Phaedra - Ptah

(CD 2010, 75:17, PHM01)

The tracks:
  1- Ouverture(4:34)
  2- Dicono(6:27)
  3- Il cielo stellato(8:06)
  4- Il reietto(4:41)
  5- Un mondo nuovo(4:18)
  6- Come un bambino(3:27)
  7- La construzione di atlantide(3:42)
  8- Uomo!(6:04)
  9- Atlantide distrutta(4:24)
10- Dilemma interiore(8:11)
11- Il saggio errante(3:22)
12- Preghiera(7:06)
13- Il peso del rimorso(5:52)
14- La decisione(5:03)

Phaedra Website       

The Italian band Phaedra, established in 1993, finally released its debut album. Ptah is a rock opera, the fruition of a ten-year work of writing and refining. The lyrics, written by vocalist Claudio Granatiero, are inspired by mythology and science fiction, but the main themes of the opera are mankind and existential issues. Following the best sixties and seventies rock tradition, Phaedra kept presenting their Ptah-project live throughout the years, observing how the audience reacted to it and retouching it every time until they reached the final version. The band has many inspirations: from Vanilla Fudge and Moody Blues to Genesis, Yes and King Crimson through Italian bands like Le Orme and PFM.

The music has been tastefully arranged with the addition of acoustic and classical instruments like violins, flute, mandola, mandolin and others. The work of this seven-piece band deserves a careful, participated listening to notice suggestions, tones, instrumental themes and the whole evolution of the concept. Okay, so far the information from the band's biography - why try to be original as a reviewer when you can easily copy, don't you think...? But how does it sound to yours truly? Well, Ptah sounds classical, with many piano intros and difficult sections of music that don't flow easily into one another. This makes the album fascinating, but at the same time tiresome to listen to. Moreover, the Italian vocals don't help in this respect. Also, I don't hear the musical references that often or it must be from the aforementioned Italian bands. I think the problem is in the compositions which are not just that interesting. Ptah is by far not a bad album, but it will not be one I'll play often.

** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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