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Campo Di Marte - Campo Di Marte CD (album) cover

CAMPO DI MARTE

Campo Di Marte

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 181 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Composed with the purpose of underlining the absurdity of war.

Enrico Rosa was but 20 years young when he laid down this little opus. And as with so many other little known Italian albums from the classic years it is a gem waiting to be discovered. The composition was carefully arranged as a suite to tell a story about people living in peace (represented by the mellow pastoral sections) and the trauma that the violence of war inflicts on them (represented by the aggressive rock sections.) The record company, in their infinite wisdom, took the completed album from Rosa and proceeded to rearrange the order of his songs in the order they thought more saleable and even altered the titles. Thankfully the new Italian lp-sleeve reissue restores the original titles and sequence and is remastered by Rosa himself. The notes say it is essential to hear the album in the sequence that Rosa intended, that it works much better that way. That is the track order I will use for my review.

The album to me recalls De De Lind although I think that Campo di Marte is better album. The composition is stronger, the playing better, the instruments more varied. It's worth noting that Rosa was not much into progressive rock at the time, instead preferring jazz. Here is how Rosa described the music composition in a 2002 interview: "So I tried to use at best the french horn interplayed with the flute, creating a kind of rock music tied to a classical style, and showing the contrasts between the acoustic instruments and the rock band. So the music was all based on flute duets, counterpoints between flute, french horn and electric guitar, and that clean organ sound, almost church-style, played by Carlo/Alfredo in a very different way from the then popular Hammond sound. All with a solid background of single drums, double drums, drums and percussion, and an electric bass always played with a pick by Richard." [interview by Augusto Croce, November 2002, Italianprog.com]

He felt the rock on this album appropriate in the context of symbolizing the violent sections in the musical narrative but right after its release he would dissolve this line-up and attempt to do more experimental jazz. A second album with the new line-up was completed but never materialized. The record company rejected it feeling it not commercial enough, and Rosa said in the above interview that the master tape was lost.

The album opens so beautifully with gorgeous acoustic guitar and flute duets, before being joined by wordless vocals and then drums. Bass and piano come in and I just can't find the words to describe this.totally gorgeous stuff. In track 2 the electric guitar and organ kick in along with the French horns war cry for the first time. The drumming in this part begins to get more complex and more nice nuances reveal themselves with each play. The vocals are rather infrequent but when they do appear they are quite good. Tracks 3 and 4 contain some potent jamming with intermittent flute breaks and vocals. I should mention that this is one of the flute-lovers essential albums; it's all over the place. Track 5 is a shorter beauty with mostly acoustic, flute, and French horn until a nasty chord shatters the peace. Track 6, "Terzo Tempo" on the original vinyl release may be the most fully realized song with heavy drums and passages that sound like car chases with the players chasing each other. The guitar is too low in the mix here for my taste but it's a minor complaint. Track 7 begins with some nice organ joined by dissonant guitar before our album finishes with a fading acoustic guitar.

All in all this is a tasty morsel that is probably essential if you're building an Italian genre collection. For the wider site it's a recommended title for fans of early 70s rock mixing acoustic and electric guitars and flute like Tull. 3.5 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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