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New Trolls - Concerto Grosso N. II CD (album) cover

CONCERTO GROSSO N. II

New Trolls

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.95 | 65 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Not quite the same...

Having purchased a compilation disc which featured the albums Concerto Grosso Per I and Per II it was a tough choice which album to start my adventure with the New Trolls. Having been more intrigued with the cover art for this, the second album in the series I decided to put this album on first, I have no idea why, since the first one was rated higher and to start the disc on track one would have been the normal thing to do, but no, I decided to start with Concerto Grosso Per II. I just about got rid of the disc on that first listen. Thank god I went back and discovered the majesty of the first album, otherwise I would have missed out on something really good.

This album is nothing that the first part was. While the first album had a rich and luxurious sounding progressive music backed by neo-classical stylings this one seems to have forgotten about the ''prog'' part and is just aimed at the neo-classical with a hint of commercial rock. Themes from the first album are recycled in the first movement of this album (which is considerably shorter, I might add, than the first album's concerto) and in general the entire thing sounds very flat. The synths which are used sound almost transparent and so cheesy in their sound that they sound like you should put on one of those old British wigs and start calling down the middle class. While the first album walked the fine line between pomp and pretentious, this album kicks that line, dances on it, and then goes running in a most comical fashion with its arms waving above it like some inflatable arm flailing tube man all the way over to the pretentious side. The last album sounded like intelligent neo-classical music for prog fans, this sounds like music that's ''better than you are'', making it highly inaccessible.

This doesn't stop at the end of the 3 part concerto, however. This album has a multitude of songs instead of two complex movements, and the rest of the songs find the band discovering what made Queen successful in the 70s. Most of the songs sound either like an Italian Queen or a Queen cover band. This even leaks into the concerto itself as 3 Tempo: Moderato (Fare You Well Dove) sounds like it could have come from Queen with its melodies and harmonized vocals. Other songs like Vent'Anni are pleasantly acoustic with Italian vocals. Quiet Seas suffers again from the Queen Syndrome, but the emotive vocals are enough to pull it through.

The problem here really isn't the apparent attempt to copy the band's earlier work, nor is it a problem that they seem to be borrowing from other bands, it's that there's nothing particularly memorable about the album. While the first album's two movements were full of bombast and incredible pomp this one seems lackluster, moving more for the accessible short pop-ish songs rather than the 20-minute improvisational instrumentals. The standout song on the album is likely the last tune because it's the only one who dares to be experimental and actually uses a very distinct melody. For that reason, and for its impressively fast playing and creepy vocals, Le Roi Soleil really is a classic track, but unfortunately the only one on the album.

This album is really just for the fans. You'll find it sew onto every copy of Per I that's on cd since there was enough room to remaster both of them on one disc - like some sort of two headed monster, one of which bows to your every need and the other is a zombie looking to eat your brains - but you can consider it a selection of off cuts that came years too late. Fans will appreciate it, and it's not painful to listen to, just forgettable. Don't start with this album if you're new to the band, or indeed, the scene. Per I was masterful, this is bleh. 2 stars, fans only.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |

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