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Il Castello Di Atlante - Passo Dopo Passo CD (album) cover


Il Castello Di Atlante


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.25 | 39 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Passo dopo passo", Il Castello di Atlante's second album, is a collection of live recordings and demos dating back to the first period of the band's activity, from 1976 to 1984. It was released in 1994 on the independent Vinyl Magic label with a beautiful art cover representing time passing by with an hourglass in the forefront. In my opinion, this album is a good document of the musicians' enthusiasm and freshness in their early years but, despite the remastering, the sound quality is not always adequate to say the least. Moreover, the booklet is rather poor, with no details about the recording sessions. Nonetheless the music is worth listening to...

The powerful instrumental 'Overture per un concerto' (Overture for a concert) opens the album, then it's the turn of another instrumental track, an early version of 'Cavalcando tra le nuvole' (Riding through the clouds), a beautiful piece properly re-recorded and released in 2005 on the album Quintessenza...

The long, complex 'Danza sulla Quinta Strada' (Dance on Fifth Avenue) begins by the sound of wind and hooters while distorted vocals evoke long shadows with a deathly train and funereal ghosts ready to wear their mask. Then the rhythm rises and the dance can start... Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan and one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Here it is described as the temple of deception, a place without poetry where even music sounds phoney. The protagonist walks along the street, under the colourful lights he's hiding his thoughts and his disenchantment...

'Alice' is a delicate piece that depicts in music and words a little girl in love with nature who prays in the night, picks up daisies in the morning and let her dreams fly from the seashore to the mountains... Next comes 'Omer', a joyful, surreal ode to friendship and music that describes a keyboardist on his way to a castle located in the mountains of sound, guarded by friendly bearded knights...

Then comes the ethereal instrumental 'Epiciclo' (Epicycle). The title refers to a geometric model used in the Hipparchian, Ptolemaic, and Copernican systems of astronomy to explain the variations in speed and direction of the apparent motion of the Moon, Sun, and planets...

The disquieting 'L'ombra' (The shadow) features a pounding electronic sound and a mysterious feeling. The vocals play the role of a strange, insubstantial shadow fallowing you everywhere but disappearing at night... Then it's the turn of the short, acoustic ballad 'Il cortile' (The courtyard) that depicts a pastoral landscape from where old memories and bits of the protagonist's past emerge...

The instrumental 'Passaggio' (Passage) is just a long violin solo inspired by classical music that leads to the following 'La guerra dei topi' (The war of the mice), an epic piece that evoke a rebellious army of mice marching from the suburbs towards the big city, pushed by a strong thirst for justice. They go on and on towards the unknown, towards the void, towards the glory, against the power, against the gods...

'Babele' (Babel) is another long, epic piece. Here the music and lyrics conjure up the images of living statues and ashes of gods wandering on the ground and whispering their meaningless words to the grim reaper, playing a pointless game of checks with the fate. Strong in their armours they build wall after wall trying to erase their past in a dark spiral of power and death... Then the soft instrumental 'Chorale I' ends the album with a slow, solemn pace and a dreamy, nocturnal mood.

On the whole, despite the poor sound quality, a good work that deserves a try.

andrea | 3/5 |


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