Italy's premiere progressive rock outfit produced five albums of peculiar and outlandish music in the '70s. Fronted by madcap vocalist Demitrio Stratos, Area provided backing to the John Cage collaborator's extended vocal techniques and bizarre verbal utterances. The ensemble arrangements drew on progressive rock, jazz, and improvisation, and coalesced into a sound akin to Soft Machine, National Health, or Caravan. Maledetti is a critically acclaimed Italian progressive album, yet the group bridges many genres, including jazz and avant-garde. The free jazz influence of this 1976 recording is made evident by the appearance of two of the genre's most powerful practitioners, Steve Lacy and Paul Lytton, whose contributions put this album in more of an experimental/avant-garde mode than previous outings.