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Band: Il Cerchio d’Oro

CD Title: “Il Viaggio di Colombo”

Band Website: www.myspace.com/ilcerchiodoro

Label: Black Widow Records

Label Website: www.blackwidow.it

Release Date: 2009

 

In the seventies it seemed there were so many Italian progressive rock acts that it’s only to be expected that more than a few were passed over. One of those outfits that wasn’t able to rise to the top at the time was Il Cerchio D’Oro. This quintet started life in 1974 in the prog heyday, however their recorded output consisted of only 3 singles (one of which is included as a bonus track here) all of which were quite pop oriented, belying the band’s progressive leanings. By 1979 they’d split up and even though a couple of “so-so” albums were released posthumously we never got to hear the band in their full symphonic prog glory…until now that is. With the release of Il Viaggio di Colombo, we have a masterful CD. Reforming a band’s original line-up after 25 years isn’t always easy, but seeing that they had some unfinished musical-business that’s what happened here.

 

The music on Il Viaggio di Colombo is classic Italian symphonic prog and sounds like it could just as easily come from the seventies, although there is a very modern pristine sound to the disc. The music and lyrics of this concept CD revolve around the journey that took Columbus to the new world and the elements of that journey, the trials and tribulations those men experienced form the metaphor for our own journey through life. The musical style produced here is so reminiscent of the seventies. When the Italian’s create symphonic prog there is something very distinctive to their musical approach. I tend to think it is their strong classical heritage. The disc even starts out with an “Ouverture” [2:40] and ends with a “Conclusione [2:17]. Many of the CD’s 11 core tracks betray classical and acoustic-folk influences rather than a predominantly rock feel. The rock is still there as are the fuzzed-electric guitar sounds but the musical structure is such that it plays to the classical form rather than simply four-four-beat-structure or any kind Blues influence. The music ebbs and flows from one musical motif to another with plenty of musical change-ups. And even with everything going on in the music they never lose track of the melody. All the sounds are here, Hammond style keyboards, fuzzy guitar, and softly muted drums. The compositions also feature the melodic and sweetly harmonic voices of three vocalists.

 

This is brilliant music and a welcome return for Il Cerchio D’Oro. Lovers of the music created by bands such as Le Orme or Osanna are really going to appreciate the music here. This is first class symphonic prog. Great job!

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