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Gran Torino - grantorinoProg CD (album) cover


Gran Torino


Heavy Prog

3.52 | 32 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Gran Torino come from Verona and their roots date back to 2000 when Cristiano Pallaoro (guitars), Alessio Pieri (keyboards, piano), Gian Maria Roveda (drums) and Fabrizio Visentini Visas (bass) started to play for fun as a cover band. In 2009 they began to work on a more ambitious project featuring only original compositions blending influences of bands such as PFM, Genesis, Spock's Beard or Kansas with a personal touch. In 2011 they finally released an interesting debut album on the Swiss independent label Galileo Records, 'grantorinoProg', featuring ten instrumental tracks and a nice art work by Mark Wilkinson. The band showcase here an excellent musicianship and the music flows away like a river on the rocks with a great interplay between keyboards and guitar and a pulsing rhythm section in the background.

Although all the tracks are completely instrumental the band provided some short liner notes for every track, just to give you an idea of what the music is about. The opener 'Sinapsi' is full of obscure energy and invites you to dream and vibrate to the rhythm of music... 'You sleep but you can hear it. You don't know what is it, but you know it is real...'. Some passages recall Goblin and are painted in disquieting deep red colours. The following 'Jack Montorio' tries to evoke a search for tranquillity that drives you far away from home and an emotional storm due to a broken relationship. On the powerful 'Rock Waters' the electric guitar comes alive while the music is in some way related to the images of the art cover. Next comes 'Joy' where the band mix Eastern flavoured harmonies with neoclassical influences inviting you to seize the day.

'Miridiana' is another excellent track full of colours. A mysterious woman paints her face with red eastern dust and looks towards the horizon while ancient maps resurface in her mind... 'Fox Box' is frenzied, claustrophobic. You can run and jump like a fox in a box but you can't break through because the only freedom is in your mind. For this track the band shot a video set in the Roman Theatre of Verona.

'Five' is a nice short acoustic track that leads to the aggressive 'Radio Vox' where the electric guitar is the protagonist. The following 'Eco' recalls Goblin once again with its suggestive atmosphere and its dark organ rides backed by the rhythm section. The long final track, 'Zorro', starts calmly, the mood is dreamy, nocturnal... 'A mask hides your face, a sword defends your feelings. Harmony takes away the mask, melody defeats the sword, and you fly on the wings of your instrument...'.

Well, all in all I think that this is a very good album where the musicians managed to express all their great passion for the music they love without sounding too retro.

andrea | 4/5 |


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