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CAMPO DI MARTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Campo Di Marte biography
Founded in Florence, Italy in 1971 - Disbanded in 1975 - Reformed in 2003 for Live acts

The story of CAMPO DI MARTE (named after an area of Florence) is a familiar one in the annals of Italian progressive rock. Like many of their fellow countrymen they released one album and due to a lack of interest and record company promotion split up. In fact the band had already called it a day before the album was released. Nevertheless it remains an important release and well worth seeking out for anyone with more than a passing interest in the genre.

The band was formed in Florence in 1971 by ex-SENSO UNICO guitarist Enrico Rosa who also composed all the material. Drummer/flautist Mauro Sarti had previously played with Rosa in LA VERDE STAGIONE and the line-up was completed by American bassist Paul Richard (real name Richard Ursillo), on keyboards and French horn Alfredo Barducci and second drummer Carlo Felice Marcovecchio who had previously played with I CALIFFI. All band members are credited with vocals, though they only appear sporadically, the album being for the greater part instrumental.

Musically the band played classical influenced symphonic prog alternating with a heavy rock style. Fans of PFM should find much to their liking and parallels can be drawn with DE DE LIND on the heavier sections. A high standard of musicianship is present and the albums subject matter deals with the futility of war. Confusion may arise with the sequencing of the album. After completion their record company decided to swap side A and B around due to their feeling that what had been conceived as side B was the stronger of the two and more immediate. This understandably messed with the concept causing the original titles of the seven tracks to be changed to I Tempo through to VII Tempo. The current cd version sees the originally intended running order restored.

After the split Rosa formed a completely new version of CAMPO DI MARTE and recorded a second album. Unfortunately to this day it has never been released. Shortly after this he turned down an offer to join BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO and moved to Denmark where he's still a professional musician to this day. Richard, now reverting to his real name of Richard Ursillo moved onto a career with SENSATION'S FIX and Sarti joined BELLA BAND. Both these bands can also be found on Prog Archives.

In 2003 CAMPO DI MARTE were to rise again with a line-up that included original members Rosa and Sarti. The...
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CAMPO DI MARTE discography


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CAMPO DI MARTE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 187 ratings
Campo Di Marte
1973

CAMPO DI MARTE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.54 | 17 ratings
Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003
2003

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CAMPO DI MARTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zeuhl1

4 stars A rather forgotten mini masterpiece from yet another one and done RPI band. If you like PFM, or perhaps a heavier version of Quella Vecchia Locanda, come right in.

Due to the record company meddling as noted by other reviewers, the album should really start with V Tempo, the first song on side two, a rustic UK prog influenced acoustic number that flows nicely into the first rock eruption of electric guitar in VI Tempo. The theme of the album is the general futility of war,(campo di Marte referring directly to that) and makes good use of alternating rock and pastoral sections to illustrate each theme. Classical guitar and flutes (with occasional French Horn) lay down a peaceful atmosphere, but soon a martial rhythm and electric guitar march us out again. Side two ends with VII Tempo, the intended end of side 1, where the PFM/Focus hybrid alternates successfully between moods. (guitarist Enrico Rosa sounds like a hybrid of early Robert Fripp and Jan Akkerman). Side one (intended to be side 2) is the more rockier side, starting with a Tull styled guitar riff before heading into an increasingly quicker tempo which alternates quiet narration with heavy organ and guitar crashes out of any 1969 era heavy band-remnants of I Califfi and before-when the heavier end of the spectrum (see Deep Purple) were a stronger influence on Italian rock. Some early Yes arrangements collide with atonal Jethro Tull guitar moments like some primitive version of Gates of Delirium, but then the pastoral flutes bring us to another acoustic guitar transition. The finale of IV Tempo is the most cohesive piece here as the heavy bits hang in there longer and riff for a while rather than quickly melting away.

Definitely will please PFM and Quella Vecchia Locanda fans. Some Museo Rosenbach in there too with their unabashed ability to flick on the rock n roll switch without warning. (Campo seems to use it more to signal a transition from one section to another) Leans to the heavier side of RPI but plenty of acoustic guitar and flute interludes to keep everyone happy. French horn is interspersed throughout-a double edged sword than can swing a band quickly into late sixties AM radio easy listening territory before you've noticed. (Maxophone and Alusa Fallax were two others who threw this distinctive but rarely heard instrument into the pot). My only complaint is that when they come up with a killer heavy guitar riff, more often than not it disappears before you are starting to get your ears around it, and it never returns. (Though that's a problem many other RPI bands wish they had.) This is an album that takes you on a cinematic journey that you don't need to speak Italian to understand: juxtaposition of martial and pastoral cultures in one seamless musical piece.

Reference points: Focus (more for guitar and arrangements than prominent flute), some early Genesis, some various 1970 UK proto heavy prog, some Tull. PFM influenced dozens of bands back then, and some of their stamp is evident here. In the long run, a clever synthesis of styles and influences, not terribly original but definitely essential for a developing RPI collection.

4.5 stars

 Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003 by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Live, 2003
2.54 | 17 ratings

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Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars The Italian five piece formation Campo Di Marte existed between 1971 and 1974 and released an eponymous LP in 1973, considered as a minor gem. In 2003 the band recorded 'live' music in the studio and decided to release it, in combination with a 1972 live recording.

CD 1 is the registration from a concert in Florence, Campo Di Marte plays exciting and dynamic (with hints from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Dutch pride Focus) featuring fiery and raw guitar play, swirling work on the flute traverse and floods of Hammond organ. It sounds as typical live Seventies rock/prog, with a lot of room for instrumental interludes and extented soli. The sound quality is at the level of a decent bootleg, so if you don't have a problem with this Campo Di Marte live 1972 turns into an interesting musical experience.

CD 2 is recorded in the studio but played as a 'live concert', in one take. In comparison with CD 1 the sound quality is very good, this is a boost to listen to the powerful and compelling Campo Di Marte sound, alternating between mellow and bombastic.

The interplay between the guitar and organ/piano is exciting, loaded with fiery runs,heavy soli, obviously inspired by the legendary rock guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. The Italian vocals contain a lot of emotion, I always like the choice for the native language.

The acoustic guitar is wonderfully blended in Back In Time and Otalian Irish, accompanied by soaring flutes.

In Bluesy Rocky the guitar work is outstanding and exciting featuring lots of blistering and biting runs, very compelling, in between a jazzy piano solo.

The lay-out of this 2-CD is beautiful: a digipack with a FOC, each CD contains a small booklet (8 pages with history, lyrics and pictures). The price is at the level of an average 1 CD so the mediocre sound quality of CD 1 cannot be a huge problem.

Like so many Classic Italian Prog bands, here's another strong return to the world of prog, Campo Di Marte is a band with excellent and enthusiastic musicians delivering a varied blend of rock and prog.

My rating: 3,5 star. .

 Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003 by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Live, 2003
2.54 | 17 ratings

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Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A bittersweet live release.

As some of you may know, RPI is one of my favorite progressive rock genres, so there are a lot of bands from this country which I love. One of those bands is surely Campo di Marte and their one and only studio album released back in 1973, a great example of how good prog rock records Italy has given to the world. But well, after so many days without listening to them, I incidentally found at y new job a guy who likes progressive rock, so of course we have talked about it and even shared some CDs and DVDs. He kindly introduced me to this Campo di Marte release, a two-CD live album in which we can find a concert from their early years (1972) and one from a reformation in this new millennium (2003).

Overall, I could say this album gave me very good moments, I mean, the musicians (both lineups) are great, they know what to do and one cannot simply judge that. What left me with a bittersweet flavor was basically the quality sound of the first CD which honestly is really poor, horrible, so despite I wanted to enjoy the music I could not do it because in moments it was difficult to understand the music, nothing was clean so the experience has been totally negative. So I believe it was a nice effort to rescue those old tapes and put it into a CD, but I think it was a waste of time and something unnecessary.

The positive side comes of course with CD 2, because so many years have passed, the production is way better so is the listening experience. However, the sound could have been even better and cleaner, I mean, I have listened to a lot of live records and most of them has a better quality than this one. But well, what we can enjoy here is the performance of that 1973 album with some new musicians and a more powerful sound, with great keyboards and guitar solos. Of course, Enrico Rosa's voice and playing was as good as in the old times, I cannot deny it.

Honestly, I would not recommend this live bootleg, only if you are a collector and want to increase your number of acquisitions. My final grade will be two stars.

However... enjoy it!

 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A band from Florence led by guitarist Enrico Rosa, bass player Richard Ursillo and drummer/flutist Mauro Sarti, who found them in 1971.Keyboardist Alfredo Barducci and ex-I Califfi drummer Carlo Felice Marcovecchio completed the original line-up.Campo Di Marte were constantly playing live under different names and even recorded this album during their early days, which was released in 1973 by the United Artists label.

This is a good example of early-70's Italian Prog with multiple influences, great technical level and decent but far from excellent songwriting.The more powerful tracks offer good electric solos and a powerful rhythm section in a Hard Rock vein with plenty of breaks, not unlike IL BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO or I CALIFFI.During these pieces the use of Mellotron, organ and piano add the appropriate symphonic-inclined colors along with a certain grandiosity.But there are also tracks, where the gears are definitely down, having an obvious Folk vibe along with strong Classical inspirations.Acoustic crescendos with violin and horn arrangements, dreamy flutes and supporting synths create nice and ethereal soundscapes in the vein of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.Vocals are not particularly strong but they are decent to say the least.What this band lacked actually was some really great songwriting with a few tracks suffering from cohesion.

By the time ''Campo Di Marte'' was out, the band already had lost interest in the project and split up with Rosa moving to Denmark to work as a session guitarist, Ursillo joining Seansation's Fix and Sarti playing with Bella Band.A brief concert-reunion took place at the dawn of the new millenium with only Rosa and Sarti from the early days, resulting to the live release ''Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003'' and material both from the 70's and the recent days.

Meanwhile the sole release of the band deserves to be placed among the strong albums of the Italian scene.Definitely not a masterpiece but anyone who like's the Italian Prog sound or diverse and eclectic prog works should add this in his priority list.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Campo Di Marte were part of the italian prog rock scene of the early '70's, together with PFM, Banco,etc they put a mark on italian scene and not only. Even they release only one album in 1973 self titled, they influenced hundred of new prog bands emerget after in this scene. To me this album sounds heavy prog most of the time with gentle instrumental passages. It reminds me in sound and manner of playing with of one of the top prog bands from my country Progresiv TM and has aswell passges that are similar with Uriah Heep for instance. While has aswell some influences from italian school like PFM or Museo Rosenbach, it contains some more heavier section then PFM, concentrate more on guitar then on keybords. The result is a great one, one of the gret jewels of italian old school. The album divided in 7 parts is like an opera or a story line about war and the opposite peace, it alternates very strong from heavier parts to a more beautiful mellow acustic passages, always keeping the atmosphere very dense and complex aswell. I realy like the album, the bass is very in front and has some spectacular moments, like all the rhytmic section from here. An album that must be heared by any prog rock listner, a varied release that stood the test of time very well, at least for me. 4 stars for sure.
 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A good but not remarkable release from the Italian prog boom of the early 1970s. The strong influence of Trespass-era Genesis which seems obligatory for Italian bands from this era is present in spades, but is combined with a greater willingness to rock out, with louder and more abrasive guitar sounds featuring from the first track. To be honest, were it not for this occasional moment of hard rock guitar heroics the album would be pretty unmemorable, and as far as the RPI pecking order goes it's hardly on the order of PFM or Le Orme or Banco - and it's not even an excellent example of one of the second-tier albums from the period. It's pleasant, but not much more than pleasant, that's all.
 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

3 stars This minor gem from 1973 has all the ingredients for a prog classic, but never really comes to fruition. Perhaps it was the band's lack of interest or heavy-handy involvement from the record label (United Artists), but for whatever reason the album never reaches its full potential. But it is still pretty good, if a little overrated. There are two different CD releases of Campo Di Marte, each with a different track sequence; the 1994 Mellow CD which replicates the original LP running order, and the 2006 BTF/AMS CD in which the "sides" are reversed. I have tried listening to the album both ways, and honestly it doesn't make a huge difference to me, as perhaps I am too accustomed to the Mellow CD. Guitarist and composer Enrico Rosa had originally visioned the album begin softly and sweetly, but I guess United Artists had other plans. I actually like the hard open, as it grabs your attention and sets the tone for what will be an interesting, if somewhat uneven, listen.

As mentioned, "Primo Tempo" begins with a hard rock sound, the electric guitar reminiscent of Black Sabbath. Once the rest of the band comes in, you'll notice something quite interesting and unique to the world of Italian Prog - there are two drummers! But this is no Grateful Dead stuff; think more like Larks' Tongues in Aspic era King Crimson. However, in this band of multi-instrumentalists, drummer Mauro Sarti will switch out to flute early and often...which he does in "Secondo Tempo." This softer side of the group is the better of the two, and is executed no better than on this track. "Terzo Tempo" features some interesting guitar experimentation/improvisation, before giving way to a haunting piano motif. This theme will continue into "Quarto Tempo" which is even more intense. There is some really nice organ work here, courtesy of Alfredo Barducci.

The outstanding keyboard skill will continue on "Quinto Tempo," but this time from Enrico Rosa and his Mellotron. For me this is probably the high point of the album, and the last two tracks somewhat pale in comparison. Overall though, a solid effort well worth seeking out. Especially recommended for those with deep collections already or fans of Maxophone and Alusa Fallax.

 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Diego I

3 stars Campo di Marte. At first i only had the reference of this album and band by a recommendation of a friend, I said roughly, "Is this a classic of the RPI"and is right, if it is. However there are some monotonous sounds that ainīt totally love, at first listen is a complex album with a concept and a fairly well-defined background, but again the music sometimes becomes too heavy, dense, lacks, at times there is some inconstant flow that restricts the musical elevation and conceptual level too, the voices, the execution and interpretation, all very well and correctly, but as i say, this does not exclude that from my point of view is a rather and regular album.
 Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003 by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Live, 2003
2.54 | 17 ratings

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Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars There is two years since I reviewed their only studio album to this date and I am by no means an expert on this band.

But the bootleg quality on most of this album gives the game away anyway. The first CD with the gig from 1972 can be discarded and used by your dog as a toy. It is bootleg quality and even bad bootleg quality.

The second CD is from 2003 and is far better. I would give it the rating "good bootleg quality". Hence, the sound is not good here either. The music is heavy blues tinged Rock Progressivo Italiano without much of the qualities that draws me to Rock Progressivo Italiano in the first place. The songs are still good though.

Hence 1+3=4 - 2 = 2 stars. In short; this is for fans only. The rest; give this album a wide berth.

2 stars

 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 187 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo Di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Campo Di Marte is an album that has both very gentle acoustic instrumentation and raw rocking parts with sharp guitars and energetic drums. Mellotrons, flutes, horns, organs and the occasional vocal complete the sound. The more upbeat parts such as Sesto Tempo remind me very much of Il Balleto Di Bronzo and Semiramis. The more gentle parts and vocals bring PFM to mind, be it without the synths.

The music is very narrative. From scene to scene it follows some kind of story line about war and peace. The result is a very eclectic album that can be very delicate and harmonious, pastoral even, before taking a twist and throwing in hard rock riffs and energetic playing. The secret that glues it all together is the superb quality of the melodies, the inspired compositions and the lively recording of the material.

There are certain forces on PA that want to convert me to a dedicated RPI fan. Well guys, I haven't been a fan of any particular 'genre' since ages, but if you keep digging up albums like this I will have a hard time resisting. Special thanks to Sinkadotentree for this one!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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