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Barrock - L'Alchimista CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.41 | 21 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars A pleasantly understated album with appealing symphonic structures throughout; accented but not overpowered by dual female vocalists; and quite sparse guitar accompaniment. There are definite folk leanings on the vocal tracks, but overall this just feels like a bit of a throwback album despite its recording date in the early nineties.

Barrock has been mentioned alongside Renaissance, and I can see the reasons for that, but I also wouldn’t shy away from comparisons to bands like Mostly Autumn and even Stream of Passion, particularly on the first few tracks. This would have been more convincing as a folk album were there more use of ethnic percussion, or maybe some exotic acoustic instrumentation. Or I’d be more inclined to regard it as a solid symphonic album were there layers of strings or even brass employed, but that doesn’t happen either. This is a keyboard fan’s delight, but very unsophisticated as a symphonic prog work.

“Re Artu” and the title track comprise more than half this rather short album, with the bulk of the other tracks being instrumentals steeped in keyboards. The rhythms on this album are mostly rather simple, with a resulting impression of classically-inspired mood music. Of the five instrumentals, “Regina della a luna” has the most modern feel, while the two closing tracks “Al pari degli dei” and “Tarantella” are quite mellow, one- dimensional on keyboards, and frankly rather unambitious.

One comment – the female vocalists on the title track bear a striking resemblance to the Spanish duo Azucar Moreno. Or maybe that’s just me, but I can’t shake the impression they sound just like the Salazar sisters. The instrumental parts are nowhere near that though, so no other comparisons are appropriate, and I'm probably the only one who finds this humorous.

This is a decent album, but I really can’t bring myself to find anything in it to call great, and certainly not essential. Three stars is where this belongs and worth listening to, but probably not worth going out of your way to find.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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