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Città Frontale - El Tor  CD (album) cover

EL TOR

Città Frontale

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.13 | 33 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Citta Frontale rose from the wreckage of Osanna after that band split although the band also preceded the better known group as well, sort of a before and after entity. Because of Osanna's great progressive success Citta Frontale had some big shoes to fill and they obviously did not please all the critics. I've read some negative stuff about this album but judging it on its own merit I was really pleased with it.

This is a very easy album to assimilate and enjoy right out of the box, much less complex and crazy than Osanna or some other heavy Italian bands. I would probably categorize the album as Italian Symphonic instead of Jazz-Fusion as the site does but it does have elements of jazz, folk, blues, and even pop music. The mood is mostly light and happy and the songs feature high quality vocals, musicianship, and melodies. Classic keyboards, good electric guitar, acoustic guitars, flutes, sax, you'll get a bit of everything thrown into the mix here.

"Alba" features lovely acoustic, hand percussion and flutes soon joined by angelic choir vocals. It is a very lovely and relaxing opening song that puts you in a good mood. "Solo Uniti" then flys out of the gate as a jazzy number with some fiery guitars and nice vocals. The lead singer(s) on this album do a fantastic job and all have pleasing voices. The song veers to pop-rock before bringing back the jazzy flourishes at the end. The title song "El Tor" is next beginning with lovely classical guitar. Pure romantic Italian here as the warm vocals are joined by the choral voices again. Around 3 minutes a nice sax burst gives the mellow tune a kick in the rear and it gets more active with some nice soloing. "Duro Lavoro" is a very good track with more complexity and development. It seems a bit darker and more serious with nice bridges leading to different sections. There is great flute, bass, and guitars. A real Italian epic!

Side two kicks off with "Mutazione" which is a jazzy instrumental, nice playing throughout. "La Casa Del Mercant" is a nice folksy acoustic number with lots of nice vocal harmonies. True it sounds a little pop but still very pleasant. "Milioni di Persone" has some harmonica with acoustic and sax, again a light pop song. "Equilibrio Divino" helps redeem side 2 with a good light symphonic number that sounds more ambitious again like "Mutazione." Side one is the better side. Basically about half of this album is very good, and the other half ranges between fair and good.

The Strange Days Japanese re-issue features an excellent reproduction of the lp-sleeve along with very respectable sound, although sometimes the bass is way too low in the mix for me. I certainly understand some of the complaints lodged against this album, especially the middle of side 2. However, I find the overall experience very pleasant and this is a definite keeper in my Italian collection. Lots of vivid melodic instrumentations, good vocals, and mostly passionate performances. I'm at about 3.5 stars for Citta Frontale. If you want a deep Italian collection you will want this, if you only want a couple Italian cds this should not be one of them.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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