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Triade - 1998 - La Storia Di Sabazio CD (album) cover

1998 - LA STORIA DI SABAZIO

Triade

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.70 | 55 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars 1973's `1998: La Storia di Sabazio' by obscure Italian prog trio Triade is something of a best kept secret in progressive music circles. A lavish and ambitious classical flavoured tour-du-force, their sole barely thirty-one minute gem is often considered a near-masterpiece by those who adore it, and the rest...well, they just haven't heard it yet! The easiest (if laziest but not entirely untrue) comparison would be a sound like Le Orme crossed with Emerson, Lake and Palmer to cover the first instrumental side, but the flip reveals a collection of exquisite, possibly even superior vocal pieces to make the album the complete package.

Part of the reason the album maintains a great reputation is the continuous twelve minute, four-part `Sabazio' instrumental suite that occupies the first side, reminding a little of the title track opener of Le Orme's `Contrappunti' or keyboard heavy Italian albums like Rustichelli & Bordini's `Opera Prima' (but without the dirty menace!). The bass, keyboard and drum trio dart through a fleeting array of eclectic (and maybe even a touch schizophrenic!) symphonic themes, with the opening a brewing caress of organ ambience and Giorgio Sorano's rising cymbals about to explode, and after a searing implosion the trio tears through some bombastic and frantic little maddening bursts that sometimes hold a maniacal, light gothic glee. The third part `Il Viaggio' offers Agostino Nobile's lurking murmuring bass and calming reflective moments via glorious shimmering organ dreaminess, and the closing section `Vita Nouva' is a final showcase of fancy classical piano prettiness. It's staggering to think that keyboardist Vincenzo Coccimiglio was only 18 years old at the time this was recorded, because, despite a couple of the themes not being quite as fully developed as they could have been, his playing shows so much energetic precision and lightness of touch when necessary.

But, oh...the gems that still await on the second side...`Il Circo' is a final vocal-free moment, a short and peppy little instrumental rocker, but potentially the album highlight is `Espressione', a gentle acoustic guitar ballad that also holds dreamy whirring keyboards offering the lightest of elevating symphonic themes, where pristine piano and Agostino's warm tender voice takes the piece and album overall to another level. The wilder `Caro Fratello' opens as a propulsive rocker that pulses with thick grumbling bass, aggressive swirling Hammond organ and relentless drumming before floating into the sweetest of mellow acoustic symphonic atmospheres and another soothing Agostino vocal. After some jangling acoustic guitars spiked with an soft uneasy tension and urgent drumming , closer `1998 (Millenovecentonovantotto)' turns more uplifting with joyful humming synths in the final moments that perhaps brings the album the closest to a Premiata Forneria Marconi-like moment.

The lack of electric guitar puts Triade in the company of other obscure Italian groups such as Corte dei Miracoli (whose self-titled sole work from 1976 is equally as essential), and you can even hear their influence on terrific up-and-coming younger Italian bands like Kalisantrope. It's a shame they were only to deliver a sole album before vanishing, a curse that befell quite a few Italian acts at the time, so it just makes this dynamic and relentless mix of ravishing instrumental and charming vocal pieces even more precious. Once you've moved past the big names like the Banco's, the P.F.M's (actually two bands that Triade supported live in concert in their short time together) and the Osanna's, etc, it's time to start delving into the rich selection of more obscure Italian works, and there's no better example of a very special one than "1998: La Storia di Sabazio".

Five stars

(and be sure to check the Italian Prog page for wonderful interviews with both Vincenzo and Agostino, who recalls a lovely moment supporting Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - http://www.italianprog.com/a_triade.htm )

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |

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