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Campo Di Marte

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Campo Di Marte Campo Di Marte album cover
3.92 | 225 ratings | 23 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Primo Tempo (8:10)
2. Secundo Tempo (3:20)
3. Terzo Tempo (6:20)
4. Quarto Tempo (3:15)
5. Quinto Tempo (5:58)
6. Sesto Tempo (5:12)
7. Settimo Tempo (8:28)

Total Time: 40:43

The tracklist on the 2006 remaster was altered from the original LP and follows the sequence 5-6-7-1-2-3-4, and with new titles:
1. Prologo I
2. Prologo II
3. Prologo III
4. Riflessione I
5. Riflessione II
6. Epilogo I
7. Epilogo II

Line-up / Musicians

- Enrico Rosa / electric & acoustic guitars, Mellotron, vocals
- Alfredo Barducci / French horn, flute, piano, organ, clavioline, vocals
- Paul Richard (aka Richard Ursillo) / bass, vocals
- Carlo Felice Marcovecchio / drums, bongos, vocals
- Mauro Sarti / drums, bongos, flute, vocals

Releases information

LP United Artists - UAS 29497 (1973, Italy)

CD Mellow - MMP 181 (1994, Italy)
CD AMS - AMSCD101 (2006, Italy) Remastered by Enrico Rosa & Marco Lacchini

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CAMPO DI MARTE Campo Di Marte Music

CAMPO DI MARTE Campo Di Marte ratings distribution

(225 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

CAMPO DI MARTE Campo Di Marte reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars This album isn't one of those lost Italian masterpieces, but it's really very good. Guitar driven music, but with the nice addition of organ and Mellotron and some flute, and even horn. Music turns from soft to heavy, but always keeping the Italian flavour, with the typical sense of beauty gave by the '70s bands. Not essential, but a very fine addition to any prog collection.
Review by Steve Hegede
4 stars CAMPO DI MARTE are another underrated 70's Italian prog band who released one excellent album, and were never heard from again. Most of compositions alternate between heavy guitar-driven sections, and mellower passages featuring flute, piano, and mellotron. The use of French horns during some sections is interesting, and adds a unique touch. If I were to point out a flaw, I would mention that the compositions, although quite good, are not of the same quality as those from the top Italian bands. If you're only familiar with hyped bands like IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, and mUSEO ROSENBACH (who have released some incredible albums) keep in mind that the Italian 70's prog scene produced tons of albums by underrated bands. Don't be afraid to check some of these out.
Review by lor68
3 stars A good instrumental album, with a strong orientation to such 70's hard rock stuff and some remarkable changes in the mood as well, sometimes closer to MUSEO ROSENBACH, in other circumstances in the vein of FOCUS, as from the use of the flute. Finally the emphasis is more on the guitar.

For the lovers of this particular genre only!!

Review by Proghead
4 stars Another one-shot Italian prog album, this is pretty decent guitar-dominated prog rock, with some classical influences. Keyboards include piano and organ. Strings used from time to time. But what really separates this band from other prog bands is the presence of French horn, played by a member of the band. Another band member, from what I understand, is Richard Ursillo, who left this band to join SENSATIONS' FIX (although the CD reissue on Mellow Records makes no mention of the band members - although Ursillo was said to go by a different name on this album).

The original LP was released on United Artists, which was oddly the only Italian prog album on that label (although lots of great British and German prog appeared on that label). It strangely received a release in Argentina as well, using the same cover artwork, but giving the band name a more Spanish name, in this case "Campo de Marte". Anyway, "Camo Di Marte" falls a bit short of a classic in my book, because there are a couple of so-so pieces, but overall worth having.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "...I see that place for another time, thousands of crosses covering the yard, obscuring the sun...who knows (...) why of so many crazy seedings..."

Here I am, whith another mythic italian one shot band from the seventies. Yes, it is true. Italian prog scene from that time was incredibly huge. Hundreds of young talented musicians who were searching for wider success, for their lucky opportunity. There was no enough luck for all. though. Campo di Marte feature in the "unlucky" section, as many other their contemporaries bands as for example (first of all) the impressive "Museo Rosenbach".

So did Museo with the stunning "Zarathustra" masterpiece album. So did Campo di Marte with their excellent self titled debut album. Not as the same level of quality and tecnique, not even comparable with the inspiring concept idea of them. Despite that, an album worth of respect and higher reputation from any alert lover of the italian scene. Not very complex in arrangements, peculiar electric guitar sound...similar somehow and sometimes to the John Lees leed guitar in Barclay James Harvest. Melodic vein and structure is something the two bands share together. Even the peace and anti-war message is in common. For the rest the two bands are as far as the south pole from the north! This one to be precise for people who don't know nothing of one of them: I only have found some similarities. Nothing more.

Many are saying: what a beautiful cover art! They're right. That's what I've always thought of this album. Five (as the bands' members...what a concurrence!? Isn't it?!) soldiers from passed centuries. Five soldiers from the turkish army. What a strange thing: each one is specialized in a particular weapon. All are showing to enemy that they don't fear the pain. They hurt themselves with their weapons while standing on as for a photo click. Without shouting. Silently arrogant.

The concept structure is not so complicated. The album is divided in seven "times" (litteraly). I don't know if the expression is in use also for english speakers from the motherland! The word stand for "ACT", obviously. I know you know. The total running time is interesting thing to underline: another album over 40 mns long!

"First Act" (8,10 mns) opens with boldness. Electric guitar and bass going higher and higher. Drums always follow near them. Nice and mellow vocals introduce the listener into the contemplation of a war cemetery. Very soon into the hardcore part of the work. For me the most relevant track composed and performed by Campo di Marte.

"Second Act" (3,20 mns) is somehow foreseable played in softer and warmer vein with acoustic guitar and delicate flute whispers. Then soon came the surprise: the horns. Not as good as the ones you can hear in the Maxophone album but very enjoyable and refined.

With "Third Act" (6,20 mns) horror of war is coming back. A crazy electric guitar alternates with a nice duet between classic piano. Bass guitars claims for his role and contribution. Another harder one.

"Fourth Act" (3,15 mns): electric guitar screaming far away. Classic church organ have the scene. At least for a minute or so. Then the riff returns from the previous song.

"Fiveth Act" (5,57 mns): delicate and relaxing acoustic guitar for a unique travel between the hills of memory and thoughts. No pain, no fear. Only flute as it was a flight of birds who are welcoming spring. Then the song and its perspectice become wider...mellotron as it was the white clouds behind this idilliac scene. Some male choruses from the distance. No vocals.

"Sixth Act" (5,12 mns). We're on earth. This one to remember that we're always have benn on earth. Peace? Joy? Only illusions for man. Interesting horns for another time. Then the sinister atmosphere returns with nervous electric guitar. Few vocals. Romantic vocals sung. Then the sinister electric guiat of Enrico Rosa.

"Seventh Act" (8,30 mns) is the closer. The longer track of the entire album. Uncertain feel. A melodic walk interrupted sometimes by headlong fall.

Another record to pay attention to. Excellent.

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With a glass of cheap Pinot Grigio sitting next to me and visions of the beauty that Italy holds within it in my mind I come back to Italy for my next review. Today we have Campo Di Marte's first and to date only studio album. The album like many was released and promptly disappeared in wake of larger more established progressive acts not only from Italy but from across Europe. Over time and with it's first release on CD in 1994 the album has steadlily gained stature and reputation as a minor classic of Italian Progressive Rock (RPI) . Enough in my mind that I would put in in the 2nd or 3rd divisions of the truly great RPI albums, only behind albums that even those who don't even have an RPI album know of by reputation.

Campo di Marte named after a city quarter of Florence Italy mean Field of Mars... or to take it a step further... the field of War. A concept further enhanced by the choice of cover art of Turkish Mercanaries, showing their toughness ...their manhood by piercing their bodies with various weapons. The absurdity of war is thought to be a underlying concept of the album. The group broke up not long after recording the album... only performing a rag tag performance that included only parts of two of the tempos. On that note... it appears that the track listing was not what was originally intended by the group and I understand avery high quality remaster with the original track listings was released earlier this year. Everything I've read on it says it is a must have for fans of the album. I may have to get it myself.

The album kicks off with Primo Tempo with a huge guitar riff, that I guarantee, will catch your attention right from the start. The drums and bass fall in explosively with the guitar riff... all suddently coming to a stop. A death spiral of sorts ensues leading eventually into the main theme of the tempo. A subdued spoken section with great mellotron and bass breaks. A nice flute solo provides a nice breath of warmth. The tempo ends with a reprise of the massive guitar riff. Quite an album intro... will grab your attention and hold it into the next tempo.

Secondo Tempo is an instrumental and a direct contrast of the primo tempo... a delightlyful dreamy flute begins the temp and it joined by some very tasteful accoustic guitar. Here marks the appearance of the horns which gave Campo di Marte a variation of sound. The flute and the horns carry the lovely melody throughout the tempo... that is until near the end when the pastoral beauty is interupted by hard ear wracking guitars. Perhaps the reminder that even though our thoughts in the midst of war and violence may turn to places of beauty... reality is only a measure or two away.

Terzo Tempo begins with the same harsh guitars that interupted our dreams of peace and beauty. Harsh and bitter they convey what war really is. They soon leave us with a piano melody that take us back to lyrical verses (someday I will learn Italian and edit all these reviews) Nice flute and guitar solos and between the verse. The intensity builds through out the track led by the drums and releases into a nice guitar and drums outro.

An instrumental titled Quarto Tempo follows next with wonderful organ play before returning to a reprise of the main theme of Terzo Tempo before ending with a nice accoustic guitar ending.

The accoustic guitar started the next of our Tempos the Quinto. The flute jumps in we have a flute and accoustic guitar duet joined after a bit the singing of La-la-la's by the group. Excellent flute on this and when the mellotron and organ come in later you feel that they have thrown in every thing and into this and created what a wonderfully baroque piece of music. Probably my favorite of the tempos on the album.

Next up in the Sesto Tempo which begins with some organ and e-guitar that with some mellotron falling in a bit over a surging rtythm. After a dead stop a stomping rhythm is then broken by a french horn and flutes.. great stuff here. Any prog band with a french horn deserves another half star haha. A sinister main theme is on display only to be broken by a flightly flute solo. Another really great track on the album

The Settimo Tempo is up next with a reprise of the accoustic theme of the Quinto Tempo to start. This tempo contains references to many of the previous tempos actually... a turn off to some but I think it is a nice summation of the album.

A hard album to rate... I love this album and it my favorite but can't quite give it essential masterpiece status. 4 stars though for personal enjoyment I rate it quite close to a 5. It is a must have RPI album but only after you have run through the 1st Division albums, the true 5 star classics.

Michael (aka Micky)

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Composed with the purpose of underlining the absurdity of war.

Enrico Rosa was but 20 years young when he laid down this little opus. And as with so many other little known Italian albums from the classic years it is a gem waiting to be discovered. The composition was carefully arranged as a suite to tell a story about people living in peace (represented by the mellow pastoral sections) and the trauma that the violence of war inflicts on them (represented by the aggressive rock sections.) The record company, in their infinite wisdom, took the completed album from Rosa and proceeded to rearrange the order of his songs in the order they thought more saleable and even altered the titles. Thankfully the new Italian lp-sleeve reissue restores the original titles and sequence and is remastered by Rosa himself. The notes say it is essential to hear the album in the sequence that Rosa intended, that it works much better that way. That is the track order I will use for my review.

The album to me recalls De De Lind although I think that Campo di Marte is better album. The composition is stronger, the playing better, the instruments more varied. It's worth noting that Rosa was not much into progressive rock at the time, instead preferring jazz. Here is how Rosa described the music composition in a 2002 interview: "So I tried to use at best the french horn interplayed with the flute, creating a kind of rock music tied to a classical style, and showing the contrasts between the acoustic instruments and the rock band. So the music was all based on flute duets, counterpoints between flute, french horn and electric guitar, and that clean organ sound, almost church-style, played by Carlo/Alfredo in a very different way from the then popular Hammond sound. All with a solid background of single drums, double drums, drums and percussion, and an electric bass always played with a pick by Richard." [interview by Augusto Croce, November 2002,]

He felt the rock on this album appropriate in the context of symbolizing the violent sections in the musical narrative but right after its release he would dissolve this line-up and attempt to do more experimental jazz. A second album with the new line-up was completed but never materialized. The record company rejected it feeling it not commercial enough, and Rosa said in the above interview that the master tape was lost.

The album opens so beautifully with gorgeous acoustic guitar and flute duets, before being joined by wordless vocals and then drums. Bass and piano come in and I just can't find the words to describe this.totally gorgeous stuff. In track 2 the electric guitar and organ kick in along with the French horns war cry for the first time. The drumming in this part begins to get more complex and more nice nuances reveal themselves with each play. The vocals are rather infrequent but when they do appear they are quite good. Tracks 3 and 4 contain some potent jamming with intermittent flute breaks and vocals. I should mention that this is one of the flute-lovers essential albums; it's all over the place. Track 5 is a shorter beauty with mostly acoustic, flute, and French horn until a nasty chord shatters the peace. Track 6, "Terzo Tempo" on the original vinyl release may be the most fully realized song with heavy drums and passages that sound like car chases with the players chasing each other. The guitar is too low in the mix here for my taste but it's a minor complaint. Track 7 begins with some nice organ joined by dissonant guitar before our album finishes with a fading acoustic guitar.

All in all this is a tasty morsel that is probably essential if you're building an Italian genre collection. For the wider site it's a recommended title for fans of early 70s rock mixing acoustic and electric guitars and flute like Tull. 3.5 stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This is another of these hidden gems released by a rather discreet and unknown band.

While the opener is mostly a heavy rock affair, it features a wonderful flute part which is just an enchantment for the listener (at least for me). It is combined again with these super heavy and scary sounds which are not alien to Biafra 80 (from Ange's debut album). It is an excellent start for this album.

As if the band wanted to be forgiven, they produced a sweet and gentle track to follow, which is fully in the vein of what you could find on Trespass. What is amazing, is that the last ten seconds almost sounds as the intro for Burn (yes, the Purple track, released in .1974).

Most of the songs are actually a combination of heavy riffs and the most delicate Italian symphonic prog. Quite a combination I would say. This album is astonishing: the musicians played impeccably, the song writing is excellent and combinations are great. One of the minus points are the vocals and the production (but don't forget that this record was released in '73).

To talk about highlights would almost consist of enumerating each song featured, with the exception of the Quarto Tempo probably: it starts with church organ, catches up with heavy beats for a few seconds and closes as a Hackett acoustic piece. All of this within three minutes!

The fifth movement has more folk roots (both musically and vocally) and it is not the best part from this album. But we'll get there again with Sesto Tempo: some more heavy rhythms combined with medieval aspects. Fortunately, these are not too dominant. The band is transporting the listener into their complex world of symphony, passion and hectic atmosphere. It is another convincing number.

The closing Settimo Tempo is yet again very good: a more complex track which features several theme changes as well as musical styles. It is a very enjoyable track to be honest and an excellent manner to finish this remarkable album.

I quite like this record and I can't think of no less than four stars to rate it. This Italian band plays a music which reminds me of both Crimson and Ange, but with added Italian flavour. Some great music which deserves to be discovered, really.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I can't give this album anything less than 5 stars, for my taste this is flawless.The guitar driven aggressive passages, contrasted with the beautiful mellow sections that have mellotron at times, are simply gorgeous. There's nothing about the music here that I don't like, and that's rare for me. The organ, flute, fantastic drumming and throbbing bass are all played and arranged perfectly. I do have a problem with the album cover though. Haha. It reminds me of history class, although it is humerous I suppose.

"Primo Tempo" opens with guitar sounding more like BLACK SABBATH than a Symphonic Italian band. I love it ! Ripping organ and pounding drums have me saying "What the heck ?". These heavy passages are contrasted with beautiful pastoral ones with reserved vocals and floating organ sounds. Scorching guitar comes and goes while we get some fat bass lines. Some flute and acoustic guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. Those dark heavy guitar melodies with sinister organ runs are back 7 minutes in. Big drum ending. "Seconde Tempo" opens with gentle guitar as percussion and flute join in. The sound builds. Some catchy flute melodies in this one as well as French horn.The guitar suddenly comes crashing in after 3 minutes to end it.

"Terzo Tempo" is lit up early with some aggressive guitar. Piano takes over joined by vocals. The guitar is back 2 minutes in. Nice. Some great guitar, bass and drumming as mellotron floods in around 3 minutes in. Piano and flute take over after 3 1/2 minutes before some blistering guitar takes over. This contrast continues. This is incredible ! Guitar and mellotron end this song in style. "Quarto Tempo" is classical sounding and uptempo as organ and guitar lead the way. Amazing sound. Piano and guitar sound so good together 2 minutes in. A change after 2 1/2 minutes as gentle guitar ends it.

"Quinto Tempo" opens with intricate guitar leads. Dual flute melodies follow. I like the vocal melodies that come in. Drums, acoustic guitar and organ before 2 1/2 minutes sound fabulous. Mellotron a minute later. The vocal melodies are back with drums. Beauitful. "Sesto Tempo" opens with some energy as drums and guitar lead the way. Organ comes in then synths as drums continue to pound. Guitar's turn after a minute with throbbing bass. French horn and flute 1 1/2 minutes in. Organ returns a minute later and then lets go with some good runs. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes in as it calms down. Synths and a more uptempo sound returns. Solid drumming ends it. "Settimo Tempo" features some good contrasts between the intricate guitar and flute with the guitar, organ and drums. Some ripping organ before 4 minutes. And man can this guy play the drums ! Check him out during the final minute of this song.

This is classic Italian music that feels like a warm blanket on a winters night. Just right.

Review by andrea
5 stars Campo di Marte was one of the many one-shot bands of the Italian prog scene of the early seventies. It was mainly the brainchild of composer and guitarist Enrico Rosa who gathered around him a bunch of talented and "classical trained" musicians like Alfredo Barducci (horns, piano, organ, vocals), Richard Ursillo aka Paul Richard (bass, vocals), Mauro Sarti (drums, percussion, flute, vocals) and Carlo Felice Marcovecchio (drums, percussion, vocals). They were based in Tuscany and the name of the band was inspired by a suburb of Florence. Campo di Marte means Field Of Mars, and Mars was also the Roman god of war so, according to Enrico Rosa, "the name was used as an excuse to write lyrics on the stupidity of wars, and a picture of Turkish mercenary soldiers stabbing themselves with any kind of weapons to demonstrate their strength and receive higher wages was chosen for the cover" (from an interview with Enrico Rosa on the site

The original concept was in some way distorted by the label in 1973 and the band had to change the titles and the order of the tracks for commercial reasons. The remastered re- release by AMS Vinyl Magic (BTF) (AMS 101 CD) in 2006 restored the original project and the result is wonderful. The sound quality is excellent and the original project is explained in the booklet through comprehensive liner notes in Italian and in English...

On the restored version, the album opens with the instrumental "V Tempo" (originally named "Prologo Parte I") where you can find a pastoral atmosphere that could remind of bands like Amazing Blondel and Gryphon. The piece is introduced by acoustic and flute and the mood is peaceful and joyful...

On the second track "VI Tempo" (originally named "Prologo Parte II"), the sound of the electric guitar and an heavy marching beat try to evoke the effects of a marching army with horns and drums "playing war anthems". Peace is broken and war is raging on but on this piece there's also a short lyrical interlude where dreamy vocals invite you to search for the truth and to give credit to the people: "You will touch with your hands / Days full of sweetness / You will discover in everyone else / Another one like you...". The "black magic" of war keep on storming on the third track, the long instrumental "VII Tempo" (originally named "Prologo Parte III"), where frenzy rhythms and gloomy atmospheres prevail...

The fourth track, "I Tempo" (originally named "Riflessione Parte I"), begins with the electric guitar in the forefront and heavy rhythms, but after a while the "storm" gives way to a tense and bitter reflection about the effects of war... "I remember that lawn / Covered with flowers / I was happily running / In the light of the sun... Now I can see that place again / Thousands of crosses / Cover the lawn / Blacken the sun... Unaware men / Get the bones / The only harvest / Of so many crazy sowings...".

"II Tempo" (originally named "Riflessione Parte II") is a short, soft and dreamy instrumental that leads to "III Tempo" (originally named "Epilogo Parte I"), where hope seems to born again along with the vocals soaring upon a delicate piano pattern... People fed up with war is moving war to war: "Listen, a scream is rising / Look, the crowd is already moving / They're calling you...". The rhythm becomes frenzy again while revolution starts... The classical inspired organ fugue of "IV tempo" (originally named "Epilogo Parte II) and the final acoustic guitar arpeggio that marks the restored peace concludes a great album...

A must for every Italianprog lover!

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There are two versions of this album, each with a different track running order. For its 1973 vinyl release the record company reversed sides 1 & 2 so that the album would have a more dynamic introduction, thus ruining Enrico Rosa's original vision of the project. The Vinyl Magic remaster of 2006 reinstates Rosa's chosen running order of tracks, but this review is based on the Mellow jewel case version that replicates the original vinyl. Campo Di Marte included several classically trained musicians and all five members are credited with vocals, although the album is in fact mainly instrumental. Interestingly, in an interview at the ItalianProg website Enrico Rosa states that ''the album was totally composed by me in every single detail, including every bass or piano line, so it was more a solo project than a band's work''. In my opinion that seems quite insulting in view of the other band members' fine contributions to the album. Unfortunately this was Campo Di Marte's sole release as the band subsequently disbanded, although Rosa recorded another unreleased album with a new line-up.

The individual tracks here don't have names as such; instead they are listed as parts or acts. Track 1 begins with an accelerando that is reminiscent of the middle section of 21st Century Schizoid Man. The main body of the song features marked contrasts in dynamics as loud instrumental sections alternate with soft vocal parts. It's not one of my favourite tracks on the album, but it gets things off to a suitably attention-grabbing start. Richard Ursillo's melodic bass is well to the fore here, as it is throughout the album as a whole. A short instrumental follows, featuring Alfredo Barducci playing a valve horn that helps to give Campo Di Marte a fairly individual sound. The obvious comparison here is Maxophone whose later release also featured horns. The horn combines nicely with flute on this track to produce a warm, bucolic atmosphere. Track 3 is the first of several outstanding tracks on the album. It is constructed around various memorable melodies and features some more superb bass in duet with Rosa's lead guitar. Lead vocals are nice on this song, presumably sung by Rosa. We then hear another short instrumental with two distinct sections. It begins like an organ recital accompanied by galloping drums and then ends with a brief reprise of the previous track, followed by some slow acoustic guitar arpeggios. This would have been the concluding track in Rosa's original scheme.

The next piece would in turn have been the opening track if Rosa's original intentions had been respected. It features delightful acoustic guitar and a beautiful flute melody, although I could do without the la-la-la-la-la vocals that fortunately don't spoil the tune. This track also includes a majestic Mellotron melody in ¾ time, accompanied by a gorgeous pinging bass. Track 6 is another killer track that begins with a slightly sinister sounding organ theme. The second theme has something of a medieval flavour with horn and flute combining nicely once again; this section reminds me of Focus in one of their pastoral moods. A dreamlike vocal section then follows, before the re-entry of the first theme that includes some distant electric guitar that sounds like the baying of hounds. Great stuff. The final cut is another instrumental that involves many shifts in tempo and mood. It begins with a brief reprise of Track 5; Italian bands seem to have had a penchant for mixing and reprising themes from different songs, and for inserting short musical phrases as links between songs.

This is a fine album that contains a good deal of variety and includes 3 or 4 excellent tracks. It's just a pity this was their only release. For me it's worthy of a solid 4 stars.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Lately I've been listening Italian bands from the 70's I didn't had the chance of listening in their heyday (Living in Perú it was virtually impossible, being that almost no Prog album was ever released), and now it's the turn for "CAMPO DI MARTE"

I thank the providence that I heard them a few weeks ago and not in the 70's, because it's a very complex band with elements of different genres and bands that I would not had appreciated then, being that all I was looking for in the great decade was bands that sounded like GENESIS, ELP and YES instead of really challenging music as the one performed by "CAMPO DI MARTE" in their self titled album.

The album starts with "Primo Tempo" and it's Crimsonian introduction,where the dissonant percussion and guitar collision with the more traditional keyboards, creating some sort of Hard Prog with some pastoral elements. Simply brilliant.

"Secondo Tempo" starts more as you could expect from a 70's Italian band, soft and acoustic with a beautiful melody in which the musicians of this part of the world are so expert, the oneiric flute creates a dense but melodic atmosphere and it's only interrupted by the violent percussion that creates a wonderful contrast between the soft and the aggressive side of the band. As the track advances, they mix some sort of Latin Jazz with GENESIS overtones enhanced by the Mellotron, everything flows gently until the wondrous finale with distorted guitars.

"Terzo Tempo" is a box of surprises, the opening is confusing and almost cacophonic with Enrico Rossa torturing the guitar almost in a Metal vein, but after a few seconds the traditional piano and vocals change radically the mood of the track towards some sort of melancholic power ballad, but again Alfredo Barducci takes a detour with the piano towards a melodic but powerful Symphonic song. The changes keep coming every few seconds and keep the interest of the listener...This is how Progressive Rock has to sound.

"Quarto Tempo" seems like two different tracks, the first half consists of a breathtaking Baroque organ solo in the vein of Johan Sebastian Bach that really gives me goose bumps, but suddenly morphs into a breathtaking Symphonic Rock song where the guys give everything they have and if it wasn't enough, the acoustic and surprising finale is the cherry on the top of the pie.

"Quinto Tempo" starts where the previous song ended with an acoustic guitar solo soon followed by a pastoral flute. Even when this song is one of the most predictable, the subtle unexpected details always capture me, specially the nice choral.

"Sesto Tempo" is one of the most eccentric songs I ever heard, seems like the band mixed all the styles and moods they were able to create and joined it with the sole purpose of surprising the unprepared listener, but the result is fantastic, every section collisions with the previous, but they manage to make it sound natural, even when the French Horn enhancing a Medieval passage is placed just before an almost Avant section. Delightful from start to end.

The album ends with "Settimo Tempo" is so contradictory and complex that I won't even try to describe, because plain words may destroy the beauty.

Again a superb Italian band that sadly released a single album when they had much more to give....I can't rate this masterpiece with less than 5 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Campo Di Marte is an album that has both very gentle acoustic instrumentation and raw rocking parts with sharp guitars and energetic drums. Mellotrons, flutes, horns, organs and the occasional vocal complete the sound. The more upbeat parts such as Sesto Tempo remind me very much of Il Balleto Di Bronzo and Semiramis. The more gentle parts and vocals bring PFM to mind, be it without the synths.

The music is very narrative. From scene to scene it follows some kind of story line about war and peace. The result is a very eclectic album that can be very delicate and harmonious, pastoral even, before taking a twist and throwing in hard rock riffs and energetic playing. The secret that glues it all together is the superb quality of the melodies, the inspired compositions and the lively recording of the material.

There are certain forces on PA that want to convert me to a dedicated RPI fan. Well guys, I haven't been a fan of any particular 'genre' since ages, but if you keep digging up albums like this I will have a hard time resisting. Special thanks to Sinkadotentree for this one!

Review by Warthur
3 stars A good but not remarkable release from the Italian prog boom of the early 1970s. The strong influence of Trespass-era Genesis which seems obligatory for Italian bands from this era is present in spades, but is combined with a greater willingness to rock out, with louder and more abrasive guitar sounds featuring from the first track. To be honest, were it not for this occasional moment of hard rock guitar heroics the album would be pretty unmemorable, and as far as the RPI pecking order goes it's hardly on the order of PFM or Le Orme or Banco - and it's not even an excellent example of one of the second-tier albums from the period. It's pleasant, but not much more than pleasant, that's all.
Review by b_olariu
4 stars Campo Di Marte were part of the italian prog rock scene of the early '70's, together with PFM, Banco,etc they put a mark on italian scene and not only. Even they release only one album in 1973 self titled, they influenced hundred of new prog bands emerget after in this scene. To me this album sounds heavy prog most of the time with gentle instrumental passages. It reminds me in sound and manner of playing with of one of the top prog bands from my country Progresiv TM and has aswell passges that are similar with Uriah Heep for instance. While has aswell some influences from italian school like PFM or Museo Rosenbach, it contains some more heavier section then PFM, concentrate more on guitar then on keybords. The result is a great one, one of the gret jewels of italian old school. The album divided in 7 parts is like an opera or a story line about war and the opposite peace, it alternates very strong from heavier parts to a more beautiful mellow acustic passages, always keeping the atmosphere very dense and complex aswell. I realy like the album, the bass is very in front and has some spectacular moments, like all the rhytmic section from here. An album that must be heared by any prog rock listner, a varied release that stood the test of time very well, at least for me. 4 stars for sure.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A band from Florence led by guitarist Enrico Rosa, bass player Richard Ursillo and drummer/flutist Mauro Sarti, who found them in 1971.Keyboardist Alfredo Barducci and ex-I Califfi drummer Carlo Felice Marcovecchio completed the original line-up.Campo Di Marte were constantly playing live under different names and even recorded this album during their early days, which was released in 1973 by the United Artists label.

This is a good example of early-70's Italian Prog with multiple influences, great technical level and decent but far from excellent songwriting.The more powerful tracks offer good electric solos and a powerful rhythm section in a Hard Rock vein with plenty of breaks, not unlike IL BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO or I CALIFFI.During these pieces the use of Mellotron, organ and piano add the appropriate symphonic-inclined colors along with a certain grandiosity.But there are also tracks, where the gears are definitely down, having an obvious Folk vibe along with strong Classical inspirations.Acoustic crescendos with violin and horn arrangements, dreamy flutes and supporting synths create nice and ethereal soundscapes in the vein of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.Vocals are not particularly strong but they are decent to say the least.What this band lacked actually was some really great songwriting with a few tracks suffering from cohesion.

By the time ''Campo Di Marte'' was out, the band already had lost interest in the project and split up with Rosa moving to Denmark to work as a session guitarist, Ursillo joining Seansation's Fix and Sarti playing with Bella Band.A brief concert-reunion took place at the dawn of the new millenium with only Rosa and Sarti from the early days, resulting to the live release ''Concerto Zero : Live 1972/2003'' and material both from the 70's and the recent days.

Meanwhile the sole release of the band deserves to be placed among the strong albums of the Italian scene.Definitely not a masterpiece but anyone who like's the Italian Prog sound or diverse and eclectic prog works should add this in his priority list.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by zeuhl1
4 stars A rather forgotten mini masterpiece from yet another one and done RPI band. If you like PFM, or perhaps a heavier version of Quella Vecchia Locanda, come right in.

Due to the record company meddling as noted by other reviewers, the album should really start with V Tempo, the first song on side two, a rustic UK prog influenced acoustic number that flows nicely into the first rock eruption of electric guitar in VI Tempo. The theme of the album is the general futility of war,(campo di Marte referring directly to that) and makes good use of alternating rock and pastoral sections to illustrate each theme. Classical guitar and flutes (with occasional French Horn) lay down a peaceful atmosphere, but soon a martial rhythm and electric guitar march us out again. Side two ends with VII Tempo, the intended end of side 1, where the PFM/Focus hybrid alternates successfully between moods. (guitarist Enrico Rosa sounds like a hybrid of early Robert Fripp and Jan Akkerman). Side one (intended to be side 2) is the more rockier side, starting with a Tull styled guitar riff before heading into an increasingly quicker tempo which alternates quiet narration with heavy organ and guitar crashes out of any 1969 era heavy band-remnants of I Califfi and before-when the heavier end of the spectrum (see Deep Purple) were a stronger influence on Italian rock. Some early Yes arrangements collide with atonal Jethro Tull guitar moments like some primitive version of Gates of Delirium, but then the pastoral flutes bring us to another acoustic guitar transition. The finale of IV Tempo is the most cohesive piece here as the heavy bits hang in there longer and riff for a while rather than quickly melting away.

Definitely will please PFM and Quella Vecchia Locanda fans. Some Museo Rosenbach in there too with their unabashed ability to flick on the rock n roll switch without warning. (Campo seems to use it more to signal a transition from one section to another) Leans to the heavier side of RPI but plenty of acoustic guitar and flute interludes to keep everyone happy. French horn is interspersed throughout-a double edged sword than can swing a band quickly into late sixties AM radio easy listening territory before you've noticed. (Maxophone and Alusa Fallax were two others who threw this distinctive but rarely heard instrument into the pot). My only complaint is that when they come up with a killer heavy guitar riff, more often than not it disappears before you are starting to get your ears around it, and it never returns. (Though that's a problem many other RPI bands wish they had.) This is an album that takes you on a cinematic journey that you don't need to speak Italian to understand: juxtaposition of martial and pastoral cultures in one seamless musical piece.

Reference points: Focus (more for guitar and arrangements than prominent flute), some early Genesis, some various 1970 UK proto heavy prog, some Tull. PFM influenced dozens of bands back then, and some of their stamp is evident here. In the long run, a clever synthesis of styles and influences, not terribly original but definitely essential for a developing RPI collection.

4.5 stars

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Just one of many Italian prog bands of the 70s that only existed for a couple years, left one album and then moved one, CAMPO DI MARTE was founded in Florence in 1971 and named after a neighborhood within the city. The band was led by guitarist Enrico Rosa (also contributed vocals and mellotron) who wrote and recorded the entire album. Along with Mauro Sarti (former drummer/flautist of Verde Season), with the Italian-American bassist Richard Ursillo, Carlo Marcovecchio (former drummer of I Califfi) and Alfredo Barducci ( wind instruments, piano, organ and voice), the band was active on the live circuit and even caught the attention of United Artists record label which guaranteed a release in not only Italy but the entirety of Latin America.

The MARTE part of the band's name refers to Mars, the mythological god of war with the album cover depicting ancient Turkish mercenary soldiers inflicting wounds upon themselves to demonstrate their bravery, an image used for their concert posters. The lyrics while totally in Italian reflect the band's anti-war and anti-militarist stance, a sentiment shared by many after the years of dictatorship in Italy's not so distant past. CAMPO DI MARTE was a unique sounding band that while delving into the same symphonic prog styles that most Italian bands adopted, implemented the use of Rosa's guitars and was heavier than the average Italian band more in the vein of early Il Rovescio della Medaglia but unlike that band was just as comfortable with dreamy acoustic guitar passages and the symphonic keyboard driven sounds that were popular.

The original album featured seven tracks at nearly 41 minutes and although many reissues have come to light since the album's initial release in 1973, no bonus tracks have so far been excavated from the vaults. CAMPO DI MARTE was a very talented band and delivered a set of extraordinarily complex tracks on this self-titled release and it's not an exaggeration to claim that they were in the same league as all of the greats including PFM, Banco and Museo Rosenbach. The compositions exude the same sophistication of varying motifs that range from orchestrated symphonic keyboard-driven segments to heavier guitar driven fuzzed out moments which during a few occasions steer into near chaos. The album was quite inventive and also was touted as a master of production and engineering.

The beauty of this album is in how diverse the tracks are as they wend and wind from Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar motifs to full-on symphonic prog bliss. The addition of the French horn at moments adds a touch of medieval folk glory and the entire thing comes off as epic as each numbered track of the same name pretty much feels like a cohesive whole as if it's really a concept album of some sort. It's also more impressive to learn that this album was primarily recorded in 1971 but was delayed for a couple years which makes it one of the more demanding Italian prog albums from that early year and if it were released the same year would surely have made more of an impact than it did in the prog saturated nation of Italy in 73. Unfortunately during the two years that it took to release the album the members lost interest and moved on leaving CAMPO DI MARTE a one album wonder.

This is primarily an instrumental prog workout album and although vocals do occur they are less prevalent than the operatic vocal domination of most Italian prog bands of the era. This is amazing album that effortlessly weaves a tapestry of fuzz-guitar, classical acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, flute and French horn in clever and inventive ways. It never ceases to amaze me how much raw talent emerged from the fertile prog scene of Italy in the 1970s and CAMPO DI MARTE is definitely somewhere closer to the top. An almost perfect mix of symphonic prog with medieval folk, heavy psych and occasional King Crimson eclecticism. This one is a bit more difficult to soak in than the average Italian prog album as the melodies are more abstract and the prog characteristics are turned up a few notches which may be too much for some to handle but in all honesty, CAMPO DI MARTE delivered a unique sound once you delve below the surface.

4.5 rounded up

Latest members reviews

3 stars This minor gem from 1973 has all the ingredients for a prog classic, but never really comes to fruition. Perhaps it was the band's lack of interest or heavy-handy involvement from the record label (United Artists), but for whatever reason the album never reaches its full potential. But it is still ... (read more)

Report this review (#491527) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Campo di Marte. At first i only had the reference of this album and band by a recommendation of a friend, I said roughly, "Is this a classic of the RPI"and is right, if it is. However there are some monotonous sounds that ain´t totally love, at first listen is a complex album with a concept an ... (read more)

Report this review (#449237) | Posted by Diego I | Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Strangely enough, not an Italian album drenched in keyboards. They are there, but the guitars are the main instruments. The guitars are very much helped by flutes and keyboards. The drumming too is excellent. So is the vocals too. This band gets everything right. Still, it is Italian through ... (read more)

Report this review (#243708) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, October 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A grossly underrated effort from this short-lived act. Brilliant composition riding on surprisingly modern guitar hooks, agressive drumming somehow full of finesse and non-invasive vocals. The instrumentation here is not as wide as, say, PFM or Banco, but these aren't exactly minimalist pieces ... (read more)

Report this review (#104766) | Posted by InfinityParadox | Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A master work from this seminal italian band from Firenze, I think, which combines some furious guitar playing with beautifully passages of flute and mellotron. the compositions are quite good, with that mediterranean touch. Everyone one should have this one. ... (read more)

Report this review (#18548) | Posted by Melos | Thursday, March 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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