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Il Castello Di Atlante - Come Il Seguitare Delle Stagioni CD (album) cover


Il Castello Di Atlante

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Il Castello di Atlante are an accomplished group of Italian session musicians whose prime personal fascination for progressive expanded pieces impelled them to forge the new ISP Renaissance that started in the late 90s. "Come Il Seguitare delle Stagione" is their third album, produced by the revered Arti+Mestieri keyboardist Beppe Crovella and a fine example of violin-led symphonic progressive. Massimo Di Lauro excels both on violin and keys, Roberto Giordano is the main ivories man, with subtle guitarist Aldo Bergamini, dexterous bassist Dino Fiore and assured drummer Paolo Ferrarotti rounding out the crew. "Sotto il Ponte" is a 10 minute opening salvo of shimmeringly effective music, a main theme that immediately sticks to the pleasure nodes, where the violin merrily saunters into assorted aural regions, ably abetted by some sizzling guitar leads, expertly held together by a dynamic rhythmic duo that pushes it all along deftly. Giordano provides one those insanely "fat" synth solos that sweep the listener majestically off their feet, while Bergamini chips in a sizable grandiose rendition himself. This is symph-prog of the highest order, breaking new ground, travelling deep into the farthest regions of the prog universe. "Primo Respiro" is a short violin/piano etude that revels in a melancholic aural pasture, gentle rocking the cradle, a sweet lullaby. "Ad un Amico" is a 9 minute vocal piece that swoons delicately with some nice harmonies, while the violin swings gently in the foreground, twinkling piano flourishes, suddenly veering off into a sublime restrained guitar solo that seeks out the passion and the flair of the moment. The pace picks up when the violin appears, the drumming more intense, the vocals displaying an obvious urgency and then all tumbles into a pastoral wash of mellotrons, fretless bass, massed choir voices and a passionate LeOrme-like vocal that digs deep into the soul. A series of solos showcase the evident talents of the musicians with intense effect. "Danza in Re Maggiore" is a guitar- led interlude where Bergamini gets to showcase his lyrical vision and it certainly evokes Anthony Phillips at times. Another 12 minute epic piece "Guidizio" has Roberto Giordano on piano with Di Lauro adding some catgut magic, slowly conspiring to carve out a late blooming theme that has all the hallmarks of a jaunty symph-prog classic with haunting vocals, grand ensemble playing, fascinating soloing and whooshing background atmospherics. "Secondo Respiro" continues where "Primo" left off, more piano/violin confrontations that provide respite from all the rhythmic punch. "Stava Scritto" is the massive epic here, timed at over 16 minutes with forceful drums shoving the haunting guitar theme forward, with each soloist given the platform to let loose, particularly the effect-tortured guitar, the whooping violin forays and the eccentric organ and synthesizer runs. While many casual listeners may not go gaga over this album, upon closer inspection, it is more of a "musicians" recording than an outright prog fan's masterpiece. There is no hummable "hit" or even accessible tune that is memorable, just a solid workout that deserves praise and a good following. Artwork is just fine as well. 4 vanishing continents
Report this review (#200692)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the drawbacks with album reviews is that while we can share our opinions about music we can never share the actual experience of listening to it; the music simply exists and will have unique meaning to each and every individual. Anyone that knows anything about my taste will understand that melodic symphonic prog is my jam and, for me, listening to Il Castello di Atlante is a bit like overdosing on the music of my youth. These guys are clearly less than strangers with Genesis and Il Castello share the same flair for melody, but at the same time they're not hindered by any kind of musical conformism.

'Come il Seguitare delle Stagione' isn't my favourite album by the band but it does exemplify the character of Il Castello as it features their usual intricate interplay of guitar, keys and violin. This is very much an album for daydreaming, for withdrawing from hard reality and immersing yourself in extravagant fantasy. It features a collection of contradictory yet complementary pieces, with four grand-manner epics interspersed with three short instrumentals that are like poignant little elegies. As such it is alternately 'out there' and 'in here'; or it could be successively gregarious and solitary if we equate the music with our prevailing spirits.

Those who prefer to crack the hard shell of the wild and experimental RPI may be indifferent to this album. However if you're looking for the security of sumptuous textures and romantic melodies you'll surely relish this album's timeless beauty.

Report this review (#462624)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The third album from this new generation Rock Progressivo Italiano band.

And Castello Di Atlante is one of the best new generation Rock Progressivo Italiano bands in this scene. Something they prove on this album.

Castello Di Atlante's sound is the typicali vintage sound with superb vocals, violin, flute, guitars and tonnes of vintage keyboards. The music is not hard at all and is bordering to Italian pop music on this album. Bordering, but not stepping over this border. Most of the songs and epics here are intricate symphonic too.

Castello Di Atlante hardly add something new to this scene. What they do on Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni is to refine their own take on Rock Progressivo Italiano. This album looks inwards to the music from the 1970s, to the rolling hills of Tuscany, the villages in the south and to the Po river delta. This album is much more Italian than the mad rants of Silvio Berlusconi. The listener instantly gets Italy by listening to this album. And I do not understand a word of Italian, btw.

The quality of this album is great and a great reminder why I love Rock Progressivo Italiano. From the opener Sotto il ponte with it's nod to Haydn to the closer Stava scritto with it's nod to PFM. This album is really close to Rock Progressivo Italiano heaven. If they had managed to write and record a couple of killer tracks on this album, this album would had been perfect. But this album is good enough for me. This band is really a band more people should discover. It is a jewel in the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene and up there with the greats from the 1970s.

4 stars

Report this review (#563608)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While the first three Il Castello di Atlante albums contained old material or re-arranged songs from the bands early days,the Italian quintet decided this time to write completely fresh material for the upcoming release,so they fell into a writing process for about three years.Meanwhile they had already built a strong relationship with Beppe Crovella,so it was an easy decision for them to sign for his new-established Electromantic Records.The fourth album entitled ''Come il seguitare delle stagioni'' was released in 2000,surprisingly Crovella pressed the album additionally on vinyl with the exception of the track ''Guidizio'' due to the limited possibilities of a vinyl pressing.

Anyone expecting the band to sound more modern with this fresh written material will just collide on the wall.Il Castello di Atlante were born in the 70's,love this particular era and insist on playing this retro-styled Classic Italian Symphonic Rock with balanced instrumentation and, this time, quite limited vocals.Four long tracks are split each other with three short Classical- influenced preludes,driven by violin, pianos, acoustic guitars and organ.The longer compositions contain plenty of interesting moments: Violin work-outs similar to QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA or ''Jet lag''-era PFM, sensational guitar solos, captivating work on keyboards by Roberto Giordano through his organ,piano and synths offerings and sensitive,warm Italian lyrics.All of them are wrapped in symphonic arrangements and balanced between smooth acoustic passages and even spacey synth drives to stronger parts with intense interplays and grandiose finales full of Italian passion and melodies, creating remarkable,stunning emotions, a pure highlight of the band.

Il Castello di Atlante still have nothing new to add to the Italian Prog scene.Still what they do,they do it very well.Pure retro-influenced Italian Symphonic Rock with a full sound,passion and intensity.A must have for fans of the style,a strongly recommended effort for prog fans in general...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#581875)
Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars While all members of Il CASTELLO DI ATLANTE are laudable musicians, after indulging in their debut album, I felt comfortable in the assertion that the group's unique identity was enhanced by the violin of Massimo Di Lauro. Bypassing the hard to find second disk, and allowing more than commensurate opportunity to critique this 2000 release, my new pronouncement is the group's unique identity IS the violin. The therapeutic effect of this album rises and falls with the dosage and purity of its strings. Relatively speaking, "Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni" does not merit more than a small bow.

Taking into consideration the band's place in the generally complex symphonic style of RPI, they will never be remembered for their complexity. The problem here, apart from the vast expanses of lonely keyboards and guitars, is that the group tries to be too complex for its own good, and hence does not flatter its intentions. While the shorter pieces - particularly "Primo Repriso" and "Secondo Respiro" - might have been expounded upon to good effect, the greater sin is the artificial extension of the opener and closer, both of which loiter about in an uncomfortably neolithic manner far too long, and yet fail to connect the parts with each other or the listener. The clear exception among the longer pieces is "Ad Un Amico", with a decidedly less cluttered mannerism and lush melodies in which the whole group rallies around a fiddle figure.with an intriguing Arabic character. Aldo Bergamini's sizzling accompaniment on lead guitar is congruence and confluence in motion.

While this album fails to play to the considerable and easily mined strengths of this excellent Italian band, it's far from a lost cause. The retreat into the safety of ersatz RPI and symphonic prog in general quelled the vivacity and succinctness inherent in their brilliant debut. I might try "Sono io il signore delle terre a nord" or "Tra le Antiche Mura" first, depending on what is in season.

Report this review (#829666)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2012 | Review Permalink

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