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New Trolls - Searching For A Land CD (album) cover

SEARCHING FOR A LAND

New Trolls

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.64 | 106 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.75 stars really!!!

After the impressive Concerto Grosso, TNT embarked on an ambitious project that would eventually become this album, a double vinyl with two distinct phases, the studio part mostly penned by guitarist De Scalzi, while the second part is recorded live and more the fruit of singer/guitarist Di Palo. Clearly the difference of style between the two main writers gave the album a schizophrenic feel. Sung in English with concept lyrics coming from newcomer Italo-Canadian Laugelli on bass, coming with a fold-out artwork and getting national promotion, the album was not as successful as hoped, due in no small parts to the afore-mentioned schizophrenia but also to its length as clearly TNT are a bit diluted at times.

Indeed the first disc is a rather uneven but generally endearing succession of tracks that have their own personality. Starting on a greet Searching (a superb and tense song that manages to catch our attention and rivet us to, our seat), the first disc is an uneven affair with a very odd and irritating Percival (the acoustic arpeggios are fine) where the muffled and filtered vocals can only ruffle your feathers wrong. Apparently the songs are based on a man's disillusions and his quest for uncharted territories, while not really doubting of its doomed fate. St Peter's Day is a religious-toned track that sounds like Bowie was at hand, but the track's folk rock really takes off with the "mellotron" (not sure it is one, but sounds a bit like it) layers. Once That I Prayed preyed a bit on classical composer with the piano intro, middle section and the outro, but overall the tracks is very enjoyable and its fragility is its main asset.

A Land To Live starts out like a Canterbury project, not least due to Salvi's fuzzed-out organ intro and the Wyatt-like singing before ceding in a long organ solo that Caravan's Sinclair would not disown. While Giga is mini track of acoustic guitars, the closing Edith is a pure delight, sharing the track's tension between the guitar lines and Salvi's synth and if the vocal do go back to the weird muffled Percival for a while, the track is one of the best from SFAL.

The second disc is a very different affair, (falsely) recorded live and showing the group's rougher and rawer's fašade, but also suffers from an irritating recording flaw with the public mixed (or overdubbed) in way too loud. While the Intro track is a bit of a showcase for the instruments to strut their stuff, Bright Lights shows little promise with its hard blues-rock and all soloing are relatively uninspired. The Muddy Madalein is a pure rip-off from Purple's Black Knight with an incrusted Tull/Focus flute. From the "live" part, only the lengthy Lying Here is really enjoyable, and after a lengthy (6-mins) organ solo, the track finally takes off in Colosseum fashion (can almost hear Farlowe's howls), but ultimately the extended guitar extravaganza is a bit repetitive.

With this album, TNT was clearly over-stretching their talents on this double affair, it became clear that their main problems was their two guitarists pulling in different directions, creating a schizophrenia that would still allow the band to make another great record before breaking at the seams. Clearly in this chapter of influences, the winner is De Scalzi, who seems more inspired, while the more energetic Di Palo seems rather short on inspiration often ripping off other bands' works. Technically the first disc TNT's better work (yes, better than UT), easily reaching the four stars status, but the live album is anything but excellent and barely reaches the good level, hence its below four rating.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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