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Standarte: Standarte

A simple but effective formula: Hammond organ & Mellotron (Michele Profeti), electric bass (Stefano Gabbani), and drums & vocals (Daniele Caputo), the sum of which evokes the respective aegis of Atomic Rooster, Black Sabbath, and Quatermass another comparable modern band is Bigelf. The focus here is on generous gobs of 'Tron for lead melodies, not just floating chord stacks and dervishlike, certifiably Crane-esque organ passages flanked by Murray-Glover basslines, Baker-Paice drumming and smokey, reverb-drenched and reasonably English-sounding baritone vocals in an Italian band. Add a dash of funk and a pinch of jazz. Indeed, Standarte could have been recorded and releases 25-30 years before its 1996 debut even the cover photo's muted hues are very retro. Nearly every track opens with the 'Tron's signature mewing, its strings and choirs stewing in detune-hell. Spoken word prefaces courtesy of Steve Mathews lend the proceedings a gothic, soundtrack-y air. There are occasional "Iommian" guitar parts and wah-pedal indulgences ("Charge Of The Light Brigade"), the author unidentified but likely performed by Gabbani or even Caputo For those who need to be sold on Profeti's keyboard prowess, he leaves little room but skepticisim, but sensibly is not the final statement on rock organ, either: the solos are sufficiently meaty and the chord progressions are solid and never over-the-top. "Dream Love Sequence Nr. 9," "Tolerance Town," and "Beat Pimp Muzak" all stomp with psychedelic abandon through misty moorlands. It's still a mystery as to why bands like Bigelf and Standarte remain confined to obscurity while Aussie trio Wolfmother's shamelessly throwback posturing maintains their appeal, down to Frazetta's Sea Witch cover art. Standarte's "In My Time Of Dying" would suffice for a cranking single. Retro junkies and 'Tron freaks need Standarte like smack addicts need their next fix, and though the band is seemingly no longer (or on an extended holiday) there are at least two more studio albums ripe for fang-rape.


1. Dream Love Sequence Nr. 9 (7:53)
In The Arms Of Fear
Winter Is Cold
Mind The Doors
2. On Strange December Evening (4:55)
Spider Baby
3. As I Wandered (3:24)
Black River Of Sorrow
4. Tolerance Town (3:40)
Badazz Shuffle
5. Beat Pimp Muzak (5:07)
6. A War Was Declared (7:22)
Charge Of The Light Brigade
Peace In The Garden
7. In My Time Of Dying (6:33)
Wasn't Life Fantastic?
8. Traumland (5:20)
9. I Want You (2:39)

Total time 47:00

Added: February 15th 2007
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: BLACK WIDOW (Official Site)
Hits: 2195
Language: english

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