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Aphrodite's Child - 666 CD (album) cover

666

Aphrodite's Child

 

Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 387 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yes, this is my 666. review. How original! :)

I have heard only singles from APHRODITE'S CHILD besides this concept classic, but I bet it was a huge leap forward from the pop song oriented 60's output, despite the fact that this work was started and recorded quite soon after It's Five O'Clock (1969). As the record company demanded severe editing and Vangelis kept wisely his own head, the release was postponed by nearly two years. The concept based on the Bible's Revelation of John (13/18) - the original working title of the album was Apocalypse - came from another Greek living in Paris at the time, the film director Costas Ferris.

To us progheads 666 is naturally the main reason we know Aphrodite's Child in the first place, but to anyone associating this band primarily with the raspy, sentimental tenor of Demis Roussos, singing the cheesy 'Rain & Tears' for example, will be deeply surprised. Roussos is effectively stealing the show on the best-known song 'The Four Horsemen', but on the whole 666 contains very little ordinary singing. Instead human voices are more used in spoken narrative parts. 'Loud Loud Loud' is almost like from a religious service, 'The Seventh Seal' (1:30) has odd, ethnically flavoured sound tapestry backing the melodramatic narration, and 'Aegian Sea', which is my favourite track, would work perfectly as a spellbinding instrumental also without the narrative in the latter half of it, which however makes it even stronger.

Musical ingredients are very varied, ranging from folklore to psychedelic or avant-gardisctic prog. The patchwork factor sometimes disturbs the coherence, and frankly there are quite many tracks (of 25) that I'm not fond of. And isn't it quite silly to announce: "That - was - The Wedding - of - the Lamb..... Now - comes - The Capture - of the Beast'? Irene Papas does her notoriously provocative wailing on 'Identity' which is followed by the rollicking "Here and Now!" ('Hic et nunc'). The nearly side-long 'All the Seats Were Occupied' is rather over-stretched, but I like the way 666 ends with the simple, emotional song 'Break'.

666 may be far from being a perfect and coherent masterpiece (indeed it has received a lot of low ratings too), but it is a very unique and powerful classic in its own clumsy way. Every proghead should listen it through with concentration at least once. 3˝ stars, rounded up for uniqueness.

Matti | 4/5 |

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