Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spettri - s/t 1972

Spettri was a five piece band from Florence, Italy, formed by brothers Ugo and Raffaele Ponticiello in 1964. They had a fairly long career and released several singles during the Italian Beat era, although their sound had eventually evolved by the turn of the decade, and they had turned to performing covers by contemporary heavy rock groups from the U.K.and the U.S.A. The band also underwent a lot of personnel changes during the intervening years, and among the musicians that came and went was drummer Maro Sarti of Campo De Marte fame. The youngest member of the Ponteciello clan, Vincenzo, joined in 1971, making the band a real family affair.

Between 1970 and 1971 the band had written enough original material for a full length album that was later recorded in a single session on October 13, 1972, with a sound that is rather primative and badly produced. However, the album never saw the light of day until 2011, when Black Widow records released a remastered edition of the self titled work, almost on the eve of it's 40th anniversary. It's a concept album that portrays one man's search for his inner self by means of a seance, although it's also an allegory on the selfishness and hypocrisy of a modern society and the erosion of humanity. The protagonists journey into the abyss is aptly accompanied by a dark atmosphere of heavy guitar riffs and Hammond organ that together sounds like a collision of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

Spettri had a good live act, but disbanded in 1975; according to the albums liner notes, the members followed different musical paths due to "growing public disinterest in refined music" around that time. Defining Spettri as "refined" might strain the listeners credulity somewhat, as the main appeal of this band seems to be characterized by it's very defects, it's rawness and sheer exuberance.

Ltd edition of 50

Ltd edition of 50

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