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Gran Torino - grantorinoProg CD (album) cover


Gran Torino


Heavy Prog

3.52 | 32 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
3 stars I have to say whenever I see the physical word 'prog' in a band's name, album title, or song title I start to get a little worried. So when I first spun Italian newbies Gran Torino's debut grantorinoProg, you can imagine my trepidation. Any band who acknowledges the fact that their music is 'prog' in such a flamboyant manner is bound to be a little on the pretentious side. And such is the case with Gran Torino's debut. Now don't get me wrong, the band's combination of the classic Hammond and other keyboard noodling with guitar riffs and solos makes for a wonderful and very well crafted heavy prog album, but the general atmosphere of 'hey guys, we're a prog band!' is a bit disquieting. Unnecessary time changes, typical 'prog' instrumental flourishes ' la Rush and Led Zeppelin, a general air of virtuosity and other very typical prog qualities are present on the album and, while of course this is in no way a bad thing, make the album generally fall into the dome of mediocrity.

The Italian quartet's sound can best be described as a Led Zepellinian hard rock mixed with a Rush-inspired progressive outlook with an Atomic Rooster and Deep Purple based melody section. Now of course the whole thing is instrumental, so you can expect plenty of room for the four guys to noodle around their instruments in interesting ways. The instrumental voicings understandably aren't gracefully Baroque or musically intense, but the harmony between the blocky Hammond riffs, guitar lines, bass beats, and drumming make for a nice vintage twang. While when the keyboardist switches from Hammond to whatever else he uses isn't the greatest sound the band could conjure up, the guys are no strangers of whipping out a nice instrumental jam session.

Admittedly the album isn't the most breathtaking progressive offering to date, the boys from Gran Torino have produced a high quality and overall well-presented album to the progressive community. The compositions are tight and well-formed, with the copious amounts of wiggle room apparent in the obvious jam-like feel that permeates the album. The musicianship and timing could be improved in places, but overall the balance of virtuosity and keeping the compositions compositions is well-performed. The 40-something minute album can seem to drag on a bit with the rather repetitive structures of the songs (or lack thereof), but overall this album is a good release from the great Galileo Records. 3 stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |


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