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Cherry Five

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Cherry Five Il Pozzo Dei Giganti album cover
3.95 | 54 ratings | 4 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Il Pozzo dei Giganti (Inferno XXXI) (24:51)
- Manfredi (Purgatorio III) :
2. La Forza del Guerriero (3:15)
3. Il Tempo del Destino (4:02)
4. Terra Rossa (5:31)
5. Un Mondo Tra noi Due (3:30)
6. Dentro la Cerchia Antica (Paradiso XVI) (8:40)

Total Time 49:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Antonio "Tony" Tartarini / vocals
- Ludovico Piccinini / guitars
- Gianluca De Rossi / Hammond, Mellotron, MiniMoog, Roland JX-8P, Hohner clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Yamaha CP33
- Pino Sallusti / electric & acoustic basses
- Carlo Bordini / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Daniela Ventrone

LP Black Widow Records ‎- BWR 181 (2015, Italy)

CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD 181-2 (2015, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CHERRY FIVE Il Pozzo Dei Giganti ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

CHERRY FIVE Il Pozzo Dei Giganti reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
3 stars - The First Review of This Album -

CHERRY FIVE made in mid-seventies their sole, eponymous album which has become a middle-league classic of RPI. Three of the five members continued as GOBLIN. Now, four decades later, the other two members - vocalist Tony Tartarini and drummer Carlo Bordini - have reformed Cherry Five with keyboardist Gianluca De Rossi from TAPROBAN, a jazz bassist Pino Sallusti and a rock guitarist Ludovico Piccinini. Black Widow, the record company, seem to have played a role in bringing the two original members together again. The new album is inspired by Dante's La Divina Commedia (featuring lyrics by Tartarini). I haven't heard the mentioned Cherry Five album from 1975. Nor are either Taproban or Tartarini's other 70's band L'Uovo di Colombo's music familiar to me.

For the 25-minute title epic the role models are the classic 70's prog epics, especially ELP's Tarkus. Hmm, risky to make such comparison, because this work lacks the powerful and melodic emotion of the Tarkus sections like 'Stones of Years' and the Emersonian keyboard virtuosity. In fact the first 5-8 minutes, featuring a flat background pattern of Hammond, are a bit pushed and monotonous, apart from a decent keyboard solo. Somewhere in the middle of the epic is a fine, jazzy bass solo. The vocals that seem at first listen rather colourless show also some warmer emotion later on the album, but 'Il Pozzo dei Giganti' doesn't fully succeed to me, though I presume it grows with time. It draws from Inferno's Canto XXXI and is about giants punished for their pride.

'Manfredi' (Purgatorio, Canto III) is a four-part epic of 16 minutes. The first part is in fast tempo and attempts to sound like GENTLE GIANT in its rhythmic complexity but it's quite unmemorable. The second part is slower and more emotional - indeed approaching accessible soft pop - featuring also a brief guitar solo. The third one rocks slightly heavier with URIAH HEEP-ish Hammond, and the final part returns to the slightly sentimental softness. Nothing wrong with that! Sadly the wide dynamics in composition is not very present sonically; the album has a bit forced atmosphere, it never gets in full flight.

Could the mixing be a bit unbalanced in this album? I have a feeling that the instruments, especially the wide set of keyboards, are not heard very brightly; often the sound gets stuffy. 'Dentro la Cerchia Antica' (Paradiso, Canto XVI) "offers a progressive-medieval style..." Well, the harpsichord-like keyboards etc. get half-buried in the Heavy-oriented sound. A good prog piece otherwise.

3 stars. This would be SO close to a strong four-star album in the vein of classic 70's symphonic prog, happily even less Heavy than the Black Widow releases in general. But I guess rounding down to three stars reflects more honestly my reception.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With several variations of RPI/horror soundtrack group Goblin currently active - a new version of the original Goblin, Goblin Rebirth, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin - why shouldn't the pre-Goblin band that started it all, Cherry Five, get a look in as well? The sole self-titled Cherry Five album from 1975 is often considered by some Italian prog fans as a bit of a minor classic, an energetic Yes- influenced English language work easy to enjoy and constantly return to. While Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante and Fabio Pignatelli are busy elsewhere, the original vocalist Tony Tartarini and drummer Carlo Bordini from the Seventies have now reformed in 2015 with three additional talented new players to offer a superb return in the form of their adaption of Dante's La Divina Commedia entitled `Il Pozzo dei Giganti' (`The Well of the Giants'), and this version of the group have not only released a vital new work, but one that stands strongly on its own merits, not some mere uninspired or desperate `comeback' album! It's a tough and heavy symphonic work far more ambitious than the charming previous work, and it just might be one of the best and most surprising Italian releases of 2015!

There's a lot of talent, both vintage and modern, on display throughout `Il Pozzo dei Giganti', a fine coming together of two eras of Italian progressive music. Original vocalist Tartarini also sung on the Seventies RPI self-titled classic `L'Uovo di Colombo', and his voice these days has taken on a groaning, raspy crooning quality, while drummer Bordini teamed up with keyboard player Paolo Rustichelli on the rough-as-guts grand classic `Opera Prima', both from 1973. Here they've recruited fresh blood with talented jazz musician Pino Sallusti, whose bass playing is thick, fluid and upfront as expected of progressive releases, and heavy guitarist Ludovico Piccinini, who comes from a more metal background. But the real standout is keyboard player Gianluca De Rossi, whose own project Taproban released a minor dark symphonic Italian classic with 2013's `Strigma', and he dominates the arrangements here with vintage sophistication and bombast.

Reverting to singing in Italian (can you imagine what that first album would have sounded like sung in Italian?!), the twenty-five minute title track kicks the album off with one almighty powerful statement of intent. `Il Pozzo dei Giganti' is a gutsy and relentless side-long slog of heavy symphonic with traces of unease and great intensity. The piece launches headfirst into Gianluca's manic and relentless church organ grinding, a coarse vocal from Tony, Carlo's maddening and busy drums, Pino's slinking bass and Ludovico's snarling electric guitar wailing (although very rarely if ever actually sounding like heavy metal), the group overwhelming with a hair-tearing madness. Everything from jazz-fusion runs, droning stormy ambience, gothic Mellotron choirs, delicate piano ruminations, pleading vocal cries, fretless bass eruptions, loopy and dazzling keyboard colours and theatrical and classical bombast are all worked in, and it's a showcase to the supreme talent of the musicians here.

Covering about sixteen minutes, the second side's `Manfredi' suite is a collection of four separate pieces that are not quite as brash and overwhelming as the first epic, but they do bring back some of the chiming, upbeat and even playful sounds of the original album in balance with the modern harder style presented here. Piano and twisting guitars are urgent throughout the snappy `La Forza del Guerriero', humming Hammond organ, jazzy guitar licks and seductive bass flirt through hard-groover `Terra Rossa' ('Red Earth'), and both `Il Tempo del Destino' (`The Time of Destiny') and the classy `Un Mondo tra Noi Due' (`A World Between Us') have emotional and powerful ballad passages that are deeply moving and reflective. The album then closes on the eight minute `Dentro la Cerchia Antica' (`Inside the Ancient Circle') that opens as a lush and sprightly acoustic madrigal folk ballad with flute and harpsichord-like synths before taking off into P.F.M-like galloping races of whirling Moog and charging guitars.

Released on the heavy Italian specialists Black Widow label, housed in gorgeous dark artwork (no-one does the mix of erotic and infernal quite like Daniela Ventrone), this vinyl-length return is a fine way to not only get reacquainted with Cherry Five, but witness the birth of a brand new version of the band with so much to offer. With `Il Pozzo dei Giganti' they've delivered a confident, intelligent and lavish work that will equally appeal to vintage and modern RPI listeners, up there with the best Italian releases of 2015 from both modern and established older acts. Hopefully the band is inspired to continue on with more new works in the near future and we won't have to wait another forty years for a follow-up!

Four and a half stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars CHERRY FIVE are probably most known for being the band that GOBLIN came out of. The guitarist, bass player and keyboardist would make a lasting mark in Italian music with their Horror soundtracks. The singer and drummer interestingly enough had more pedigree than the other three with the vocalist previously being in one of my favourite RPI bands called L'UOVA DI COLOMBO. The drummer was in RUSTICHELLI & BORDINI prior to CHERRY FIVE. Anyway the drummer and vocalist have resurrected this band to surprisingly great results some 40 years after the debut. They've gone to Italian vocals instead of the English featured on their debut plus no YES flavour here at all only a strong RPI sound that is often quite powerful. I'm leaning to this one over the debut even though this is far from perfect.

Highlight is the almost 25 minute opener. Yeah lets make an impression. They did! Bass and sparse sounds as the organ rises out of this and drums join in. Soon the organ is pulsating and the vocals join in. So good. Powerful vocals 5 minutes in as we get some great sounding bass, guitar and drums before the synths arrive. Not a favourite sound here but it's mostly all organ on this album from the keyboardist. Pulsating organ once again after 7 1/2 minutes. It turns powerful once again before 9 minutes as the vocals step aside. Piano only a minute later. Vocals are back around 11 minutes in. It's building until the guitar is ripping it up 14 minutes in. Gotta like the vocals and mellotron after 19 minutes in. A guitar solo then a calm before 20 1/2 minutes. Check out the depth of the sound. Organ then leads to the end.

The second track is energetic with vocals. The next one "Il Tempo Del Destino" is a favourite of mine. Love the contrasts between the mellow passages and powerful sections. This and the next track along with that long opener are my top three. Not big on the ballad-like section to start "Un Mondotra Noi Due" or the lightweight start on the closer but both end well.

A very solid album here and 4 stars in my book. Ahhh it's good to listen to some RPI again.

Review by andrea
5 stars "Il pozzo dei giganti" is the second album by Cherry Five and was released in 2015 on the independent label Black Widow Records by a new line up featuring, along with historic members Tony Tartarini (vocals) and Carlo Bordini (drums, percussion) who took over the old brand, the fresh energies of Ludovico Piccinini (guitars), Gianluca De Rossi (keyboards - from Taproban) and Pino Sallusti (bass). It's an excellent work containing three long tracks, inspired by Dante's "Divine Comedy", in a symphonic prog style where vintage instruments are blended with more updated sounds. The beautiful artwork by Daniela Ventrone helps to understand the musical and lyrical content...

The long, complex opener "Il pozzo dei giganti (Inferno XXXI)" (The well of the giants) is a new, extended version of an instrumental piece included in the 2008 Musea - Colossus themed compilation "Dante's Inferno - The Divine Comedy Part I" and credited to De Rossi & Bordini. It starts by obscure percussive sounds and disquieting organ chords, then the rhythm rises and Tony Tartarini voice plays the role of a damned giant evoking abysses of emotions, an inner raging fire and a violent, blinding lightning. The giant would like to be again the strong, scary giant he was when alive but he realizes that he's not dreaming and that his current condition is everlasting. In a world crowded with thieves and scoundrels, where injustice reigns, there are too many fake giants that live on the shoulders of other people, too many coward giants hiding their feet of clay and too many crimes committed in the name of God and there's no one who can save him, no one who can set his legs free, his legs crushed by pride and arrogance. As rage and hope fade out the rhythm calms down and the atmosphere becomes even darker... The giant feels little and helpless as he desperately looks around for help. The music and vocals express anguish and fear and there are some narrative vocals in Latin evoking Cerberus and the eternal pain of hell... Then the rhythm rises again as the giant warns you that nobody can escape from the divine judgement, but from his mouth what comes out is only a terrible rage. A masterful interpretation!

Next comes "Manfredi (Purgatorio III)", an excellent suite divided into four parts and inspired by the character of Manfred, King of Sicily. The first part, "La forza del guerriero" (The strength of the warrior) conjures up in music and words the blue eyes and proud look of the warrior who was led to defeat by his ambition. Great is the injury on his face and many are the sins he committed during his life but in his heart there's room for kindness and humility. His rage melts as hope creeps in and his pain fades out as hate disappears from his tormented soul... On the second part, "Il tempo del destino" (Time of destiny), the voice of Tony Tartarini goes from description to empathy and begins playing the role of Manfredi. His heart beats the rhythm of destiny and slowly that rhythm turns into the sound of the paces leading him to the meeting with history and death, mercy and repentance... The third part, "Terra rossa" (Red soil) is more aggressive and depicts the last battle of the warrior who can still remember the soil drenched in blood, the smell of death, the echoes of the fighting. Then the warrior turns his look to the poet and gives him a message for his daughter... The last part, "Un mondo tra noi due" (A world between us), calm and melodic, reveals the content of the message with all the love of a father for his daughter, the regrets for the time he spent away from her and the asking for a prayer...

The last track, "Dentro la cerchia antica (Paradiso XVI)" (Within the old city walls), was inspired by the meeting between Dante and his ancestor Cacciaguida. It starts by a medieval flavour evoking a pastoral, celestial landscape. Then rhythm rises while music and words deliver a heartfelt ranting against moral decadence and lack of justice, greediness and prevarication, corruption and richness. What can save us is the constant search for justice and truth in a merciless fight against evil. It's better to stop for a while and reflect, trying to find again the right sense of a humanity that's getting lost on account of its thirst of luxury and power... Eventually, a short reprise of the first track closes the circle and ends the album.

On the whole, an excellent work! By the way, I had the chance to see the band performing it live and the show was really good as well...

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