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The Trip - Caronte CD (album) cover


The Trip

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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3 stars This issue is a bit better than their debut album and, for sure, their symphonic orientation in the direction of such ELP music is so evident here. Nevertheless the composition about the vicissitudes by "Caronte" ("...Dimonio dagli Occhi di Bragia", as it is described within l'Inferno, regarding la "Divina Commedia" by Dante Alighieri) is very prolix and finally tired. This concept is difficult to assimilate and not much inspiring too, but at last the fans of such classic prog from the UK, and also those ones who support Le ORME, probably will find interesting breaks through inside. I don't know whether this is enough or not, however this is their best effort;then make your choice. Quite interesting but not completely essential, and sometimes boring too!!
Report this review (#18974)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This L.P. is the begin of the prog-rock in Italy. It is a perfect mix between the "English sound" (Vanilla fudge, for example) and the "Baroque" and melodic italian sound. Keyboard and Composer Joe Vescovi has a solid classic background, Billy Gray is a good lead and rhytm guitar, "Wegg" Andersen (bass) and Pino Sinnone (drums) form a solid rhytmic section.
Report this review (#18975)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second work released in 1971 "Caronte". Organ rock of violent sound. It is a sound like THE NICE. The exploding organ is exactly Kieth Emerson. A classical melody shines to the roaring sound where the ear is deafened. It is an explosion of young energy. The appearance that they are freely playing floats on my eyes. It is exactly old, good, Italian rock. "Caronte I" is THE NICE in complete. "L'Ultima Ora E Ode A J.Hendrix" is a number dedicated by Jimi Hendrix. It is sobbing of the guitar to backing as for the organ.
Report this review (#75106)
Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Obviously one Italian album looking towards the British isles and not just for the music influences, but in its artwork also, but with good reasons since a good part of the members are British, with even Ritchie Blackmore (!!) being a one-time member. Your standard rock quartet with an impressive duo upfront of Vescovi (vocals and KB) and Grey (guitars), the group alternates between Vanilla Fudge (Stein(s organ sound) and The Nice.

A usually short Italian classic (just over 30 min), the album is quite impressive but at the same time awkward in its mix of influences and musical spectrum. Some rather weak track (Little Jamie) is rubbing shoulders to real excellent epics (Two Brothers and the first title track), whilev the other major track Ultima Hora E Ode A Hendrix is an uncomfortable almost-plagiarism to the great master of the XIXth century. This leaves the brilliant interplay between the two soloists, but unfortunatel guitarist Grey will leave at the end of the album, taking with him the drummer. Grey will not be replaced, but Furio Chirico (of Arti e Mestieri) will step in and the group will veer towards jazz-rock for their remaining two albums.

Although hardly flawless (being typically excessive like only our Italian friends can be ;-) Caronte is one of the most influential Italian prog albums, and is a must to understand how the country became a powerhouse in progressive rock during the 70's.

Report this review (#88155)
Posted Friday, August 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars THE TRIP were an English band,formed in 1967,who moved to Italy in order to gain success,featuring Ritchie Blackmore as the original guitarist.Soon Blackmore and drummer Ian Board left and two Italians, Joe Vescovi and Pino Sinnone filled the posts of keyboardist and drummer.''The trip'',their debut,was released in 1970 and ,reportedly,it was a good blues/heavy rock album with classical touches,close to DEEP PURPLE's early sound,and with little interest for prog fans.Things much changed with ''Caronte'',published a year later.

Regarded by many as the first trully Italian progressive rock album,''Caronte'' delivers classical influences by THE NICE blended with DEEP PURPLE/ATOMIC ROOSTER heavy rock,some pop influences and lots of dark passages (hints of KING CRIMSON).Actually,the intro and outro (both named ''Caronte'') are two great instrumental classical/rock pieces of music,which could have been easily written by THE NICE.''Two brothers'' is a also a great track with both KING CRIMSON and DEEP PURPLE influences,a nice psychedelic/heavy prog dynamite.''Little Janie'' is a mediocre track with pop leanings (though it features some nice mellotron),while their familiar organ-driven style returns on ''L'ultima ora...'',which is a masterful track with dark bluesy vocals,tons of classical doses and spectacular ending covered by church organ and mainly by a mournful symphonic guitar solo,a thrilling progressive treasure!...Not only for their title as the first Italian-based trully prog band,but also for their daring music,THE TRIP is a band you should add in your collection.Another early-70's gem to discover!...3,5 stars for this album...

Report this review (#162922)
Posted Friday, February 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think Caronte is a great album: the first song Caronte 1 is an instrumentakl track with interesting passages and effective variety of rhythm. Two Brothers introduces some noise such as engine sound, sirens..... Little Janie is a tender ballad, but the best song on the album is L'Ultima Ora e Ode a J. Hendrix: both L'ultima ora e Ode a J.Hendrix are two amazing tracks, especially Ode a J.Hendrix (which at the beginning reminds me of The Godfather Soundtrack) gives very intense and touching feelings. The last track Caronte 2 is just a reprise of the first one. Well, in conclusion, I liked this album very much and I recommend it. The artwork is beautiful as well with black&white and colour contrasts.
Report this review (#169545)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Complex and variable flavour and taste hit us listeners again and again...this is typically Italian progressive rock! ('s a shame that I bought this album without any knowledge of The Trip. :P )

From the first track (Caronte 1), their Trip has exploded. Beginning with avantgarde stream, a Mellotron hopping quickly here and there, and then a guitar glowling with heavy riff...already the sound squeezes our brain strongly! On second one (Two Brothers), heavier guitar tune and vocal push and push us. As everyone says, that is heavy Italian prog I suggest. Little Janie has a bit lighter pop sound and lets us flexible, but immediately L'Ultima... gushes Italian Classical atmosphere out with impressing us deeply and completely. To the last Caronte 2, again avant-tasty and speedy Mellotron rushes over, and comfortable flavour is left for us.

Exactly cool, I wanna say. Namely, this is 'eavy-Italian progressive rock!

Report this review (#194690)
Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars An unusual release for the Italian scene of the first 70s, and maybe unusual as an Italian record, as heavy music had never proved popular in Italy. What made possible the release of an Italian heavy prog record in 1971 is maybe be the presence of two English musicians (guitarist William Gray and bassist Arvid Andersen), who came in Italy in the sixties with Ritchie Blackmore.

You will surely read loads of reviews saying over and over that the record is influenced by Pink Floyd and King Crimson, but I don't think so. It reminds me more of heavy bands with massive use of keyboards such as Atomic Rooster (Two Brothers), Deep Purple (the two parts of Caronte, at the beginning and the end of the record), Quatermass (Ode A Jimi Hendrix), and obviously ELP (L'ultima Ora).

Anyway, this is a classic concept album, appearently based on mythology (Caronte, best known as Charon, is the guardian and ferryman at the gates of hell, both in Greek mythology and in the famous book by Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia). But the use of a mythological figure is a metaphore for the conformism that sentences its damned to lose themselves, literally "crossing the river of Acheron"; the damned are Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, who both died shortly before.

The musicianship here may seem a little bit raw, but I do think it's good. Joe Vescovi's multiform keyboards (he uses piano, Hammond and church organ and mellotron) are the pivot of the band, being able to provide atmosphere, strenght and virtuosity. The powerful and driving hard rock riffs of William Gray's guitar gives to the music its real "physical" strenght, even if it sounds very close to Deep Purple and similar English acts. Arvid Andersen's deft, pulsating bass and Pino Sinnone's solid and powerful drumming makes a strong and competent rhytm section. Maybe the worst thing about the record are the vocals: they are just good, but they could have been done much better.

The production is quite raw, but since all the instruments are clearly audible, it's a good supplement to the rawness (not meant as ineptitude) of the music itself.

Anyway, I would suggest this album to all the ones who love Italian prog, and it might be a delight for heavy proggers!

Report this review (#221819)
Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is an adventure into the unexpected. This Italian Symphonic Prog album has a very British feel to it. I had to look at the cover several times to really convince myself that this band is indeed from Italy.

The music is somewhere between Vanilla Fudge, The Nice, ELP and Deep Purple. Heavy Prog meets Keith Emerson in other words. The over the top ELP stuff is present here. So is John Lord and his Deep Purple stuff. Just to confuse the matter, there are some classic pop here too (the song Little Janie). The music varies from hard to soft. The quality is pretty good throughout this album. I find it a bit boring and fragmented. But it is a pretty good effort, although maybe not I am to fond of. I am missing a really good killer track here. But a good effort, it is......

3 stars

Report this review (#223770)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I quite liked their debut album, and this one is a perfect continuation of the work started one year prior to this release.

The fundamentals have not changed: "The Trip" stills play a solid psychedelic rock (sung in English) and the best of this album are the instrumental passages. Just listen to the superb and wild opening number to make up your mind. Logically, the model resides in the Floydean atmospheres of the late middle sixties.

But even three years after that period, it must have been quite daring for an Italian band to play such music. Don't forget that in these prehistorically days, Banco nor PFM had seen the light. "The Trip" must then be considered as a pioneer in the peninsula, although as I have said in my review of their first album that they have nothing to share with the Italian genre. Psyche music and English lyrics: that's what you get here.

At times, they play somewhat heavier as well ("Two Brothers"). Solid keys ŕ la "Atomic Rooster" is quite well performed. The echoed vocals are just another confirmation of the musical style of the era.

The longest number has to be considered as a tribute to Hendrix. Still: lots of keyboards, melody and little crazy guitar. Another highlight of this work: the heavy groove is catchy, the loaded organ is powerful: I have to admit that I quite like these sort of sounds. Vocals are just average, but I have already mentioned that the vocal department was not quite in line. Anyway: nobody's perfect.

I think that this album is worth seven out of ten, but due to its historical importance I will upgrade it to four stars. But be aware that this is a psychedelic rock album sung in English.

Report this review (#308550)
Posted Saturday, November 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Second chapter of a rather short discography of The Trip, "Caronte" is characterized by a clear stylistic change compared to his predecessor: the rock-blues of the debut is abandoned in favor of a typically UK progressive rock, although the influence of the part Italian of the group make itself heard. "Caronte" is a concept album that is telling the story of merciless analysis of society, characterized by hypocrisy and rejection of different thinking.

In just over half an hour, they manage to channel all the experience with an interesting and mature job. Acid keyboards, sustained rhythms and a guitar that introduce the listener into a gloomy and sulphurous world.

Massive organ riffs together with a hard rock tuned guitar create a dynamic protoprog, which in places reveals a neoclassical touch and in the instrumental "Caronte I" that opens the album meanders between organ-heavy pomp and rocky down-to-earthness. The long track "L'Ultima ora e Ode a Jimi Hendrix" is the undisputed climax and combines luxurious keys, grippy guitar lines and hymn vocal harmonies in a haunting manner.

Great technique at the service of high-level compositions, and a great mix of progressive inspirations from England and Italy, makes this album one of the bases and an obligatory part of the collection of every prog lover.

Report this review (#2530454)
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2021 | Review Permalink

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