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

L'IPPOGRIFO

Il Castello Di Atlante

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars IMHO, the best album of IL CASTELLO, one of the few bands that really captures the 70's Italian sound. Influenced by the GENESIS' symphonic way and classic Italian '70s bands like QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA (mandatory reference when a violin sounds), IL CASTELLO adds a very good singer and excellent interplay among all musicians.

All tracks are magnificent pieces, specially the first three and the last (this one instrumental), conforming an extremely recommended stuff. In fact, every album of this band is a winner.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#1381)
Posted Saturday, December 20, 2003 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "...the blade didn't give me pain, only a bit of cold..."

I was very interested in listening to an album of such a title. A fantastic animal, one of the creatures that only live in dreams or in the legends of the past centuries. Ok, the cover painting is rather bad and the mark of the band is not so elegant. Anyway I was sure I would have find great music.

And I was quite pleased when I listened to the long opener track titled "La Vittoria di Er" (The Er's Victory - over 10 mns). Not particularly complex arrangements, but an exciting atmosphere made of warm piano and remarkable keyboards. The rythm is slow, a sort of neverending march toward a safer land.

A safer land. This is the feeling in listening the second song "Volta la Pagina" (Turn the Page): soft acoustic guitar, delicate arpeggio, warm flute' sounds. It seem really a great place to pass the time of your own. The sea of tranquility.

Beppe Crovella (Arti e Mestieri) made a good work as the producer of this record. "L'Ippogrifo" has a nice medieval feel, made by choruses and violin. Synth is well in evidence. But the song' structure is more simple. Lyrics are are a sort of self- proclamation. The structure is too repetitive and the 11 minutes risk to be boring. Fortunately violin appears from behind the tired instruments. The last part of the song is worth of listening to whole tune entirely.

"E Recito Anch'Io" (Me Too I Play) is not very prog. Does it's an album from Luca Carboni? I seriously doubt that...for another violin helps.

"Pioggia" (Rain) is the most short track of the album (only 2,50 mns). A slow piano based tune with sparse vocals. Not infame nor glory, even if they have tried to give a more theatrical appeal to the album.

"Crysalis"is not different from the previous songs. The album lacks in variety. It's somehow boring. Much better the closer instrumental track named "Corale II" (6,43 mns). Without vocalizing, the band seems to be more concentrated. Very good, well composed and arranged (even for the great electric guitar).

If you're searching the more interesting albums from this contemporary italian band you should check their last album Quintessenza.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#79353)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is not an essential masterpiece,but it's mine most listened album in last months.Everything on its right place - excellent songwriting,great musicianship,good quality of soundproducing and recording...All songs are epic-like structured tales reminding me of best examples from old Prog like PFM, LOCANDA DELLE FATE or JETHRO TULL with GENESIS.Closing instrumental track has great catchy tune - simple but pretty nice.Highly recommended for those who enjoy not only Italian prog,but also New Symphonic and Neo

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#87582)
Posted Friday, August 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#293127)
Posted Monday, August 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another strong album from this new RPI band.

The new generation of RPI bands never fails to impress me. Il Castello Di Atlante is one of the best bands in this new scene. Their music is true to the roots and founding principles of the RPI scene.

Il Castello Di Atlante's brand of RPI is more in the more subtle and symphonic prog end of the RPI rainbow. They also implements some folk music into their music. But PFM, and Genesis if outside references are used, is good references to what Il Castello Di Atlante is doing.

The average track lengths is around seven minutes and the music are full of heavy organs and subtle electric guitars. The vocals are excellent too and the bassist and the drummer also know their trade..... and employs it well.

Within the opening minutes of the majestic, soaring La Vittoria Di Er, it is pretty obvious we are witnessing a special album. So we believe........ Unfortunate, the following songs are not of the same high standard. But the music here is always great. Except from the instantly great La Vittoria Di Er, the rest of the music is a "grower" which slowly but surely develops over time. It was only after the tenth and final listening review session I landed on the conclusion that the rest of the songs are great too. Chorale II is also an outstanding song too.

In short, this is a great RPI and symphonic prog album which deserve a wider audience. Give it time, though.

4 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#308974)
Posted Tuesday, November 09, 2010 | Review Permalink

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