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BAROCK PROJECT

Neo-Prog • Italy


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Barock Project biography
Italian outfit BAROCK PROJECT was set up as the creative vehicle of keyboardist Luca Zabbini, and just when it went from an idea to an artistic project is somewhat uncertain. The summer of 2004 might be stated as the origin year of the band though, as Giambattista Giorgi (bass) and Giacomo Calabria (drums) hooked up with Zabbini at that point, soon followed by Luca Pancaldi (vocals). In 2005 they recorded the self-titled EP The Barock Project, with Vincenzo Pastano (guitars) joining them for this recording session. This EP was well received, and as a result the band landed a contract with French label Musea Records.

In 2007 their second effort Misteriosevoci saw the light of day, this time around the band is reduced to the initial four musicians, with Zabbini handling the guitar duties.

In 2008 Barock Project started to work on their next effort, now strengthened with the guitar skills of Max Scarcia. The end result was issued as Rebus, released by Italian label Mellow Records in the first half of 2009.

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Buy BAROCK PROJECT Music


Coffee in NeuköllnCoffee in Neukölln
Import
Musea 2012
Audio CD$12.88
$28.74 (used)
MisteriosevociMisteriosevoci
Musea 2007
Audio CD$17.40
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BAROCK PROJECT discography


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

2.96 | 13 ratings
Misteriosevoci
2007
3.87 | 20 ratings
Rebus
2009
3.96 | 86 ratings
Coffee In Neukölln
2012

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

BAROCK PROJECT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

BAROCK PROJECT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Barock Project
2005

BAROCK PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Coffee In Neukölln by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.96 | 86 ratings

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Coffee In Neukölln
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by Platy2112

5 stars I just bumped into Barock Project for the first time and I have to say I'm most impressed with this, their 3rd album. I took a quick listen of their first, much more conventional prog outing, and this one is light years ahead of the debut effort. Simply gorgeous stuff!

I guess I'd call this Crossover Prog, since there's a lot of proggish material here instead of outright prog. Most of it is frankly uncategorizable but it's all vibrant, fun (re: "Sreets of Berlin" or "Starfull Jack" that for some reason brings Joe Jackson ca. 1984-87 to my mind), inventive and colorful, and that's just the way I like it...

This is right up there with the current It Bites, RWPL, Unitopia and other excellent bands who seem to do what they please and disregard all the unnecessary labels. What a lovely surprise - cheers guys and keep it coming!

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 Misteriosevoci by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.96 | 13 ratings

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Misteriosevoci
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars IItalian Barock Project from Bologna was an idea of keyboardist Luca Zabbini, who found the act in 2003 at the age of 19.In summer 04' he was joined by Giambattista Giorgi on bass and Giacomo Calabria on drums and a little later Zabbini recruited singer Luca Pancaldi and guitarist Vincenzo Pastano.This five-piece line-up recorded the band's self-titled demo in 2005 with Pastano leaving soon after.The remaining four members went on to prepare the first album of the band.''Misteriosevoci'' was eventually released in 2007 on Musea Records with Zabbini taking care of the guitar work as well.

Despite being influenced by Classical Music and Progressive Rock, Zabbani chose a more refined and radio-friendly style for this work, where almost all compositions have a slight Classical base on the piano parts and are characterized by a certain artistic attitude, but the majority of them are centered around simple song structures and the catchy vocals of singer Luca Pancaldi.Additionally Zabbani decided to throw in a few surypy ballads, reminiscent of the current Italian Pop scene than of anything close to prog, not bad at all but not exactly what you expect from a musician influenced by ELP.So, most of the tracks are presented with accesible grooves, typical song-based formats and a few keyboard solos (mostly synthesizers and organ) in a modern Neo/Symphonic style with little adventure and filled with rather forgettable tunes, a couple of them even having an evident but indifferent funky base.But when Zabbani decides to offer his progressive nature on the forefront, the result is very good.''Premonizioni'' is an excellent example.Great keyboard/piano-based Symphonic Rock in the vein of LE ORME with distorted vocals and nice organ solos.The closing ''Un altro mondo'' has more or less the same atmosphere with organ and piano in evidence and some catchy but fiery guitar soloing.But these just leave the listener praying for some more of the style.

Decent debut for Barock Project, but pretty accesible, mostly in an Art-Rock than Progressive Rock vein, with the true talent of Zabbani hidden behind mediocre compositions.Recommended only for prog amateurs or fans of easy-listening progressive material...2.5 stars.

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 Coffee In Neukölln by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.96 | 86 ratings

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Coffee In Neukölln
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by RoB

4 stars I must admit I have been following this band for a while, and I had been waiting for this album with great expectation. To my ears Misteriosevoci and Rebus are really good albums that have been out of the spotlight and have not received the recognition they deserve.

Speaking of the music in Coffee in Neukölln, The mix among symphonic passages, rock, metal, and prog is still there as in BP previous albums - I'd say this album brings more symphonic arrangements than the others though. One difference I noticed is that the construction of the compositions sounds more consistent and this is definitely an improvement!

There are more than a couple of tracks that deserve special attention, but my favorites are: Fools Epilogue, Inside the Dreamer's Eye 2 and The Lives of Others.

I would've liked to have at least a couple of tracks in Italian but I assume the target of the band in this moment is to gain more audience. Without any doubt this album is meant to be one of 2012 best Italian prog albums.

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 Rebus by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.87 | 20 ratings

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Rebus
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After their excellent debut album 'MisterioseVoci' I was eager to listen to this italian band's second effort 'Rebus'. My veredict is a clear thumbs up, although I must confess that it took me a few more spins than MV to fully appreciate this one. The first thing you notice is a vast improvement in the recording quality, production and attention to detail. And the voice of Luca Pancaldi sounds much better and is now more supported by backing vocals.

The second is an evolution in the sound and style, and this is what took my classic-prog- trained ears a bit longer to digest. The formula keeps similar, trying to find the best balance of classic prog, neo-prog, pop, rock, classical music, jazz and popular music, but the point of balance seems at first to have been a bit shifted towards the pop-rock side and bit less to symphonic prog, classical and jazz. While MisterioseVoci was closer to the classic prog sound, with a lot of acoustic piano, rhodes, hammond and moog sounds, and natural bass and drums, Rebus sounds much more modern, with a much wider palette of synth sounds, the bass and drums sound more processed, and in general closer to standard neo-prog sound.

While I found MV difficult to compare to other main prog bands, at the first couple of listens of Rebus things that crossed my mind included modern Yes (Magnification etc), GTR, 3 To the Power of Three, modern ELP, the good Asia tracks and the likes. This took me a bit off guard and for some moments I found myself thinking 'mmm, a bit too modern for me' (yes I know these albums are not that modern anymore, but you know what I mean). However MV had already taught me that these guys are somewhat subtle in displaying their talent so I gave it more spins and I finally got it and I have come to really enjoy this album, and it's certainly better than many of the references I mentioned.

Band leader Luca Zabbini does not sound so much like Keith Emerson anymore, he is finding his own style but sure enough he shows once again his amazing skills. They have now a full-time guitar player Max Scarcia who does a good job although the music is still mostly centered on the fantastic keyboards. There are 2 tracks sung in english (plus one Easter Egg) and a single-like track, which seems to indicate that they aim to a wider audience.

The album opens with a ghost of the melody from the last track Nostradamus, quickly stepping into the fast beat of 'La Corsa Elettronica' (The Electronic Race). A very modern sounding prog tune which especially in its second half reminds me a bit of modern Yes.

'Don Giovanni' is an excellent and quite original track which could be defined as 'Mozart meets Queen', with a purely classical-based verse and chorus and some Bohemian Rhapsody-like vocals and guitar.

'Save your soul' combines seemingly incompatible styles, starting with a tune which will remind us of central-european gipsy music to suddenly change into fast rock, followed by typical prog synth solo lines and closing again with the gipsy theme. It seemed a bit forced in the beginning but after a while I got its point.

'Akery' is one of the best picks, a wonderful track with great dynamics, starting with soft piano to gradually increase the intensity and without knowing how you got there you are listening to fast rock, and then to mid-tempo prog. Great song

'Polvere di stelle' (Stardust) could be a single, it has a very pop and catchy verse-chorus but the instrumental work is great and more prog than it seems at first.

'Duellum' (Duel) is the most Emersonian track, could well have been in some of the modern ELP albums (of which would have been probably the best song), an amazing display of keyboard work and another of the best picks.

'My enemy' is mostly a rock song, the weakest in the album.

'Veleno' (Poison) is the track which sounds most like their first album MV, again with great dynamics combining prog-jazz-pop, an instrumental phrasing in phrygian scale which gives it an andalusian feeling, and a beautiful soft middle segment. Another best pick.

'Orione' (obviously enough, Orion) is mostly standard neo-prog, something that would not have felt much out of place in one of the first Arena albums.

'Nostradamus' is officially the last track, based on frantic drums, something as if you tried to put music to one of the drum duet solos of Phill Collins and Chester Thompson, it took me a while to get it but now I find it a very good and original track. The song ends at 5:00 min, but the counter on the player shows that track 10 lasts 11:20, betraying that there's something more to come. Indeed after 3 minutes of silence we get an unnamed Easter Egg in the form of a soft ballad which while not being very prog by itself is nice and not much different from, say, some of the soft fragments of Jethro Tull.

A very good album which due to the modernized style compared to MV took me a bit longer to get into, but still a great work and much improved in many respects compared to their debut. Best picks for my taste 'Don Giovanni', 'Akery', 'Duellum', 'Veleno' and 'Nostradamus'.

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 Misteriosevoci by BAROCK PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.96 | 13 ratings

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Misteriosevoci
Barock Project Neo-Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is my first review in Prog Archives (I will make sure it's not the last) since I could not stand the fact that this gem was not yet reviewed. I hope you don't mind lyrics in italian because this album is a true discovery. Being a debut album (besides a previous EP) I was even tempted to give it 5 stars but I'l stay with 4.

Barock Project is the creation of piano and keyboard virtuoso Luca Zabbini, he wrote all the music and many of the lyrics, produced and mixed the album, and in case that was not enough he also played the guitars.

Strongly influenced by Keith Emerson, Luca follows in his footsteps and has already composed his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.1 (watch an extract in YouTube, plus several great covers of ELP songs). He is a conservatory musician and it shows in his music, this is not the all-too-frequent neo-prog made of a few pop-rock chords and pentatonic scales arranged in prog fashion by a few time signature changes. B.P.'s music is very rich musically, with chord progressions, key changes and scales drawing from classical music, jazz, pop-rock, mediterranean music and I would say even some flavours of argentinian music, plus of course the symphonic and prog rock classics.

Bassist Giambattista Giorgi and drummer Giacomo Calabria do an excellent job as well and their style fits well with Luca's music. Lead singer Luca Pancaldi is maybe a step below his bandmates but given how difficult it is to get a top level singer into prog rock, his performance is more than respectable.

Even if the ELP influences are clear here and there, the music is quite different. Far from the excesses and extreme self-indulgence of ELP, the music in MisterioseVoci (MisteriousVoices) is always very melodic, quite easy to listen to even for non-prog-trained ears, with a more pop-jazz feeling to it. Actually the music is quite personal and it's not easily likened to any of the main symphonic or prog bands, which is a good thing, they are not a simple clone of some of the masters. The songs are rather short, in fact with the inspiration which Luca puts on a track many bands would surely write a 20-minute suite, but Luca intentionally keeps it at 5 min, but man... he packs so much quality in that short time!

And make no mistake, even if some of it may sound rather pop at first glance, when you listen carefully you will discover a lot of subtle musical quality. Luca (& Co.) will not show the compositional talent or playing virtuosism with wizard ultra-fast solos alla Jordan Ruddess, long instrumental jams, or grandiose Overtures and Finales alla Neal Morse. Instead their quality is subtle, measured and balanced, to the point that it's even a bit too measured and humble. I have been told that their next album "Rebus" is more self- indulgent, I have already ordered it and I can't wait to receive it.

Now to a quick review by track:

"La danza senza fine" ("The endless dance") is an upbeat prog tune which might remind us of PFM's "E Festa" ("Celebration" in the english version) combined with Marillion's "Market Square Heroes", with a nice combination of 4/4 and 3/4 beat and some Emerson-sounding organ solos.

"Senza Regole" ("Without rules") blends pop, jazz and prog elements to make up a nice track.

"Eclissi" ("Eclipse") is a very prog track (and the longest at 9min42) with many time signature and key changes. Some segments may remind us of mid-epoch Genesis (let's say Wind and Wuthering times) with beautiful grand piano, keyboard layers and of course very good bass and drums.

"Anima" ("Soul") is a beautiful soft ballad with strung acoustic guitar supported by piano, bass and drums, the chorus segment consisting of an interesting progression of ascending chords emphasized in the closing section with a nice synth solo.

A short Emersonian organ fugue introduces us to the powerful "Odio" ("Hate"), a great power-prog track in 7/8 focussed in hard hammond & moog sounds including also distorted guitar and a great bass & drums work. Great song, feels too short.

"Quello che resta" ("That which remains") is another beautiful ballad based on piano well supported by bass and drums, growing in intensity and instrumentation as it develops.

"Premonizioni" ("Premonitions") is an excellent and very prog track, with a powerful instrumental intro followed by soft piano, the track mostly in 3/4 beat with some changes to 4/4, and a short baroque transition to a great organ solo before retaking the main theme for the closing section. My best pick together with "Odio" and "Un Altro Mondo".

"Volo" ("Flight") is again a ballad, this time based on arpeggio'd acoustic guitar adorned with (fretless sounding) bass, piano and some layers of keyboards and some harpsichord in the closing section. Beautiful.

"Gentile Direttore" ("Dear Director") has a swing feel to it, it may sound poppy but it too has quality (as a detail, notice drummer Giacomo Battista's combination of quarter notes and triplets on the ride cymbal in the main bass-lead instrumental verse), and includes 3 nice short solos of Rhodes piano, guitar and hammond organ respectively.

"Luce" ("Light") is another soft pop tune but once again very beautiful, with high quality details such as the piano and bass transition between the 1st chorus and the 2nd verse.

"Un altro mondo" ("Another world") is maybe my favourite track, a great prog track whose only defect if any is being too short, even at 7min08sec. Mostly in 3/4, the introduction has some wonderful piano work soon joined by the rest of instruments and keyboards. In the final section the beat will change to 14/8 for a few bars before closing again in 3/4. Great song!

For those who can understand italian, the lyrics are more than decent.

In summary: 5 excellent prog tracks, 4 beautiful high-quality ballads with prog touches and 2 high-quality pop-jazz-prog songs. Get it, you will not be disappointed. These guys deserve to become famous.

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