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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alphataurus - Alphataurus

Formed in Milan at the beginning of 1970, Alphataurus was an obscure band from Italy that released their only sole-self titled debut album back in 1973. The sound carries a resemblance of Folk, Doom, and Classical music that carries the influential sounds of Genesis, Ange, and Van Der Graaf Generator that they were listening to before working on the album and doing some research as some of the bands in England were making cult status in their hometown and receiving word of mouth.

According to the liner notes, the band started playing in different venues like in theaters, cinemas, sport fields, and at a 1971 new year’s eve party and opened for bands such as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and ELP. And while the cover itself is disturbing yet beautiful triple gatefold sleeve at the same time featuring an albatross unleashing missiles from his chest attacking civilians and a small homage on the reptile doing his Tarkus war machine look, knowing that this band have shown their true love of the English Prog bands during that time period and science fiction/fantasy.

Now if you have this idea of this band could have written a sci-fi soundtrack for a TV series either for Battlestar Galactica or the Star Trek series, well you’ve come to the right place. Now if you have some comic books or synchronize some of the episodes of the series with the music in the style of Floyd meets Wizard of Oz, you’ve come to the right place. Take for example, the twisted Croma that starts off as a dystopian carousel merry-go-round music gone wrong as it goes into a soaring flying keyboard nightmarish hell of the world gone into a dystopian atmosphere.

La Mente Vola will remind listeners of something that was left off the sessions for Camel and Ange’s Moonmadness and By the Sons of Mandrin as the harpsichord goes into the outer limits for the first three minutes as a jam session before going into the symphonic beauty to synthesizing madness while the 12-minute opener, Peccato D’orgoglio is filled with sadness and tensional structures and adding a dosage of Acid Folk and rumbling eruption of the upbeat swooshing of the Organ going into an overdrive like you’ve never heard before.

The strange combination of Heavy Rock and Organ sounding like the Flute on
Dopo L’Uragano, carries on the touches of Doom Prog like no other with an early pre-resemblance in the midsection at the 3:11 mark of Rush’s La Villa Strangiato and then it goes into the style of an earlier incarnation of Black Sabbath meets Jethro Tull ending. The 9-minute finale, Ombra Muta, which shows Alphataurus going into a funk rock mode combining the sound of the passages resemblance to Keith Emerson on the synth that is a ride into the voyages of the milky way.

After the release of this album, the band performed at the Palermo Pop festival and at San Benedetto del Tronto Stadium and while they legal issues wouldn’t let them perform with ELP (which would have been cool for opening for them), the band drifted away. But then after about 40 years back in 2010, they reunited and still are doing new music. And while they released another album back in 1992, which was a demo, they’re still going strong influence up-and-coming young prog bands to discover the mystery of Alphataurus.

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