Wicked Minds - From The Purple Skies

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Black Widow Records
Catalog Number: BWR 076
Format: CD
Total Time: 78:21:00

Originating from Piacenza in Italy, this fairly new band harks back to the original hard rock of the seventies. By comparing the singer's vocals to that of the late David Byron and reciting names such as Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, May Blitz, Warhorse, Quatermass, Indian Summer, Necronomicon, Orange Peel, Arzachel, Waterloo and 2066 and Then, we most certainly get the picture. And what a picture this is. With a playing time of almost eighty minutes, the band delivers eight originals augmented with the Uriah Heep classic "Gypsy" and the Pentagram original "Forever My Queen." By adding nice vocal harmonies "The Elephant Stone" sounds very much like vintage Uriah Heep. By intruding some nice flute, "Drifting" comes across more mellow and a little folky than the average song on this album. But that's only during the first couple of minutes, as due to some incredible organ playing, this composition builds and builds towards an incredible finale. One of the songs that in my humble opinion contains the most magnificent structure certainly has to be "Across The Sunrise," which kicks off with nice mellotron and laidback distorted guitar. Andrea's drumming is ace here, taking the song towards another horizon, which when combined with Paolo's authentic Hammond playing, results in a powerful rocking end reminiscent of Heep's "Gypsy." The rather short "Forever My Queen" is one ball of energy, based on a repetitive organ riff, resulting in the typical seventies approach I remember so well, being a cover version from a Pentagram song. "Queen Of Violet" contains some psychedelic weirdness, once again delivered by the keyboard section of Wicked Minds whilst singer JC once again puts his David Byron mark to the whole.

Calm is delivered with the lush and floating "Space Child," which once again highlights wonderful flute playing that settles ever so well against the Hammond and the soft singing of JC. That's of course the calm before the storm, as the song also contains some fierce outbursts. I can clearly see myself lying on some carpets in one of the youth clubs I used to visit in the seventies when everything was still very hippie-like and joints were going from hand to hand whilst we enjoyed the music with eyes closed, not a worry in the world! "Space Child" certainly rates as one of my favourites on From The Purple Skies, as is the final track "Return To Uranus," which with its 18 minutes contains exactly the right feel, full of the experimentation and improvisation one associates with the seventies. Here again the organ gets plenty of space to lift off and leave for another planet (Uranus?) before the guitar delivers some very tasty laidback, bluesy licks. Divine!

No doubt this music has to sound fantastic when performed live, as it takes you back to the authentic nature of the seventies, whilst also delivering tons of incredible energy. Maybe eighty minutes is a little bit too much for a first album, as I'd rather see some of the songs having a more compact nature embracing the nucleus of the melody as opposed to the long stretches on display now. Don't get me wrong, as this is indeed a very fine album based on the great elements of days gone by. Wicked Minds most certainly doesn't have the pretention into declaring that they are inventing music all over again. Instead they settle for brand new compositions based on the best elements from the seventies, as delivered by plenty of bands before them. But what they do, they do it splendidly, as I'm sure loads of fans of the genre will agree.

From The Purple Skies (6:08) / The Elephant Stone (6:33) / Drifting (7:40) / Across The Sunrise (8:53) / Forever My Queen (2:56) / Rising Above (7:03) / Queen Of Violet (6:19) / Sace Child (9:08) / Gypsy (5:22) / Return To Uranus (18:14)

Lucio Calegari - electric and acoustic guitar, vocals, tambourine, foot switches & tubes
J.C. - vocals
Paolo 'Apollo' Negri - Hammond organ, Mellotron, Moog, electric and grand piano
Andrea Concarotti - drums
Enrico Garilli - bass

From The Purple Skies (2004)
Witchflower (2006)

Genre: Rock

Origin IT

Added: August 22nd 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.wickedminds.net
Hits: 740
Language: english


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