It’s been 43 years since the Italian Progressive Rock band Spettri released their only sole self-titled debut album and then suddenly never made another album after that. It’s one of the most obscure gems in the history of the obscure and unearthed rarities that is worth exploring and understanding why this band were way ahead of their time. This time, in the year of our lord 2015, they are back.
And they are showing no sign of stopping with the release of their new album entitled, 2973 La Nemica Dei Ricordi. This a continuation of the story of where they left off in the first album. The story takes 1001 years after the events of the sole self-titled debut and nothing has changed since. The man goes on a new journey that will take him to understand the changes he went through aren’t working until he wins the fight. He meets a seagull that will take him to find the level of consciousness.
It’s very much sort of in the styles of the stories of Alejandro Jodorowsky as if he had written this with Moebius for the adult illustrated magazine, Heavy Metal. The artwork that Mattia Sarti did, is fascinating. It’s a tribute done in the styles of Frank Frazetta and the writings of Michael Moorcock, but the artwork tells the story of the man’s journey to fight his fear and nightmare that he’s going through.
The music itself is haunting, terrifying, and in your face. And having people like Elisa Montaldo of Il Tempio Delle Clessidre ad Stefano Corsi of Whiskey Trail to lend a helping hand, it shows how much this band is deserving the recognition they need right now. I love the title track as it goes through a riveting Hammond organ through the Leslie speaker for an introduction that Stefano Melani captures the styles of the late great Jon Lord before it kicks into overdrive in the Doom Metal approach of the Paranoid-era of Black Sabbath thanks to Raffaele Ponticiello’s guitar.
I love where they are going into this. It’s Progressive Doom Metal like no other and I can hear also the nightmarish terror of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator thanks to the sax of Matteo Biancalani as he takes a Jazzier sound of both David Jackson and John Coltrane. Since I’ve mentioned about VDGG, they have a classical approach also. On La Nave, it is an unexpected twist between the crunching roar of Symphonic Rock of Emerson Lake and Palmer meets Pawn Hearts as if the trio was working with the dark-lords to create a terrifying collaboration that will make you play this for Halloween!
Just like the opening track, il Lamento Dei Gabbiani, this is where everything fits in the right place. They carry the ominous and cavernous terror thanks to the Mellotron and Organ followed by the heavier guitars come swarming in like the beast attacking the innocence. Raffaele nails it down on his solos to pay homage to Ritchie Blackmore and Robert Fripp. But Spettri brings a calmer sound to their music.
Elisa comes in with her vocals on il Delfino Bianco. It has a classical approach with a sun-rising rhythm between guitar and flute as the rivers float in the cavernous sounds. It’s a chilling composition that resembles a darker version of The Moody Blues On the Threshold of a Dream-era and the Trespass-era of Genesis thrown into the mix, but Elisa’s vocals is brilliant and haunting as if she is singing behind you as if she is pleading help on her vocals. She nails it down very well.
Now I’m a huge Rock Progressivo Italiano fan. And for me, I have to say that Spettri’s 2973 La Nemica Dei Ricordi which is released by Black Widow Records, is a welcoming return to the band's music. Not just because it sounds sentimental, but the way they kicked it into high gear of seeing where they would return next into and it is a nice chilling and sinister brilliance. I can’t wait to see what Spettri would do next.