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BARROCK

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Barrock biography
This band main characteristic is the female singer duo. Folkish influences are in place, RENAISSANCE is a good reference, but there is some originality into their compositions. Influence from the Italian bands from the 70's are also found which gives a special touch to their music.

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BARROCK discography


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

3.44 | 9 ratings
L'Alchimista
1990
3.39 | 9 ratings
Oxian
1994
3.48 | 9 ratings
La Strega
1999

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BARROCK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Strega by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 9 ratings

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La Strega
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A worthy follow up after Oxian, their third release named La strega issued in 1999 at Mellow records. Previous album was released on Si Music and after the label went into the mist in mid '90, the band optained for the well known italian label Mellow records..La strega is to me little better then Oxian, here the band has more polished sound, more intresting ideas, and overall is much pleasent and anjoyble. The music is same symphonic prog with electronic keyboards, female vocals and all ingredients to be a good album in this field. The album is very shor , only 37 min, but has some fine pieces like La Mutazione, a 10 min beauty ful of great arrangements and perfect playing. As previous album Oxian , Barrock offers a bombastic symphonic prog with lots of instrumental parts and keybord driven moments. So, decent towards great in places. Is sad that this band gone unnoticed big time, I can count on one hand persons who know about Barrock. 3 stars rounded to 3.5.

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 Oxian by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.39 | 9 ratings

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Oxian
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Italy as anybody intrested in prog rock knows is one of the piles of the genre for more then 40 years. Italian scene never stops to amaze me, in every decade since 1970 are tons of excellent bands, some of them remaining legends and still active, some were gone before releasing anything. Barrock is one of the inresting bands from the '90 this country had, I think they disbanded in 2001. So, with 3 albums issued Barrock didn't get to much recognition and their albums gone almost unnoticed. Oxian is the second offer from 1994 of this discrete band and is a apleasent one. Lots of symphonic passages combined with folk parts and pastoral even medieval arrangements makes from this album a decent listning. Duo female vocalists apear here - Graziella Vendramin and Paola Poles who makes some very intresting vocal passages here. Instrumentaly speaking Barrock palyes a very intriguing kind of symphonic prog, reminescent of Renaissance or The Enid in manner of composing with influences towards italian old school of prog. Some very beautiful parts , very delightful presented with nice almost operatic vocal passages, makes from Oxian a good album. Nice instrumental sections, quite complicated, I needed more then few spins to get inside their music. All in all 3 stars, good but nothing more.

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 La Strega by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 9 ratings

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La Strega
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Barrock were not meant to stay on SI label, the later went baknrupt in mid-90's and the Italian group moved on searching for a new label.Finally Mellow Records decided to release the band's third album ''La Strega'' in 1999.This latest album was almost exclusively a matter of the Poles family, as Giuseppe Vendramin played keyboards only on one track and Graziella Vendramin was abroad, trying to pursue a solo career as a jazz singer.

Stylistically nothing has changed for Barrock, they still played bombastic keyboard-driven Classical/Symphonic Rock along the lines of QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE, only this time the album has plenty of instrumental themes and limited female vocals in just a couple of tracks.The long ''La mutazione'', taking 1/3 of the album's length, simply defines Barrock's career.Bombastic E.L.P.-like keyboard workouts mixed with some grandiose, operatic female vocals and crying guitar solos, absolutely fantastic.The rest of the album consists of short tracks filled with massive organ acrobatics, piano interludes and orchestral themes, somewhere between Classical Rock and Electronic/Symphonic music.Guitars appear every now and then, producing usually some sort of Neo-Classical melodies.The only complaint comes from the digital string sections and the somewhat cheap synth-drenched soundscapes, sounding a bit flat next to the more grandiose moments of the album.

''La strega'' was Barrock's last ever offering in Progressive Rock and it is another example of how good this band was back in the 90's.Strongly recommended, especially for lovers of keyboard-based Progressive Rock and cinematic soundscapes...3.5 stars.

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 L'Alchimista by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.44 | 9 ratings

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L'Alchimista
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Behind a truly ghastly cover, there are some truly great music.

I am a fan of all music with big sound and over the top melodies. In short, I am a fan of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Barrock is pretty much exploring this musical territory on this, their debut album. Add bands like Mostly Autumn, Osanna and Renaissance to and you get this album.............. more or less.

The female vocals here are good. But most of all, this album is dominated by Valter Poles tangents. The rest of the band too is making this into a great album. An album which is a great crossover between the symphonic prog and the RPI scene.

Although this album has some mediative pointless pieces where little is happening, this album has some great pieces of music too. The best ones is Re Artu - Suite and the title track. Yes, the music feels a bit "heard this before", but it is still great. Mostly due to Valter Poles. My gripes is the lack of one or some signature tracks and the pling-plong stuff. But it is still a great album........ hidden well behind this ghastly cover.

4 stars (barely and bordering to three stars)

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 La Strega by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 9 ratings

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La Strega
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars ...and I like Baroque music quite a lot, ever since I've heard soundtrack (or music in) game Heroes of Might & Magic II. which really give me an impression that this is something I like.

In case of "La Strega" it means that we will get quite heavy sounding opera-like music with a lot of electronic synths (reminding Neo-Prog in this sound). It's quite enjoyable album, not hardcore Prog, but good anyway. But even though I have quite soft spot for such combination (of medieval and Prog sounds), I still have to differ better and worse albums.

4(-), but don't get fooled, this album has a lot to offer, if you're the right person. And maybe it's good thing that it's short. If you won't like it, consider it as that you wasted "just" 37 minutes. Anyway, I don't think that will be the case, at least I hope.

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 L'Alchimista by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.44 | 9 ratings

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L'Alchimista
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars You know how fantasy band sounds like ? Well, it's exactly how Barrock sounds. It' hard to describe, I spend many hours (when I was growing up) by playing games and this music (Overture is beginning, then more prominently in Re Artu and further in next songs) simply reminds me game music.

Instruments doesn't seem strong at all, I dare to say that they sounds little bit like MIDI music. Maybe it's because of continuing curse of unfortunate decade 80's. Strange choice of synthesizers with weak drums (I had to equalize a lot to even hear them). There's also strong medieval feeling.

4(-), I wanted to give worse, but except bad feelings that I had first minutes, there's nothing so bad. It's quite a lot electronized album, but RPI influence is strong here.

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 L'Alchimista by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.44 | 9 ratings

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L'Alchimista
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars BARROCK were an Italian act,formed in 1982 by members with strong classical studies and background.Their open minds led them to explore the progressive rock field and in 1985 they released a cassette with satisfying success.BARROCK kept working on new material and at the end of the 80's they were signed by the Japanese label ''Spring Song Co.'',through which they published worldwide their debut album ''L'Alchimista''.As their name indicates,BARROCK's debut is filled with baroque/medieval tunes through the fantastic keyboard work of Giuseppe Vendramin and Valter Poles.Their sound is characterized by the combination of alternating delightful baroque organ/grandiose synthesizers,the classical-inspired Italian vocals of the two female singers and the numerous keyboard/guitar interplays.I find their work quite inventive and original and I recommend it strongly not only for progressive rock fans,but also for admirers of classical/rennaisance/baroque music.A rare yet tasteful work from early 90's!

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 La Strega by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 9 ratings

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La Strega
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Barrock is another of those lesser known and underappreciated Italian prog bands from the 90's and recorded 3 fine albums before disappearing into the mist. As the moniker unsubtly implies , the general theme is a robust combination of baroque and rock with massive amounts of keyboards (organ, piano, synthesizers, string machines) as well as guitar , bass and rather mechanical drums , mostly played by the Poles family, with some occasional female vocals and some guest musicians. "Nell'antro della Strega" is an introductory instrumental that sets the basic symphonic parameters that will illuminate the rest of this album. In fact, the next piece, the 10 minute + "La Mutazione" is quite an atmospheric promenade with a grandiose mid-section loaded with waves of orchestrations courtesy of Mauro Martin , an extended and superb electric guitar run from Valter Poles. Paola Polese does a fine operatic aria, elevating the magnificent main melody, really giving the piece some coloring and pomp. As mentioned by another reviewer, the drums are a bit rudimentary (a somewhat rare occurrence in ISP as Italian drummers are generally very inventive). "Super Flumina" is a Valter Poles synthesizer adaptation of a classical motet by noted XVI century Italian composer Palestrina, a swirling electronic reverie that is both clever and creative, though sounding very much like a 90s production , which of course it is. The brief "Il Giullare" is an almost ELP-like trio workout with Valter on both keys and guitar, with brothers Giampaolo on bass and Maurizio on drums. The pace is fast, furious and somewhat in your face. "Solo Con le Ali" is another Poles keyboard piece with violin/cello synths flirting openly with a Rossano Palý guitar sortie. The choir mellotrons are particularly effective here but the drum machine really ruins it a bit. It's okay but nothing earthshaking. "La Preda" prefers leaving the spotlight on the grand piano, with some synth backscapes before morphing into a more atmospheric section and then suddenly reverting to a full organ-led blowout. "In Sogno" is a dream-like interlude with lots of orchestrations and various keyboard patterns, with some tubular bells for effect. "Romanza" revives the magical "La Mutazione" theme, with a fantastic flute intervention and the rippling Paola Polese operatics, the grandiose piano adding to the angst and building to an explosive climax, very nice indeed. The final "Orient Express" is a tune from guest keyboardist Giuseppe Vendramin and offers really nothing more than a brief technical romp. A good album but not indispensible and at 37 minutes, a bit too brief for my liking. 3.5 Poles

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 L'Alchimista by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.44 | 9 ratings

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L'Alchimista
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars A pleasantly understated album with appealing symphonic structures throughout; accented but not overpowered by dual female vocalists; and quite sparse guitar accompaniment. There are definite folk leanings on the vocal tracks, but overall this just feels like a bit of a throwback album despite its recording date in the early nineties.

Barrock has been mentioned alongside Renaissance, and I can see the reasons for that, but I also wouldn’t shy away from comparisons to bands like Mostly Autumn and even Stream of Passion, particularly on the first few tracks. This would have been more convincing as a folk album were there more use of ethnic percussion, or maybe some exotic acoustic instrumentation. Or I’d be more inclined to regard it as a solid symphonic album were there layers of strings or even brass employed, but that doesn’t happen either. This is a keyboard fan’s delight, but very unsophisticated as a symphonic prog work.

“Re Artu” and the title track comprise more than half this rather short album, with the bulk of the other tracks being instrumentals steeped in keyboards. The rhythms on this album are mostly rather simple, with a resulting impression of classically-inspired mood music. Of the five instrumentals, “Regina della a luna” has the most modern feel, while the two closing tracks “Al pari degli dei” and “Tarantella” are quite mellow, one- dimensional on keyboards, and frankly rather unambitious.

One comment – the female vocalists on the title track bear a striking resemblance to the Spanish duo Azucar Moreno. Or maybe that’s just me, but I can’t shake the impression they sound just like the Salazar sisters. The instrumental parts are nowhere near that though, so no other comparisons are appropriate, and I'm probably the only one who finds this humorous.

This is a decent album, but I really can’t bring myself to find anything in it to call great, and certainly not essential. Three stars is where this belongs and worth listening to, but probably not worth going out of your way to find.

peace

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 La Strega by BARROCK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 9 ratings

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La Strega
Barrock Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Marcelo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Excellent album, plenty of beautiful melodies and sensitive soundscapes. BARROCK left behind the medieval influences found on "Oxian", keeping the classical and refined colours on this almost instrumental production.

My only complaint is the "plastic" sound of drums, but it isn't a big trouble because most of music is in the atmospherical vein, standing out keyboards and guitars. Artificial drumming is used just on some rythmical changes, but the whole instrumentation -as well as delicated tunes- makes easy to forget this negative point.

All tracks are very enjoyable. Sadly, "La Strega" is too short (only 37 minutes), but it guarantees the lack of uneven filler stuff. Another recommended Italian album.

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