Sithonia - Spettacolo Annullato. 1992 Italy

Spettacolo Annullato is Sithonia's sophomore effort and is a huge leap in quality from their good-not-great debut.

In some ways, the band succeeds despite itself. The guitarist plays in that annoying pseudo-metal riffing style, stopping just short of actually being balls-out metal (which would be far more preferable actually), with plenty of pig squeal guitar leads to send everyone racing from the room covering their ears. Worse are the digital keyboards, a set of plastic wonders that A Flock of Seagulls most assuredly would enjoy playing.

With that bit of grime out of the way, let's focus on why the album works. Primarily it's the compositions themselves, which are incredibly well thought-out while constantly on the move, in that classic early 1970's Italian style. There is quite a bit of thematic development as driven by the fantastic acoustic piano work, and the melodies are in your mind long after the music has stopped. With the right editing, and other factors, some of these songs could have been major label radio hits. But perhaps best of all is new vocalist Marco Giovannini's performance. What an outstanding impassioned display he gives here - some of the finest from the Italian progressive rock scene.

I rarely vote for re-recordings, but I would love to hear Sithonia record this album with a instrument setup of all analog gear and perhaps a bit more crispness during the recording. It should prove to be a masterpiece.

Personal collection
CD: 1992 Mellow

Last listen: 2011

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