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Montefeltro - Il Pesce Rosso ... CD (album) cover



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3 stars Well actually in some circumstances it deserves a superior score, as this second release by Montefeltro is more compact in comparison to their debut album and personal too...there are not medieval breaks-through, like in the previous one, but this time the approach is more direct and sometimes using a fact the whole job is focused on the delicate arpeggios at the guitars and soft remarkable melodies as well, instead of concentrating their efforts on the technical aspects of prog music!! These personal features let us appreciate the artistic value of each song, especially talking about the unique suite entitled "Racconto di Maggio", which is good, despite of the weak vocal parts!! Certainly if their ensemble was completed by means of other orchestrations (the main line-up is composed by two musicians only, plus one guest as a drummer and Eugenio Colombo on sax...instead the second vocalist, Corinne Nuvoli, gives a minor contribution within the good chorus section) and by availing themselves of the collaboration with other musicians, their work should have gained some other "credits" by the critics, but it never minds. The compositions (mainly written by Attilio Virgilio) are always quite original and to me that's the end this second issue by Montefeltro is very interesting and to be checked out once again!!
Report this review (#30593)
Posted Thursday, July 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well their first album may have been "Italian Symphonic prog" but this second release is really more elaborate prog flavored jazz-pop to my ears. Only one original member remains and this album is quite different than their first.

Very light and nimble playing throughout. A clean electric guitar sound and near-whispered or soft vocals in many places give the visual of a band trying to cut an album quietly in one room while trying not to wake a sleeping family member in the next room. Kidding of course but the sound is on the soft side. The drumming is extremely agile and expressive as is the bass. The guitar sound (I'm no expert but it's a clean electric sound that is altered to sound wavey) really grew tiring to me after a bit and could have used more variation. My favorite track was "Altomare" which did have some splendid guitar work near the end. The mood of the music seems mostly melancholic but without understanding the Italian vocals I can't shed much light on the content.

A nice album for fans who enjoy the more reserved rock bands on this site but hardly essential for proggers.

Report this review (#123456)
Posted Saturday, May 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars After a long hiatus (eight years) after their debut album, the band came back again in 2001 with this "Il Pesce Rosso".

Lots of instrumental parts even if the opening track which mixes some French spoken introduction and Italian vocals. Nice for the Latin flavour, but not really great to be honest. Shall I say that the same feeling is prevailing while listening to the whole piece? Probably.

This album is not a weak one but I can't be laudatory about it. Genuine personality is lacking, for sure. The music displayed is not impressive and I won't remember it after a while. Actually, there are very few reasons to come back to this album and listen to it over and over again. Would it be to discover some aspects that would have been hidden after a few listens or just to listen to some great tracks once more. Because, I can hardly find one great track on this "Pecce Rosso". A bit of jazzy compromise with "Alma Criança" which is not too bad after all.

The worse is being achieved during the reggae-ish intro of "Sentilcuore" which miraculously evolves towards a true and wonderful true Italian prog attempt: fine vocals, subtle (excellent) sax are paving the way. The best track so far, even if its intro is quite weak.

But the soufflé falls again quite abruptly with the opening part of the epic " Racconto Di Maggio". Fortunately, it only lasts for some three minutes?But to tell the truth, it is only during the last section of this song that the cake gets some flavours back.

And one of the best moment from this offering is the quite good "Altomare" which provides all the great feelings that the fine ISP genre can bring: charm, passion, skills and virtuosity.

All in all, this album is average. Two stars is the bill.

Report this review (#275057)
Posted Sunday, March 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This, the second album from the modern Italian band Montefeltro seems to be generally considerded weaker than the debut 8 years earlier. I can't compare Il Pesce Rosso to the debut (which I'm hoping to hear too!) but all the more I was quite pleased with it. Yes, it operates mostly on the softer side but for me that's just fine. The vocals are in Italian but otherwise I didn't find the music very "Italian" in nature.

The production is clean - almost a bit sterile - and the music seldom rocks, instead it has some sort of a sophisticated jazz feel (think of ECM label). Band's head is obviously Attilio Virgilio (vocals, guitars, guitar-synths, loops, composition, lyrics). Surprisingly against that notion, it's the rhythm section that really shines here, which actually saves the music from being too narcotic at places. Guitar work is not very exciting, I admit. The lyrics are based loosely on Goethe's classic novella about Young Werther, I suppose. (Sadly I don't remember any red fish from the book, but I read it such a long time ago.)

I came to think of 90's Marillion (albums like Afraid Of Sunlight or Brave) and some of Peter Hammill's later output (albums like Out Of Water or Everyone You Hold). Well, definitely no vocal power of Hammill in sight. Light-as-a-feather vocals stay quite secondary to music all the way (think of Camel). Female (background)vocalist guests on a couple of tracks, and a saxophonist on 'Sentilcuore'. No, this album is far from any sort of masterpiece, but pretty enjoyable, and there's not a single bad track. On the other hand, no absolutely memorable highlights either. 3½ stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#521736)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A long pause followed the stellar debut album of the Montefeltro because of Attilio Virgilio's life changes and job commitments.And when he finally decided to record a follow-up work to ''Il tempo di far la fantasia'', Piergiorgio Ambrossi was not next to him anymore.Instead he gathered a number of guest musicians to help him mainly on the drum and bass sessions and thus ''Il pesce rosso, vestito alla Werther, mangiò l'uva il 1° dell'anno'' was born and eventually released on Mellow Records in 2001.

The tracks are long, the atmosphere romantic but this is actually a very different album compared to ''Il tempo di far la fantasia''.What went wrong?Was it maybe Ambrossi's absence?Possibly not, as Virgilio was also the main composer of the band's fantastic debut.It seems this time the Italian multi-instrumentalist decided to go for a much smoother, more accesible and easy-going style, bringing to mind the most accesible moments of ATON'S and 90's era MARILLION.Add to this style some touches from other music genres such as World Music, Lounge Jazz, Folk and Ambient Music and the puzzle is complete, though it does not seem that the pieces are in the right order.The whole atmosphere is too mellow, the musicianship tends to be hypnotic at moments and the great inspiration of the debut is long gone.Compositionally it is not a bad work, the different ideas and genres are tightly connected, but the music never takes off and it seems not to have a specific orientation.A couple of tracks even contain shadows of the band's debut like ''Omait '' or ''Racconto di maggio, Dell's umano sognare''.But the unrelated themes confuse the listener, while the very soft arrangements make this one far from memorable.

It seems that Virgilio put the project on ice after this effort and I would definitely recommend the listener to stick with the first album of the band.The second release is a peaceful work of vocal Art Rock with decent arrangements but rather forgettable material as a whole...2.5 stars.

Report this review (#816585)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Worth to listen, especially after their hailed, praised, glorified and magnified debut. Yes Il Tempo di Far la Fantasia was more than enough to satisfy and even delight all, as prog fans so the Musea team. But what really extraordinary and unprecedented could be found in that (yes I agree) really excellent album? Something Emersonian, plus something Leviathan-like (I mean late 1980s Italian Leviathan), plus a lot of Via Lumini/Apocalypse-like. Just another excellent prog band appeared, no more than that. An asset to prog, but not a discovery, not a new word in prog. And then, almost a decade later, the second studio album saw the light of day. Not surprisingly, it did not meet the expectations of those who were familiar with the debut album, so unusual and unexpected Il Pesce Rosso... is. Very soft, very delicate, sometimes insinuating, often mysterious. Perhaps sometimes rather chamber than truly progressive. Wonderful female vocals. Romantic arrangements and piano-to-pianissimo instrumentation, in contrast to orotund, energetic and almost aggressive atmosphere of the debut. And everything is distinctive, not similar to anyone else. Of no doubt, the second album by Montefeltro is their genuine creative face. And what a pity that the band's life story ended up with it. Honestly, I'd prefer Montefeltro to have one Il Tempo di Far la Fantasia (yes one is enough!) and at least a few releases in the same direction as Il Pesce Rosso... in their track record.
Report this review (#1919539)
Posted Friday, May 4, 2018 | Review Permalink

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