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Campo Di Marte - Campo Di Marte CD (album) cover


Campo Di Marte


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 181 ratings

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4 stars There are two versions of this album, each with a different track running order. For its 1973 vinyl release the record company reversed sides 1 & 2 so that the album would have a more dynamic introduction, thus ruining Enrico Rosa's original vision of the project. The Vinyl Magic remaster of 2006 reinstates Rosa's chosen running order of tracks, but this review is based on the Mellow jewel case version that replicates the original vinyl. Campo Di Marte included several classically trained musicians and all five members are credited with vocals, although the album is in fact mainly instrumental. Interestingly, in an interview at the ItalianProg website Enrico Rosa states that ''the album was totally composed by me in every single detail, including every bass or piano line, so it was more a solo project than a band's work''. In my opinion that seems quite insulting in view of the other band members' fine contributions to the album. Unfortunately this was Campo Di Marte's sole release as the band subsequently disbanded, although Rosa recorded another unreleased album with a new line-up.

The individual tracks here don't have names as such; instead they are listed as parts or acts. Track 1 begins with an accelerando that is reminiscent of the middle section of 21st Century Schizoid Man. The main body of the song features marked contrasts in dynamics as loud instrumental sections alternate with soft vocal parts. It's not one of my favourite tracks on the album, but it gets things off to a suitably attention-grabbing start. Richard Ursillo's melodic bass is well to the fore here, as it is throughout the album as a whole. A short instrumental follows, featuring Alfredo Barducci playing a valve horn that helps to give Campo Di Marte a fairly individual sound. The obvious comparison here is Maxophone whose later release also featured horns. The horn combines nicely with flute on this track to produce a warm, bucolic atmosphere. Track 3 is the first of several outstanding tracks on the album. It is constructed around various memorable melodies and features some more superb bass in duet with Rosa's lead guitar. Lead vocals are nice on this song, presumably sung by Rosa. We then hear another short instrumental with two distinct sections. It begins like an organ recital accompanied by galloping drums and then ends with a brief reprise of the previous track, followed by some slow acoustic guitar arpeggios. This would have been the concluding track in Rosa's original scheme.

The next piece would in turn have been the opening track if Rosa's original intentions had been respected. It features delightful acoustic guitar and a beautiful flute melody, although I could do without the la-la-la-la-la vocals that fortunately don't spoil the tune. This track also includes a majestic Mellotron melody in time, accompanied by a gorgeous pinging bass. Track 6 is another killer track that begins with a slightly sinister sounding organ theme. The second theme has something of a medieval flavour with horn and flute combining nicely once again; this section reminds me of Focus in one of their pastoral moods. A dreamlike vocal section then follows, before the re-entry of the first theme that includes some distant electric guitar that sounds like the baying of hounds. Great stuff. The final cut is another instrumental that involves many shifts in tempo and mood. It begins with a brief reprise of Track 5; Italian bands seem to have had a penchant for mixing and reprising themes from different songs, and for inserting short musical phrases as links between songs.

This is a fine album that contains a good deal of variety and includes 3 or 4 excellent tracks. It's just a pity this was their only release. For me it's worthy of a solid 4 stars.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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