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CALLIOPE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Calliope biography
New Italian Progressive band, CALLIOPE is a based-keyboards quartet which uses only old vocals. This Italian band features voice, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. The compositions make use of plenty of Italian lyrics, Hammond organ, electric guitar and energetic rhythms. The sounds are rich, varied and mostly electric. This music is faithful to Italian tradition and relies on an energetic approach and an imposing sound. They are one of the more promising progressive rock bands of the modern Italian scene, especially if you like the rich, 70s analog symphonic sound. It's like LATTE & MIELE, LE ORME, but also PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.

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CalliopeCalliope
Thick Records 1995
Audio CD$0.99
$0.97 (used)
SteamedSteamed
Import
Retro Disc International
Audio CD$24.00
DiversionsDiversions
Summit(Classical) 1994
Audio CD$10.77
$4.47 (used)
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CALLIOPE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.55 | 24 ratings
La Terra dei Grandi Occhi
1992
3.23 | 18 ratings
Citta' di Frontiera
1993
3.26 | 19 ratings
Il Madrigale Del Vento
1995

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

3.62 | 18 ratings
Generazioni / Generations
2002

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

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

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CALLIOPE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Generazioni / Generations by CALLIOPE album cover Live, 2002
3.62 | 18 ratings

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Generazioni / Generations
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars To write down what happened over the next years regarding the Calliope line-up would be close to pointless.Older and new members came and go constantly between 1995 and 2001 and the only stable piece was keyboardist Enrico Perrucci.Finally the band were close to finding a more solid core in 2002, performing two concerts in 2002.In October of the same year Calliope released ''Generazioni'' on Electromantic, an album like a bridge between their old and more recent days.

This is actually close to a compilation album, with four old tracks performed live by the 1993 line-up and another three classic pieces performed live by the most recent 2002 incarnation.All of them are included in the first couple of Calliope releases, except '' Luci ed Ombre'', which is a never published old track of the band.

The first performance was caught live at at Garibaldi Settimo Torinese in December 1993 with the line-up of Enzo Martin, Mario Guadagnin, Gianni Catalano, Massimo Berruti and Enrico Perrucci.And while the first two Calliope albums are not exactly classics of Italian Prog, these live editions have much more to offer.All the hidden energy of the group is now displayed live, offering impressive Classic-styled Italian Prog with influences from BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, AREA, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI or IL BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, combining symphonic arrangements with more typical Heavy Rock grooves.Perrucci's performs on organ, Mellotron, synths and piano with comfort, the rhythm section is a beast, the guitars are dominant and Berruti's voice might be the best ever offered in a Calliope line-up.Fantastic fast-paced compositions with tons of interplays, hard-edged rhythmic parts, technical twists and turns but also plenty of sensitive, laid-back moments and inspiring melodies, which somehoe had lost their full potential on the normal albums, but now are delivered with incredible passion and huge energy.Absolutely enjoyable and professional Italian Prog.

The three closing tracks come from a performance of the new Calliope in June 2002 at the Electromantic Synergy Studio of Beppe Crovella.As aforementioned Perrucci is the only remaining member of the 93' line-up and he is accompanied by Alessandro Amato on vocals, Flaviano Sciarpa on drums, Francesco Lannocca on guitars and Andrea Crovagna on bass.These three tracks are again fairly symphonic with very tight performances by the new members, maybe offered with a more Neo Prog-ish flavor due to the heavier use of synthesizers.The sound though is strongly rooted in Classic Italian Prog, with the new singer having a strong and expressive voice, which is more than welcome.The melodies are absolutely fascinating, the interplays are now smoother but more than awesome, the atmosphere is more dreamy and ethereal, but the musicianship is still strong, passionate and dynamic all the way.Good synth runs, lovely guitar solos and measured but energetic organ moves comprise for another line of well-crafted Italian Prog-flavored pieces of music.

However Calliope remained unlucky with the line-up shakes and Perrucci had to face series of endless changes in the upcoming years, trying to keep the spirit of the group alive.Fortunately this talented act will show up sometime again in the future.

Considering ''Generazioni'', this has to be one of the most underrated albums of new Italian Prog and definitely among the best compilations to come out from a less known Prog act.Certainly your starting point regarding Calliope's discography and a must-have album for all fans of Italian, Symphonic, Heavy and Neo Prog.Highly recommended.

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 Il Madrigale Del Vento by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.26 | 19 ratings

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Il Madrigale Del Vento
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The couple of years following ''Città di frontiera'' were pretty busy and groundbreaking for Calliope.Only drummer Gianni Catalano and keyboardist Rinaldo Doro remained on the band's line-up, while a female vocalist named Annalisa Gastaldo became the lead singer.The new Calliope prepared the third CD of the band ''Il madrigale del vento'', based on Moro's compositions and lyrics written by previous vocalist Massimo Berruti.The album was released in December 95' on Vinyl Magic.

Calliope abandoned the Heavy/Symphonic Prog style of the previous releases for good and ''Il madrigale del vento'' marks not only a fresh start for the band but also a completely different musical direction.The opening 16-min. track ''Terra di maggio'' is fully Neo Prog with endless keyboard flashes and solos, interesting melodies and a good performance by Gastaldo on vocals, recalling YLECLIPSE.The next four shorter tracks are typical Italian Symphonic Rock of the 90's with epic keyboards, light violin passages, delicate flutes and expressive female vocals with some very nice arrangements and a fair amount of orchestral passages, somewhere between MALIBRAN, IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE and SITHONIA.The closing romantic 17-min. ''La visione della dolce pioggia'' is definitely the band's most ambitious composition to date.Sensitive light Symphonic Rock with crying violins and soft pianos on the forefront, floating synths, symphonic melodies and great vocals by Gastaldo, a nice highlght for a band finally seeming to find their style.

No more or less ''Il madrigale del vento'' deserves a place among the good works of 90's Italian Prog.Epic, romantic emotional yet fully demanding, this is an album which will please all fans of the characteristic Italian-styled Progressive Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Generazioni / Generations by CALLIOPE album cover Live, 2002
3.62 | 18 ratings

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Generazioni / Generations
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars This is the third review for this album, and let me add some information: it's recorded live (without audience) by TWO different line-ups, three tracks by one and four by the other (the liner notes don't reveal which tracks). I feel a bit funny to give these details since CALLIOPE is a whole new acquaintance for me and I rely only on the liner notes of this CD. Sadly most of the text was in Italian which I haven't learned, but anyway I saw the year 1972 mentioned; probably the band was founded back then, even if the discography here starts a couple of decades later. The English text concerns the two line-ups, the original line-up and the "new generation" (hence the title) including young chaps born in 70s or even 80s. (If I remember right, the latter is listed here in the album info. I didn't do further research on previous albums.) I can't tell much difference in performances after listening the album through. Oh yes, and here's another crucial fact: the material on this album dates from the early days of the band, probably the 70s!

Now to the music. It can be compared to some of the big names of the classic era, both English (Yes, ELP, Genesis) and Italian (Le Orme, PFM), but with some Neo flavour à la Marillion or Pendragon. Retro keyboards are dominant and vocals are rather sparse. Melodies are soaring and at times bombastic but never over the top. In a word, delicious for a friend of old school prog. All of the seven tracks were pretty enjoyable if not very memorable or unique.

My biggest complaint is about the sound quality, which is rather blurry. But still well worth listening.

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 Il Madrigale Del Vento by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.26 | 19 ratings

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Il Madrigale Del Vento
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The third album from Calliope is a small backwards step.

Calliope is one of the new RPI bands who are more symphonic and lyrically than bombastic and heavy. There are a lot of RPI bands who plays on the contrast between melodic and bombastic. Calliope is only soft and melodic. Their music is drenched in keyboards. Two keyboards to be more precise.

Il Madrigale Del Vento is no exception from their formula. It is their most melodic effort ever. It also have a lot of references to Italian folk music in addition to references to the likes of PFM. The music on this album is very good though throughout. There are some excellent melody lines here. Most of them led by flutes and violins. This gives their sound an extra dimension.

But I also have my gripes with this album. The female vocals does not suit the music, in my view. Calliope's sound on this album needs an edge. Annalisa Gastaldo's vocals does not provides this edge. The end result is a very nice, but also slightly wishy-washy album which is good to the ears, but does not offer the brain much food for thought. But this is still a good album, but barely that. This album is a backward step for Calliope, I am afraid.

3 stars

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 La Terra dei Grandi Occhi  by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.55 | 24 ratings

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La Terra dei Grandi Occhi
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars The debut album from Calliope is a revelation.

I was not too fond of their fourth album which I thought was lacking teeth. But there is plenty of teeth on La Terra dei Grandi Occhi. Not to mention, great songs and identity.

Who would I compare Calliope at La Terra dei Grandi Occhi with ? Calliope comes across as a blend of the hard rock bands from the 1970s, Biglietto Per l'Inferno, Alphataurus and those bands + the likes of Genesis, Le Orme and PFM. The tangents (Hammond, Moog etc) is vintage and sounds pretty much like the 1970s. The same can be said about the bass and in particular; the guitars. But their sound has, mostly due to the improvements in the recording studios since the 1970s, got an upgrade. Which means, an improvement. Do we call it Neo-Italian Prog ? Very much so. It is like IQ and Marillion compared to classic Genesis.

The music on La Terra dei Grandi Occhi is a blend of harder prog rock, mid tempo songs and ballads. Typical Italian Progressive Rock, in other words. The quality of the songs is great throughout. The best songs on an album without any weak tracks is the ballad Avalon and the rather complex title track. The album is spiced up with interesting details throughout and never becomes boring. In short; La Terra dei Grandi Occhi is a feast for all Italian prog rock lovers and an excellent album.

4 stars

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 Il Madrigale Del Vento by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.26 | 19 ratings

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Il Madrigale Del Vento
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is CALLIOPE's third album and my least favourite of those three. Quite a change here as they've become more pastoral and added a female singer. It's hard to tell if it's the same band actually. The album opens and closes with two epics with four short tracks in between.

"The End Of May" opens with atmosphere until synths and drums arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. The tempo picks up then mellotron rolls in as it settles again. It kicks in again quickly. Nice guitar before 5 minutes. Vocals and mellotron follow. More prominant guitar after 7 1/2 minutes then the synths start to lead the way. It settles before 12 minutes. Flute and piano a minute later. Vocals are back 15 minutes in. "The Birth Of The Moon" again opens with atmosphere as vocals join in. A change 1 1/2 minutes in. Violin, drums and vocals before 3 minutes. Mellotron follows and the bass becomes prominant. Violin again late.

"En Haute De Crete (Swiss Traditional)" features flute and acoustic guitar early. Bass, drums, violin and mellotron all eventually join in. "The Fair Plait" sounds almost like a jig with vocals. "The Time Are You" is mainly vocals and violin. "The Vision Of The Sweet Rain" is led by violin and drums early. Piano takes over 1 1/2 minutes in. Flute joins in then drums.Violin is back and a full sound 3 1/2 minute in. Vocals come in as it settles a minute later with piano and flute. Themes are repeated. I like the flute after 15 minutes.

A good album but a far cry from their debut.

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 Citta' di Frontiera by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.23 | 18 ratings

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Citta' di Frontiera
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I'm of the opinion that CALLIOPE's best album was their debut and that each proceeding record was not as good as the one before. I know quite a few people who like this one better than the debut but i'm not one of them. On the Gnosis site they suggest this one is more contemporary sounding, more modern if you will. And I agree. I prefer the more vintage sounding debut.

"La Prova" opens hard and fast with organ (then keyboards) and drums standing out. Vocals before a minute then the organ becomes prominant. The guitar before 2 minutes and later at 4 minutes sounds great. Nice bass before 5 1/2 minutes. "Sarajevo" opens with drums and organ then the tempo picks up. Vocals after a minute as it settles some. The organ and drums continue to impress. The tempo continues to shift. I like the instrumental section 5 1/2 minutes in. "Margiherita A Rodi" opens with the guitar and mellotron standing out. Reserved vocals a minute in. It settles 2 1/2 minutes in. The mellotron is back. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes starts to solo tastefully. Vocals and piano a minute later. Guitar and mellotron end it. Good song.

"Terra Di Nessuno" is not very melodic early on as keyboards and vocals stand out. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes then kicks in again. I like the organ/drum section after 4 1/2 minutes. Vocals eventually join in. "Senza Pretese" is a short acoustic guitar piece. "Windsor" sounds amazing early with all that atmosphere. Guitar then organ join in. The tempo picks up before 1 1/2 minutes with drums leading. It settles with vocals after 3 minutes. Picks back up after 7 minutes followed by a guitar solo. "L'attesa" is mellow to start but it turns powerful with organ and drums. It blends into "Il Ritorno" but it changes to a bombastic soundscape which i'm not fond of. Much better when it settles before 2 1/2 minutes.

So a good album for sure that just fails to captivate me like the debut does.

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 La Terra dei Grandi Occhi  by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.55 | 24 ratings

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La Terra dei Grandi Occhi
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is obviously a very good album which truly belongs to the beautiful Italian Symphonic Prog (or ISP).

Each aspect is featured here: superb and bombastic keys, but not only during the great "La Terra Dei Grandi Occhi". It also offers wonderful aspects of the genre that most of us love.

The complexity of the track, the mellotron combination, the wild rhythm and the fantastic vocal part throughout the song is rather encouraging. One of the highlight with no doubt. A great piece of music: eclectic, symphonic. Splendid after all.

"Genesis" is of course present during each corner of this mighty track, but I have to reckon that a great Italian feel can be felt as soon as the vocals enter the scene.

Wonderful. Splendid. Fantastic. Brilliant. This song is just MAGICAL. Do listen to it to figure out. The highlight of course.

The influence of the band we all love (and which I have already mentioned the name before) is present within each second of "Non Ci Credo Piu". Wonderful keyboards, huge rhythm, fine vocals. Is there anything more you need ? Maybe some Banks oriented keys? You also get them, don't be afraid. Even during the catchy and short instrumental "Lunario".

As I have said, this album is an excellent piece of music. The band is skilled, their song writing is great, and when you listen to "Pensieri Affascinanti" it is pure delight. A Crimson frenzy combined with some more accessible parts. Another great song and a definite highlight as well.

Needless to say that if you ever had your thoughts into the wonderful ISP, this album should please your heart and bottom. At least, I feel so. During the melodic (but still upbeat) "Passi Dentro Il Tempo" some excellent keyboard layer is added to this catchy song. Another fine moment of this offering. But there are plenty .

This album is real good.

When "Avalon" is being played, one can only be submerged by the music: huge bass, splendid keyboards again and quite well achieved vocals. Hey man! This must be heaven, or almost?

A brief "au revoir" with the mellotronesque and well titled "Mellotronmania" closes this very good work. For stars with ease. An delightful debut.

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 Generazioni / Generations by CALLIOPE album cover Live, 2002
3.62 | 18 ratings

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Generazioni / Generations
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars This is the fourth album from this Italian band. A band who tries to emulate the best music from the Italian Progressive Rock scene.

Calliope does symphonic prog. They are also reputed to be pretty similar to Le Orme and PFM. Their sound is too neo-prog to be compared to those two Italian giants, in my view. I would compare them to the likes of The Nightwatch/The Watch, Pendragon, Arena and Marillion (the Fish era). In other words; they can be put in the Genesis/Yes symphonic prog mould. Calliope has included moog on a couple of tracks. But this is not a retro band by any means. The sound is excellent, btw. The same can be said about the vocals and their musical skills.

My main gripe is the lack of any really good songs here. This album is a pleasure to listen to, so don't get me wrong. But Calliope does not come across with their own identity and their songs are a bit bland. Despite of that, this is a good symphonic prog album with a neo- prog soundscape. I cannot fault it, but I cannot fully endorse it either. Hence....

3 stars

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 La Terra dei Grandi Occhi  by CALLIOPE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.55 | 24 ratings

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La Terra dei Grandi Occhi
Calliope Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars CALLIOPE are a five piece band from Italy who really pay their respects to the golden era of RPI with their vintage keyboards (moog, Hammond, mellotron) and strong Italian vocals. This is their debut which was released in 1992. This is the only album I have by this band but i'm so impressed. I'm really surprised this record isn't rated higher than it is.

What caught my attention right away with the title track "La Terra Dei Grandi Occhi" was how fast the keyboardist is ! As tszirmay points out this guy plays at the speed of light. What's more impressive to me though is the mellotron that floods in when it settles down. Vocals join in and they sound really good. Great section ! The synths then guitar really rip it up as the mellotron continues. Amazing ! Bass comes in prominantly. It settles again before 6 1/2 minutes and vocals return. Mellotron follows. "Non Si Credo Piu" is led by organ and drums as bass and guitar help out. Vocals a minute in.The organ and bass really standout. Synths come in then it settles but not for long. Great tune. "Lunario" offers a variety of keyboard sounds and check out the tasteful guitar 3 minutes in. Nice instrumental.

"Pensieri Affascinanti" is a feel good song to me. The vocals and organ sound great while the guitar and relentless bass all add to this beautiful sound. Nice guitar work after 3 minutes. Mellotron follows. It calms right down 4 1/2 minutes in with organ, mellotron, bass and drums. Vocals join in. Kicks in before 7 minutes. Vocal melodies end it. "Passi Dentro Il Tempo" opens with 1 1/2 minutes of fantasic instrumental sounds before the vocals come in. Another feel good song. The guitar lights it up 3 minutes in. "Avalon" sounds so good when the strong vocals arrive followed by a river of mellotron. The bass and organ shine as well on this powerful track. "L'anima Del Cielo" opens with guitar, bass and drums. Cool sound.Organ joins in with vocals. It turns powerful then settles back as the contrasts continue. What a great sound 6 minutes in, especially the vocals and organ. "Mellotronmania" is simply that, lots of mellotron and other vintage keyboard sounds.

The mellotron, Hammond and vocals alone cry out for 4 stars.

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