Sunday, January 10, 2010

An album a day, #10: Sfinx, "Zalmoxe," 1978.

Ok, so this one's a bit of a pose, as you're most likely never to come across this album (though, if you dig around, you can find torrents of the entire thing). A conceptual album by Romanian prog-rockers Sfinx, about the semi-legendary figure Zamolxis (Zamolxe in Romania...n), a former slave of Pythagoras, who is supposed to have brought civilization (and wine-making!) to the Dacians, and was later worshipped as a god by them. Prog-rock enough for you? Dan Andrei Aldea, the leader of Sfinx in the '70s, before he defected to the west in 1980, is said to have conceived it as a double album as early as 1975, but did not receive permission from the Communist authorities to record it until three years later--and even so, the result is a single-LP patchwork of highlights from the intended project. Even so: it's a quiet kind of symphonic rock, with multi-tracked vocals supposedly inspired by Greek-Orthodox liturgies, and if it were in English and not in a minor language it could be seen as one of the top conceptual albums of progressive-rock, up there with "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" and "Dark Side of the Moon."

(Can't find anything on youtube, but if you follow the link you'll find MP3s of two of the tracks.)

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