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COURT

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Court biography
1. Symphonic Prog band with strong classical influences. Many accoustic instruments are used, giving the band almost a chamber characteristic. Very interesting arrangements with sophisticated and passionate romanticism: CIRCUS, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, EZRA, WINSTON, LOCANDA DELLE FATE ...
The band has won the Los Angeles Music Award 2007 as the best Alternative Artist!
[ProgArchives.com]

2. The project started in 1990, Paolo Lucchina, Mose Nodari, Luigi Bonacina, Andrea Costanza, and Francesco Vedani were the original original line-up. After three years the Court, who were 19 at the time, were contacted by the indie label Music is Intelligence who proposed them to record their first studio album, And you'll follow the winds' rush 'till their breath dwells, in the Roxanne Studio in Stuttgart.

The international critics saluted this work with great enthusiasm: "Court filters progressive, folk and ancient music traditions, generating a new, original sound, completely detached from the very concept of song. Their music develops with unlimited creativity, explicitly trying to overcome any boundary [..] The band signs an absolute masterpiece like Alviss' Revenge, 15 minutes of heavenly madness" (Metal Shock, note: 4 ½ out of 5). The historical prog-fanzine " Melodie & Dissonanze", after defining the CD "The most impressive, mature, and original episode from the Italian scene in 1993", describes the band's sound: "The electro-acoustic soul of Court expresses itself spontaneously through following a track which ideally connects the middle-age music traditions, the passion and energy of the most clever grunge scene, the visionary attitude of psychedelic rock, and the theatrical expression of art-rock". After the release of the album, the band started an intense series of concerts in Italy , and northern Europe (Germany , Netherlands , Switzerland , Norway ). The song Eckol was chosen as single, and a video clip was realized.

In 1997 the second album Distances was recorded near Frankfurt . The magazine Rockerilla commented "It seems that the four years passed from the previous realise have been devoted by the band to develop furthermore its technical and emotional capabilities. Distances is an impressive folk masterpiece, characterized by a totally creative and free approach. [.] The band has signed a work which should be considered completely independent from the local and contemporary scene, but rather ranked among the most colourful f...
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COURT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.05 | 6 ratings
And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells
1993
3.54 | 13 ratings
Distances
1997
3.76 | 19 ratings
Frost of Watermelon
2007
3.93 | 26 ratings
Twenty Flying Kings
2012

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COURT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Twenty Flying Kings by COURT album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.93 | 26 ratings

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Twenty Flying Kings
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars Anyone happening to listen to a Court album will acknowledge the frequent blending of their powerful electronic impact with the acoustic shadows conveyed by the flutes, the recorders, the oboe, the classical and acoustic guitars and folk instruments as their main sound features.

The above quote from the CD booklet pretty much defines the essence of the band - a synthesis of disparate styles that relies heavily on the free use of woodwinds and acoustic string things. Oboe, recorders and mandolin bring eastern, medieval and folk atmospheres to the proceedings of 'Twenty Flying Kings' respectively, but fit together naturally.

Those readers familiar with the band will recognise from the track list that 'Twenty Flying Kings' is a collection of old tracks, culled from their first two albums and from the Colossus 'Inferno' project (I must check that out, the storm and stress of 'Anastasius' Epitaph' is counterpointed beautifully by the aching electric guitar riff of 'The Great Bear Rising'), although they have all been re-recorded. There's nothing new in that idea of course, Le Orme did something similar with 'Amico di Ieri' but I think Court pull it off better. The question for me is: How do they manage to give inspiration to old material?

Well, the album was recorded between 2007-2012 but is the product of a project begun in 2006. It was originally conceived as part of a 2-CD release; one disc was to have consisted of new material and another disc of acoustic versions of old songs. The project was abandoned as being over-ambitious although it saw the release of 'Frost of Watermelon' and the recording of some of the acoustic stuff here.

The band's intention was to better articulate the mood of the songs, so for example on the opening track 'Cries' there are no longer any sampled sounds of a victorious army marching home and there is no extended intro of garageland guitars. We're thrown straight into the thick of the action with rabble-rousing cries of 'Tell me! Tell Me! Where the soldiers have gone to die... Wasted! Wasted! Wasted the lands behind them / Now the king is satisfied.' This 'in the middle of things' device enlivens the track and combines with the battle of wills between acoustic and electric guitars to convey the anti-war strife.

The album also gives Court the chance to really stretch out and expand some tracks, giving more space to explore their musical vision. The album's symphonic centrepiece 'Sumptuous Moment' is their reading of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and concerns man's exploitation of nature. It has been greatly extended from its original version so I won't try to trace the disorienting trajectory of its 22-minutes but it conveys a sense of wandering lost in a perilous forest. If Court's original plan for this album was overly ambitious, there's certainly no poverty of ambition here either.

The album is broadly themed around encounters with kings and it also represents a chance for listeners to meet new vocalist Marco Pedrini; all vocals are in English, which is of course something of a mixed blessing but given the importance of the narratives it's a good thing overall. For instance, the epic 'Alviss' Revenge' is based on eddaic poetry and concerns the story of Alviss and his two brothers, their valkyrie brides, stolen rings, the envious king Garm etc., and google translate simply wouldn't have cut the mustard.

This year's new prog releases have set the bar pretty high but don't overlook 'Twenty Flying Kings' - it's a fine album and should be of equal interest to Court newcomers as well as fans looking for new material hewn out of old.

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 Frost of Watermelon by COURT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.76 | 19 ratings

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Frost of Watermelon
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Things got really bad for Court after ''Distances'', when the mastermind and guitarist of the band Andrea Costanza left due to the limited album's sales.He was replaced by Andrea Balliano and later multi-instrumentalist Marco Strobel, but the lack of motivation, live performances and record deal led Court to fall in hiatus in 2000.During this period though Paolo Lucchina, Mos' Nodari and Marco Strobel worked on colouring ancient tunes with different recording techniques.The enthusiasm returned in mid-00's with Court entering the Varano Borghi Studios and recording their third album ''Frost of Watermelon'', a private CD release.

Eventually the hard work for Court led them to a better result and ''Frost of Watermelon'' marked a new fresh beginning for the band.The style has not changed radically, this is a blend of Acoustic Rock/Folk with Heavy/Psychedelic Rock and Progressive Rock, but the compositions seems more conveincing, while the group deliveries series of tight playing with changing atmospheres and styles.Even the vocals are more satisfying next to this fine musicianship.The music of group relies much on the guitar work of Strobel and Nodari with the medieval acoustic tunes giving their place to strong grooves and interesting riffing.The bad experiences of the past were seemingly a good lesson for Court, there are finally some fantastic interplays in here with superb flutes at moments supporting the rockin' attitude, some guitar solos are trully inspired, while the overall atmosphere seems more complex and demanding than on the previous works, even comparable with GENTLE GIANT or JETHRO TULL at moments.The Folk elements remain the band's driving force but the solid rockin' arrangements supporting this influence are more than decent, however there is still some room for improvement.

Finally a quite good album by Court and they sure deserve a recommendation for their brand new and fresh great approach.Great work for fans of Progressive/Folk Rock and still a nice purchase for the rest of the prog audience.

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 Frost of Watermelon by COURT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.76 | 19 ratings

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Frost of Watermelon
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must admit that after one listen there's no way I thought I would give this 4 stars. Well it grew on me quickly.The vocals sound like they belong in the Neo-Prog genre, reminding me of the guy from SHAKERY at times.Yes this Italian sings in English.This is a long one (76 minutes) but there's so much great stuff on here I have to give it a low 4 stars.

"Limbo" is a top three track and believe it or not it has a Swedish flavour to it. Strummed guitar to open as vocals and a fuller sound arrive quickly. It does turn aggressive and 3 1/2 minutes in we get emotional vocals. "Men I Met" is a short uptempo vocal track. "Walking And Talking" is another top three tune.They slow it down here and it's quite beautiful. It does kick in at 1 1/2 minutes with emotion then it settles back as contrasts continue. "When I Lose" is laid back to start with vocals. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes and the guitar comes to the fore after 3 minutes when the vocals stop. Flute replaces the guitar until after 4 1/2 minutes when the guitar returns and lights it up with mellotron. "Past Days" is a very good instrumental piece. It has a good beat with some intense outbreaks.

"Wet Of Sky" opens with acoustic guitar as reserved vocals join in. It's raining. "My World" is laid back with strummed guitar and vocals.This sounds much better when it picks up. Some nice guitar after 4 1/2 minutes. "Bridge To Maya" opens with the sound of birds and mellotron. It kicks in louder at 2 1/2 minutes. A heavier sound before 6 1/2 minutes. "Synaptic Ghost" sounds cool as the vocals join in. A heavier sound comes and goes. Just a great sounding track. "Sun Beyond Time" is my other top three. I really enjoy this one especially the vocals.The guitar leads before 3 minutes then it settles back with vocals 5 minutes in and builds beautifully. More great guitar late. "First Stones" has acoustic guitar, reserved vocals and aboe that comes and goes. It's fuller after 2 minutes. So good.

"Mad And Child" is a 24 minute, 4 song suite to end the album. It opens with "You" which is fairly laid back and it really reminds me of SHAKERY. It does get heavier late. "Mother Nature" has some mandolin in it and it's mellow until picking up late. "Father" is pastoral with acoustic guitar and more reserved vocals. It does pick up. Some accordion in this one too and the guitar comes to the fore around 5 1/2 minutes. "Myself" has lots of percussion and intricate acoustic guitar.Vocals join in and then it kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes.We get a calm later on.

This is a good one and worth checking out.

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 Frost of Watermelon by COURT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.76 | 19 ratings

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Frost of Watermelon
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars Court often deviate from the traditional RPI path and on 'Frost of Watermelon' they filter their wide pool of influences into a most modern-sounding RPI album. It's a surprising, yet surprisingly plausible, blend of folk, indie, grunge and West Coast. I think this disc would strike a chord with fans of Crossover as the tracks are melodic, concise and varied, and they follow a number of different paths. However the seamless articulations between tracks and the inclusion of a 24-minute multi-part suite ensure that Italian symphonic music is also well represented.

The band's diverse influences are matched by their equally diverse musical resources. The members of Court all seem to be multi-instrumentalists and the list of instruments employed here would require the late Viv Stanshall as MC to do it justice: Mellotron, synthesizer, electric piano, Farfisa organ, oboe, flute, recorder, harmonica, glockenspiel, e-bow, mandolin, slide guitar. The only minor drawback is that these delinquent Italians sing in English. It boggles my mind that some Italian bands exclusively favour accented English instead of their poetic native tongue. That said, at least these lyrics are coherent and there are no major issues with the English vocals on this album.

It took a good bit of searching for me to find a copy of this CD and I was a bit dubious about its quality at first. However the sparks of brilliance come out to shine with repeated listens and these strengthen my enjoyment of the album rather than fortifying my doubts. Throw in the lovely artwork with all lyrics printed inside the booklet and this album is a slam-dunk for fans of modern, melodic RPI. According to torodd's interview with the band this is their most accessible work to date so it's perhaps ironic that I chose to buy the least progressive of their three albums. I guess I'll just have to buy the other two now.

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 Distances by COURT album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 13 ratings

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Distances
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The RPI band Court returns with the difficult second album.

I do not know the first album, although it is somewhere in my album collection (it is not a good idea to review this one first, but I thought this was their debut..... STUPID ME). But this album comes across as a good modern RPI pastisj. Unfortunate it has little of the classic RPI sound. Instead, Court seeks their own destiny down the Pink Floyd alley. Well, make that Gazpacho because their sound and music has more in common with this Norwegian band. Then we are also into Marilion and neo-prog land. This album is more neo-prog and AOR than RPI. Add some rather medieval flutes and guitars to the sound and Court has found their own niche I would call medieval neo-prog. That does not make any sense, though......

The quality is pretty good throughout. The music is mostly beautiful and mellow. That's make this album good. My gripes (as usual) is the lack of any real killer tracks which would bring this album to another level. But I really like this medieval stuff here which balances out the neo prog. In short; this is a good album, but nothing more than that.

3 stars

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 Frost of Watermelon by COURT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.76 | 19 ratings

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Frost of Watermelon
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Frost Of Watermelon" is the third album of the Italian prog band Court. It was released in 2007, ten years after Court's previous album "Distances" and it's definitely more various, heterogeneous and with a richer sound. The line up features a new guitarist, Marco Strobl who took the place of Andrea Costanza, and some guest musicians... The "recipe" is tasty and well balanced, including "ingredients" like classical and acoustic guitars, mellotron, recorders and glockenspiel along with powerful bass lines, electric guitars and "smashed pumpkins"... Well, the band is not stuck in the past and you can find on this work not only echoes of Genesis and Pink Floyd but also some peculiar "grungy passages".

"I will be back again / Just to step and fly away / Believe me / I founded my world on a dream...". In my opinion the highlights on this album are the dreamy "My World" and the hypnotic and mysterious instrumental "Bridge To Maya". Prog lovers will find very interesting also the long and complex suite "Mad and Child" and the acoustic ballad "When I Lose" featuring mellotron, glockenspiel and recorders... The overall result is very good, so... "Sprinkle on the frost of watermelon" with slivers of dark chocolate, put the bowls in the fridge and serve cold"!

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 Distances by COURT album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.54 | 13 ratings

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Distances
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Four years after their excellent debut album Court released a second work called "Distances" featuring less folk and medieval influences and a softer and more refined rock sound that every now and again could remind of Pink Floyd... Here you can find "wider spaces", "purer sounds" and "crimson reveries" in "a cage of beauty and grace"...

"Does my singing live just when someone is enjoying it? / Or maybe it behaves like the wind that blows over seas although there are no leaves to stir? / I say: It lives because someone has lived and sang it... it lives because someone has lived"... After the short instrumental opener "Shantąl (Far)", the hypnotic and melancholic "The Turn I Was Gifted" leads you in a dreamy mood, followed by "Joy" (where rhythm takes off like a "Zeppelin"), "The Spell Of The Rain" and the acoustic instrumental "View Gone"... Words and sounds draw moony soundscapes where acoustic guitars and flutes are in the forefront...Then comes the amazing long and complex epic "Sumptuous Moment", inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, my favourite track on this album, closer to the sound of their previous album where folk influences are blended with a strong classical and romantic flavour. Good also the other epic "Carved Box" and the soft instrumental "Close"... "The box is now closing / With her walk through the time / Kept safe inside...".

On the whole "Distances" is a very good album and it could be an excellent listening for every prog lover... Since the album can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band, have a try and judge by yourselves!

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 And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells by COURT album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.05 | 6 ratings

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And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Court is an Italian prog band from Milan formed in 1990 by five skilled young musicians: Paolo Lucchina (vocals), Mosč Nodari (guitars, oboe and recorders), Luigi Bonacina (bass), Andrea Costanza (guitar) and Francesco Vedani (drums, flute and recorders). Their debut album, "And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'till Their Breath Dwells", was recorded in Germany and released in 1993 by the indie label Music Is Intelligence. It features a very interesting and fresh blend of rock and classical influences... If you like bands like The Strawbs, Gryphon and Amazing Blondel I'm sure you'll enjoy this work!

The short instrumental opener "Rising The Tale" introduces to the long and complex epic "Alviss' Revenge" that tells a cruel story inspired by Nordic Sagas... "Flying from the south / Maidens came through the dark forest / Young Goddesses they were Valkyries / On the seashore they set to rest / Spinning precious flax...". Despite the English lyrics vocals seem at ease and the music easily flows for over fifteen minutes avoiding the kingdom of boredom...

"Lovers" is a beautiful and tragic prayer, a peculiar ballad with a dramatic "Romantic" feeling while the next track, the dreamy "Eckol" slightly reminds me of Gryphon and Angelo Branduardi... "I've fallen asleep dreaming of colours growing inside / I've fallen asleep dreaming of colours growing inside / Night! It's the time, I'll have my best / See you next sunset, Eckol my friend...".

The long and complex "Cries" is a beautiful "anti-war epic"... While music goes through many changes of rhythm and atmosphere lyrics describe the celebration for the return of a victorious army... But in the crowd someone can't stand it, a soldier who is speaking up against his mind: "There is no meaning, nonsense is war / We claim for us the rights of lands / As slaves we humble before a tyrant / And him we pray though he slew us / I lost my will in lies of king / I blinded my eyes and denied my dreams / I lost the chance to smile to dawn / To hope at dusk and fly by night...".

"Willow Tears" is an amazing instrumental for acoustic guitar, while "Mirth For A Guest" is another short and joyful piece that reminds of Gryphon... "The Song Of The Omniscient Dwarf" is a long ballad that every now and again reminds me of Amazing Blondel and that tells the story of a dwarf cheated by the God Odin and petrified by the sun... The instrumental "R." and "Fading The Tale" close this excellent work...

The whole album can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band... So, have a try!

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 And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells by COURT album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.05 | 6 ratings

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And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars COURT are an Italian band formed in 1990,which were offered a contract by Music Is Intelligence Label and so they recorded their first album ''And you'll follow the winds' rush till their breath dwells'' in 1993 in a Stuttgart-based studio.COURT try in their junior release to mix folk,medieval and ancient-like music with classic progressive rock.Electric and acoustic instrument change endlessly to create an obsure atmosphere,like a journey through time.The album is filled with medieval tunes,not unlike their compatriots ASGARD,but instead of the massive keyboard use,they prefer a heavier approach to progressive rock with parts coming like a cross between LED ZEPPELIN and KING CRIMSON...it sounds an inventive work,but things do not work very well actually...

Some acoustic parts are overlong and tend to be very boring,while their heavier groovy passages have a sound that reminds me more of grunge rock bands like NIRVANA or SOUNDGARDEN,which I personally dislike.Vocals are in English and are quite raw,so I don't think they'll be everyboady's cup of tea.In addition,the limited use of keyboards makes the whole effort very minimalistic and the compositions sound very ''dry''.So,this is really an album I find very mediocre and sometimes boring,but it could be an interesting release for those who search for something totally unique-sounding,but not that well-balanced...Can't give more than 2 stars.

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 Frost of Watermelon by COURT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.76 | 19 ratings

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Frost of Watermelon
Court Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Fans of retro progressive rock will probably enjoy this release by Italian band Court.

The music here is mostly on the mellow and melodic side, folk-influenced acoustic guitar licks central in the compositions here. Flute (or flute sounding keys) further enhance the folk influences here. Variation to this sound is added by inserting slightly psychedelic 70's guitar riffs of the mellow variety in a few tunes; and the icing on the cake is frequent use of symphonic keyboard textures.

There's a couple of tunes here when the band decides to rock out - unsuccessfully - which are the main weak side of this release. The vocals may be a bit on the weak side too; but unless you're extremely sensitive about vocals performances it won't be bothersome.

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