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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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4 stars I noticed just the other day that while tabulating my prog collection that I own more recent Italian Prog albums than those from the "Golden Years in the 70s" which should not come to be a shock as the quality has not diminished , neither has the quantity. True, there are a lot of one or two shot wonders ever since but the genre still has an obviously huge appeal in Progland . Just ask our finnforest and he will confirm! So it was with a fair amount of excited trepidation that I patiently awaited the arrival of this Notabene offshoot having deeply enjoyed their self-titled debut. Drummer Gus Pasini has put together an instrumental exercise that harkens back to more Canterbury/Camel musical environments and does so with resounding success and reverence. As finnforest has so brilliantly expressed in his review, there is a strong emotional undercurrent that eschews ego-fed technical demonstrations and concentrates rather on conjuring up deep inner most feelings that are hard to resist. Andrea mentioned in his review the gorgeous melodies and he is spot on, as the sweeping beauty expressed by the musicians consistently inspire awe and refreshing idealism. Guitarist Lucca Saccenti refers to the svelte "fret-ernity" of Andy Latimer, Jan Akkerman and Allan Holdsworth , preferring oblique yet romantic figures and emotions, with occasional burst of fiery grandeur. Emmanuele Jaforte is a busy, bustling and beguiling bassist, weaving in, out and around various melodic paths, whilst celestial keyboardist Nicola Gasperi lathers the arrangements with undulating organ tapestries, bubbly synthesizer solos and flamboyant piano outbursts. "Chiaroscuro" reminds one of Mirage period Camel, a lofty honor indeed, with the identical lyrical ebb and flow of the famed desert beast. The bass motif is held throughout in hypnotic sequence and the soloists simply initiate a series of "colorations" that really give credence to the title. The title cut involves the first utter Canterbury Proggisms, with its slanted guitar work, somber piano phrasings and jazzy mid-section where again the bass plays the piper. The cool ivory tickling creates a relaxed almost laid back setting with sudden stop and go rhythms. "Corte Aulica" is a stunning piece of elegant music clearly remindful of the Camel legacy, an soothing instrumental expression of the highest caliber especially with Saccenti gyrating in the midst of various keyboard eddies, all sturdily held together by the back end boys. "Tiziana" is presumably in honor of Gus' female muse (mom, wife or daughter) and kicks off highly buoyant at first while later falling into long sustained volume pedal work a la Akkerman, then slipping into a massive solo flight that conjures the deepest emotions and warmest feelings, certainly a huge highlight here. Amore! "La Principessa del Parco" is a playful romp, as the title may imply, toying with varied mood sets, a slithering synth solo in particular lays some cool fizz to the jovial and insistent guitar theme. The next track deals with a street address, "Via Rua Sovera 19", presumably a home of a certain emotional stature, serves up some fine fluid lines , mostly melancholic piano and swooning axe forays. The brief and highly moody "Zwanenbeek"is a dreamy piano exercise that evokes deep sensations and is very successful as such. The 2 bonus tracks introduce Gus on the microphone and as mentioned by others here, he has no great voice but certainly, the expressions of his sentiments are very personal to him and he must do so deliberately. The playing is uninterruptedly effective, both soloists dishing out some fine examples of artistic idiom. In fact, the final track has even definite shades of il Bacio della Medusa, grave vocals, somber keys, zippingly bluesy guitar slings and a lyrical tempo that exudes charm. The cover art is exquisite, transmitting both the languid melancholia and the intense solitude that escapes from the grooves (another old-fashioned vinyl reference?). This is an album I could play all day without getting bored, inducing no sleep or any controversy and really very palatable to all classes of music fans. The only drawback and very common to Italian releases throughout the decades, its too darn short! Certainly a band to watch, perhaps with an even more polished and LENGTHIER affair down the road. 4 dromedaries.
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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