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Cherry Five - Il Pozzo Dei Giganti CD (album) cover


Cherry Five


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.95 | 54 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars - The First Review of This Album -

CHERRY FIVE made in mid-seventies their sole, eponymous album which has become a middle-league classic of RPI. Three of the five members continued as GOBLIN. Now, four decades later, the other two members - vocalist Tony Tartarini and drummer Carlo Bordini - have reformed Cherry Five with keyboardist Gianluca De Rossi from TAPROBAN, a jazz bassist Pino Sallusti and a rock guitarist Ludovico Piccinini. Black Widow, the record company, seem to have played a role in bringing the two original members together again. The new album is inspired by Dante's La Divina Commedia (featuring lyrics by Tartarini). I haven't heard the mentioned Cherry Five album from 1975. Nor are either Taproban or Tartarini's other 70's band L'Uovo di Colombo's music familiar to me.

For the 25-minute title epic the role models are the classic 70's prog epics, especially ELP's Tarkus. Hmm, risky to make such comparison, because this work lacks the powerful and melodic emotion of the Tarkus sections like 'Stones of Years' and the Emersonian keyboard virtuosity. In fact the first 5-8 minutes, featuring a flat background pattern of Hammond, are a bit pushed and monotonous, apart from a decent keyboard solo. Somewhere in the middle of the epic is a fine, jazzy bass solo. The vocals that seem at first listen rather colourless show also some warmer emotion later on the album, but 'Il Pozzo dei Giganti' doesn't fully succeed to me, though I presume it grows with time. It draws from Inferno's Canto XXXI and is about giants punished for their pride.

'Manfredi' (Purgatorio, Canto III) is a four-part epic of 16 minutes. The first part is in fast tempo and attempts to sound like GENTLE GIANT in its rhythmic complexity but it's quite unmemorable. The second part is slower and more emotional - indeed approaching accessible soft pop - featuring also a brief guitar solo. The third one rocks slightly heavier with URIAH HEEP-ish Hammond, and the final part returns to the slightly sentimental softness. Nothing wrong with that! Sadly the wide dynamics in composition is not very present sonically; the album has a bit forced atmosphere, it never gets in full flight.

Could the mixing be a bit unbalanced in this album? I have a feeling that the instruments, especially the wide set of keyboards, are not heard very brightly; often the sound gets stuffy. 'Dentro la Cerchia Antica' (Paradiso, Canto XVI) "offers a progressive-medieval style..." Well, the harpsichord-like keyboards etc. get half-buried in the Heavy-oriented sound. A good prog piece otherwise.

3 stars. This would be SO close to a strong four-star album in the vein of classic 70's symphonic prog, happily even less Heavy than the Black Widow releases in general. But I guess rounding down to three stars reflects more honestly my reception.

Matti | 3/5 |


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