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Il Castello Di Atlante - L'Ippogrifo CD (album) cover

L'IPPOGRIFO

Il Castello Di Atlante

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.96 | 28 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars Il Castello di Atlante is an invention of the XV century Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto. His masterpiece is "L'Orlando Furioso" and this is what "L'Ippogrifo is about". In few words Atlante is a magician whose Castle is a trap: everybody approaches the castle sees inside the thing that he desires more, so one is trapped into the castle by his own desires.

The band was formed at the beginning of the 70s, but they published their first album only in 1992. This means that also their first albums are "mature". Because of the arrangements and the production they could be considered neo-prog, but their roots are clearly symphonic. In years when bands like Banco and PFM followed the "Genesis trend" trying to become more commercial, this band was doing the good progressive as can be listened in this album.

While the music is inspired mainly by Genesis, or maybe Marillion, the vocals are typical of RPI. The first track can be compared to some long songs of the Fish era. I have Forgotten Sons in mind.

"Volta la Pagina" starts with acoustic guitar and keyboards (I think it's not a flute). Here the reference can be the early PFM but also Alphataurus. The violin part is very nice and leads to various changes in tempo.

The title track is quite an epic, and the lyrics are about an episode of the mentioned "Orlando Furioso". Astolfo, the name can be easily catched, is one of the characters involved. The intro has a medieval taste until a Genesis like keyboard first, and piano later lead to the sung part. The coda is acoustic, conducted by piano, violin and bolero-drumming to the fadeout.

"E recito anch'io" is very close to PFM, specially the first 3 minutes.

""Pioggia" is a short melodic track. It looks like a filler, but is not bad anyway. It has a symph arrangement and reminds to some Jon and Vangelis. "Chrysalis" starts on the same pitch, so it's like Pioggia is just an intro to this track. This one is an auto-biographical song about the band in pure RPI style. I mean that this sequence of chords can be found in a lot of other RPI songs, but this is the kind of things that help in defining the stabdards of a sub-genre. Again very PFM, mainly because of the violin.

The closing track starts with bass and drums followed by piano. It's evident that the band's roots are in the 70s. A melodic instrumental of about 7 minutes. Not the higher moment of the album. It looks like they had to complete the recording "in time", a session put on tape without the care of the other songs. It could have been developed better, specially in the guitar solo that's not very impressive.

With a bit more effort it could have been a 4 stars album. It is for the first half, but the overall rating can't be more than 3.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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