Standarte - Curses And Invocations

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Black Widow Records
Catalog Number: BWRCD 015-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:22:00

Some time ago, the Italian threesome Standarte got my attention with their self-titled debut as being the sole heirs to the Atomic Rooster heritage. On Curses And Invocations they have left behind that identity, although it's not easy if you still put that Hammond in the firing line!

It's still the same trio as on their debut, but this time bass player Stefano Gabbani has flanked himself with Mellotron and Moog, which gives the compositions a fuller sound. Those sounds are all over the album, but in the right measure, so you don't really get a keyboard album. In "Cities Of Towers" the "rocky" sound is broken by means of the mellotron followed by the harpsichord resulting in a sort of sixties song. As a matter of fact, this "poppy" approach goes one further in "Ordeal" where I detect some influences from the Brian Auger and Trinity era.

Very experimental is the intro to "Arrival Of The Traveller" illustrating its title perfectly. Their "pièce de résistance' on this album surely is the almost 12 minute long "Mooning Round The Mill Hill," which consists of three parts including the uptempo "Wise Lane Revenant," the lame stumbling "Paddington Bury," and the instrumental, majestic sound of "Moon In Cancer" where Hammond and Mellotron blend into one.

The space in between the individual songs is so scarce that you sometimes think that the entire album consists of just one composition! In "N.T.F.B.Y." I am personally charmed by the heavy drumming which almost sound like warplanes bombing hostile territory.

Standarte continues to offer us music that can easily be loved by fans of progressive as well as fans of psychedelic music. Flirtation with the influential sixties is constantly woven throughout the music and now and then you might think you just heard a new version of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

Dysangelium (5:52) / What More I Have To Pay (2:35) / Cities Of Towers (4:16) / Ordeal (8:40) / Gehenna (3:09) / Arrival Of The Traveller (3:28) / Herald (2:06) / Mooning 'Round The Mill Hill (11:56) / N.T.F.B.Y. (2:23) / The One You Fear And Hate (3:11) / Crossing (2:46)

Daniele Caputo - drums, percussion, vocals
Stefano Gabbani - bass, mellotron, Moog
Michele Profeti - organ, piano, harpsichord, mellotron, Moog

Standarte (1995)
Curses And Invocations (1996)
Stimmung (1998)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: April 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 813
Language: english


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