Sfaratthons - Odi Et Amo

(CD 2023, 55:49, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Odi Et Amo(8:28)
  2- La donna Amata(9:45)
  3- Maddalena(8:47)
  4- Saffo(9:10)
  5- Zarina(12:34)
  6- Ti Dono Una Canzone(3:43)
  7- Odi Et Amo - Closing Session(3:22)

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Odi Et Amo is the third album by Italian five-piece formation Sfaratthons, 4 years after their previous effort Appunti Di Viaggio (2019, see review). Originally Sfaratthons is from the late Seventies, in the Eighties they disbanded but in 2011 were refounded, with a new line-up and guest musicians. The current Sfaratthons feature Luca Di Nunzio (keyboards, guitars and vocals), Cecilio Luciano (drums), Mario Di Nunzio (bass), Giovanni Casciato (guitars) and Giovanni Di Nunzio (vocals and guitar), guest musician is Geoff Warren on flute.

On the first two tracks Odi Et Amo and La Donna Amata the band delivers a typical Seventies symphonic rock sound, with flowing shifting moods, the focus is on Geoff Warren and his flute work, blended with vintage keyboards, and instruments like the harpsichord and vibraphone. The one moment it sounds like Camel featuring tender flute and piano, the next moment the music strongly evokes Jethro Tull with sparkling flute traverse, in a mid-tempo, or sumptuous outbursts with Mellotron choirs, Minimoog flights and Hammond runs.

But then Sfaratthons takes another musical direction: atmospheric, soundtrack-like music in Maddalena (embellished with female choir, spacey synthesizer, flute, piano, a beautiful cello sound, and Italian vocals, male and female) and Saffo (Mellotron violin layers, moving guitar, alfway more lush and finally bombastic with Mellotron violins, howling guitar and spacey synthesizer).

The dynamic epic composition Zarina (12:34) starts with dreamy flute, piano and romantic Italian vocals, halfway a break with rock guitar and sparkling flute (Hungarian Solaris come to my mind), followed by a freaky synthesizer solo, in the second part moving electric guitar runs, swirling flute work, and passionate native vocals.

Finally two short tracks: the bluesy and compelling Ti Dono Una Canzone (Hammond/flute interplay, sparkling flute, in a slow rhythm, with melancholical vocals) and the atmospheric, a bit experimental Odi Et Amo - Closing Session.

So if you are up to a blend of Seventies symphonic rock (Camel, Jethro Tull) and more atmospheric/experimental prog this is an interesting album to discover.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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