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PROCESSION

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Procession biography
PROCESSION formed in Turin in 1972. They came out that same year with an album titled "Frontiera" for the small Help label (an RCA subsidiary that also released QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA's first album). This record is particularly interesting for the lyrics that dealt with immigration. Musically the style is rather acoustic; a lot of space is given to guitars. It can be easily described as a hard prog LP.

After two years of silence, the band reappeared with a new line-up (Capra, Girardi and Capello were substituted by bass player Paolo D'Angelo and horns player Maurizio Gianotti), and a new recording deal, this time it's Fonit that releases their second album "Fiaba", their best work. A few guest artists partecipated, such as Francesco Froggio Francica (from RACCOMANDATA RICEVUTA RITORNO), on drums and percussions, singer Silvana Aliotta (from CIRCUS 2000) and Ettore Vigo (DELIRIUM's keyboard player). The album has an avantgarde style, much more than in the previous work, with some interesting jazz inspirations. The very good flute and sax and the fine voice of singer Gianfranco Gaza have to be pointed out.

Despite a good live activity PROCESSION never gained the success they deserved and though they released two albums they disappeared without trace. Singer Gianfranco Gaza collaborated with ARTI + MESTIERI in their 1975 second album "Giro Di Valzer Per Domani". Original guitarist Marcello Capra, after leaving the group and playing with TITO SCHIPA Jr., released "Aria Mediterranea" in 1978, an album with an oriental sound mixed with "popular roots", and a couple of albums at the end of the nineties. Saxophonist Maurizio Gianotti later played with the jazz-rock outfit COMBO JAZZ, while guitarist Roby Munciguerra still has a group that plays in Turin's night clubs.

The band reunited for the comeback album "Esplorare" in 2006.

: : : Andrea, LA SPEZIA / ITALIA : : :

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Musique MagnifiqueMusique Magnifique
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$9.22
$8.53 (used)
FiabaFiaba
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$13.21
$11.49 (used)
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PROCESSION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PROCESSION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 53 ratings
Frontiera
1972
3.82 | 51 ratings
Fiaba
1974
3.57 | 9 ratings
Esplorare
2007

PROCESSION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 6 ratings
9 Gennaio 1972
2013

PROCESSION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PROCESSION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PROCESSION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PROCESSION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Frontiera  by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 53 ratings

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Frontiera
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

5 stars Italy's best kept secret

I've loved this album from the very first day I heard it. Truly love at first listen, a bizarre addictive love no less, and the feeling hasn't diminished with the years - on the contrary, Procession's debut Frontiera is still very close to my heart. Ditching the whole synth race, these guys opted for a more earthy and basic instrumentation with a ravine of acoustic guitars, raw frenetic electrified guitar licks, walking bass lines, punchy acute, and at times heavy as hell, drumming, flute and a bitter-sweet vocalist, who means the world to me.

Like I've mentioned countless of times before, I have no real understanding of the beautiful Italian language, which in turn means that it can mean whatever the hell my mind makes it into. On here I've decided that the singing is just so damn gorgeous in itself, that I'm not even slightly interested in finding out what he's singing about. For all I care, it could be the world's creation, zebras, eternal youth or difficult sore love. It expresses nothing and everything at the same time for me.

Opposite the heavy hits of this baby, you find a sprawling folky and highly melodic side of the band. This is where the old rural traditional music begins to shine through, and you effectively get the most alluring wisps of the warm romantic Italian countryside. 4th cut called Incontra very elegantly puts my words to shame though. The mandolin playing is inspiring on this sucker, and together with the tweeting bird like flute, the music really takes off. A thousand sun ripened tomatoes couldn't dream of relegating the same kind of endemic feel, as this tune does.

Later on, in between brilliantly melodic almost symphonic and always highly imaginative pieces, one particular track stands out to me. Un Mondo Liberta(A free world) manages to take all that's powerful and vibrant in Frontiera and squeeze into a good 8 minutes of progressive folk, scratching raw guitar rock and what genuinely sounds like Italian Doo wop(A prominent and most delicious feature throughout the playing time of this gem actually).

Like a sudden brutal awakening from a stormy and huge dream, a wild rocking guitar shoots through the airwaves following the lengthy piece, and when you've finally gotten well into the groove of this granite creature, the mood changes for the more quiet and delicate, small dozy guitar figurines start swirling slowly about, and you get hit with a frail goosebumps inducing guitar feedback. It says it all really. There's so much life and soul in this recording, it'll have your blood vessels doing the jig.

If you're into the heavier side of the Italian scene - ie Cervello, Biglietto per L'Inferno, Semiramis and Metamorfosi, then you'll probably want to move together with this album, find a small apartment somewhere and just hang out till one of you needs food, electricity or sex.

 Fiaba by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.82 | 51 ratings

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Fiaba
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

3 stars Fiaba is Procession's second (and final) album, and a far cry from their blissfully heavy 1972 debut. By 1974 only singer Gianfranco Gaza and guitarist Roby Munciguerra remained from the original group; the twin-guitar approach from Frontiera is abandoned in favor of woodwinds, sparse percussion and walking bass lines. I prefer the first album, but Fiaba has its moments and definitely belongs in any complete RPI discussion - although the impact on progressive music as a whole is negligible. Sales for Fiaba were virtually nonexistent and Procession folded shortly upon release. Highlights include the opening "Uomini Di Vento" and somber "Un Mondo Sprecato." I tend to lose interest after those first two tracks and wish the aggressive swagger of Frontiera would kick in, but it never does.

"Uomini Di Vento" is the closest thing to 1972 Procession found here. Francesco Francica of Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno plows a funky path, laying down a solid drum beat upon which bassist Paolo D'Angelo treads assuredly. Flute and sax solos are skillfully played by Maurizio Gianotti. Gaza's voice is in top form, retaining its warbly, emphatically powerful quality. The tone shifts dramatically on "Un Mondo Sprecato," as the singer displays a seemingly new-found tenderness. The slow tempo allows Munciguerra to explore a soaring Gilmouresque solo; finally Gaza reenters and gently closes the song on verse, which creates a sense of unresolved tension. "Un Mondo Sprecato" abruptly ends and we are treated to another stylistic change on "C'era una Volta" - to Jazz Rock this time. Sizzling cymbals support a sleazy sax while guitars chug along in the background. Suddenly, the mood shifts to upbeat Neopolitan folk, sounding not unlike Citta Frontale. This middle section fades out a little too soon for my taste, as the last three minutes build to a cliché crescendo.

Side two still suffers from an identity complex as Procession try to work through various passages, impersonating a classically symphonic RPI band at times ("Notturno"), and a folk/canzone group at others ("Il Volo Della Paura"). The title track seems to finally settle on a cohesive style, but feels too little too late. I do not regret adding Fiaba to my RPI library, but the title will be largely irrelevant for most and only mildly enjoyable for Italian Prog newbies. I recommend the debut to hear Procession in its element and at the peak of their powers; Fiaba displays a shadow of that great band trying to adapt and catch a break near the end of a creative wave.

 9 Gennaio 1972 by PROCESSION album cover Live, 2013
3.12 | 6 ratings

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9 Gennaio 1972
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Todd
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano!

3 stars Another archival gem!

Procession is one of my favorite bands, so when I heard that a 1972 concert had been found and remastered by Beppe Crovelle, I was thrilled! The date is 9 January 1972, and the venue is Lio Club. The concert was recorded by the first incarnation of the band, featuring three of the five members who would go on and record their first album, masterpiece Frontiera, eight months later. This iteration is unique in that it features Mario Bruno on Hammond, whereas their two studio albums don't have Hammond (although there is wonderful Mellotron). The songs are all covers, mainly (unsurprisingly, given the Hammond) Atomic Rooster, with some smattering of Led Zeppelin (beautifully suited to the heavenly voice of Gianfranco Gaza), Jethro Tull, Free, Uriah Heep, and even James Taylor. The style is therefore quite different from the first album that appeared just a few months later. Just a short time after this show, Bruno and drummer Spallino left the band, to be replaced by guitarist Roby Munciguerra and drummer Giancarlo Capello, and the rest is history.

With regard to the sound--unfortunately there aren't many great quality live recordings of Italian bands from the 1970s. The best are PFM's Cook (Live in America), Area's Are(a)zione and Banco's Seguendo le Tracce, which are good quality. But even Le Orme suffers from a lack of a good sounding live 1970s recording. So understanding that, this particular recording is of better than average bootleg quality, pretty close in sound to Le Orme's Live Orme and Locanda delle Fate's Live. As another point of reference, this concert is similar in style and concept to Quella Vecchia Locanda's live album from 1971--in fact, they both cover the same Free song, "Fire and Water." But this album sounds much better than the QVL, and in fact sounds much better than similar recordings from Museo Rosenbach, Biglietto per l'Inferno, Campo di Marte, Banco (Live "1970" but actually 1971) and Acqua Fragile. (The live albums by Corte dei Miracoli and Il Rovescio della Medaglia are different in that they present new material completely different from the studio albums, both of which sound just okay.)

But the main value of these live recordings is their historical record--we can lament what we don't have, or we can enjoy what little we do. So for me, the final grade is four stars (Gnosis 11/15), an album I'm very pleased to own. But for the site, I'm assigning three stars. Don't start the Procession here--grab and love their two studio albums, even their reunion album, before this one. But I'm a happy fan.

 Frontiera  by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 53 ratings

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Frontiera
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

4 stars Frontiera has it all - heavy guitars, shimmering folk passages, confident singing, powerful drumming and even some Mellotron - wrapped up in a convenient package you can carry with you (literally...the LP had a handle). Though it did take a while for me to warm to Procession, the group is unique in the realm of RPI since they don't really fit the traditional mold; classically-inspired motifs are nary to be found, instead favored by molten riffs a la Black Sabbath mixed with regional sensibilities. The band from northern Italy created a lyrically thematic tale of immigration and desegregation, which were apparently hot-button issues in Torino at the time. The lyrics are lost on me but the push and pull between heavy prog aggression and whimsical flair speaks for itself; Frontiera succeeds on a musical level so much so that I would recommend it to all RPI listeners.

For a 1972 album, Frontiera sounds well recorded and produced. The small Help! label folded shortly after this release, leaving the band on hiatus for nearly two years until they signed with Fonit. I would describe Procession as a cross between Flea and early Il Balletto di Bronzo with Robert Plant singing. The guitars are also reminiscent of Led Zeppelin at times, particularly in the extensive use of 12-string. The instrument opens "Ancora Una Notte," drums and fuzz guitar join in, and massively booming bass feeds back before the whole thing roars to a stop. Acoustic guitar supports vocalist Gianfranco Gaza, whose distinctive voice gives the group exactly the gravitas it needs. "Uomini e Illusioni" features some dual-guitar riffage...again the bass is enormously omnipresent and sounds great. Drums jam and bounce while Gaza floats along the top of the whole thing. This is good, good stuff. We transition right into "Citta' Grande," my favorite song so far, and an epic middle section reminds us this is definitely RPI. A multitude of harmonized guitars and bass give way to a classical guitar interlude which somberly closes the song.

"Incontro" displays classic Torinese spirit, using mandolin and tamborine to achieve a singalong effect. This fades right into "Anche Io Sono Un Uomo" which is a dark, brooding piece amply colored with Mellotron strings. "Un Mondo Di Liberta" is the song that elevates Frontiera from three to four stars in my opinion; the song contains quite possibly the most thunderous riff in all of Italian Prog and drums that sound like fireworks going off. But this is just half the story - the eight-minute piece changes abruptly at the halfway mark, leaving Gaza to sing with only acoustic guitar support. Eventually drums and bass enter and contribute accordingly. The "Solo/Un'Ombra Che Vaga" medley starts off with straight rock swagger and then fades to another 12-string section with some clean tones added for good measure. This brief respite is plundered by a reappearance of The Riff, of which I can never get enough anyway. Finally "Solo 2" reprises its predecessor with some harmonica and lead guitar thrown in. I can't say enough good things about Frontiera and will leave it at that.

 Fiaba by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.82 | 51 ratings

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Fiaba
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Two years after ''Frontiera'' Procession returned with a refined line-up and a new contract with Fonit.Gone are Marcello Capra (who released an interesting solo Folk Rock album in 1978), Angelo Girardi and Giancarlo Capello, replaced by Maurizio Gianotti on sax/flutes and Paolo D'Angelo on bass.For the recordings of their sophomore ''Fiaba'' album they were helped by Francesco Froggio Francica on drums (from Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno), Delirium's keyboardist Ettore Vigo and Silvana Aliotta from Circus 2000 on vocals.

A refined line-up brought a refined sound for Procession and musically ''Fiaba'' is a lot smoother and lighter release than ''Frontiera'', albeit in the same good level, if not better.Their sound was now a mix of soft Italian Prog with plenty of Folk and Jazz elements, based on the excellent vocals of Gianfranco Gaza and the elaborate arrangements.This belongs among the most romantic releases of the Italian school of Progressive Rock, featuring beautiful vocal lines, mellow jazzy electric guitars and careful synth explorations, maybe comparable at moments with IL VOLO's works.Procession focused this time on creating more atmospheric compositions with lyrical depth than offering multiple Hard Prog attacks and their sound is often colored with elegant acoustic passages and swirling flutes.Additionally some tracks contain some well-crafted sax parts akin to VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's album but with a more melodic content.

The next year Procession disbanded despite their decent live activity with Gaza participating in Arti E Mestieri's second album ''Giro di valzer per domani'' and Gianotti playing with the Jazz-Rock group Combo Jazz.More recently the band surfaced again under the leadership of guitarist Roby Munciguerra and released the 2006 album ''Esplorare'', consisting mostly of reworked old songs.

Another winner from the 70's Italian Prog scene.''Fiaba'' is a very nice album full of flexible material and comes strongly recommended for all fans of high quality artistic rock music...3.5 stars.

 Fiaba by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.82 | 51 ratings

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Fiaba
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Joćo Paulo

4 stars A very pretty album in Italian Progressive Rock classic vein. Made in 1974 we can listen some melodious tracks but without keyboards. The musical instruments that most stand out are the guitar and saxophone. It has moments of brilliance with a unique sound. We can listen some more energic parts in first track but the others are more calms and balanced. The flute in rare moments give a context of classic progressive in Italian vein. Lyrics are in Italian with a tone of voice similar in many bands of this decade. If you are a Italian Progressive fan, this album is mandatory and a good adiction in your collection. It deserves 4 stars because is a classic record of this culture time in Italian.
 Esplorare by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.57 | 9 ratings

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Esplorare
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well I took Finnforest's advise and purchased this a couple of months ago. PROCESSION were a band I fell in love with, well I guess I should say the debut album in particular is what blew me away although the follow-up was good too.The vocalist Gianfranco Gaza was one of the few singers who could bring tears to my eyes simply with his voice. Sadly he passed away in the eighties so he's not on this particular release from 2006. In fact only the guitarist remains from those seventies albums.The new vocalist does Gianfranco proud though, i'm very impressed with him.The music here is pretty much all the songs from their two seventies releases plus a couple of more. Does it work ? Well as Jim said "Yep" it sure does. I do have some issues with it though, in particular the too smooth sounding sax and flute on the one track but overall I enjoyed this alot.

"C'era Una Volta" is laid back and something you'd hear in a smokey club back in the day. Piano leads early then the guitar cries out. Flute replaces the guitar before 2 minutes then it picks up with vocals. Some nice guitar comes and goes. It calms down then we get sax after 5 1/2 minutes. "Uomini Di Vento" opens with drums and guitar. Organ and flute join in then vocals.The flute comes and goes. The guitar 2 minutes in sounds great. "Un Mondo Sprecato" is my favourite and I raise a glass to Gianfranco who may not be singing but his inspiration can be felt from the new vocalist. Just a gorgeous intro here as reserved vocals, bass, drums and gentle guitar lead. Gulp. When the tempo picks up check out the bass ! It settles back as contrasts continue. "Esplorare" opens with bass and vocals. Great sound 1 1/2 minutes in as guitar and flute stand out.The bass continues to shine. Sax follows then the vocals replace the sax.

"Il Volo Della Paura" is mellow early with acoustic guitar and flute leading the way.Vocals a minute in. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes and the vocals become more passionate and I love the electric guitar that follows. Beautiful stuff. "Suite 1" is the other track that is amazing although this is like a medley with one song blending into the next. Lots of atmosphere early then the guitar comes in after 1 1/2 minutes and drums and bass follow. An explosive sound then wind can be heard. Cool. Gentle guitar then vocals follow.Vocals are passionate 3 1/2 minutes in then it kicks into gear. It turns heavier and more intense 6 minutes in then the tempo picks up. A calm after 9 minutes then it kicks back in as the tempo and mood continue to change. "Suite 2" turns heavy quickly and the drumming and synth work are outstanding. A change after 3 minutes as it settles and we get some vocal melodies too. Another change 6 1/2 minutes in as it turns aggressive with guitar,organ and drums. Passionate vocals a minute later. "Fiaba" features gentle guitar as flute joins in followed by drums and vocals. Some chunky bass too.

It is what it is (haha). An album that goes over the same old ground yet at the same time it "sounds" very good yet is still vintage. A low 4 stars and i'd suggest you check out the original albums first.

 Esplorare by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.57 | 9 ratings

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Esplorare
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Solid comeback album, of sorts

Procession were one of those 2nd tier bands from the classic RPI period, not as well known these days as the PFMs and Ballettos, but who managed to release two well liked albums from 1972 and 1974. Their first was a blistering album of hard and heavy rock with dual guitars while the second was a bit more diverse and mature, together they make a nice pair. The band broke up in 1975 and emerged again three decades later with guitarist Roby Munciguerra from the old days and new mates Samuele Alletto, Stefano Carrara, Enzo Martin, Herman, and Danilo Pala. The new line-up entered Overtone Studio in Torino in the late summer of 2006 and delivered this gem.

"Esplorare" is a most unusual comeback album in that it is not new material. Instead, the band chose to re-record both of their 1970s albums pretty much in their entirety, juggle the order, and make something new of them. They also include one previously unreleased track written back then but recorded now, plus one newly written track. An unusual approach to say the least! Does it work? Yep. The material on those old Procession albums was pretty good stuff, and here with the new band it comes alive in a new way. It is harder edged with some young guys joining the fold and it features a flawless new production that allows you to hear everything and blow the roof off your house if you choose. This album is loud! The new arrangements as mentioned seem heavier and clearer as they were based on the reunited band's 2006 live performance versions. The new musicians are superb players as is the vocalist. (Original vocalist Gianfranco Gaza died in the 1980s). The material itself ranges from hard rock to jazzy prog with a guitar/bass dominated sound (as opposed to keyboards). Flute and saxophone parts come and go throughout and acoustic guitar gives many sections extra flavor. What one takes away from this disc is the love they have for the old material, mixed with a dynamic new energy and forcefulness that updates this material successfully. It must be very challenging to attempt to re-do your classic material decades later and bring something new to it without messing with the original magic. Procession have succeeded as well as I could imagine. This is an album that will blow away the fans of both of their original albums. If you like either of them, get this, it's a sure thing for you!

The booklet is brief, but contains some liner notes, photos, and lyrics for the title track (all in Italian.) Oh, and SinkaJohn, you'll want this, trust me. 3 1/2 affectionate stars.

 Frontiera  by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 53 ratings

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Frontiera
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Frontiera, the first on of only two albums from Procession is perhaps not quite as widely regarded amongst RPI fans as the mellower Fiaba, but to my ears is its equal and the more exciting of the two.

Released in 1972 Frontiera is a guitar driven album alternating between acoustic restraint and bombastic heavy rock. In Gianfranco Gaza they have a vocalist perfectly suited to the more histrionic approach of heavy rock singers and the band consisting to a large extent of guitars, bass and drums with a bit of mandolin, mellotron and the obligatory flute turn in a fine performance moving between the light and shade and heavier moments with conviction and ease. A strong record throughout includes some special moments like the mandolin driven Incontra, Anche Lo Sono Un Uomo coloured with some lovely mellotron work and they're at their most powerful on Un Mondo Di Liberta. It's a stunning heavy rock/proto-metal tour de force for the first three minutes with a riff Metallica would be proud of. The second half enters into acoustic mode and this contrasting piece is the highlight of the album. One of the riffs from this piece returns briefly for Un'ombra Chevaga before closing with a beautiful acoustic section. This is bookended by Solo and Solo 2 and there's a feel of continuity for the second half of the album even though they're individual tracks.

Frontiera is an album of contrasts that will most likely appeal not only to RPI fans but has a lot to offer heavy rock lovers too. Highly recommended.

 Frontiera  by PROCESSION album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 53 ratings

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Frontiera
Procession Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars One of the main attractions of the RPI scene is the wide variety of styles and originality emanating from that scene. For the better known acts like PFM, Banco and Le Orme we can trace references to ELP and VDGG, but those references only capture part of the magic that lies contained within.

When it comes to Procession we have another RPI band for which I can't come up with any obvious references to UK acts. The band can be roughly placed on the wilder side of RPI acts such as Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Cervello, Semiramis or Osanna but actually we have something entirely unique here. This band plays a kind of hard rock, but with lots of atmospheric acoustic guitar sections balancing out the raw and jagged parts.

With each of the 9 pieces marvellous in their own right, the band really excel at writing memorable tunes. The singer's emotional wail is downright excellent. The music is not symphonic but sure progressive, as evidenced by its intricate arrangements and short but adventurous song structures.

There's a lot to discover on this album so it will need its time to fully reveal itself, but the nice part is that it is also very immediate and will rock its way right through your heart from the first listen. If you really want some UK references let's give one that is both absurd and at the same time not too far-fetched really. This is the 1972 RPI version of In Absentia! Good luck now.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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