Alphataurus began life in Milan in the early seventies and in 1973 released an excellent eponymous début album on the independent label Magma Records. Unfortunately, soon after their first work was released and while they were working on a second album, they split up. The result of the unachieved recording sessions was released by Mellow Records in 1992, under the name Dietro l'uragano, but this can be hardly considered an official album. In fact, it wasn't until 2008 that two of the original members decided to have a new start and gathered a new line up to complete what they had begun long time before. In 2010 the band began playing live again and in 2012 released a new studio album on the independent label AMS/BTF, Attosecondo, with a line up featuring, along with the two veterans Pietro Pellegrini (organ, synth) and Guido Wasserman (guitars, keyboards, vocals), new members Fabio Rigamonti (bass, vocals), Claudio Falcone (vocals), Andrea Guizzetti (piano, synth, vocals) and Alessandro Rossi (drums, percussion).
The art cover was painted by the old friend Adriano Marangoni, the same painter who was in charge of the wonderful art cover of their début album. It tries to catch the spirit of this new work, rooted in the past and projected towards the future with a sense of rebirth and perpetual change. The album was produced with the help of the off-stage Alphataurus' member Gianpaolo Santandrea who also contributed to the song-writing of two tracks. In my opinion the result is excellent, the overall sound perfectly blends vintage instruments and new technologies, good musicianship and genuine feelings.
The opener “Progressiva-mente” (Progressive Mind / Progressively) is a kind of manifesto of Alphataurus' new deal and invites you to look for new rules and to leave behind the old clichés and the ideas that someone else chose for you. The music alternates some aggressive parts with delicate, dreamy passages and a strong sense of melody. If you can avoid all the thoughts that can make you feel uncomfortable you might overcome obstacles such as false ideologies and religions and you will be able to climb up on you personal stairway to heaven... “It is not easy, it never will / Just live it at the right speed... Progressively you'll become aware / Suddenly you'll recognize yourself... Progressive mind, open mind that creates, imagines, improvises...”.
The following “Gocce” (Drops) deals with environmental issues. It draws in music and words an apocalyptic picture featuring dark colours and some touches of hope. You're lying under a starry sky and you feel helpless in front of the immense power of nature, you have never felt so small before and you reflect about the merciless greediness of the human race. Melodic vocals soar like a prayer... “Mother earth, sooner or later you will collapse under the blows of your children / We are drops in the sea of immensity, the wasted sweat of civilizations / We are the blood of a world that doesn't have a soul any more...”. To overcome this sense of loss you have to fight. But now it could be too late and perhaps you would have better to think of leaving this planet and embark on an interstellar journey through the stars to find a new source of life, a stream that would make you strong.
Next comes “Ripensando e...” (Rethinking and...), a beautiful instrumental track, a bright collage of musical colours and classical evocations that takes you back to the seventies on the footsteps of the days when it was originally composed. It leads to “Claudette”, a long, complex track describes in music and words a dialogue between an old man and a little child. It begins softly, the mood is dreamy and melancholic... “I would like to be like you, go back to your age / A clean mind that sees everything for what it is / But life will forcefully change us / If I could save you from the truth!...”. But you can never go back in time, you have to grow up quickly while the contrary winds of life rage on you. The rhythm rises while the music underlines how ever changing is everything on this earth. You have to deal with all the challenges of life while the ideal world of the fairy-tales crumbles around you. You have to learn, you have to study, everyday you become more and more conscious of what reality is. Finally you'll understand that you can't change a destiny already written and you'll follow the mercilessly rules of power. But even then, you would had better to remember the purity of your childhood.
The music of the last track, “Valigie di terra” (Suitcases of land), tells in music and words the need to set off following a dream to live, the need to move on breaking the borders of a unsatisfying reality looking for a new life and a spiritual rebirth. Now you're on the road again with nothing but a few suitcases containing your past, land for your roots. But you might have to buy other suitcases along your journey because you know that the future will give you better things to care for... “I won't stay here / I made up my mind, this is not my reality / I will follow the way that will stir my emotions / So I will come to a new life...”. Well, a great conclusion for an excellent album!
Alphataurus: Attosecondo (2012). Other opinions:
Conor Fynes: Alphataurus tend to stick to the predetermined instruments and tricks of Italian prog, and they're able to do this while keeping the emotions fresh and evocative. It builds proudly upon an already-excellent Italian progressive tradition, and while it may never have the same far- reaching influence within the scene as the eponymous debut, "AttosecondO" still rates as one of the strongest RPI records to come out in a while. Their age regardless, Alphataurus have proven that their sound- and by extension, the sound of Italian progressive rock- is timeless, and that is quite an accomplishment in of itself... (read the complete review HERE)