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CANTINA SOCIALE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Cantina Sociale biography
CANTINA SOCIALE is a new Italian group. The line-up is: Rosalba Gentile (keyboards), Elio Sesia (guitars, bass, violin), Iano Nicolo (vocals), Gianni Grasso (bass, saxophones), Carla Viarengo (saxophones, background vocals), Marina Gentile (guitars) and Graziano Viola (drums). The music is mostly similar to the seventies groups but there are some modern influences as well. They have more Mediterranean feel in the music than an average Italian symphonic group.

The debut album "Balene (c'e qualcosa di piu)" was released in 2002. It is a good album with a prominent vintage keyboard sound and it has nice use of saxophones throughout the album. The group has a good singer in Iano Nicolo and his emotional vocal delivery ads some theatrical feel. He is also the composer in the group. It is the strong Mediterranean influence that sets them apart from many other new Italian bands. Their second studio work "Cum Lux" was released in 2009.

CANTINA SOCIALE should please fans of seventies Italian progressive who don't mind some modern Mediterranean influence.

: : : Markus Mattsson, FINLAND : : :

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Buy CANTINA SOCIALE Music


BaleneBalene
Import
Electroman 2007
Audio CD$18.97
Cum LuxCum Lux
Import
Electroman 2009
Audio CD$24.29
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CANTINA SOCIALE discography


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

2.51 | 9 ratings
Balene
2002
2.99 | 11 ratings
Cum Lux
2009

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

CANTINA SOCIALE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Catturati Live
2005

CANTINA SOCIALE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CANTINA SOCIALE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CANTINA SOCIALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cum Lux by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.99 | 11 ratings

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Cum Lux
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 2003 Cantina Sociale partcipated in the ''Kalevala'' compilation of Musea Records with the track ''Kantele'' and two years later they launched their first self-produced DVD ''Catturati Live'', recorded and captured in their homecity of Asti.It was about the same time, when Iano Nicolo' joined Arti & Mestieri, showing the strong links of the group with Beppe Crovella.While Arti & Mestieri's upcoming tour certainly slowed down the progression of Cantina Sociale, these links became stronger, when the band signed with Crovella's Electromantic Music.As a result, after seven years, they returned with the second album ''Cum Lux'', featuring new drummer Marco Trissini.

Cantina Sociale's have developed their sound even further to the point it becomes chaotic at moments, even flirting with Avant Prog, while the band shows a tendency towards longer and very complex compositions, two of them are over or close to 10 minutes and the title-track clocks at over 20 minutes.AREA have been always a huge influence for the band and this source of inspiration becomes even more apparent in this release, which combines the jazzy side of Progressive Rock with Folk-tinged masturbations on acoustic guitars and saxes and a lighter approach of Italian-styled poetic Rock.Atmospheric guitars are mixed with impressive sax workouts and theatrical vocals, while the keyboard work remains balanced between edgy synthesizers and retro-styled analog deliveries on organ and Mellotron, even if the later are a bit reduced compared to the debut.The music of the band remains very personal and original, maybe too complicated for its own good, always performed with a sinister and dramatic atmosphere, full of breaks and changing climates.The whole thing sounds often messed up, but out of this chaotic music come moments of delicacy, pomposity and true inspiration.The overall result is dense and intricate with dominant influences from Folk, Jazz, Progressive Rock and Soundtrack Music.

No actual updates on the band's status make a break a certain possibility, but ''Cum Lux'' should be documented as another original album by Cantina Sociale.This is not an everyday listening and certainly not for everybody.An album which requires the listener's full attention and time and eventually rewarding him with challenging and theatrical musicianship.Recommended.

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 Balene by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.51 | 9 ratings

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Balene
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Reaching already 15 years in the music league,CANTINA SOCIALE are another interesting entry in the prog world coming from Italy.The band was formed in 1996 in the small city of Asti in North-Western Italy by Elio Sesia and Marina Gentile (guitars), Gianni Grasso (bass and tenor saxophone), Carla Viarengo (alto saxophone), Rosalba Gentile (keyboards) and Graziano Viola (drums).By the time of their first album ''Balene'' from 2002,vocalist Iano Nicolò had already joined the group with famous Beppe Crovella,helping out on keys..According to Marina Gentile,they were inspired by the discovery of a 3.5 million years old fossil whale around Asti,with the album trying somehow to re-determine the relationship between people and mother nature.

STYLE: This is quite a bizzare album.While using a variety of vintage instruments,''Balene'' sounds so fresh and modern.That's maybe due to the very clear production,the sometimes distorted vocals and the use of synth effects.On the opposite,heavy mellotron sounds and flutes can be often heard throughout the listening.Despite featuring two guitarists,CANTINA SOCIALE's sound is strongly based on keys,the rhythm section and a couple of additional instruments like sax and flute.Guitars play mainly a supportive role ,adding an atmospheric dose at parts.Some good solos and breaks are of course also present.All tracks are arranged in a slow-tempo and contain a strong lyrical taste along with a Meditterenean/Balkan influence,with Iano Nicolo delivering a decent performance.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: A bunch of influences coming from both old and new prog school guarantee an intricate result: PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, KING CRIMSON, AREKNAMES, AREA,MEN OF LAKE are good reference points if you add a strong ethnic character to the music.

PLUS: Partly original,the album shows a band with personality.Great vintage keyboard sounds.The beautiful saxes and some guitar parts show a strong Balkan influence of great interest.Nice performance by Nicolo behing the microphone,a brand new but well-worked voice.

MINUS: Two guitarists in the line-up,but hardly are they on the front,to make the sound even richer.The marriage of vintage and modern sounds in not always succesful.Two many different styles,which are hard to follow.

WILL APPEAL TO: ...Fans of RPI,who aren't stuck in the symphonic/jazz past of the country and would like their music to have an ethnic feeling.Anyone who has loved AREA's early releases.Lovers of Experimental Music as well as Mellotron hard-die fans.

CONCLUSION: CANTINA SOCIALE are a good band.Their first step into progressive fields is defintely positive and is characterized by their own-established style.However they need to work a bit more more on the thin balances of this very challenging sound.This is a recommended effort which I enjoyed a lot...3.5 stars.

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 Cum Lux by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.99 | 11 ratings

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Cum Lux
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the second album from this Italian who has been, waiting some ?seven years to release it after their average debut "Balene".

I have to say that the opening track is quite brilliant and offers much more than what was proposed on their first effort. All the power of the band is featured; and the fan of the ISP genre should be definitely submerged with the great vocals and superb instrumentation. It is a great opener indeed!

The good feel goes on with "Goccia": a weird track full of fantasy and originality. Complex and intricate, it should please any ISP lover in his quest of genuine Italian prog. "Il Popolo Dei Coriandoli" is somewhat cacophonic and quite hard to digest I'm afraid but more good things are awaiting the listener.

The pièce de résistance is the epic and title track "Cum Lux". Some twenty minutes of extravaganza, grotesque, pastiche and complex music. I wouldn't tell you that I'm thrilled by this piece of music; but it offers enough positive angles to be appreciated.

The final choir part might sound OK, but it is far too short to be fully appreciated. As a whole, "Cum Lux" is a fine prog song. With most of the ingredients you could imagine. Except being brilliant or innovative.

For sure, there is little consistency in this long piece: lots of theme changes, few items of unification. Still, it should be the cement for some deep ISP lovers. And I guess that there are many of those out there!

Although, very few reviews are available for both albums from this band. Quite a confidential one, actually.

Three stars.

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 Balene by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.51 | 9 ratings

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Balene
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars « Cantina Sociale » is one of these Italian bands from the noughties who are trying to modernize the ISP genre but who are strongly capitalizing on the sound from the seventies.

The model here is definitely KC. "Cantina Sociale" plays music between jazz and symphonic prog. What I like the most of their sound is of course the extensive mellotron play which is vastly used during the whole of this album.

This being said, this work is no big deal, really: lack of passion, of melodic brilliantness, of great solo, of fine compositions. It is just a succession of well performed items featuring sweet vocals for most of them. But that's not enough to make a good album.

I far much prefer a band like "La Maschera Di Cera" in the register of more recent Italian bands. But I guess that all tastes are in nature. I can't go over two stars for this album. No real highlight at all. Just average music; but well performed.

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 Cum Lux by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.99 | 11 ratings

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Cum Lux
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Cum Lux" is the latest album from this modern seven piece Itailan band.This was released last year and it's their second album. They did participate as well on one of those Collosus Projects called "Kalevala : A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic". My biggest complaint here is with the deep vocals. I just find them hard to get into. I do like the fact that we get a fair amount of sax and mellotron on this recording though.

"Unonessunocentomila" has a good relaxed sound early as these deep vocals I was talking about join in. Some laid back sax follows then acoustic guitar before 3 minutes with more sax. It's quite passionate sounding later. "Goccia" opens with synths and dripping water.Vocals and guitar before a minute. Sax a minute later. Drums and vocals lead after 3 minutes. A calm with that dripping water a minute later. Some good bottom end follows then it's mellow again after 7 minutes. "Il Populo Dei Coriandolie" opens with atmosphere as reserved vocals join in. A fuller sound before 1 1/2 minutes,sax too. Guitar after 2 minutes. Great sound 3 1/2 minutes in with mellotron. It's building before 5 minutes. "7 Piccoli Indiani" has some prominant guitar and drums to start then it settles with some atmosphere.Vocals and sax follow then it kicks back in. Some organ after 4 1/2 minutes then it setttles with spoken words and piano. It's darker too.Guitar is back as it builds. It's much better before 10 minutes until the vocals return.

"Kantele" opens with vocals as it starts to build. Sax before 2 1/2 minutes. Guitar after 4 1/2 minutes then it settles right down before picking back up one more time. "Cum Lux" is the over 20 minute epic. Atmosphere as reserved vocals join in. It's jazzy before 2 1/2 minutes with bass and guitar. Mellotron 3 minutes in. Prominant guitar 6 minutes in that goes on and on. Nice. A calm 7 1/2 minutes in with vocals. Not a fan of this. It kicks back in at 9 1/2 minutes. A calm 2 minutes later with mellotron. It starts to pick back up before 15 minutes with piano, guitar then vocals. Sax too actually. A calm again follows as the tempo continues to shift. "Luce" has these experimental sounds and vocals expressions.

A pretty good album overall but 3 stars is all I can muster.

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 Balene by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.51 | 9 ratings

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Balene
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 2.5

Cantina Sociale is an italian band who release a single album so far entitled Balene from 2002, but I doubt it there will be a second one. The music they play on this album is a strange one for my taste, I don't know how to grab this band, influenced by King Crimson, even in places some symphonic elements are shown, some Gentle Giant arrangements, ok not many, but they are, and from from italian bands from the'70's. As I said all the pieces are well played, well executed, but something is missing, maybe because the dark atmosphere they manage to create here and some realy strange vocal parts, mellow but unintristing to my ears. Anyway this Balene is something between good and not necesarly mediocre, more unpleasent. The best piece is by far the instrumental one, but the rest doesn't impressed me at all. Not something special in my collection, but not something realy bad, a so so album, for collectors of italian prog. I know at least 20 italian bands from today who sounds more intristing and choesive than this Cantina Sociale.

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 Balene by CANTINA SOCIALE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.51 | 9 ratings

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Balene
Cantina Sociale Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Modern Mediterranean influences" - what he said!

3.5 stars actually

I got used to dozens of NEW Italian bands sounding very RETRO-like , and only THE WATCH managed to preserve unique equilibrity between Retro Prog and Modern Prog.Considering this one - I should take away this CD from my ITALIAN PROG box and put it into MODERN PROG one! Hardly comparable to anyone, CS managed to create pretty enjoyable and melodical album of SIMPLE SONGS with Progressive feeling. Rich arrangements, great musicianship, emotional yet soft vocal - recommended for those who about to discover new Italian Prog scene. It has reminded me a bit of MOONGARDEN's "The Gates of Omega" - same way strange but beautiful, a bit CARPTREE-like modernly sounding but good anyway. Recommended!

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