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Il Castello Di Atlante - Cap. 7  - Tra Le Antiche Mura CD (album) cover


Il Castello Di Atlante


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.05 | 123 ratings

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4 stars A seasoned group of very competent, creative Italian prog musicians, inspired, here, by much of their own peninsula's great history and artists.

1. "Prefazione" (1:56) narration and mediŠval fanfare set the stage for the story that follows. (Not worthy of a rating.)

2. "Tra Le Antiche Mura" (12:46) solid RPI Neo Prog using classic prog instrumental and sound palette over the first 90 seconds--nice organ base. The music shifts to a more bouncy, theatric, piano-based palette as the first almost-coloratura vocals (male) enter. Operatic with a LE ORME and GENESIS feel. At 5:30 things slow down to a bluesy, melancholy pace and palette. Piano, chunky bass, and violin explore some emotional part of the story. Melodic and pretty. Then, at 8:30, we transition into another uptempo, almost-GENESIS Duke passage--which sets up a section with a simple violin melodic theme before cycling back to the Duke-like theme. At 11:10 we transition back to the opening theme--which is enhanced by Mellotron "o" voice choir. This is powerful! At 12:20 we get another round of the mediŠval fanfare "horns" before going into a cave with dripping water and spooky voices--which is the start of the next song. (21.5/25)

3. "Malebolge" (19:52) a song that I'm familiar with from my long-time ownership of the 2008 COLOSSUS MAGAZINE/MUSEA RECORDS commissioned ensemble work Inferno - The Divine Comedy, Part 1, though the "Malebolge" contribution to that album was a mere nine minute excerpt of this one. A lot of the themes of this mostly instrumental song are melodic and dramatically scored, arranged in a very symphonic fashion with cyclical repetitions and recapitulations of several motifs--my favorites being the kind of Paul Desmond/Richard Rogers-like theme that is repeated in the 14th minute and the Captain Nemo-crazed organ dominant theme with which the song finishes. (35/40)

4. "Ancora Suonare Ancora Insieme" (8:46) opens with solo harpsichord before bursting into full rock/classic heavy RPI rock for the vocals to begin the storytelling. Nice little instrumental bridges between the verse singing sections--leading into an instrumental section containing some nice Steve HACKETT-like guitar soloing and violin and keyboard soloing over three different motifs--the last of which is Hammond organ and becomes the base for a new and different vocal section. Very solid song with great sound mixing and professional instrumental performances. But then the,at the halfway point, the introduction of a Van Halen "Jump"-like keyboard motif throws me a little--even when organ and violin get involved. This devolves into a section in which harmony voices sing over a slow soloing piano, but then things pick back up to the horse's pace of a theme from earlier in the song. Inspiration for some La Coscienzo di Zeno, perhaps? (17.75/20)

5. "Leggi E Ascolta" (11:09) TOTO-like solo piano theme opens this one before vocalist enters singing in a very theatric/Broadway style. I think this is where the band really excels--with these kind of stage-like arrangements. This develops into a very engaging full-band instrumental section in which violin, synths, guitar, and bass are all woven together so nicely--so symphonically--as the drums just keep time. Great melodies. When things shift into a more upbeat, uptempo motif, I find myself once again marveling at the similarities to one of my RPI favorite bands from the 2010s, La Coscienzo di Zeno. My favorite song on the album. (18.25/20)

6. "L'uomo Solo" (10:50) opens with harmonized Italian male vocal chorus before music starts up. This one is a little heavier, with more grating guitar sound and a Hammond base and more classic blues-rock structure and chord progression--at least for the first two and a half minutes. Then things slow way down to a violin, electric guitar, and piano three-part weave--again, classic blue-rock chord progression--while the scratch-voice singer sings over the top. return to the electric guitar and violin theme from earlier for the start of the middle section's instrumental passage. Very much like a LE ORME-GENESIS hybrid. I like it. (17.5/20)

7. "Epilogo (2:39) piano and percussion joined by synth and the same deep-voiced narration from the opening "Prefazione." This one is much more musical. Nice synth work. (5/5)

Total time 67:58

Overall, my impression is that I've heard a lot of this music before--especially the sounds and styles. It's all good, very competently composed, performed, recorded, mixed, and engineered, but not giving me much that is really fresh or innovative; merely regurgitating old styles and sounds (again: in a very competent and pleasing way). B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock, Neo Prog, or Rock Progressivo Italiano.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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