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Phaedra: Ptah

Italy's Phaedra, which began life in 1993 as a progressive-rock covers band playing Genesis, Yes and Rush songs, has finally released its debut album, Ptah. The seven-piece collective has crafted an alternately beautiful and disconcerting concept album inspired by mythology and science fiction, and delivered with lyrics in Italian.

A decade in the making, Ptah opens with a beautiful, pastoral instrumental appropriately titled "Ouverture." The problems begin when vocalist Claudio Granatiero opens his mouth. Unsure if the voice you're hearing is that of a male or a female, you keep listening through eclectic, cacophonous tracks such as "Dicono," "Il cielo stellato" and "Il reietto" (all in which two violins and a flute battle with Granatiero for the spotlight). Because sooner or later, you'll get to another one of the multiple instrumentals on Ptah, including "Un mondo nuovo" and "La costruzione di Atlantide," which provide respite from the noisy fray and occasionally dance into Blackmore's Night territory. Fabrizio Crivellari's flute dominates many of these songs, and when Granatiero can reign in his vocals (as on "Dilemma interiore"), Phaedra sounds like Yes and other vintage prog bands that have clearly influenced this group.

Ptah takes some getting used to, and it's not the easiest album to love or even like thanks in large part to the vocals. Musically, Phaedra emerges golden and would do well to consider an instrumental album next time.

Track Listing:
1. Ouverture
2. Dicono
3. Il cielo stellato
4. Il reietto
5. Un mondo nuovo
6. Come un bambino
7. La costruzione di Atlantide
8. Uomo!
9. Atlantide distrutta
10. Dilemma interiore
11. Il saggio errante
12. Preghiera
13. Il peso del rimorso
14. La decisione

Added: March 14th 2011
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Phaedra Website
Hits: 2187
Language: english

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