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Celeste: Flashes From Archives of Oblivion (A collection of antiques and curios)

Flashes From Archives of Oblivion (A collection of antiques and curios) is the latest release from Italian progressive rock legends Celeste, and the title of the CD is exactly what it is, a collection of archival material not included on the bands two full length albums (well, technically there are four in total, but their 1976 debut Principe Di Un Giorno and 2019's Il Risveglio Del Principe are considered their two official albums), alternate versions of some of their well known songs, and other assorted rarities. Twenty tracks in all, Flashes From Archives of Oblivion includes material from 1972-1977, plus the track "Mare di giada", which was included as a bonus track on their latest album in certain territories. Of interest to many will be the earliest incarnation of the band with Nikki Berenice Burton on lead vocals, singing English language versions of some early songs in the bands repertoire before keyboard player Ciro Perrino took over with Italian vocals going forward. There's also a jazzier flair to many of these tracks ("Ellisse", "Odissea", and "Autosrada" instantly stand out) that veers from the more folky, Mellotron drenched sound of the bands two main releases. "Sinai" has a haunting Goblin-meets-Pink Floyd to it, thanks to some creepy keyboards and booming bass, while "Guardando in fondo a noi" is one of the closest sounding to the classic tracks from their debut album, soaring Italian vocals, a wealth of vintage keyboards, and lovely violin. Epic track "Settottavi" is another standout, again with a strong jazz element that's not unlike some Canterbury bands like Soft Machine and Caravan, big bass grooves grinding underneath soaring sax and floating keys, a cool workout for Celeste that's really only missing some Mellotron. In fact, it's not until you get to the final track, 2019's Mare di giada that the Mellotron makes an appearance here, alongside MiniMoog, ARP Odyssy, and other assorted keyboards from Perrino. As such, it's the song here that really screams 'Celeste' from start to finish.

Not quite the grandiose and majestic statement that both Celeste full-length albums from 1976 and 2019 are, this one is what it is, a collection of odds & ends from the vaults that helps paint the full picture of this band from their very beginnings. It also provides a more stripped down version of the 1969-1977: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS box set from 2010, basically just including the rarities. The booklet here includes a wealth of information on all these recordings, vintage photos, and other assorted goodies. Sound quality of the recordings are pretty decent considering the age of much of the source material, and overall, this is an easy collection to recommend to any Celeste fan or Italian prog lover.

Track Listing
1. Prince of one day 04:28
2. Ancient fables 06:37
3. Eftus 03:50
4. Far white halo 02:56
5. The merchant 01:06
6. Fireflies in the grass 03:25
7. Ellisse 02:51
8. Autostrada 03:07
9. Odissea 02:20
10. Sequestro 02:26
11. Una notte a San Martino 02:58
12. Sinai 04:38
13. Guardando in fondo a noi 04:48
14. Nora 02:10
15. Supocto 01:26
16. TEB 03:31
17. Settottavi 10:29
18. All'ombra di un fungo 03:26
19. Un mazzo di ortiche 05:37
20. Mare di giada 04:41

Added: June 23rd 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1193
Language: english

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