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CAMPO DI MARTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Campo di Marte biography
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. They were joined by bassist Maurilio Rossi, on recorder Eva Rosa and keyboardist Martin Alexander ...
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Campo Di MarteCampo Di Marte
Remastered · Import
Btf 2006
Audio CD$17.89
$16.99 (used)
Concerto ZeroConcerto Zero
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$15.06
$19.74 (used)
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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)

3.79 | 133 ratings
Campo Di Marte
1973

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

2.67 | 9 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
3.79 | 133 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 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.

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 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.

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 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.

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 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 ain´t 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.

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 Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003 by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Live, 2003
2.67 | 9 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

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 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!

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars Lately I've been listening Italian bands from the 70's I didn't had the chance of listening in their heyday (Living in Perú it was virtually impossible, being that almost no Prog album was ever released), and now it's the turn for "CAMPO DI MARTE"

I thank the providence that I heard them a few weeks ago and not in the 70's, because it's a very complex band with elements of different genres and bands that I would not had appreciated then, being that all I was looking for in the great decade was bands that sounded like GENESIS, ELP and YES instead of really challenging music as the one performed by "CAMPO DI MARTE" in their self titled album.

The album starts with "Primo Tempo" and it's Crimsonian introduction,where the dissonant percussion and guitar collision with the more traditional keyboards, creating some sort of Hard Prog with some pastoral elements. Simply brilliant.

"Secondo Tempo" starts more as you could expect from a 70's Italian band, soft and acoustic with a beautiful melody in which the musicians of this part of the world are so expert, the oneiric flute creates a dense but melodic atmosphere and it's only interrupted by the violent percussion that creates a wonderful contrast between the soft and the aggressive side of the band. As the track advances, they mix some sort of Latin Jazz with GENESIS overtones enhanced by the Mellotron, everything flows gently until the wondrous finale with distorted guitars.

"Terzo Tempo" is a box of surprises, the opening is confusing and almost cacophonic with Enrico Rossa torturing the guitar almost in a Metal vein, but after a few seconds the traditional piano and vocals change radically the mood of the track towards some sort of melancholic power ballad, but again Alfredo Barducci takes a detour with the piano towards a melodic but powerful Symphonic song. The changes keep coming every few seconds and keep the interest of the listener...This is how Progressive Rock has to sound.

"Quarto Tempo" seems like two different tracks, the first half consists of a breathtaking Baroque organ solo in the vein of Johan Sebastian Bach that really gives me goose bumps, but suddenly morphs into a breathtaking Symphonic Rock song where the guys give everything they have and if it wasn't enough, the acoustic and surprising finale is the cherry on the top of the pie.

"Quinto Tempo" starts where the previous song ended with an acoustic guitar solo soon followed by a pastoral flute. Even when this song is one of the most predictable, the subtle unexpected details always capture me, specially the nice choral.

"Sesto Tempo" is one of the most eccentric songs I ever heard, seems like the band mixed all the styles and moods they were able to create and joined it with the sole purpose of surprising the unprepared listener, but the result is fantastic, every section collisions with the previous, but they manage to make it sound natural, even when the French Horn enhancing a Medieval passage is placed just before an almost Avant section. Delightful from start to end.

The album ends with "Settimo Tempo" is so contradictory and complex that I won't even try to describe, because plain words may destroy the beauty.

Again a superb Italian band that sadly released a single album when they had much more to give....I can't rate this masterpiece with less than 5 stars.

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars There are two versions of this album, each with a different track running order. For its 1973 vinyl release the record company reversed sides 1 & 2 so that the album would have a more dynamic introduction, thus ruining Enrico Rosa's original vision of the project. The Vinyl Magic remaster of 2006 reinstates Rosa's chosen running order of tracks, but this review is based on the Mellow jewel case version that replicates the original vinyl. Campo Di Marte included several classically trained musicians and all five members are credited with vocals, although the album is in fact mainly instrumental. Interestingly, in an interview at the ItalianProg website Enrico Rosa states that ''the album was totally composed by me in every single detail, including every bass or piano line, so it was more a solo project than a band's work''. In my opinion that seems quite insulting in view of the other band members' fine contributions to the album. Unfortunately this was Campo Di Marte's sole release as the band subsequently disbanded, although Rosa recorded another unreleased album with a new line-up.

The individual tracks here don't have names as such; instead they are listed as parts or acts. Track 1 begins with an accelerando that is reminiscent of the middle section of 21st Century Schizoid Man. The main body of the song features marked contrasts in dynamics as loud instrumental sections alternate with soft vocal parts. It's not one of my favourite tracks on the album, but it gets things off to a suitably attention-grabbing start. Richard Ursillo's melodic bass is well to the fore here, as it is throughout the album as a whole. A short instrumental follows, featuring Alfredo Barducci playing a valve horn that helps to give Campo Di Marte a fairly individual sound. The obvious comparison here is Maxophone whose later release also featured horns. The horn combines nicely with flute on this track to produce a warm, bucolic atmosphere. Track 3 is the first of several outstanding tracks on the album. It is constructed around various memorable melodies and features some more superb bass in duet with Rosa's lead guitar. Lead vocals are nice on this song, presumably sung by Rosa. We then hear another short instrumental with two distinct sections. It begins like an organ recital accompanied by galloping drums and then ends with a brief reprise of the previous track, followed by some slow acoustic guitar arpeggios. This would have been the concluding track in Rosa's original scheme.

The next piece would in turn have been the opening track if Rosa's original intentions had been respected. It features delightful acoustic guitar and a beautiful flute melody, although I could do without the la-la-la-la-la vocals that fortunately don't spoil the tune. This track also includes a majestic Mellotron melody in ¾ time, accompanied by a gorgeous pinging bass. Track 6 is another killer track that begins with a slightly sinister sounding organ theme. The second theme has something of a medieval flavour with horn and flute combining nicely once again; this section reminds me of Focus in one of their pastoral moods. A dreamlike vocal section then follows, before the re-entry of the first theme that includes some distant electric guitar that sounds like the baying of hounds. Great stuff. The final cut is another instrumental that involves many shifts in tempo and mood. It begins with a brief reprise of Track 5; Italian bands seem to have had a penchant for mixing and reprising themes from different songs, and for inserting short musical phrases as links between songs.

This is a fine album that contains a good deal of variety and includes 3 or 4 excellent tracks. It's just a pity this was their only release. For me it's worthy of a solid 4 stars.

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 Campo Di Marte by CAMPO DI MARTE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.79 | 133 ratings

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Campo Di Marte
Campo di Marte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Strangely enough, not an Italian album drenched in keyboards. They are there, but the guitars are the main instruments. The guitars are very much helped by flutes and keyboards. The drumming too is excellent. So is the vocals too. This band gets everything right.

Still, it is Italian through and through. This album mix hard rock, symphonic prog, folk prog and fusion into one very impressive album. Never far away from the likes of Ludwig Van Bethoven, the melodies winds it way through various landscapes. From very heavy to pastorial and lingering. The music is never dull.

The main problem is the lack of that real killer tune. The signature song that sets this band apart from the rest of the Italian scene. But the material here is still excellent. I regard it as one piece of music and I will not single out one track here. This is an album all prog rock fans should have.

4.5 stars

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