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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 With a glass of cheap Pinot Grigio sitting next to me and visions of the beauty that Italy holds within it in my mind I come back to Italy for my next review. Today we have Campo Di Marte's first and to date only studio album. The album like many was released and promptly disappeared in wake of larger more established progressive acts not only from Italy but from across Europe. Over time and with it's first release on CD in 1994 the album has steadlily gained stature and reputation as a minor classic of Italian Progressive Rock (RPI) . Enough in my mind that I would put in in the 2nd or 3rd divisions of the truly great RPI albums, only behind albums that even those who don't even have an RPI album know of by reputation.

Campo di Marte named after a city quarter of Florence Italy mean Field of Mars... or to take it a step further... the field of War. A concept further enhanced by the choice of cover art of Turkish Mercanaries, showing their toughness ...their manhood by piercing their bodies with various weapons. The absurdity of war is thought to be a underlying concept of the album. The group broke up not long after recording the album... only performing a rag tag performance that included only parts of two of the tempos. On that note... it appears that the track listing was not what was originally intended by the group and I understand avery high quality remaster with the original track listings was released earlier this year. Everything I've read on it says it is a must have for fans of the album. I may have to get it myself.

The album kicks off with Primo Tempo with a huge guitar riff, that I guarantee, will catch your attention right from the start. The drums and bass fall in explosively with the guitar riff... all suddently coming to a stop. A death spiral of sorts ensues leading eventually into the main theme of the tempo. A subdued spoken section with great mellotron and bass breaks. A nice flute solo provides a nice breath of warmth. The tempo ends with a reprise of the massive guitar riff. Quite an album intro... will grab your attention and hold it into the next tempo.

Secondo Tempo is an instrumental and a direct contrast of the primo tempo... a delightlyful dreamy flute begins the temp and it joined by some very tasteful accoustic guitar. Here marks the appearance of the horns which gave Campo di Marte a variation of sound. The flute and the horns carry the lovely melody throughout the tempo... that is until near the end when the pastoral beauty is interupted by hard ear wracking guitars. Perhaps the reminder that even though our thoughts in the midst of war and violence may turn to places of beauty... reality is only a measure or two away.

Terzo Tempo begins with the same harsh guitars that interupted our dreams of peace and beauty. Harsh and bitter they convey what war really is. They soon leave us with a piano melody that take us back to lyrical verses (someday I will learn Italian and edit all these reviews) Nice flute and guitar solos and between the verse. The intensity builds through out the track led by the drums and releases into a nice guitar and drums outro.

An instrumental titled Quarto Tempo follows next with wonderful organ play before returning to a reprise of the main theme of Terzo Tempo before ending with a nice accoustic guitar ending.

The accoustic guitar started the next of our Tempos the Quinto. The flute jumps in we have a flute and accoustic guitar duet joined after a bit the singing of La-la-la's by the group. Excellent flute on this and when the mellotron and organ come in later you feel that they have thrown in every thing and into this and created what a wonderfully baroque piece of music. Probably my favorite of the tempos on the album.

Next up in the Sesto Tempo which begins with some organ and e-guitar that with some mellotron falling in a bit over a surging rtythm. After a dead stop a stomping rhythm is then broken by a french horn and flutes.. great stuff here. Any prog band with a french horn deserves another half star haha. A sinister main theme is on display only to be broken by a flightly flute solo. Another really great track on the album

The Settimo Tempo is up next with a reprise of the accoustic theme of the Quinto Tempo to start. This tempo contains references to many of the previous tempos actually... a turn off to some but I think it is a nice summation of the album.

A hard album to rate... I love this album and it my favorite but can't quite give it essential masterpiece status. 4 stars though for personal enjoyment I rate it quite close to a 5. It is a must have RPI album but only after you have run through the 1st Division albums, the true 5 star classics.

Michael (aka Micky)

micky | 4/5 |


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