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Corte Aulica - Il temporale e l'arcobaleno CD (album) cover


Corte Aulica


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.61 | 22 ratings

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3 stars Corte Aulica's fine instrumental debut

Corte Aulica formed in early 2006 with the stated mission to create music which reminds of the Canterbury setting of the seventies, Camel, Caravan and Hatfield and the North above all, but at the same time keeping its strong originality both in the composing and in the sound. The majority of the material on Il temporale e l'arcobaleno (The Storm and the Rainbow) was written by Pasini who contributed the fabulous cover art as well. The music of Corte Aulica is pure instrumental bliss of the warm, romantic variety (there are a few vocals but this is almost fully instrumental.) Certainly they remind of Camel as their mission statement alludes and yet the sound is warmer to my ear. While this debut is perhaps not as tight in certain areas as the peak Camel releases there is just as much heart, as much beauty and passion, and there is promise for the future. The Progressor notes Like Camel, the music ranges from detailed and ornate to mellow and melodic, with a fairly good solo work on each of the instruments involved. There is no lack in dynamic interactions between guitar and varied keyboards (piano, organ and synthesizers, few of which are modern-sounding), which are supported by the tight rhythm-section, though the bass quite frequently leaves its post at the bottom end so to burst at the fore as another lead voice. It would be also unfair to set aside the band's own finds despite their relative scantiness. Besides a brief episode with only bass and drums in the arrangement, most of the said pieces contain some fine synthesizer-driven moves reminiscent of symphonic Space Rock. [Vitaly Menshikov]

I would note several things that make the disc enjoyable to me. First, the emotions of the composition musically are quite optimistic and leave you refreshed. Soaring lead guitar that gets high into that pleasure zone is frequently and good-naturedly sparring with the keys and bass, both of whom seem to take great pleasure in coming up with neat, sometimes mischievous quirky parts. Often the mood is on the mellower side and introspective though there are plenty of sections where the band proves they can rock. The music itself is very beautiful, pastoral.but with a pulse! It never just lies pretty and still but rather attempts to weave lovely themes into a more engaging full band sound. Next, Pasini's drum sound is quite interesting, sometimes delicately complex and other times more laid back, with an acoustic presence in the snare that is very organic and live sounding, putting you in the room with the band. No cold soulless digital frost coming from CA, the band feels very authentic to the good aspects of the '70s vinyl sound. Last, in addition to the standard instruments there is a fair amount of piano which always adds to the atmosphere for me, they even end the album with a solo piano piece called Zwanenbeek which is both peaceful and slightly melancholic. The other six main tracks range from 4-6 minutes in length--enough to allow some evolution of ideas without ever overstaying their welcome. They allow plenty of spaciousness in and around the more direct sections for things to coalesce and breathe which is a nice compositional touch. This is a fine debut that despite not being a perfect masterpiece gives me oodles of the feelings I look to music for, it's an album I've grown quite fond of over repeated plays. The CD includes two bonus tracks and notes and photos from each member. Recommended to most anyone who enjoys Camel or fine symphonic instrumental rock with occasional jazzy touches, delivered with pure sincerity, patience, and love for the material. Fans of Neo should also approve. Really the only ones who might take a pass are adrenalin/tech fireworks junkies and those who only enjoy very hard rock/metal or avant-garde. 7/10

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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