Greg Northrup    3-November-2001 Appunti Per Un'Idea Fissa

Capiscum Red was a classically influenced progressive rock band that came out of Italy in the mid-70s. The group's sound is fairly typical of the style, and dominated by classic instrumentation, piano, Moog, organ and distorted electric guitar licks. After beginning life as a pop band, Capiscum Red apparently morphed into a symphonic rock quartet, managing to release only one album before splitting up. The album itself is somewhat of a disappointment, a second rate Italian album at best. Again, the style is overly typical, and does little to separate itself from the slew of excellent releases from the country, sounding more like a poor man's RDM. This is further exacerbated by the lackluster sound quality, which veers from acceptable to nearly incomprehensible.

The opening cut "Patetica" bodes well for the remainder of the album. The track is a rock rendition of a Beethoven piece, and is filled with tasteful passages and some obviously gorgeous melodies. Still, at times it is overly restrained and reverential, sounding like the band is just playing along with the sheet music, featuring few really extraordinary climaxes. The rest of the album is, frankly, less "progressive." "Equivoco" and "Rabbia & Poesia" are little more than morose pop ballads with pleasant vocal melodies backed by piano. Both are quite beautiful on their own, but don't make me necessarily want to pull out the album and play it very often. "Corale," the final piece, managed to rock out a little more, highlighted by some pyrotechnic guitar riffs. Still, it's merely okay, and the emotional impact is dulled when the band really starts to catch fire and your speakers are overtaken by booming bass drum. The bonus tracks are, to the say the least, something of an adventure. Basically, they are pop tunes taken from the band's early singles, and of little interest to a progressive rock listener.

Based on the musical merits alone, and with a better sonic treatment, Appunti per un'Idea Fissa would be a pretty solid album. Ultimately, when compared to the ridiculous depth of the Italian scene, it shouldn't be a particularly high priority, though you might want to pick it up eventually. An okay album with some nice moments, but certainly not an essential release.

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