The self-titled Alphataurus album was one of my earliest ventures into the world of Italian progressive rock, and today stands, in my eyes, as one of the unequivocal classics of the scene. Stylistically, the group falls squarely into the heavy progressive mold, sitting nicely alongside bands like Il Balleto di Bronzo and especially Museo Rosenbach. Alphataurus incorporates something of a bluesy, hard rock-ish vibe in along with frenzied Hammond riffs and thundering mellotron movements, combining for a shuddering attack of unparalleled power and energy. The vocalist has a raspy, earthy tone that lends itself perfectly to the alternately exquisite and violent instrumental underpinning. Despite the aggressive stance of the band, the melodies here are absolutely gorgeous when the band wants them to be, rising from the cacophony like a butterfly.
The 12 min+ opener gives the tone for the rest of the album giving you a delightful cross of early Crimson, VDGG and ELP with some of the best Italian vocals. The second track follows suit even if it sounds a bit derived of a few Golden Earring tracks (Eight Miles High and the eponymous album AKA Wall Of Dolls), but is definitely endearing because of those seldom heard influences. Croma is a short instrumental track that will remind the Theme One VDGG track. Side 2 starts with a slow evolving synth line as a lenghty intro, but once the track gets under way, it does not seem to get a life of its own maybe the weakest track on the album. As for the closing track, it is maybe the most typically Italian prog track on this record and shows their inventivity at its fullest extent with a superbly syncopated middle section.
The entire album is pretty much flawless, with a tendency to go for total balls-to-the-wall ferocity. Alphataurus is an unparalled heavy prog classic to my ears, don't miss out on the kick ass gatefold artwork either.
this review was compiled from other reviews @ http://www.progarchives.com