Saturday, 20 October 2012


From Rock Progressivo Italiano: an introduction to Italian Progressive Rock

Alphataurus were one of the many Italian “one shot bands” of the early seventies. The line-up featured Michele Bavaro (vocals), Pietro Pellegrini (keyboards), Guido Wasserman (guitar), Alfonso Oliva (bass) and Giorgio Santandrea (drums). They released only one eponymous album in 1973 for Magma Records, an independent label founded by I New Trolls member Vittorio De Scalzi and by his brother Aldo (founder of Picchio dal Pozzo). In 1973 this work passed by almost completely unnoticed and Alphataurus disbanded after awhile during the sessions of a second album that was released, incomplete, only in 1993 by Mellow Records as “Dietro l’uragano”. Nonetheless this eponymous excellent debut work became later a “cult album” among Italianprog fans... It was remastered and re-released by Btf in 1995 and it should be considered a must-have in every Italian prog collection, especially for the papersleeve package...

Alphataurus 1973

The art cover is wonderful and perfectly depicts the content of the album. It’s a painting by Adriano Marangoni spread on a three fold jacket featuring white doves with olive branches in their beaks dropping bombs on a dreamy landscape... “You’re going towards the void without a goal now / Don’t be afraid, come back among us / You have experienced everything, a whole life / In a phoney light you used to build up your reality... It was a sin of pride / Remember you’re a man / You can still live on...”. On the long, complex opener “Peccato d’orgoglio” (Sin of pride) the mood hangs between dream and nightmare, in the lyrics you can perceive the fear of nuclear war and the hope for a better world, while the music swings from soft acoustic passages to hard rock, from beautiful harmony vocals to instrumental “electric tarantella” passages that every now and again recall PFM’s “E’ festa / Celebration”.

The second track “Dopo l’uragano” (After the storm) describes in music and lyrics a bleak landscape, solitude and fear then give way to hope... “The echo of a song tells about a flower and a stone / And on that stone another life will come into the world...”. Then the tension melts into the beautiful, dreamy short instrumental “Chroma”, symphonic and “classically inspired”.

“La mente vola” (The mind flies) is another long, complex track that begins with a hypnotic marching beat leading to a sudden awakening featuring dramatic vocals and “moog waves”... “Suddenly you see the sun / You breathe air, you pick up a flower / You don’t know anymore / What you were yesterday... Now you know / What’s the wish to prey / Now you know / What’s the strength to hope...”.
The last track “Ombra muta” (Silent shadow) is another great one. Before the dream comes to an end there’s still time for almost ten minutes full of beautiful music featuring shifting tempos and inspired vocals... “Then suddenly I woke up / With your voice hanging in my mind / I’m just at one step between the shore and the sea / Looking at the way to start again...”.

More info about the band:

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