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New Trolls - UT New Trolls: Do Ut Des CD (album) cover


New Trolls

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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4 stars "New Trolls" is an Italian rock band which released their debut album as early as 1968 and "Do Ut Des" from last year is their eighteenth studio album. Despite it's boring cover(is it Loreen I see?) and the small interest from other's hear I found it a record worth listening to.

The impressions from what I have heard are many. Firstly it's clear that this is a quite hard rock band which heavy guitar lines and singable choruses are easy to get fond of. The influences present on "Do ut des" are rock music, classical music, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and symphonic rock. The record starts with "Paganini" a little classic bit(8/10) and then comes the "mega hit" "Per ogni lacrima" a wonderful song with symphopnic melody and instrumentation, keyboards and guitar are great(8/10). "La Luce di Vermeer" is fast and rocky, and the guitars feel like they're from the eighties. In a piano solo it sounds a lot like Emerson, Lake and Palmer(8/10). "Oltre Il Cielo" is languorous and swinging(7/10) and "Rispettare Puo' Salvare" is a catchy and partially lovely song(7/10). "Do ut des", the title track is very varied with classical music and a lot of instrumental parts with great instruments. The band does this very professional(8/10). "Sara' per Noi" is more mediocre(6/10) but "Siamo Ancora Qui" and "Sporca politica" are better and potential hits(7/10). The albums closes with the English sung "Can't go on" which also is very nice and energetic.(7/10). The last song features Fergie Frederiksen on vocals.

The very competent musicians who are working here are Gianni Belleno(drums and vocals), Maurizio Salvi(keyboards and vocals), Claudio Cinquegrana(guitar, vocals), Anna Portalupi(guitar, bass) and Alessandro del Vecchio(vocals,keyboards). I think their efforts should be acknowledged and I like many of these songs very much so I will give the record four stars! My favourite song from the album are "La Luce Di Vermeer" followed by "Do ut des" and "Per ogni Lacrima".

Report this review (#1224387)
Posted Saturday, July 26, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars UT New Trolls are just one of the many offshoots of historic Genoese band New Trolls (like Ibis, New Trolls Atomic System and Tritons in the seventies and later La Storia dei New Trolls, Il Mito dei New Tolls, Il Cuore dei New Trolls, La Leggenda dei New Trolls...), all featuring some of the old members claiming the heritage of the original band. This project took off in 2011 under the name Uno Tempore on the initiative of New Trolls' historic members Gianni Belleno and Maurizio Salvi who gathered around them a bunch of talented musicians with the aim of reviving the 'prog soul' of New Trolls, in particular performing live pieces from the 1972 album Ut and other material from the early seventies. In 2012 a live album was released under the name Uno Tempore New Trolls and in 2013 the band with the name shortened to UT New Trolls released a brand new studio work entitled "Do Ut Des" on the independent label Immaginifica with a renewed line up featuring Gianni Belleno (drums, vocals), Maurizio Salvi (keyboards, piano, Hammond), Alessandro Del Vecchio (keyboards, piano, vocals), Claudio Cinquegrana (electric and acoustic guitar) and Anna Portalupi (bass). Despite the good intentions, I have to say that for a prog fan the fruits of their work could have a bitter taste since the prog soul of the band here seems to be smothered by the prevailing pop, melodic vein that is also part of New Trolls' DNA...

The album opens with promising short instrumental 'Paganini', then comes 'Per ogni lacrima' (For every tear), a piece about the healing power of friendship and love that starts with a sparkling, classical inspired, organ passage. Unfortunately, after a minute the music veers to AOR and could remind of New Trolls' albums like Aldebaran rather than Ut.

'La luce di Vermeer' (Vermeer's light) combines melodic vocal parts and bolder instrumental passages. It's a good piece where the lyrics invite you to look in a different way at people who serve time in prison because not all of them took deliberately the career of evil but some where just doomed by an ill fate and a difficult social condition. Even those branded with the sign of Cain should deserve another chance and bit of respect...

The following 'Oltre il cielo' (Beyond the sky) is just a melodic ballad dealing with the need to overcome the consequences of the traumatic end of a relationship while 'Rispettare pu˛ salvare' (Respecting can save) is a reflection about the never ending conflicts in the Middle East and the troubled situation in Palestine. The softer parts evoke a comet over Bethlehem and the hope that sooner or later men will learn the mutual respect and live in peace...

'Do Ut Des' (Give and take) is a beautiful piece, featuring many brilliant classical inspired passages and lyrics inspired by an absolute love for Music. Next comes 'SarÓ per noi' (It will be for us) a touching, romantic ballad with beautiful harmony vocals. Then the dreamy 'Siamo ancora qui' (We're still here) tries to express the feelings and the emotion of the musicians on stage, even after many years of career...

The swinging 'Sporca politica' (Dirty politics) is a kind of ranting against the politicians who waste the money collected with taxes in their games of power but in my opinion the committed lyrics and the carefree music are neither here nor there and this is probably the weakest point of the album. The closer 'Can't Go On' could be considered as a bonus track since it's just the English version of 'Oltre il cielo' sung by the special guest Fergie Frederiksen from Toto.

On the whole, in my opinion this is a good AOR album with some hints of prog that should be of interest for fans of bands such as Toto but that is not essential in a prog collection.

Report this review (#2490407)
Posted Monday, January 4, 2021 | Review Permalink

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