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Christadoro biography
The CHRISTADORO project is a collective of skilled Italian musicians hailing from a varied background of musical genres and bands. Its founder is Mox Cristadoro, an artist of a thirty year musical career who has worked for names such as MonumentuM, Carnival of Fools, La Crus, Santa Sangre and Cristina Donà, as well as several bands of the Italian Hardcore Punk scene of the '80s and '90s.

A passion for progressive rock led Cristadoro to cross paths with modern Italian progressive music notable, FABIO ZUFFANTI (FINISTERRE, LA MASCHERA DI CERA, HÖSTSONATEN), with their encounter eventually producing a new musical project, Christadoro. In addition to the same Mox Cristadoro on drums/percussion and Fabio Zuffanti on bass, it boasts Pier Panzeri (current member of IL BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO) on guitars, Paulo `Ske' Botta (YUGEN, NOT A GOOD SIGN) on keyboards and Andrea `Mitzi' Dal Santo (metal group Noize Machine) on vocals, and the group set out to reinterpret an eclectic selection of Italian pop, folk and rock songs from a variety of mostly Seventies artists, especially those who frequently performed in the Italian canzone d'autore/singer-songwriter style.

The surprising and highly recommended self-titled `Christadoro' debut album was released on January 13th 2017, where it re-imagines those above-mentioned older songs in a variety of intense, heavy and sophisticated ways with a very modern sound, and along with the sublime musicianship and charismatic vocals of the core group, it also boasts contributions from Franco Mussida of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI and Giuseppe `Pilli' Cossa (keyboardist and founder of IL BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO).

Biography by Michael Hodgson (Aussie-Byrd-Brother)

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3.65 | 18 ratings

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 Christadoro by CHRISTADORO album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.65 | 18 ratings

Christadoro Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Agnenrecords

3 stars Christadoro is a project which brings together a bunch of highly proficient musicians from varied backgrounds, united by their love of progressive rock. Joining Mox Christadoro (drums and percussion) and bassist Fabio Zuffanti who was at least partly responsible for the idea, are Pier Panzeri from the reformed Biglietto per l'Inferno (guitars), Paul 'Ske' Botta who I'd seen with Not a Good Sign on the first day of the Riviera Prog festival in Genova in 2014 (keyboards), and vocalist Andrea 'Mitzi' Dal Santo. The core band is augmented with some renowned guests including Franco Mussida, formerly of PFM.

The concept, hinted at in a quotation from Richie Havens printed on the inner sleeve: I really sing songs that move me / I'm not in show business / I'm in the communications business is a presentation of seven popular Italian songs written by some of the biggest names in Italy during the 70s, largely in the Italian 'canzone d'autore' singer-songwriter movement given a progressive rock makeover in the same way that Yes performed Simon and Garfunkel's America. Another track Ricercare nel mare dell'Inequitudine della paura (Searching the sea of anxiety and fear) is a Franco Mussida solo acoustic guitar prelude to L'ombra della luce (The shadow of the light) by Franco Battiato and uses some unexpected musical intervals. This pair of tracks (I couldn't detect the transition between the two) are my favourites from the album, though I'm impressed with each of the interpretations and how neatly they have been turned prog.

There may not be the complexity associated with progressivo Italiano but there's some great playing; when the needle hit the groove on the first playing I was struck by the excellent-sounding organ of L'operaio Gerolamo and the driving guitar riff. The great organ work continues on Il sosia (The Lookalike) but we're also treated to an archetypal Zuffanti trope, the reading of text, in this instance the recital of lines from a 1971 TV series Il Segno del Comando, followed by a brief jazz-rock workout before getting a little heavy-psyche.

L'ultimo spettacolo calls to mind Pink Floyd's Fat Old Sun with its slide guitar and laid-back tempo, and despite an interesting instrumental break in the middle of the song and a more rocking ending, I feel this is the weakest track on the album.

Figli di... is guitar-driven heavy rock but the vocals are clear and good. There's more dynamic range and a healthy dose of drama in the side two opener Lo stambecco ferito which verges on Van der Graaf Generator territory. Solo begins with a cello section provided by Zeno Gabaglio, electric piano features heavily but there's also some good Mellotron work.

Overall it's a rewarding LP, though not straightforward prog - the band are playing songs that move them. Three and a half stars (7/10)

 Christadoro by CHRISTADORO album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.65 | 18 ratings

Christadoro Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Christadoro is a surprising but very welcome collaboration between modern Italian prog notable Fabio Zuffanti (Finisterre, La Maschera di Cera, Hostsonaten and his own superb solo work) and thirty-year Italian music veteran and drummer Mox Cristadoro that also boasts a band comprised of members of Yugen, Not a Good Sign and the modern incarnation of Il Biglietto per L'Inferno. On their self-titled 2017 debut album, the Christadoro band bring fresh and very different life to a range of pieces from a diverse selection of vintage Italian acts, often of the Italian canzone d'autore/singer-songwriter tradition such as Franco Battiato, Lucio Dalla, Giorgio Gaber, Roberto Vecchioni, Antonello Vendetti, Claudio Baglioni and even New Wave/Punk group Decibel, and of special interest to long-time RPI fans, it also includes contributions from Franco Mussida of Premiata Forneria Marconi and Giuseppe `Pilli' Cossa of the original version of Il Biglietto per L'Inferno.

Moody opener `L'Operaio Gerolamo' ripples with danger, as eerie background synths, Fabio's low-key murmuring bass and Andrea Dal Santo's increasingly intense treated vocal maintain the relentlessness of the Lucio Dalla original but gives it a firm modern grounding with a suitably stormy ending of wild strangled electric guitar. After a moody spoken word passages `Il Sosia' throws in plenty of Paolo Botta's sleek Mellotron and whirring synth lines, Mox Cristadoro's slinking drums and dirty wailing ever-so-slightly bluesy guitars behind Andrea's raspy purring vocal, and `L'ultimo Spettacolo' turns more uplifting with an early `Fat Old Sun'/Pink Floyd-like dreaminess (guitarist Pier Panzeri doing a fine impression of late Sixties David Gilmour) weaving around its stirring and spirited David Bowie-esque vocal - and watch out for the wild second-half direction change!

Both `Figli di...' and `Lo Stambecco Ferito' flirt with different kinds of heavy metal, the grinding guitars and heavy Hammond organ blasts of the punchy former almost reminding of underrated heavy Italian groups like L'Impero Delle Ombre and I Compagni di Baal, and the latter sustains plenty of Black Sabbath-like atmosphere throughout its harder riffs and alternatively creeping/pleading vocal that culminates in a big proggy finale - just listen to Fabio's chunky bass! `Solo' keeps up the heaviness with grinding mule-kick heavy guitars, ghostly Mellotron and sparkling Fender Rhodes electric piano runs, and `Ricercare...' is a doleful improvised acoustic guitar interlude. `L'Ombra della Luce' proves to be an uplifting closer with sweetly chiming guitars, Andrea's soaring vocal takes on the briefest of lovely falsetto moments, with the track almost sounding like a more focused and to-the-point version of the Steve Hogarth-fronted version of Marillion or a modern Anathema piece, with the same slow build with maximum pay-off those groups deliver when the achieve greatness.

Do yourself a favour - explore the original songs, so you can see how much effort the group here has put into reinterpreting the pieces in a complex, intelligent and completely exciting manner that also gives them a distinctly modern and `progged-up' appeal (one not so far removed in parts from Zuffanti's own 2014 solo work `La Quarta Vittima' actually). Even if you don't know the originals or have no connection to them, please don't dismiss this as simply a mere `covers' album or allow it to quietly vanish without a trace. It truly stands up as a superior frequently heavy modern Italian prog stunner, helping make `Christadoro' a consistently effective and unexpectedly powerful debut that's also one of the strongest releases from Italy so far in 2017, so let's hope the band come together again for further works in the future.

Four stars.

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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