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Atmosphera: Lady of Shalott

Here's another strong reissue package from MIO Records, this time around it's the long lost album from one of Israel's few prog bands from the 1970's, Atmosphera. The band had a very lyrical and dreamy style, much like early Yes, England, Lift, and Cathedral, with majestic keyboard work, quirky guitar lines, muscular bass, and high-pitched melodic vocals.

The opening title track is a real monster, clocking in at a whopping 16-minutes, and features the stunning guitar playing of Moti Fonseca and the symphonic keyboards of Yuval Rivlin. Along with the vocals of Efraim Barak, who sounds a bit like Jon Anderson, and the fat bass lines from Alon Nadel, this is one of the most Yes-sounding pieces. Rivlin and Fonseca are the stars on "Cukoo", another lengthy 16 -minute song, this one a complex rocker, as the two trade lots of fiery solos, as well as create lush, majestic soundscapes that will bring to mind Relayer era Yes, and even Animals from Pink Floyd. "Tomorrow" is a great, moody piece, with Mellotron and dissonant guitar phrases, but features a different singer, who has nowhere near the voice of Barak. This tune, as well as "Love is Waiting for a Lover" are apparently early rehearsal demos recorded during the early days of the bands existence, and are extremely raw, and perhaps lacking the focus they would show later on.

Disc Two features a video track, as well as live versions of "Tomorrow" and "Lady of Shalott." There is also a song by Istopy, the band that Atmosphera eventually became, called "Catharsis", recorded in 1981, and more in a Gentle Giant style, as well as three tunes by drummer Me El-Ma, which are pretty bizarre drums/synth/odd vocal oriented pieces that really don't fit too well here, but I guess have some sort of historical significance.

Overall, this is a good package, with MIO's typical excellent booklet information, band photographs, lyrics, in English as well as Hebrew. While some of the material on CD 2 may be a bit excessive, there is still plenty of exciting 70's prog here to warrant this release finding its way into any prog collection.

Added: February 16th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: MIO Records
Hits: 4367
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Atmosphera: Lady of Shalott
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-02-17 03:53:19
My Score:

This reissue has 3 strong tracks:
Lady of Shalott - classic sympohnic rock in the "yes" tradition
Cuckoo - prog-rock at its most ambitious (the remixed version is even better, with mellotrons etc.)
Catharsis - a rare example of unaware RIO music in Israel. Avant-guard and brave step towards zappa-gong-marillion mixture.

All the other stuff is pretty mediocre. The videoclip, however, is a good addition.

Atmosphera: Lady of Shalott
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-02-16 10:42:14
My Score:

A great Re-issue. The Video clips are very good.

Atmosphera: Lady of Shalott
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-02-16 10:40:59
My Score:

Atmosphera ROCKS!




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