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ALMA SIDERIS

Neo-Prog • Italy


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Alma Sideris biography
Italian outfit ALMA SIDERIS started out as the solo project of Gustavo Pasini, formerly of Lithos, Corte Aulica and Notabene. In 2009 he recorded two instrumental efforts which were released for free in compressed digital format on the Jamendo music site, while uncompressed digital versions could be bought.

Following this initial phase Alma Sideris has since taken shape as a more regular band project, and are currently working on a new CD with the working title "Castelli in Aria". Contributions from Gianluca Avanzati (bass), Luca Saccenti (guitars), Michele Savoldi (vocals) and guest appearances from Alberto Ragozza (vocals), Giovanni Caria (vocals) and Flavio (sax) are outlined so far.

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ALMA SIDERIS discography


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

3.01 | 8 ratings
Castelli In Aria
2010

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

ALMA SIDERIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 3 ratings
Il sole oltre le sbarre
2009
3.00 | 2 ratings
Il sole oltre le sbarre parte 2
2009

ALMA SIDERIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Il sole oltre le sbarre by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Il sole oltre le sbarre
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Alma Sideris is a one-man project, behind which lies the Brescia-based Italian drummer Gustavo Pasini.Pasini is already known for his work as a member of Corte Aulica and Notabene.With both bands in hiatus Pasini wanted to express his creativity on this project, started in 2009.His first work ''Il sole oltre le sbarre - parte 1'' was a half an hour instrumental journey, offered as a free download since 10th of July, 2009.

And while Pasini's skills as a drummer were already known, his ability to compose and perform on keyboards remained a hidden secret until this work.''Il sole oltre le sbarre - parte 1'' stands somewhere between keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock and Progressive Electronic with positive results.This digital album is no less than almost 30 minutes of good instrumental music, based on compositions with symphonic arrangements and a variety of keyboard sounds like synths, organ and piano next to some district electronics.The musicianship ranges from melodic passages and spacey electronic atmospheres to delicate piano-based grooves and Classical-inspired themes.Very smooth and deeply atmospheric material often delivered with a trippy atmosphere or a more Avant-Garde mood on the grandiose piano parts but always played with inner inspiration and passion.What actually spoils the effort is the lack of support by a real band and the plastic sound of drums (!!!), really weird as Pasini normally performs on drums.

This album will not cost you a cent.It is a free legal download offered by Pasini and what you will get is some very melodic keyboard-based Symphonic Rock of decent quality.Recommended.

 Castelli In Aria by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.01 | 8 ratings

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Castelli In Aria
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars The first impression that this album gave to me is of a classic RPI album. The opening track with its flute and the sometimes out-of-metric lyrics make me think to QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA who I have accidentally listened to just yesterday....but effectively there's more on this song. decades are passed and other influences can be heard, even Genesis.

The sax ouverture of "Anime Tremano" has a King Crimson flavour. Vocals and lyrics are what clearly identify this band into the classic RPI genre. The choir on this track reminds to IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE for example. The melodies are not trivial and each time the sax is back the relation to King Crimson is more strict, just to turn into Howe's YES on the guitar solo. I'm mentioning artists and bands only to give an idea of the music, I'm not saying that it sounds exactly how....

"Il Ricordo Di Un Cielo D'Estate" is a melodic song, a bit too artsy to be radio-friendly, but it's surely one of the easier things of the album. Female vocals on "Dubbi Eterni", is anything like "dark pop" existing? This song sounds very Italian and with a bit of promotion could be proposed to the local mainstream public. It's a polite way to say that I don't like it too much.

Different is "Ossessione Notturno". The soprano and the background vocals have a strong Zeuhl flavour. It's not sung in Kobaian and there are no brasses, but this is one of the best album's song also in the electronic second half. It's connected to "Il Tempo per Pensare". The Zeuhl accent is even stronger now. I consider this track and the previous as a single excellent one.

Everything changes with "Castelli In Aria". Acoustic guitar, bass and flutes for a song between Ant Phillips for the folky element, King Crimson for the dissonances and Lucio Battisti for the vocals and the main rocky melody. Not a bad song, but the previous two are closer to my tastes. It changes in the second half when there's an instrumental part very Crimsonian.

"To Janni" is a soft and dark electric piano instrumental. Just two and half minutes absolutely not bad.

The album is closed by the longest track "Incontro". A piano intro then a bass line reminding of the 70s classics, still KC maybe. Many changes in the signature and a bass that gives it a dark colour. There's perhaps a little influence of Goblin, or it's me who think to hear it because of its darkness. A good promising track.

This album is good but non essential. I mean that for what I have heard there are many good ideas that I hope will be exploited better in the next works. It deserves to be listened to, and being it downloadable for free, why not? 40 minutes of good progressive are never a bad idea.

 Castelli In Aria by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.01 | 8 ratings

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Castelli In Aria
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nice Italian prog!

Once again I took advantage of the internet facilities, which is actually a wonderful tool for bands and artists to bring their music to the ears of people around the world, so when I realized this album was free-to-download via Jammendo, I did not hesitate. This project by Gustavo Pasini was started in 2009, and the first full-length album released in 2010, with the title of "Castelli in Aria", which features nine songs and a total time of forty minutes.

The album kicks off with "Lasciate Portare Via" which has a mellow but sour music produced by delicate piano and flute, that contrasts with a heavier guitar and a strong voice. Anyway the music can please the listener. Later with "Anime Tremano" the band changes the musical direction, actually it is a full change because it has nothing to do with the previous track, so we can appreciate the diversity of their music, and this is only the beginning. Here I like a lot the saxophone addition because it produces a different flavor to the music.

In the third track called "Il ricordo di un cielo d'estate" a different singer appears with a soft voice that sounds pretty nice. The music again is mellow and delicate, but well, it took me some listens to really appreciate it. "Dubbi Eterni" features female vocals, this Alma Sideris project features actually five different singers, which can be a pro or a con, pro because it gives a diversity and explores several fields, con because it does not give the band's music an own sound. Here the sax appears again, which is a good element. There is also a kind of electronic sound here, which in my opinion does not really help.

In "Ossesione Notturna" that electronic element prevails and gives a darker atmosphere. Here an opera-like voice appears, again, showing the diversity of the band, but making an "all of a sudden change" from song to song which may surprise the listener, you decide if it is a good or bad surprise, let it to the subjectivity.

"Il tempo per pensare" is a cool song with nice bass lines and constant drums. Again, a female but different voice here appears with a great vocal range. "Castelli in Aria" is a beautiful composition with a pastoral feeling, I love the flute introduction and then the soft and peaceful male voice, singing along with a delicate guitar. A minute later the song changes and produces more power, this was an extraordinary and emotional change, I like it. I think this may be my fav track of the album.

"To Janny" is the shortest track, a nice instrumental piece made by keyboards, in moments it sounds beautiful. After this, now we have the longest song, entitled "Incontro" which follows the previous with that piano sound, but seconds later changes, drums appear and a different rhythm is produced. The music may be used for a drama or horror film in some moments because of the tension created, I like the different passages and the introduction of new elements while the minutes run.

This is a nice album, the project is interesting though I sometimes believe there was not a clear direction on the album, due to the different changes and surprises, but maybe that is their style, and it is good. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

 Castelli In Aria by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.01 | 8 ratings

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Castelli In Aria
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Castles, cafes, and new beginnings for Pasini

Gus Pasini is a busy guy, a veteran of many musical projects that Italian prog fans may be familiar with, such as Notabene and Corte Aulica. That's one life. In another life, he runs the Canterbury Café in Brescia with his wife Paola. Gus' latest project is called Alma Sideris and in 2010 came their proper full length debut, "Castelli in Aria," which is dedicated to Gus' mother Janny who passed away in the spring of 2010. Alma Sideris is perhaps Pasini's most adventurous work yet, perhaps the one with the most creative possibilities. While Notabene is very beautiful and Corte has that smooth Camel-ly fusion thing going, Alma is a wild card. As Torodd correctly notes in his review, that presents some problems in terms of cohesion and direction, but at the same time makes for exciting listening which is the tradition of RPI. The Alma debut comes across as perhaps a less sweaty, lower key Altare Thotemico but with the same manic personality syndrome. Numerous influences and styles mesh together here to create a work that is quite often fascinating and thrilling, with a few swings/misses here and there. All of the ingredients and possibilities are here but there is still upward potential in terms of crafting the perfect album.

In his interview with PA, Pasini told us that he intentionally involved many musicians from divergent backgrounds and attempted to make every song a little different. This is pretty evident as you can veer from heavy power chords ala Obscura one moment, in the next find some neo-prog sounding keyboards, then some classic symphonic, and finally some avant-garde touches. I was drawn to some of the classic RPI dressing employed here and there: the formal female vocals, the beguiling flute, and of course my true love the piano. There are many beautiful pieces of piano throughout the tracks.

From the moment the piano and dreamy interlude pops in the first track, I know I'm going to enjoy the ride. "Anime Tremano" attempts to get some fusion juices flowing with modest success, some nice electric guitar and sax solos. "Il Ricordi Di Un Cielo D'Estate" features a nicely harmonized dual vocal and memorable melody that sounds like an homage to the great Italian songs tradition. "Dubbi Eterni" veers again to a slightly romantic, melancholic, sensual pop blend of female vocals, sax, and soft synths. Really nice stuff. "Ossessione Notturno" is where things get really nuts, with fantastic operatic female vocals over a sinister and brooding rhythm section with electronica bubbling around the edges. Gus delivers on the promise of making the tracks different from each other! "Il Tempo Per Pensare" keeps the tension up initially with a frantic pace before it softens a bit as the female vocal trades with electric guitar licks in a track not so far from mid period Roxy Music? Maybe, maybe not. The title track features some great somber and ancient sounding guitar chord sequences over a nice bass progression and occasional flute and synth. Eventually it picks up and rocks before returning to the slower, classic section which has a fantasy feel to it. "To Janny" is a short but emotional tribute of melodic piano, very lovely. The closer "Incontro" carries forth the piano and begins a deliberate, measured jam with the bass and Pasini's drums, quite dramatic at times.

On top of a solid collection of songs you have some lovely cover art with this release and the sense that the next project could be even cooler with some additional support and resources, more studio time, etc. This is a good debut, not flawless, but one that I truly enjoyed. It's an album with a lot of heart and a genuine love of music first and foremost. Congrats to the dozen or so musicians who contributed to this new project! (I believe the album is download-only at the moment, but hopefully it will get a proper CD issue at some point, it certainly deserves to be discovered.)

 Castelli In Aria by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.01 | 8 ratings

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Castelli In Aria
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Gustavo Pasini got a full band together after his first two Alma Sideries albums as a solo artist........ and has released some music I did not expect from him.

Gosh......

This album is a bit difficult to write about because it includes everything from pop to zeuhl. Yes, that is Zeuhl and not Soul. Alma Sideris actually pays homage to Magma here.... or is it Shub Niggurath ? Well, this song is called Il Tempo Per Pensare and it is the best song on this free download album.

It is pretty obvious that this album is a pretty dark album. At times, a pretty scary album too. In it's core, it is an RPI album through and through. Osanna, PFM, Biglietto, Banco and the other great RPI bands from the '70s has left a great mark on this album. Then you have some folk, pop, hard rock, avant-garde, electronica and zeuhl thrown into the mix too.

The end result is an album which stylistic goes in many directions. I still feel that Alma Sideries is trying to find their voice. This album is ideas thrown together in a mix. It is like the vocals on this album where you find female opera, female clean vocals, male clean vocals and male hard rock vocals. The instruments range from sax, flute, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, drums, bass and tangents. The sound is lush and excellent. This is not an album recorded in someones bedroom.

This being a free download album, I have no complaints. As I said over, Alma Sideris has not fully found their voice yet and this album feels like an experiment. I think it is as good or even better than a lot of albums you have to pay full whack for. Free download = good quality in the case of both this album and the previous two Alma Sideris albums. Although this album feels disjointed, I would still recommend it. But it is still "only" a three stars album for me. But I would not be surprised if this album enters many people's top five list for this year though.

3.5 stars

 Il sole oltre le sbarre parte 2 by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Il sole oltre le sbarre parte 2
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars It is quite interesting when the reviewer is less critical of the album than the artist. Which is a rare treat.......

This is part 2 of the two first Alma Sideris albums. I guess they were done in one recording and then split up. The reason I guess is that the material on this album is darker than on the first album. It make sense to split up the recording in two albums. In any case; both albums comes as free downloads.

Again, the album is one-dimensional and entirely based on tangents. There are some drums and bass here, but that's all. One-dimensional, but not bad music. There are hints of greatness in this music. The opening track Come un fiore has dynamics and melody lines the likes of PFM would had been proud of. The music on this album is somewhere between Camel and the more melodic RPI bands. The second song Mente, libera mente has some great dynamics and hammond organs. Although this album is pretty similar to the first album, the songs are stronger here. Which makes me think both the Il sole oltre le sbarre albums is more demos and raw sketches than the finished products. There are many ideas here worth developing more when Gustavo Pasini now is making Alma Sideris into a full band. For the rest of us; this is a free download and as good as it get for a demo album. Check this one out.

3.5 stars

 Il sole oltre le sbarre by ALMA SIDERIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Il sole oltre le sbarre
Alma Sideris Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I have no clue why I am the first one to review an Alma Sideris album. Their albums is free downloads after all.

Alma Sideris is the brainwave of Gustavo Pasini, a man also known from Corte Aulica and Notabene. But this is his solo album. Herein lays the weakness and strength of this album.

It is so obvious this is a solo project because the music is so one-dimensional. Something Gustavo Pasini also noted in his PA interview. The music is based on tangents with both piano and some keyboards too.

One-dimensional, yes. Hopeless or even bad, no. There are some good stuff here. The songs are pretty dynamic in the RPI vein of prog. The influences from both Camel and Vangellis is obvious. The tangents is too dominating. The drums and the rhythms is playing a secondary role. But this album still works in a peculiar way. The Fragili esperienze track has hints of grandeur and perhaps things to come later on. The best track is Giorno per giorno which brings memories of PFM into play. The rest of the album is also pretty good. As a free download and as a debut album which perhaps is more a demo than an album, this is as good as it get if you are into the likes of Camel and RPI.

And yes, bringing in a full band would be an advantage. This is what Gustavo Pasini is now doing. There is nothing wrong with his conceptional ideas as laid out on this album. Watch this band because Alma Sideris may serve up a truly great album in the near future. The seeds are sown.

3.5 stars

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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