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DORACOR

Symphonic Prog • Italy


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Doracor biography
DORACOR is an anagram/pseudonym for keyboardist and drummer Corrado Sardella. Segni Premonitori (1998) and Antiche Impressioni (1999) are the 2nd and 3rd Doracor albums. These are high-caliber, primarily-instrumental symphonic rock albums, with Corrado handling most of the instruments himself, with assistance from guest musicians. These have a very full-band sound and a 1970's orientation. The best way to think of them is as the albums Tony Banks could make if Tony made progressive rock solo albums instead of trying to match the chart success of Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford. Antiche Impressioni features a female vocalist, a bassist and a guitarist, while Segni Premonitori features a male singer and a guitarist.

"Transizione" (2001) trumps the earlier albums, as here Sardella is aided by seven other musicians, and the sound is that of a full band, with male and female vocals in Italian. It is one of the best symphonic progressive albums that no one has heard and is quite similar to the first album by the French band HECENIA. Though it does have most of the hallmarks of the Italian 1970's romantic progressive style, it is even more influenced by GENESIS circa "Wind and Wuthering", while at times the energy level suggests later bands such as IQ. "Evanescenze" (2005) continues in this vein but is even better. Just male vocals this time around, but they are very strong, reminding one of ATON's or even LOCANDA DELLE FATE at times."


Thanks to Larry Kolota of Kinesis Progressive Rock CDs for permission to reproduce this bio. Visit Larry's online store:
- Larry Kolota - Kinesis

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Segni PremonitoriSegni Premonitori
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
Audio CD$19.95
$14.99 (used)
TransizioneTransizione
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
Audio CD$31.47 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Doracor- Onirika USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3h 2m
Doracor- Antiche Impressioni USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3h 9m


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DORACOR discography


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DORACOR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.93 | 20 ratings
The Long Pathway
1997
2.95 | 20 ratings
Segni Premonitori
1998
3.05 | 22 ratings
Antiche Impressioni
1999
3.83 | 25 ratings
Transizione
2001
3.42 | 24 ratings
Evanescenze
2005
3.51 | 24 ratings
Onirika
2007
3.82 | 29 ratings
Lady Roma
2008
3.87 | 23 ratings
La Vita che Cade
2011

DORACOR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DORACOR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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DORACOR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Segni Premonitori  by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.95 | 20 ratings

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Segni Premonitori
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The sophomore effort of Doracor came instantly after the release of ''The long pathway''.But this time Corrado Sardella invited a couple of guests to help him out.Emanuele Toti Pinto lends his voice in three tracks and Massimo Farina plays guitar in one cut, all other instruments are performed by Sardella himself.''Segni premonitori'' appears to be a concept work around extraterrestrials, taking inspiration from the tracks' titles, and it was released in 1998, of course on Mellow Records, a label that supported Doracor for many years.

The music is mainly instrumental, keyboard-dominated Neo/Symphonic Prog with E.L.P. and ARENA vibes.Extremely bombastic with flashy solos, impressive pyrotechnics and decent melodies.Drum programming sounds again quite mediocre, but the compositions are rich, energetic and grandiose, full of nice twists, symphonic arrangements and Classical interludes.While most of the album runs over a powerful atmosphere, there are plenty of dreamy breaks around to calm things down and offer a more romantic atmosphere.The guitars are again a supporting instrument, but they are also the reason the album knocks on heavier terrotories quite often.All tracks are long, interesting and tightly arranged, if not only some plastic-sounding orchestrations could be delivered in a more natural way.Otherwise ''Segni premonitori'' has plenty to offer to the starving fan of Symphonic Rock.It contains a fair dose of virtuosity, there are surprising chant-like themes to be found and the changes between ethereal tunes and monster symphonic lines are more than welcome.Vocals give Doracor's style a new perspective and they should be present more frequently, even so this new entry in the music of Sardella makes this album even more interesting and accomplished.

Great follow-up to ''The long pathway''.Bombastic Symphonic Rock with both dramatic and dreamy atmospheres, built around Sardella's amazing keyboard flights.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Segni Premonitori  by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.95 | 20 ratings

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Segni Premonitori
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by MJAben

2 stars I first heard the song Macchine di Dio and was oddly drawn to the sound, it seemed free and expansive while still sounding tight and catchy and, as a result, I decided to seek out the album.

After listening to the album for the first time my initial thoughts were, "well it doesn't exactly change much does it." It's a shame because the musicianship is tight and the musicians (though mostly Sardella) sounds extremely well formed and complete. I really enjoy Toti's emotive vocals and the production is great. My issue with the album however is that it grows stale the more you listen to it, take the previously mentioned song and expand it into an hour long album and that's how this feels when listening to it.

Another major issue I have with this album is that it sounds exactly like the first album and I can't help but feel when listening to this that Sardella seems to be suffering from a lack of musical ideas, it reminds me of the Pink Floyd method of extending 5 minute songs in half hour tracks in order to fill gig time.

I don't hate the album, it works extremely well as background music and contains a pleasant sound that is sure to please any symphonic prog fan, but on the whole this album does not reward the listener for trying to focus in on and engage with the music.

2/5 stars, Doracor will release better albums in time.

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 Onirika by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 24 ratings

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Onirika
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Doracor is without hesitation one of my fav italian prog bands for many years, I found them very inspired band with consistent albums and very solid musicianship on every album. I review two albums in the near past Tranzitione and Lady Roma and I found them quite intresting and well played, now is time for another goody from this little know symphonic prog band from Italy. Onirika is the title of their sixth release, issued in 2007 at same Mellow records. 5 pieces grace the album, each one divided in some more smaller parts. This type of symphonic prog I like a lot, very melodic, tons of waving keybords, nice elegant guitar arrangements, complicated twists on each instrument. Violin and sax appear here and there giving a very unique sound and atmosphere. The vocal lines are sung by a male Milton Damia and female singer, especially the song Il Giardino Di Peitra contains a great performance by Gianna Chilla, excellent choirs overall. So, overall very nice album, at same level with Tranzitione or Lady Roma, that means solid. From me easy 4 stars, elegant and intresting release. Doracor definetly needs a far more recognition worldwide, to me is one of the best symphonic prog bands Italy ever had and has. Very nice arwork like on previous releases.

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 Lady Roma by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.82 | 29 ratings

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Lady Roma
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Lady Roma issued at same Mellow records in 2008 is another worthy and captivating offer from their catalogue. Keeping the same attitude as on Transizione (the only album I know besides this one) so far, but definatly want to check out more of their music because I like a lot what I've heared on this two releases. With , now more shorter pieces and more in number, only title track, the opening is little lenghtier around 9 min, the rest are between 2 and 7, but is not a problem at all, Doracor manage once again to capture my attention, big time. Very nice, elegant symphonic prog with lot to offer, both on instrumental sections as on vocal departement. This album can be consider as a detication of Corrado Sardella main man of the band to Eternal City - Rome, his own town. Some highlits here like title track or Roma Dei Misteri, very strong musicianship and elaborated instrumental parts, really like this kind of symphonic prog. The voice of Milton Damia is great, one of the few italian singers I know who doesn't have that specific accent when sing in english, really nice smooth voice. Ian Mosley the famous drumer of Marillion appear here besides othe rinvited guests. LUsh keyboards in interplay with the guitar parts makes from this seventh release from Doracot a worthy listning. 4 stars again, very strong band that is far less known then other acts from this country, they need for sure a wider recognition because they worth it.

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 Transizione  by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.83 | 25 ratings

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Transizione
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Doracor is one of the lesser known symphonic prog bands coming from Italy, and I wonder why, but with already 20 years career so far. Their music is challenging, intresting and very well written and with plenty of memorable passages. Doracor's fourth release from 2001 named Tranzisione issued at famous Mellow records label, is a very worthy album. SYmphonic prog of the highest calibre is to be found here, are only 3 pieces, but very lenghty, with opening track Cavaliere del destino clocking around 27 min, but what a brilliant and inventive pieces, elaborated music. Nice mood, lots of instrumental sections, bombastic arrangements in parts, strong guitars and awesome keyboards, just to say in few words, but overall is much more , every one intrested in great italian symphonic prog must listen to this band, they really kick ass. I like a lot the vocal parts, combined with the music is top notch result. I also enjoy the guitar parts, very good and very Steve Vai in aproach, some intresting nice solos and overall arrangements. Flute and some violin appears here and there giving a more elaborated sound, in some parts remind me of Kansas more recent albums, but combined with that elegant refined italian atmosphere. So, ovearll a very worthy album, one of the best I've heared from italian school.

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 Antiche Impressioni by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.05 | 22 ratings

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Antiche Impressioni
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars A music that should, but certainly doesn't work with me. All the elements are there, wild keyboard solos, classical influences (baroque I presume would be the most appropriate description I can guess from what I hear), calm, gentle passages, bombastic parts, dark parts. But also average vocal department, drums that are far from being impressive, any lack of stronger melody line (to contradict the darkness here and there, as one can't live on a water entirely, he has to eat bread too). Yet I, in a feeling of responsibility, cannot bring myself to give it less than 2 stars, as even I don't enjoy it that much, I can still appreciate forementioned elements and their impact. Not one me though.

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 Segni Premonitori  by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.95 | 20 ratings

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Segni Premonitori
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The second album from Corrado Sardella and his Doracor.

The first album was keyboards drenched symph prog. And there is not much change here either. The same style as on the debut album. Although with some more electric guitars this time. And the last song has some good vocals too.

I understand that keyboards is a good instrument. And the debut album had a some good melodies. But it feels like Corrado Sardella has run a bit empty on this album. No real good melodies and not many interesting details either. The progression I expected from the debut album is actually a step backwards. Which is a pity, really. This album is much more muzak than symph prog. And this muzak album is nothing more than a decent album, I am sorry to report. I hope for a better third album.

2.5 stars

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 The Long Pathway by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.93 | 20 ratings

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The Long Pathway
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The debut album from this Italian band.

This album is entirely built on keyboards. Corrado Sardella's keyboards that is. But when listening a bit more careful, there are also some other instruments present. A guitar hook here and there. Both drums and bass is rumbling in the background. There are also some vocals here. But the keyboards is the dominant factor here. Doracor and this album has been compared to ELP. I disagree a lot with that comparison. This album is much more in the direction of instrumental RPI and Camel. There is also a lot of new-age and ambient fusion/jazz here.

The overall quality is surprisingly good in my view. Yes, some of the material is a bit too dull. But it is obvious Corrado Sardella is onto something good here. The opening track Scenes from elsewhere for example. This is an album between two and three stars. But I drag it up to three stars.

3 stars

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 The Long Pathway by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.93 | 20 ratings

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The Long Pathway
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars DORACOR are nothing else than a progressive rock concept guided by multi- instrumentalist Corrado Sardella,who invites musicians to help him out on his compositions.Sardella is cited in Rome,where in April 97' he recorded and mixed his debut album ''The long pathway'',his only work up today,which carries an English title.The album was released on Mellow Records the same year.

STYLE: Being entirely instrumental,this effort follows the paths of grandiose Symphonic Rock with plenty of keyboards and additional support by the other instruments.Every song offers double keys attacks,partly in melodic lines,partly delivering complex and bombastic musicianship.The compositions are well-crafted ranging from impressive symph passages to darker and mellower moments.Guitars aren't used often and when they are,they are a bit low in the mix.The general style ends up to be in a Neo/Symphonic mood.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: The mass of twists and breaks are definitely of the E.L.P. school of prog,but the bands that come straight to mind are an instrumental version of IQ and ARENA,especially CLIVE NOLAN's influence is more than obvious throughout the listening.

PLUS: A musician with incredible talent,Sardella amazes with his compositional skills and great virtuosic playing.He also uses a variety of keys to give the songs some alternating possibilities.Most of the album is quite melodic and he manages to deliver a good memorable dose of them.A good first step in the fields of symphonic-oriented progressive music.

MINUS: Too-much keyboard-based ''The long pathway'' lacks in different moods and ends up to be quite monotonous after a few listenings,with the tracks being quite similar.The rhythm section seems to be a little buried in the mix,while the sound of drums is too plastic.The presence of a vocalist propably would save the album from falling down.

WILL APPEAL TO: Obviously fans of Symphonic Rock with a love to endless keyboard sounds and even fans of electronic prog...for all the others,I would recommend trying some samples first.

CONCLUSION/RATING: A solid 3 star rating for nice album overall by a very talented musician,which fails to impress due to the lack of different moods.A big disease for all the one-man bands.However still the album comes recommended by my side.

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 Lady Roma by DORACOR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.82 | 29 ratings

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Lady Roma
Doracor Symphonic Prog

Review by Raff
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In his thirteen years of activity as a prog musician, Corrado Sardella seems to have learned that one-man bands, no matter how gifted one can be, will hardly ever be able to replace a real band in terms of overall quality. Luckily, over the years the number of guest musicians employed by Sardella has steadily grown, and some of them (like guitarist/violinist Riccardo Mastantuono and vocalist Milton Damia) have become steady presences on his albums. On "Lady Roma", Doracor's seventh studio album, one finally gets the impression of a real band, not just a collection of hired hands (even if talented ones). This time, in particular, there are no less than three drummers involved - a vast improvement over Sardella's previous use of programmed drums.

As the title implies, "Lady Roma" is meant as a tribute to the Eternal City of Rome (Sardella's home town, as well as my own), represented on the cover as a beautiful woman. In spite of that, I find that it does not sound as distinctively Italian as other recent releases from Italian bands. Rather than the legendary Italian prog outfits of the Seventies, the main sources of inspiration here seem to be bands like Genesis, Camel and Marillion. Obviously, the trademark Mediterranean lushness can be perceived at times, and there are other (though few) elements that anchor the album to the Italian musical tradition: the Italian-language lyrics, as well as Riccardo Mastantuono's occasional use of the mandolin (one of the mainstays of Italian folk music).

Since Corrado Sardella is first and foremost a keyboardist, it will not come as a surprise that the album is quite strongly keyboard-oriented. However, all the instruments involved in the recording of the album work together smoothly and seamlessly, as reflected in the open, airy nature of the music. Nothing here sounds jarring or overly complicated, and the tracks blend into each other with a pleasing, natural flow, at times uplifting, at others somehow tinged with sadness for things that have gone forever - an impression compounded the autumnal beauty of the pictures featured in the booklet, such as the breathtaking, lavender-hued shot of St Peter's Basilica at the twilight hour.

The album's title-track, a mini-suite in four movements, is introduced by a passage recited by the soothingly deep voice of Daniele Si Nasce (known in Italy for his activity as a one-man tribute to Roman-born singer-songwriter and showman Renato Zero). The lyrics, written in the Roman vernacular, are a nostalgic paean to 'vanished Rome'; the combination of Mastantuono's lilting mandolin and Sardella's tinkling piano lends an endearingly folksy quality to the tune. The rest of the suite is more along vintage symphonic prog lines, with clean-sounding guitar and broad keyboard sweeps in classic Genesis mould, and excellent vocals by Milton Damia. The vocalist shows more of his considerable range and expertise in the atmospheric, sax-infused, blues-tinged ballad "Vento dell'Est". The somewhat darker, spacey instrumental "Roma dei Misteri" opens with faint mandolin strains, then turns into a pulsing synth riff lifted out of Rush's "Subdivisions"; while the short "Imperium", featuring Marillion's Ian Mosley on drums, is a heavier, synth- and guitar-driven piece with a solemn organ introduction. On the other hand, the neo-prog influence is quite evident in the romantic, keyboard-led mid-tempos "Testimone la Luna" and "Questo Folle Girotondo".

As a whole, "Lady Roma" is a classy package, further enhanced by Milton Damia's stunning vocal performance. Though it does not offer any really ground-breaking ideas, it is nonetheless a well-rounded, well-crafted offering, which fans of classic symphonic prog, as well as neo-prog, will not fail to appreciate. Hopefully Corrado Sardella will manage to keep this group of top-notch musicians together for his next recording efforts.

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