Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Reissue of the legendary Italian prog rock group's 1976 album, their last studio outing with original member Demetrio Stratos as part of the group. Contains the original cover art, all seven of the original cuts and two bo... more »
Reissue of the legendary Italian prog rock group's 1976 album, their last studio outing with original member Demetrio Stratos as part of the group. Contains the original cover art, all seven of the original cuts and two bonus tracks, 'Intervista A Stratos, Tofani, Fariselli' & 'L'Internazionale'. Nine tracks total. Also contains a 24 page trilingual booklet (English, Italian & French) with lyrics, liner notes and black & white photos. Digipak. 1999 release.
Everything that has come before and then some.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 11/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"_Maledetti_, the fourth Area studio album, fuses elements of all previous Area works and adds a pile of new qualities. As always, one observes Mediterranean/Balkan/Middle Eastern folk influences and avant-garde flourishing around the band's fusion-esque groundwork, a combination that yielded some very progressive listening. Certain explorations are deepened with the contribution of some other players: boosting the band's already phenomenal music are the performances of Paul Lytton (renowned jazz percussionist, on "Giro, giro, tondo") and Steve Lacy (one of the most hailed saxophonists ever, who plays on three of the songs). Both are big names in free jazz, though frankly I don't know much about them. But they definitely do wonderful things here.A short introduction from superhuman vocalist Demetrio Stratos ("Evaporazione") leads into the most delicious fusion song in the universe, "Diforisma urbano"! Everything in this song is good enough to eat. The punch of the hyperintense bass line, the mmm-tasty keyboard tones, Paolo Tofani's totally unique guitar playing. This song also quickly shows that it is the best recorded Area album to date. "Giro, giro, tondo" swaps out the band's usual rhythm lineup and brings in bassist Hugh Bullen and drummer Walter Calloni. The different players blend very well into the music, creating absolutely pumping rhythms with the typically amazing interplay between guitar and keyboard. Stratos is a standout here, opening the song with a tremendous demonstration of his ability to fluctuate between his chest voice and falsetto in that Tarzan kind of way. "Gerontocrazia" is also an awesome showcase for Stratos' vocals, and it is also the only song I've ever heard that uses the txalaparta (basque percussion involving two people and large wooden sticks). An interesting atmosphere at first (just percussion, sax, and voice) -- then Ares Tavolazzi is heard on the double bass, a deep moan beneath Stratos' feisty vocal acrobatics, which carry a catchy refrain. Before Stratos makes his return at the song's end, the band delivers a shuffling instrumental section that is totally stunning.Pianist Fariselli's percussive blitzkrieg on "Scum" may crush the spirits of anyone who considers themselves a virtuoso. The piano soloing is one thing, but also note how drummer Capiozzo heavily accentuates the lead in a parallel yet contrasting way. If you like string quartet stuff, the short "Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre", which - as another reviewer pointed out - is a performance of a familiar classic. Then there is "Caos". Area's tradition was apparently to save the weirdest song for the end, but even compared to their other wacky album closers "Caos" is eccentric. I figure this has to be (mostly) improvised, because there is no possible way any sane group of people could have composed it. I suppose it's possible that it was written by a bunch of schizophrenic maniacs with homicidal tendencies, but I've never read anything hinting that Area's members were suffering from mental illnesses. So what is it, exactly? Hmm...a hurricane of odd vocal noises, percussive clinks, clanks, and tokks, bursts of saxophone and keyboard. It might make your ears bleed or it might make you freak out, but you might like it too (like me). This one time when I listened to it, I went unconscious. Seven hours later, I woke up in a ditch on the other side of town with a box of lemons and no memory of the time that'd passed. "Box" is a funny word.AWESOME AREA."
Much ironic jazzprog+Bach:Brandemburgen Concerto in G major
Lethe | Milan, Italy | 11/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well I don't deserve to this work the maximum rate as for an excessive social/political protest,not completely hidden,but there is a stunning version of"Bach Brandemburgen Concerto no 3 in G major" and a lot of great jazz prog stuff!!The excellent interplay among these splendid musicians is memorable as well.Recommended, even if this is not their best"
Breath taking album
K. Andreadis | Seattle,WA | 08/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Area were one of the most unique bands to come from the 70's, being somewhere between fusion, free jazz and prog rock. Maledetti is their fourth studio album, that in my mind encompasses Area's sound adding a good amount of twists in the process. First off, the musicianship is just incredible, jaw-dropping and complex rhythm section, very tasteful guitars and some excellent piano/keyboards work by Patricio Fariselli. And then there is the amazing vocalist Demetrio Stratos. His approach is just mindblowing, his control of his voice needs to be heard. It sounds like he could sustain notes for as long as he liked using his incredible range.
After a short introduction piece by Stratos, Area move into funk with the bass providing a dancing groove and the keyboards bring Herbie Hancock to mind, while the guitars could sound at home in Miles Davis "Tribute to Jack Johnson". "Gerontocrazia" starts with Stratos singing a Greek lullaby at first and then a very catchy melody in Italian, with the song then seguing into Balkan folk/jazz rock craziness. "Scum" brings King Crimson to mind although the piano is closer to Cecil Taylor here, and when you don't expect it the song comes to an electronic/ambient passage with Stratos's spoken word. After a short piece which is transcribed Bach basically, the album goes into one of the most exciting of Area's songs, "Giro Giro Tondo". The power of Stratos vocals is unbelievable, his improvisations are just breathtaking. The last track seems to be completely improvised, the sounds that Stratos makes are otherwordly, the only thing that could be in the same ballpark is Mike Patton's "Hemophiliac" but this is a lot more focused and exciting. Different electronic effects are heard throughout and guests Steve Lacy and Paul Lytton take this into european free jazz territory.
This is rewarding but not easy listening. A very unique piece of work, and artistic expression of the highest degree."