Of all the recent Italian prog comebacks, Pholas Dactylus’ return is certainly the most unexpected. Exactly, Pholas Dactylus, the authors of the unreachable masterpiece “Concerto delle menti” (1973). Forty-five years later, “Hieros Gamos” (‘sacred wedding’ in Greek language) marks one of the most resounding rebirths for a band that everyone believed to be lost forever.
The album, divided into two parts – one that bears the album title and consists of a long suite, and a second entitled “Ognuno da lande diverse” (each one from a different land), consisting of seven shorter compositions – presents itself in a beautiful way, thanks to the marvellous artwork made by artist Tiziano Crisanti.
In the words of the musicians themselves, “Hieros Gamos” is the attempt to conjugate (wedding) the past with the present, the old and new generations, the different styles, the dead spirits and those still incarnate into living people, in the awareness that nothing can pulsate without this union of profound empathy (sacred). The title-track is a 22-minute suite composed by pianist Maurizio Pancotti that once again sees Paolo Carelli and his iconic reciting voice: here, the references to the original absent musicians are the starting point for revitalizing musical and non-musical messages, that Pholas Dactylus (more intended as an energetic force than a group of people) does not want to disperse.
“Ognuno da lande diverse” is instead a collection of short individual compositions, signed by the three original musicians that are still operative today (Maurizio Pancotti, Paolo Carelli, Rinaldo Linati) who, since the dissolution of the group in 1973 until the present day, have followed completely different and isolated paths, without any professional or private contact: an attempt to show how dissimilar and heterogeneous itineraries contain sparks that can eventually bring to unexpected conjunctions.
Another surprising return in the purest spirit of Italian prog!
Papersleeve CD edition.