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New Trolls - Concerto Grosso - The Seven Seasons CD (album) cover


New Trolls

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, this is the reunion between two masterminds Vittorio De Scalzi and Nico Di Palo. 2007 looks like a wonderful year for prog in Italy. I wonder what it will be next.

Concerto Grosso - third act - shows an obvious reference to both the first two Concerto Grosso's (the excellent opener "The Knowledge (Overture) shows it clearly, especially for the first one). The baroque orchestra and sound is the cornerstone upon which all the tracks' selection is based. Harder and softer moments alternates with a more relevant role for delicate and romantic interludes. I was really astonished and enthousiast since the very first listening 'cause I couldn't even imagine such a high standard of quality. Classic New Trolls have returned!

People, believe in me, you have to try the couple "The Season Of Hope (Piano Preludio)" and "Simply Angels (Suite)"...well, that's wonderful, in the best New Trolls tradition.

Excellent also the vocal richness, thanks to the help of a certain Shel Shapiro (leader of the beat italian band "Rokes") and his deep and warm voice and soprano Madelyn Monti.

A new gem.

Report this review (#129550)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hey , this is NOT a nostalgic reunion but a fantastic comeback. After years of fighting , pop songs etc Vittorio and Nico have made this fantastic album. Here and there (the knowledge) the sound and orchestration is similar to CG1 but globally the music even if linked to the 70's has a quite modern sound thanks also to Bellia , Sposito and in particular to the 6 string virtuoso Andrea Maddalone. The drummer is Alfio Vitanza formerly "Latte e Miele". Unfortunately Nico , due to his present physical condition can't play the guitar but his vocals are still at the top; Vittorio plays piano , classic guitar , flute and sings like a king. I don 't rate any song as the best of the album , but "Dance .. " and "To love the land" are edging over the other tunes , in my opinion. NT will record soon a DVD live with CG1,CG2 and CG3 and This CD will be also available in vynil format for collectors only. Finally , the CD is produced by Franz Di Cioccio of PFM !! Keep progging , Forza Italia.


Report this review (#130768)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I New Trolls started their career in 1966 in Genoa, influenced by beat and psychedelia. Then, in 1971, they turned to progressive rock and later to pop. Nowadays I New Trolls continue to keep alive their repertoire with excellent live performances even if they have now split into many branches with old and younger members playing in different line-ups. One of these is La Leggenda dei New Trolls, featuring founder members Vittorio De Scalzi (vocals, piano, guitar, flute) and Nico Di Palo (vocals, keyboards) along with Alfio Vitanza (drums, vocals), Andrea Maddalone (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals), Mauro Sposito (electric guitar, vocals) and Francesco Bellia (bass, vocals). In 2007 they released on the independent label Aereostella an interesting new album with an orchestra, Concerto Grosso - The Seven Seasons where you can find a new creativity and an excellent interplay between rock instruments and orchestra. Nico Di Palo here is in the background, because of the consequences of a car accident now he can hardly move his left arm and he can't play guitar any more, but New Troll's fan still love him and his voice. In this work the orchestra conductor, Maestro Stefano Cabrera and guitar virtuoso Andrea Maddalone play an important role too and with the executive producer, PFM's drummer Franz Di Cioccio, they contribute to the excellent final result.

The opener "The Knowledge (Overture)" is an instrumental that recalls the first Concerto Grosso and there's an excellent interaction between the orchestra and the band. The following "Dance With The Rain (Ballata)" is a delicate, soft ballad featuring soaring vocals upon a classical guitar arpeggio and a good flute work by Vittorio De Scalzi. The lyrics by Shel Shapiro depict images inspired by universal love and comprehension, love for mother nature and for the mystery of life... "Have you ever tried to dance with the rain? Have you ever tried to fly to the stars? Has compassion ruled your world? Could an overdose of knowledge divide? Dance with me and let your heart decide...".

"Future Joy (Scherzo)" is another interesting and joyful "instrumental dialogue" between orchestra and electric instruments with the guitar of Andrea Maddalone in the forefront. "High Education (Cello cadenza)" is a cello performance provided by Stefano Cabrera that leads to the following track, "The Seventh Season (Ostinato)", more in a pop vein and that in some way reminds me of the Gianpiero Reverberi's project called Rondō Veneziano. This piece features the narrative vocals of the lyricist Shel Shapiro, it's a kind of prayer invoking a new season that could bring love and a new balance in the relationship between men and nature... "The seventh season will teach you to love the land / The seventh season will teach you to love again...".

"One Magic Night (Larghetto)" is a beautiful, melodic air where the lead "pop vocals" of Vittorio De Scalzi are counter-pointed by the operatic vocals of the soprano Madelyn Monti (who sings in Italian). The lyrics conjure up a magic night where dreams come true and the light of knowledge leads you... "Dream a dream of northern lights... Sleep and let your spirit heal... Let your mind flow like a river / Give it freedom, let it fly / All you have to do is try...".

The instrumental "Barocco'n'Roll (Allegro brioso)" is another interesting example of blending between rock and baroque music while "Intro and Canone" is a short classical guitar piece that introduces the following track, "Testament Of Time (Andante)", featuring a beautiful melody and excellent harmony vocals. Here the lyrics evoke a future of joy where love can penetrate your mind at ease... "As the sea shifts the sand / Let us float away hand in hand...".

"The Ray Of White Light (Rondō)" is another track in a particular "pop vein" that could recall some works of Queen (or, if you prefer, "Le Roi Soleil" from Concerto Grosso N. 2). The lyrics invites you to follow the light of love... "Listen to your heart / And you will be loved in return / Don't be afraid / Follow the white stream... And like a love that's blind / You'll see the future behind / And feel the love alive in your heart...".

"To Love The Land (Adagio)" is a piano ballad featuring the lead vocals of Vittorio De Scalzi and a remarkable electric guitar work with the orchestra in the background. The lyrics draw another invocation to love and hope, another prayer to the god of earth, wind, fire and rain... "Like spring from the rain / The seventh season gives you love again...". The following "The Season Of Hope (Piano preludio)" is an interesting, calm duet between piano and viola that evolves into a more "progressive" and "jazzy" mood eventually leading to "Simply Angels (Suite)", in my opinion the best track on this album and the closest to the prog vein of the early Seventies, featuring shifting tempos and well balanced harmony vocals. The lyrics here compare a flock of birds to angels heading south, following the rhythm of seasons... "We're simply angels / We've been dancing with the rain / We birds are leaving / And we're flying south again...".

Next comes "Ethix (Canzona)", a simple melodic song sung by Vittorio De Scalzi that here seems almost trying to draw the listeners away from their daily grind leading them in a world of dreams... "I hate the noise of the world of today...". A "bonus track" concludes the album. It's "So che ci sei", the Italian version of "Dance With The Rain" and I have to say that I like this version more than the English one...

To be honest the lyrics by Shel Shapiro are a bit naīve and the conceptual thread is not completely convincing but the music is really good and even in the "pop oriented" passages you can always find a pleasant, never banal sense of melody. Have a try!

Report this review (#132965)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars I was pleasantly surprised with the news that this legendary Italian formation has released a new album I still love their 2-LP Searching For A Land (1973), what a great musicians, what a variety an dhow many musical highlights! Like the other legendary Seventies Italian reunion bands Le Orme, Banco and PFM, New Trolls showcases their huge qualities and creativiy on this new CD (15 songs, running time at about 75 minutes), what a stunning album!

The songs The Knowledge - Overture (flute like Jethro Tull), Future Joy (witht clarinet) and Barocco'n'Roll - allegro Brioso (fat guitarwork) sound like the typical late Sixties/early Seventies blend of classical and symphonic prog featuring a captivating tension between violins and fiery electric guitar with a bombastic and propulsive climate.On the other hand New Trolls also deliver mellow songs like Dance With The Rain - Ballatta (warme sound of twanging guitar, soft flute and violins), Intro And Canone (beautiful classical guitar), Testament Of Time - Andante (melancholical violins along clarinet and warm vocals with piano), The Season Of Hope -Piano Preludio - (sparkling piano solo) and Ethix - Canzona (wonderful ballad with piano, violins and vocals). Very strong are the varied tracks To Love The Land - Adagio (more and more lush and compelling with a captivating contrast between violins and guitar and two sensitive guitar solos), the Queen-like The Ray Of White Light - Rondo (first Grand piano, then a strong build with a rock-opera-like atmosphere with great guitar work) and the captivating Simply Angels - Suite (bombastic and compelling with a lush instrumentation, from biting guitar and vibraphone to a violin orchestra). The final song So Che Ci Sei (Italian version of Dance With The Rain) is unfortunately the only one in the wonderful and so expressive Italian language, it sounds warm and dreamy with twanging acoustic guitar, flute, violin and clarinet, simply wonderful!

To me this new album by RPI legend New Trolls sounds impressive, perhaps a bit less rock and more classical but just like their acclaimed 2-LP Searching For A Land very varied and captivating. For me New Trolls are the only trolls we appreciate on Prog Archives!!

Report this review (#143736)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Regarding their progressive face, New Trolls were undoubtfully on a decline in late-70's, despite also recruiting Nuova Idea's keyboardist Giorgio Usai in 1978.The group released series of average Pop Rock albums until the early-90's, when they finally spliy up.Various incarnations appeared later, like Vittorio De Scalzi's New Trolls, Il Mito dei New Trolls and Il Cuore dei New Trolls, all of them played live in several occasions and were led by different ex-members of the group.Eventually in 2007 De Scalzi reunited with Nico Di Palo and a rather fresh line-up with Alfio Vitanza (drums, vocals), Andrea Maddalone and Mauro Sposito (guitars, vocals), all members of Vittorio De Scalzi's New Trolls in early-00's, and Francesco Bellia (bass, vocals).Originally established as a live act, the brand New Trolls formation finally put up a third chapter in the ''Concerto grosso'' series, entitled ''The seven seasons'', originally released as an indepedent album.

And we should thank the Goddess of luck for this new formation of the Italian veterans, as New Trolls apparently came up with their best release ever and a great Progressive Rock masterpiece.The sound has strong links with the first album of the series, although all lyrics are sung in English and this time the result is much more consistent.''The seven seasons'' is a beautiful work, full of romantic Classical orchestrations as well as impressive rockin' ideas with excellent guitar parts and strong flute work.Next to the familiar Classical adaptions by the group, led by majestic string sections, stand plenty of fantastic melodies, Hard Rock grooves and symphonic soundscapes of unmet grandieur.The vocals are also great, delivered by De Scalzi and Palo in a very senstive way.This time though the group has filled its sound with some pretty delicate Folk parts, based on acoustic guitars and flutes with a strong Mediterrenean aura, interrupting the more pounding parts of the album.Add some impressive guitar solos to the mix and you have propably one of the best Classical Rock albums ever to see the light.

This was a great, great suprise.After so many conflicts and a history full of ups and downs, New Trolls returned with a triumphant work.Grandiose and extremely emotional Progressive/Classical Rock of the best quality.Close to a masterpiece, definitely one of the best music works ever to come out from Italy.

Report this review (#161172)
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars there is really nothing itneresting for me in this album: I find it to be too adherent to baroque and romantic canons, in a poor and predictable way.

probably fans of New Trolls will find it interesting, so I rate it 3 stars, but the distance from the genius of the improvisation mixed to the rigid classic scheme which labeled the previous Concerto's is really big. Not that they should have repeated the same album again, but this is nothing a progressive band should release in 2007, in my humble opinion.

Report this review (#167545)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I knew New Trolls music sinc ewhen I was young but never had the chance to listen to their masterpieces Concerto Grosso 1-2. A friend of mine suggested me to listen recently to these 2 albums and I discovered a much different band from the one I knew (much more commercial...). I could not miss the chance to buy this new Album which in my opinion is even more mature of the previous ones (more than 25 years back..) Orchestration makes such warm melodies which mix symphonic (baroque) music and rock music in a perfect mixture with an excellent result. Some melodic parts, are pure melodic italian rock (the one loved by many people abroad..) Last night I had the chance to see New Trolls performing Live the Trilogy of the 3 concerti, and believe me, if you can, dont miss the occasion to witness an incredible concert made by this band (unfortunately only 2 members missing from the original setup) and talented musicians... Highly recommended!! Luca
Report this review (#177190)
Posted Friday, July 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars After some incredible poor albums (ten or so), the band comes back with an old recipe which worked quite well ages ago (especially with their first Concerto). Some fine combination with symphonic prog and classic music.

It is undoubtedly much better than their wandering for thirty years. I particularly appreciate the sweet fluting that can be listened in this album (but this is nothing new even if it is only scarcely available). The small orchestra which is playing with the band does it with skills and it is not too invading which is a good point as far as I'm concerned (even if a pure classic as "High Education" is not my cup of tea).

There are some similarities with the early ELO at times ("Future Joy"), but this is not to dislike me. The frenzy is absolutely welcome and?joyful. Same great feel while the superb "Barocco'n'roll" is being played.

Some of the music features sounds very romantic, even sad at times ("One Magic Night" that sounds as a musical perhaps) but I far much prefer such moods than their awful pop sounds from the late seventies to the early nineties (which means most of their output).

The most moving track is "Testament Of Time" (at least during the instrumental parts): very nice melody, perfect communion with the orchestra and beautiful music indeed. "To Love The Land" is another one made of the same mould. This album is quite a good surprise after all.

One of my fave track from this album is "Simply Angels": it features a gorgeous instrumental intro full of energy and great electric guitar. It changes from mood when the vocals start but the second half of the song is again full of poetry (superb piano play) and energy as well.

There aren't any weak moments on this album. A pleasant album for sure. So good to see the band at this level!

At the end of the day, I have rated their three "Concerto" with three stars. Not that they are equal in quality: the first and third are worth seven out of ten, the second only five. But since there is no way to identify these differences on PA, they all ended up with the same rating.

Report this review (#257770)
Posted Friday, December 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Art Folk Rock Baroque, Classical and Contemporary.

I always take a long time to break down, digest and qualify a work. In the case of New Trolls, none of his works, at least the most recognized, managed to move me. Some premature comments about this 'Seven Seasons' deluded me. With some skepticism I agreed to listen.

Undoubtedly, for me, is the NT´s work most consummate and compact. With instrumental sections and other sung in English. Unique features. No exaggerations or ups and downs, as in other of his productions. True, less psychodelic than in 70´s.

Emphasize orchestrated sections and piano, and some flute. But the whole band is assembled with precision. It is a collection that should be heard in its entirety, once.

After an extensive discography with few relevant ideas, NT gets a place of recognition, from my perspective, with this fantastic artwork.

Majestic - 4 to 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#982186)
Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars In 1971, the TROLLS released their greatest album "Concerto Grosso No. 1" that's still recognized as one of the most important Italian rock releases ever made. Historically it is interesting as it was the first attempt by an Italian group to create a work of rock-classical fusion. New Trolls apparently came up with their best release ever and a great Progressive Rock masterpiece. I really like the Concerto Grosso - The Seven Seasons, and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've heard from them on this is album. The style of the album is pure '70s progressive with heavy classical quotation. Modern instruments as guitars and keyboards integrate very well with the sound of the flute Vittorio De Scalzi and string White Light Orchestra. The symphonic moments are my favorite. The music varied and beautiful. A wonderful album!
Report this review (#1846586)
Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2017 | Review Permalink

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