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IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Il Castello Di Atlante biography
IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE came together in 1974 when Dino Fiore asked his childhood friend Paulo Ferrarotti to form a band. Their name is taken from a magician called Atlante in Ludovico Ariosto's Romance epic ''L'Orlando Furioso''. They have undergone relatively few changes over the years with the line-up having remained more-or-less the same since 1982. After meeting the band at a concert in 1983, Beppe Crovolla suggested that they work together and in 1990 he invited them to contribute to his New Prog '90 project. When they recorded their first album with Crovolla, the band consisted of Paulo Ferrarotti (drums, vocals), Dino Fiore (bass), Massimo Di Lauro (violin, keyboards), Aldo Bergamini (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Roberto Giordano (keyboards, vocals). Fiore quit unexpectedly in 2000 and was replaced by Roberto Franco Fava, although Fiore has since returned. IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE'S music may not be the most complex or original, but it is highly emotional and beautiful. The Italian lyrics are full of allegories and metaphors, while the music is built around keyboards and choral effects, with violin flourishes and soaring emotive guitar solos. Due to the presence of the violin, comparisons with QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA are perhaps inevitable although GENESIS would seem to be the band's main influence.

For their first album "Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord" (1992) they were able to draw on 16 years worth of material and although it sold well the band's later works are generally of higher quality. Their second studio album "L'Ippogrifo" (1995) is their most laid-back work and is perhaps a bit one-paced. It features a combination of new material and reworked old songs, but overall it lacks the freshness of the debut. "Come Il Seguitare Delle Stagioni" (2000) was the first album to consist of entirely new material. It's a beautiful album that acts as a fine showcase for Di Lauro's expressive violin. In 2003 the band contributed to a conceptual CD based on the Finnish epic poem ''Kalevala''. The song they recorded for this project appears alongside some other fine material on the synthesizer-laden ''Quintessenza'' (2004). Their most recent album ''Capitolo 7 - Tra Le Antiche Mura'' is generally accepted as their masterpiece. It's based on a literary concept with each song presented as a book, and was selected by the jury of the Italian Prog Awards as one of the best Italian prog albums in 2009.

Until 2000 the band had not performed outs...
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IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE discography


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IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 34 ratings
Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord
1992
3.94 | 24 ratings
L'Ippogrifo
1995
3.62 | 33 ratings
Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni
2000
3.73 | 30 ratings
Quintessenza
2004
4.17 | 72 ratings
Capitolo 7 - Tra Le Antiche Mura
2009

IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 15 ratings
Passo Dopo Passo
1994
3.46 | 3 ratings
Concerto Acustico
2006

IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Tirando Le Somme
1983

IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Capitolo 7  - Tra Le Antiche Mura by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 72 ratings

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Capitolo 7 - Tra Le Antiche Mura
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars After a miraculously mature debut that blended RPI, symphonic and folk, IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE altered their sound somewhat by largely eschewing the folk side and aiming for extended if not necessarily more ambitious compositions. Mostly it worked, but the material wasn't as uniformly captivating, as lovely emotive passages juxtaposed not always harmoniously with more technical aspects. Here on their most recent album they appear to have embraced their inner RPI as never before, and, while I can lament the continued emphasis on electric guitar and keyboards over acoustic guitar and violin, I cannot argue objectively against claims that "Tra le Antiche Mura" is their most impressive offering to date.

Bracketed by two short spoken pieces, this disk consists of 5 long tracks, every one of which represents a salve for the embattled aural consumer. Probably the strongest is the title cut, as the organ and guitar themes reach into a Gothic past more than we have heard before, and not one but two vocal melodies are developed. Then there is the centrepiece, "Malebolge", which doesn't just recall METAMORFOSI's "Inferno" because it too is about hell. The violin is used in a completely different manner than we have come to expect, fueling a suspenseful theme on which the whole piece leans. Some of the synthesizer motifs make me think of space sci fi movie theme music, which is not an entirely favorable assessment but is evocative. The second half of the piece is more reflective and melodic both in its new vocal and instrumental passages, until the original themes return. One of the aspects that I enjoy is the continuity of the driving organ themes in both of these two tracks.

The remaining 3 principal tracks do not really let down at all, but continue the established pattern of alternating lush and relatively more rocking passages, with plenty of fine keyboards including piano facsimiles, vocals, and CAMEL-like guitar solos. "Ancora Suonare Ancora Insieme" includes one of the best of these divine inspirations from Andy Latimer, and it happily materializes on a couple of occasions, never malingering. The hymn like vocal break just before its final bow, and integrated into it, is one of the most emotive and fully realized moments on the disk. "Legge E Ascolta" has the most impact from the outset, with a pleasing piano theme underneath plaintive harmonized vocals and wrapped up in a stringed keyboard blanket. The second vocal theme is even lovelier and is elevated by gentle violin and more keys. In the break is an uplifting synthesizer solo over raunchy rhythm guitar, before we return to the original "song" within the song. The original theme way back at the start of this 11 minutes of bliss is reprised with a few sweet alterations including blended lead guitar and bass. "L'Uomo Solo" is also wonderful, with another heartfelt vocal melody which naturally turns into an opportunity for guitar and synth excursions - you get the picture.

While this group's first album had "it", the magic that transforms a collection of great songs into a 5 star masterpiece, I can't quite award the same accolades to "Mura". Every track here is different, but their patterns tend to converge. To call them contrived would be unfair and inaccurate, because they are nothing if not genial. But together they are little better than apart, at least musically. This is still a superb effort suggestive of a band that won't be running into a creative wall any time soon. 4.5 stars.

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 Quintessenza by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.73 | 30 ratings

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Quintessenza
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars This quintessential symphonic RPI band returns somewhat to the folk oriented orientation of the debut for their 2004 offering, but they continue to have problems with the longer tracks. The two epics kick off with the sort of Squonk like noodling best reserved for the filling of the sandwich, once we have already appreciated the pane fresco. In addition, the splendiferous CAMEL styled melodies are repeated once or twice too often, reinforcing the sense that the band continues to artificially elongate excellent material beyond its elastic capacity.

Still, it's impossible to be creeped out by profusion in a genre that gave supererogation   a musical identity, and IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE remains an eloquent delegate for symphonic splendour. "Il Marinen Forgia Il Sampo" is a symphonic jewel, with some surprisingly timely vocal harmonies and gutsy organ, reminiscent of MEN OF LAKE, blended with the fiddle themes we have grown to love. "Cavalcando Tra Le Nuvol" is the biggest surprise, as much Afro-Caribbean as RPI influenced, a lively and carefree picker upper with more violin, organ, and show-stealing lead guitar to boot. The theme of the two "Il Tempo A Venire" bridges the longer cuts well and lends dignity to the whole. The spoken parts of the first of these seems to achieve what ANYONE's DAUGHTER could not quite manage on "Piktors Verwandlungen" by providing equal opportunity for the music to match the import of the words.

Another eminently listenable album with a few clear flaws, "Quintessenza" can't quite live up to the hype inherent in its name. 3.5 stars, rounded down for some questionable choices on the tracks meant to be centerpieces.

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 Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.62 | 33 ratings

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Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars While all members of Il CASTELLO DI ATLANTE are laudable musicians, after indulging in their debut album, I felt comfortable in the assertion that the group's unique identity was enhanced by the violin of Massimo Di Lauro. Bypassing the hard to find second disk, and allowing more than commensurate opportunity to critique this 2000 release, my new pronouncement is the group's unique identity IS the violin. The therapeutic effect of this album rises and falls with the dosage and purity of its strings. Relatively speaking, "Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni" does not merit more than a small bow.

Taking into consideration the band's place in the generally complex symphonic style of RPI, they will never be remembered for their complexity. The problem here, apart from the vast expanses of lonely keyboards and guitars, is that the group tries to be too complex for its own good, and hence does not flatter its intentions. While the shorter pieces - particularly "Primo Repriso" and "Secondo Respiro" - might have been expounded upon to good effect, the greater sin is the artificial extension of the opener and closer, both of which loiter about in an uncomfortably neolithic manner far too long, and yet fail to connect the parts with each other or the listener. The clear exception among the longer pieces is "Ad Un Amico", with a decidedly less cluttered mannerism and lush melodies in which the whole group rallies around a fiddle figure.with an intriguing Arabic character. Aldo Bergamini's sizzling accompaniment on lead guitar is congruence and confluence in motion.

While this album fails to play to the considerable and easily mined strengths of this excellent Italian band, it's far from a lost cause. The retreat into the safety of ersatz RPI and symphonic prog in general quelled the vivacity and succinctness inherent in their brilliant debut. I might try "Sono io il signore delle terre a nord" or "Tra le Antiche Mura" first, depending on what is in season.

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 Quintessenza by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.73 | 30 ratings

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Quintessenza
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars By the time of ''Come il seguitare delle stagioni'' bassist Dino Fiore had already left the band and was replaced for a short time by a new member named Walter.Walter's bass work was going along the lines of Il Castello di Atlante but, not fond of the style, he quit soon to be replaced by Franco Fava.The new line-up recorded a track for the 3CD compilation ''Kalevala'' (2003) of the Finnish magazine Colossus and begun to work on new material.As with the previous album, Crovella of Electromantic Records issued the album in both vinyl and CD formats.The title was ''Quintessenza'' (the fifth album of the band, cinque, and essenza for the band's essence on music).

As Il Castello di Atlante never parted ways with their roots, they could not do else than deliver once more excellent Symphonic Rock with an Italian flavor around.Actually the new album finds them even more mature musically speaking and the listener will soon find himself completely hooked by the two grand epics of the album, the opening 12-min. ''Non Puoi Fingere'' and the closing 15-min. ''Il Tempo a Venire''.Both feature romantic Italian vocals, beautiful symphonic arrangements, great interplays and emotional atmospheres, where guitars, piano, violins and keyboards offer dreamy and ethereal soundscapes, no matter having a relaxing or more dynamic approach.For these tracks alone the album deserves to be purchased.But the shorter compositions are not bad either, never escaping the borders of Classic Italian Prog, maybe the violin work is a bit more on the forefront, along the lines of P.F.M. or QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA.The only flaw of the album is detected on the limited use of synthesizers, which sound a bit pale in comparison to the other instruments.

The best work of the band so far and the title of the album could not be more appropriate.This is trully essential Italian Symphonic Rock, filled with emotion and professional musicianship at the highest level.Il Castello di Atlante cannot escape from their 70's roots but this is no problem since the music is so challenging.Highly recommended.

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 Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.56 | 34 ratings

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Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Kiwi1

3 stars It strikes me that any useful evaluation of a Progressive Rock album ? an assessment of its worth ?always ultimately addresses, at some level, the issue of authenticity. To evaluate an album only according to criteria of personal preference or taste surely amounts to little more than a supreme act of arrogance. How can critics condemn or elevate an album if the grounds upon which they proceed are purely subjective? How often have we read a highly positive review of an album that we also enjoy and then, believing that this critic must share our own taste, acquire another album upon his or her recommendation only to experience much disappointment when it fails to meet our expectations? Surely a more objective footing is necessary, therefore, if we are to trust any evaluation. Perhaps this is one reason why some notion of authenticity, with all its connotations of 'faithfulness to an original' or the 'personal integrity of the musicians' has become so central to debates regarding Progressive Rock. In this respect I can safely declare that 'Sono Lol Il Signore Delle Terre a Nord' by the Italian Group Il Castello di Atlante is an album with impeccable Progressive Rock credentials. From its series of lengthy and relatively complex tracks which often employ both conventional and non-conventional 'Rock' instruments (Violin, Classical Guitar, etc.) to better achieve a loud-soft musical dynamic, to its obviously non-commercial aesthetic (the band's name, alone, is unlikely to attract any pop-media mogul) this is a thorough piece of Progressive Rock according to any criteria. But is it any good? Well, the musicianship is reasonably impressive without ever achieving any degree of virtuosity. The violin playing, however, is a little unconvincing and seems to often and unnecessarily replace the role of an evidently competent lead guitarist, and the band, without extravagance or flamboyancy, offers some pleasant and cleverly wrought compositions. The mellifluous vocal style of the singer is particularly impressive and is given more charm by the lyrics sung in Italian which, even if they are meaningless to anyone not fluent in the language, at least sound suitably poetic ? I presume, anyway, that they are of more depth than the 'OK Barbie Let's Go Party' style of Pop lyricisation. But such comments, I suppose, only reflect my personal taste. So, if Progressive Rock is to your liking ? and I assume, if you are reading this review, that it is, you might well enjoy this album. But, then again, you might not.

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 Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.62 | 33 ratings

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Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars While the first three Il Castello di Atlante albums contained old material or re-arranged songs from the bands early days,the Italian quintet decided this time to write completely fresh material for the upcoming release,so they fell into a writing process for about three years.Meanwhile they had already built a strong relationship with Beppe Crovella,so it was an easy decision for them to sign for his new-established Electromantic Records.The fourth album entitled ''Come il seguitare delle stagioni'' was released in 2000,surprisingly Crovella pressed the album additionally on vinyl with the exception of the track ''Guidizio'' due to the limited possibilities of a vinyl pressing.

Anyone expecting the band to sound more modern with this fresh written material will just collide on the wall.Il Castello di Atlante were born in the 70's,love this particular era and insist on playing this retro-styled Classic Italian Symphonic Rock with balanced instrumentation and, this time, quite limited vocals.Four long tracks are split each other with three short Classical- influenced preludes,driven by violin, pianos, acoustic guitars and organ.The longer compositions contain plenty of interesting moments: Violin work-outs similar to QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA or ''Jet lag''-era PFM, sensational guitar solos, captivating work on keyboards by Roberto Giordano through his organ,piano and synths offerings and sensitive,warm Italian lyrics.All of them are wrapped in symphonic arrangements and balanced between smooth acoustic passages and even spacey synth drives to stronger parts with intense interplays and grandiose finales full of Italian passion and melodies, creating remarkable,stunning emotions, a pure highlight of the band.

Il Castello di Atlante still have nothing new to add to the Italian Prog scene.Still what they do,they do it very well.Pure retro-influenced Italian Symphonic Rock with a full sound,passion and intensity.A must have for fans of the style,a strongly recommended effort for prog fans in general...3.5 stars.

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 Capitolo 7  - Tra Le Antiche Mura by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 72 ratings

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Capitolo 7 - Tra Le Antiche Mura
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

5 stars The fifth and so far latest album from these masters of RPI.

Il Castello Di Atlante both has their own style and also follows the RPI tradition. Their sound is more based on Genesis' Foxtrot album than most other RPI bands. But their sound is archetypical RPI and an advertisement for Italy and it's tourism industry. I am checking the latest holiday offers now..... 10 days in Italy.. hmm....... This album almost convince me to take up this offer. If you don't start to appreciate Italy after listening to this album, your heart is made of stone.

Five long songs, five different stories. The vocals are excellent. The music lush, pastoral and excellent too. The same goes for the keyboards based sound. The guitars are typical RPI and excellent too. The use of violins are excellent. The drums and bass is rumbling on in the background. The five songs are lush, pastoral and very melodic. Their music somewhere between Genesis, RPI and folk rock. Each song is as good as each other. They have frequent changes of themes and is not easy listening. But when getting into them, they stays on forever.

This is an excellent album from a band which is in the top 5 of alltime RPI bands. Il Castello Di Atlante is easily the best post 1970s RPI band. This album just confirms their position and I sincere hope they will return again with a new album. That is one of my wishes for 2012.

In the meantime, I will continue to listen to this near perfect album.

5 stars

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 Quintessenza by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.73 | 30 ratings

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Quintessenza
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars The fifth album from these masters of Rock Progressivo Italiano.

Quintessenza was conceived and written after a pretty major line up change. One of the founders left the band. A new bassist was drafted in. The result is a slight different album. Not a major change. But their music has become slightly less accessible and it takes some more time to penetrate this album than the previous four albums.

But fear not. The arch typical melodic Rock Progressivo Italiano sound is there and the vocals is as superb as always. Quintessenza is also leaning more towards Genesis than any other Castello Di Atlante albums. There is a pastoral feeling over this album from A to Z. The guitars, violins and the keyboards is downtuned pastoral and so is the vocals. This creates a good feeling. There is no denying that Quintessenza is an arch-typical Rock Progressivo Italiano album, sounds wise. A mix of Italian classical and folk music with rock on the top.

The music on this album is great throughout. An album I really love. So in my view; this is a superb album if you are into Rock Progressivo Italiano. In short, a four fingers salute album.

4 stars

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 Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.56 | 34 ratings

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Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars If you look into their history you'll see that Il Castello di Atlante's roots lie in the early seventies although it wasn't until 1992 that they released their debut album. This particular work might be made a little less alluring by cover artwork that's suggestive of a Heavy Metal release, but in reality the album takes the Italian melodic tradition as its starting point and enriches it with marvellous folk and classical detail. The reliance on violin is a key element in this respect and Il Castello di Atlante really hit on a winning formula with their pairing of violin and romantic melodies.

'La Foresta Dietro Il Mulino Di Johan' is typical of the band's best work with the plaintive airs of Massimo Di Laura's violin profiled against a meshwork of backdrops. On a couple of other tracks they proudly unfurl the colours of their musical inspiration, with fragments of 'Tubular Bells' in the finely shaded violin of 'Il Saggio' and with the influence of 'A Salty Dog' that ambles into 'Estate'. The latter features a wonderful piano intro to boot.

RPI and Symphonic fans can't really go too far wrong with any of Il Castello di Atlante's albums although I wouldn't say this is one of their strongest. This one's methodical rather than inspired and it's almost as if the sixteen years they had to develop these songs had in fact atrophied the originality and excitement in them, as if they lost something in the past. It's less like the decorous landscapes of the countryside and more the bland magnolia-land of the suburbs. It's good but not essential.

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 Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni by CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, IL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.62 | 33 ratings

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Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni
Il Castello Di Atlante Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars The third album from this new generation Rock Progressivo Italiano band.

And Castello Di Atlante is one of the best new generation Rock Progressivo Italiano bands in this scene. Something they prove on this album.

Castello Di Atlante's sound is the typicali vintage sound with superb vocals, violin, flute, guitars and tonnes of vintage keyboards. The music is not hard at all and is bordering to Italian pop music on this album. Bordering, but not stepping over this border. Most of the songs and epics here are intricate symphonic too.

Castello Di Atlante hardly add something new to this scene. What they do on Come il Seguitare Delle Stagioni is to refine their own take on Rock Progressivo Italiano. This album looks inwards to the music from the 1970s, to the rolling hills of Tuscany, the villages in the south and to the Po river delta. This album is much more Italian than the mad rants of Silvio Berlusconi. The listener instantly gets Italy by listening to this album. And I do not understand a word of Italian, btw.

The quality of this album is great and a great reminder why I love Rock Progressivo Italiano. From the opener Sotto il ponte with it's nod to Haydn to the closer Stava scritto with it's nod to PFM. This album is really close to Rock Progressivo Italiano heaven. If they had managed to write and record a couple of killer tracks on this album, this album would had been perfect. But this album is good enough for me. This band is really a band more people should discover. It is a jewel in the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene and up there with the greats from the 1970s.

4 stars

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