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New Trolls - Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls CD (album) cover


New Trolls


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.74 | 226 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The NEW TROLLS were an Italian Symphonic Rock band, and this album is generally considered their crowning achievement. It is certainly part of the heartland of progressive rock, a sprawling fusion of chamber music and rock instruments, and it is tempting to rate it highly to show one has heard a more obscure album from prog rock's golden period. Marks one out as discerning, don't you know.

The problem is, this album just isn't all that good. The idea of creating a rock concerto by blending a band with an orchestra paled soon after THE MOODY BLUES and DEEP PURPLE did it, and this album adds nothing to the genre. If anything, it is my least favourite of all the rock symphony efforts. All the decent music is performed by the orchestra: the band just noodles pointlessly, offering little more than the illusion of progressive rock.

The Concerto Grosso is in four movements, though the fourth is an excuse for a HENDRIX-style guitar solo. The first three movements are moderately interesting, but pale against both genuine orchestral compositions and good progressive rock. The fifth track is a twenty minute jam designed to showcase the musicians' dubious talents. If I'm going to invest twenty minutes listening to music I want a little more tune and structure and a little less dead-end, self-indulgent noise.

So. Not a great concerto, certainly not great prog rock and a pale shadow of the great jazz improvs of the period. The parts where they try to sound like JETHRO TULL are quite good, though just a little too derivative even for my tolerant ears. Scarily, the band were encouraged enough by this album's reception to do a second Concerto Grosso a few years later.

There is some magnificent Italian progressive music out there. Honestly, I don't think this album is worthy of comparison to the greats of the genre.

russellk | 2/5 |


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