Saturday 8 July 2017

Stormy Six - L'Apprendista (1977)

The sixth album from this Italian band.

The band was a sextet on this album with a lineup of mandolin, guitars, violin, bass, drums, xylophone, vibraphone, viola, piano and Italian vocals. Numerous other musicians adds cello, keyboards, bassoon, saxophone and percussions. 

Stormy Six was one of the founders of the RIO movement. That is short for Rock In Opposition. It is in my view another word for avant-garde prog. I have a kind of a joyful fear for that music. Hence the very sporadic reviews of RIO and avant-garde prog in this blog. Too few reviews, in fact. I will correct that abnomality this year. That includes more Stormy Six album reviews.

Stormy Six was a folk rock band before they changed course during the half and half folk and RIO album Un Biglietto Del Tram in 1975. See my review here.  The Cliche album from 1976 was a much more coherent RIO album. See my review here.

On L'Apprendista from 1977, the band had found a rich source of material. Self-written, that is. And it shows.

The vocals from Franco Fabbri and Umberto Fiori is pretty dominating. They are helped out by lots of violins and all kinds of accoustic instruments. This is mainly an accoustic album.

The music is pretty impossible to describe. Vocals based ensemble and chamber rock ? Vocals based chamber rock ? Yes, I would settle for that.

The music is pretty bombastic. Even on the one electric guitars based song here. The vocals are very bombastic, at least. It is like the words are hammered into a piece of wood with a hammer. The acoustic instruments are not exactly modest either. Bombastic, it is.

The electric track Il Labirinto is a bit different from the rest of this almost fifty minutes long album. But it is a very good track and I don't mind. It is still an avant-garde prog song.

The best song here is the haunting title track who has a great melody and some great vocals.

The end result is a great album which will win over even those not that interested in RIO. It has a crossover appeal and has the potential to win the genre many new fans. Check out this great album.

4 points

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