Semiramis — Dedicato a Frazz
(Trident TRI 1004, 1973/2001, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, 2015-12-31:
McLatchey's Second Tier
Some of the most ambitious albums of the time weren't recorded by long-time, veteran musicians, and Semiramis' sole album was something of a triumph for the way a bunch of guys that were mostly teenagers could put together something of such creative brilliance. Semiramis were a quintet of musicians who were right on the forefront of the Italian symphonic progressive wave in 1973 who created an album full of four and a half to six minute tracks that were rife with a great deal of inventive analog synthesizer work and dynamic compositions that ranged from dark Crimson-esque dissonance to PFM like romantic passages, each change in direction exciting and unexpected even over multiple listens. There are so many ideas on this record that they could have easily stretched this out another 20 minutes, but instead each piece is stacked with time and key changes that seem to be all about moving the composition forward. The synthesizer tones buzz and crackle in the right ways and very few of the tones are the same along the length of the album. It's a shame the band didn't stay together after this to see how they could have evolved from such a brilliant start, but as know Italy was rife with these kind of one-offs. This is easily one of the best of them.
by Mike McLatchey, 1995-07-01:
Originally released on the rare Trident label, Semiramis have a very high reputation, and with good reason – their only album is a superb classic, and one of the most essential of the 70s Italian reissues. Semiramis were a quintet with two guitarists and made a gigantic symphonic sound full of very unique song structures, rich analog synthesizers, compelling vocals, and great dynamics. For an album of relatively short songs (an average of four to six minutes,) this quintet pulled this off admirably. Semiramis' mix was incredibly rich and powerful with dazzling displays of virtuosity from all musicians involved. One of my all time Italian favorites, this is a timeless album and one of Vinyl Magic's very best reissues.
Related artist(s): Semiramis
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more
Renaissance & Illusion - Scheherezade, Turn of the Cards & Madonna Blue – [Note: This review from 1994 refers to reissues on the TRC label. The albums involved have since been legitimately issued, and those releases are listed at the end of this review.]Let's just start out... (1994) » Read more