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New Trolls - Concerto Grosso, The Seven Seasons CD (album) cover

CONCERTO GROSSO, THE SEVEN SEASONS

New Trolls

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.96 | 74 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

andrea
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I New Trolls started their career in 1966 in Genoa, influenced by beat and psychedelia. Then, in 1971, they turned to progressive rock and later to pop. Nowadays I New Trolls continue to keep alive their repertoire with excellent live performances even if they have now split into many branches with old and younger members playing in different line-ups. One of these is La Leggenda dei New Trolls, featuring founder members Vittorio De Scalzi (vocals, piano, guitar, flute) and Nico Di Palo (vocals, keyboards) along with Alfio Vitanza (drums, vocals), Andrea Maddalone (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals), Mauro Sposito (electric guitar, vocals) and Francesco Bellia (bass, vocals). In 2007 they released on the independent label Aereostella an interesting new album with an orchestra, Concerto Grosso - The Seven Seasons where you can find a new creativity and an excellent interplay between rock instruments and orchestra. Nico Di Palo here is in the background, because of the consequences of a car accident now he can hardly move his left arm and he can't play guitar any more, but New Troll's fan still love him and his voice. In this work the orchestra conductor, Maestro Stefano Cabrera and guitar virtuoso Andrea Maddalone play an important role too and with the executive producer, PFM's drummer Franz Di Cioccio, they contribute to the excellent final result.

The opener "The Knowledge (Overture)" is an instrumental that recalls the first Concerto Grosso and there's an excellent interaction between the orchestra and the band. The following "Dance With The Rain (Ballata)" is a delicate, soft ballad featuring soaring vocals upon a classical guitar arpeggio and a good flute work by Vittorio De Scalzi. The lyrics by Shel Shapiro depict images inspired by universal love and comprehension, love for mother nature and for the mystery of life... "Have you ever tried to dance with the rain? Have you ever tried to fly to the stars? Has compassion ruled your world? Could an overdose of knowledge divide? Dance with me and let your heart decide...".

"Future Joy (Scherzo)" is another interesting and joyful "instrumental dialogue" between orchestra and electric instruments with the guitar of Andrea Maddalone in the forefront. "High Education (Cello cadenza)" is a cello performance provided by Stefano Cabrera that leads to the following track, "The Seventh Season (Ostinato)", more in a pop vein and that in some way reminds me of the Gianpiero Reverberi's project called Rond˛ Veneziano. This piece features the narrative vocals of the lyricist Shel Shapiro, it's a kind of prayer invoking a new season that could bring love and a new balance in the relationship between men and nature... "The seventh season will teach you to love the land / The seventh season will teach you to love again...".

"One Magic Night (Larghetto)" is a beautiful, melodic air where the lead "pop vocals" of Vittorio De Scalzi are counter-pointed by the operatic vocals of the soprano Madelyn Monti (who sings in Italian). The lyrics conjure up a magic night where dreams come true and the light of knowledge leads you... "Dream a dream of northern lights... Sleep and let your spirit heal... Let your mind flow like a river / Give it freedom, let it fly / All you have to do is try...".

The instrumental "Barocco'n'Roll (Allegro brioso)" is another interesting example of blending between rock and baroque music while "Intro and Canone" is a short classical guitar piece that introduces the following track, "Testament Of Time (Andante)", featuring a beautiful melody and excellent harmony vocals. Here the lyrics evoke a future of joy where love can penetrate your mind at ease... "As the sea shifts the sand / Let us float away hand in hand...".

"The Ray Of White Light (Rond˛)" is another track in a particular "pop vein" that could recall some works of Queen (or, if you prefer, "Le Roi Soleil" from Concerto Grosso N. 2). The lyrics invites you to follow the light of love... "Listen to your heart / And you will be loved in return / Don't be afraid / Follow the white stream... And like a love that's blind / You'll see the future behind / And feel the love alive in your heart...".

"To Love The Land (Adagio)" is a piano ballad featuring the lead vocals of Vittorio De Scalzi and a remarkable electric guitar work with the orchestra in the background. The lyrics draw another invocation to love and hope, another prayer to the god of earth, wind, fire and rain... "Like spring from the rain / The seventh season gives you love again...". The following "The Season Of Hope (Piano preludio)" is an interesting, calm duet between piano and viola that evolves into a more "progressive" and "jazzy" mood eventually leading to "Simply Angels (Suite)", in my opinion the best track on this album and the closest to the prog vein of the early Seventies, featuring shifting tempos and well balanced harmony vocals. The lyrics here compare a flock of birds to angels heading south, following the rhythm of seasons... "We're simply angels / We've been dancing with the rain / We birds are leaving / And we're flying south again...".

Next comes "Ethix (Canzona)", a simple melodic song sung by Vittorio De Scalzi that here seems almost trying to draw the listeners away from their daily grind leading them in a world of dreams... "I hate the noise of the world of today...". A "bonus track" concludes the album. It's "So che ci sei", the Italian version of "Dance With The Rain" and I have to say that I like this version more than the English one...

To be honest the lyrics by Shel Shapiro are a bit na´ve and the conceptual thread is not completely convincing but the music is really good and even in the "pop oriented" passages you can always find a pleasant, never banal sense of melody. Have a try!

andrea | 4/5 |

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