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New Trolls - Concerto Grosso N3 CD (album) cover

CONCERTO GROSSO N3

New Trolls

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
2 stars New Trolls have a story that goes back to mid-60's when the first line-up of the band was put together. They released 5 albums through late 60's and early 70's before they disbanded. In the late 70's they got together again but after that there were several splits and reunions, new projects involving the musicians of the band etc.

The band consists of four historic members of the original New Trolls' line-up together with Luis Bacalov and the Orchestra of Teatro Felice in Genoa. Concerto Grosso N 3 (2013) is the final third chapter of a trilogy that began over 40 years ago with their most successful album Concerto Grosso (1971). The album was released early this year in March Immaginica/Aerostella.

The album presents a very solid and completely Symphonic sound. It's a blend of Progressive Rock with the Baroque sounds of the orchestra and a great choir of voices all around. The first half of the album is comprised of six tracks that form a suite. 'The Mythical City' starts it with a kind of Pop sound, that can scare a bit, but soon 'Oh Venice' changes this image and 'Storm In Venice' redoes the game completely. Amazing track!

'Like Ophelia' gives a continuation to their suite with a kind of Christmas music that fits the month I'm reviewing the album (although the album was released 9 months ago). 'The Magical City' closes the suite and starts with a neo-classical kind of guitar solo, sort of weird having this kind of solo for the album in my opinion, not just that, the Pop kind of sound from the first track was revived here and the track also includes classical interludes all along. Very weird and mixed.

In the second half of the album we have the Pop Rock side of the band. The second half starts with 'Per Nico' and honestly, this is not a good direction for a band like New Trolls to go. Then 'Per Chi Combatte Per Noi' hits the speakers and the Italian Pop Rock 90's style continues, and by this time the album lost all its value for me. Not because it's not Prog Rock anymore, but because the compositions are really dull and flat. 'Per Freddie' is a homage to Queen's singer, but I would be ashamed of showing this song to him if he was alive. The album continues with 'Per Tutti I Bambini Del Mondo' that rises the level of the album a bit but then 'Per Lui' follows and pretty much ruins it again. 'Per Amore' and 'Per Chi Non Capisce' are ballads, the first one not even deserves to be reviewed, the second is quite good with acoustic guitars and orchestra.

Honestly speaking I was excited to have this Cd sent to me to be reviewed, but it was a big disappointment in the end. Concerto Grosso N 3 (2013) is a mixed bag where the first half takes us back to the real band's sound and the second just aims to someplace else I just can't understand. If the goal here was playing in the radio and having records sold they should have changed their name. The first half of the album is quite good using the orchestra to implement their sound, the second is just dull and misses life on the tracks with exception of the last one 'Per Chi Non Capisce'.

Concerto Grosso N 3 (2013) is pretty much a let-down for me, I honestly think that this album is for fans only, and even then, I'm not pretty sure that they will truly enjoy it.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#1109336)
Posted Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Fun? Yes. Musical? Definitely. Cheesey? Well, yeah, it's that too, but there's something captivating about Italian prog legends the New Trolls and its latest incarnation led by Vittorio De Scalzi despite the fact that not much has changed this time around. Once again we get loads of baroque inspired orchestra music blended in with pop and rock. Their latest, Concerto Grosso no. 3, is high energy, bombastic, and showcases, as always, the classic voice and flute work of Mr. De Scalzi. "Oh Venice" made for a powerful baroque/rock ballad while storm in Venice starts of brilliantly mysterious and builds spectacularly with the strings before an explosion of strings and electric guitar trade-offs with strong Vivaldi leanings. "Like Ophelia" returns to ballad form and makes gorgeous use of harp and piano; unfortunately when the guitar and drums kick in it gets a bit sappy. "The Magical City" ends up being a reprise of the opener, "The Mythical City" (both great songs), but this time with a royally epic march, sort of kingly parade music and even more orchestral wanderings in baroque style, augmented by punching rock band and thundering timpani. While there is lots going on in terms of classical baroque rock, there are, of course, the elements that make New Trolls' songs a bit polarizing for me. From my perhaps snobby view, there are a few bad pop numbers on this record, just as is typical of other albums in the New Trolls catalogue; in this case, "Per Nico," "Per Amore," and "Per Chi Combatte Per Noi." On the flip side, however, there are examples of good/tasteful pop, such as "Per Tutti I Bambini Del Mondo," a moving piece, somber but catchy, and "Per Lui" which is pretty straightforward rock with some nice opera vocal surprises. In the end, Concerto Grosso no. 3 offers us about what we expect from New Trolls: high quality and energetic baroque inspired prog rock along with a tendency toward old school style pop rock and ballads. If you're a fan of these Italian boys, this is certainly an album you'll want to run out and buy, and if you ever get an opportunity to see these guys perform live, you'll really be missing out if you don't go.

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Send comments to Progulator (BETA) | Report this review (#1287583)
Posted Saturday, October 04, 2014 | Review Permalink

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