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Alphataurus, Italy


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There doesn't appear to be much activity coming from Alphataurus these days (Aug 2016), but of course that makes sense given that half the band are senior citizens. We'll see if the legacy continues.

Alphataurus - s/t. 1973 Magma (see UMR link for more info)
Alphataurus - Dietro L'Uragano (1974 archival recording). 1992 Mellow (CD)
Alphataurus - Live in Bloom. 2012 BTF (CD; LP)
Alphataurus - AttosecondO. 2012 BTF (CD; LP)

----Alphataurus

We discussed the debut a few months ago on my sister site Unencumbered Music Reviews, a blog that is dedicated to reissues of classic progressive rock recordings.

----Dietro L'Uragano

So let's pick up the story with the Mellow CD, which sets the table for Alphataurus' two new albums. Similar to many Italian bands of this era, Alphataurus seemed to flare out after one release. Mellow Records, however, turned up a complete album but minus the vocal sections. Apparently the band was looking for another singer when they finally gave up. 1974 was the end of the line for most of the Italian scene, so ultimately this should come as no surprise. On Dietro L'Uragano, the music is more playful, slightly less complex and far more dependent on keyboards than the debut effort. Parts of this remind me of the heavy but simple tracks found on The Trip's Caronte album, though overall Alphataurus is more engaging here. ELP circa Tarkus, is another obvious influence. Unfortunately it's apparent the music was written with a vocalist in mind, so there are some gaps to be found. Still a wonderful find for the archives. (I should move this to UMR at some point).

----Live in Bloom

I bought the CD mainly to hear the fully realized versions of 'Ripensando E…' (7:36) and 'Valigre di terra' (12:02), both tracks from the unfinished second album mentioned above. As it turns out the former composition is an instrumental and so it wasn't quite as different as I expected. But Valigre di Terra was the highlight of that archival release, and to hear it with vocals, makes this well worth the price of admission by itself. That along with the beautiful cover art (the CD is in the mini-LP format), painted by the same gentleman who impressed everyone with the brilliant triple fold out of the original 1973 album. I don't own the LP, but if the track listing I've seen is correct, then IMHO it detracts from the main reason to own this which are the two aforementioned tracks. The renditions of the debut album are all excellent, but not dramatically different.

----AttosecondO

AttosecondO once again is adorned with a stunning painting. I don't usually collect LPs for modern releases, but I may need to make an exception here. Still, the mini-LP packaging is as fine as it gets for a CD issue. For the music, AttosecondO finally closes the book on their unfinished second album, the previously titled Dietro L'Uragano. The Live in Bloom (CD version) concert demonstrated very competent versions of two of these tracks, and it seems the band was in top form. AttosecondO adds the final important track 'Claudette' (13:40),  to complete the mystery of "what if these tracks were recorded properly"? For those who bought the Live in Bloom for the same reason as I did - that is to hear the second album performed properly - fear not. The versions found on AttosecondO have been radically reworked from the Live in Bloom concert, to arguably greater success. But that's only part of the story here, as Alphataurus have added two entirely new tracks to open the album 'Progressiva Menta' (8:29) and 'Gocce' (9:27), both of which sound like the best of the modern Italian progressive rock bands that are striving to recreate the past. Of course, it would make sense that Alphataurus would be experts at this  - since they actually were one of those original bands! However, as we all know by now, most of these reunions haven't been near the level we'd originally hoped. Alphataurus is the exception. They clearly have recaptured the spirit of their youth, and seem on the cusp of releasing another monster album like their 1973 debut. Even though the founding two members are in their 60s, let's hope they don't quit just yet and prove that the older guys can be as creative as the youngsters - of which now three of said youth are part of the Alphataurus machine.

Last update: August 20, 2016

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