
9. L'Approdo (4:55)

Total Time 49:01

CD Bonus tracks:
10. Il Lamento Dei Gabbiani (Mono Version)
11. La Profezia (Mono Version)
12. La Stiva (Mono Version)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







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