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Christadoro - Christadoro CD (album) cover

CHRISTADORO

Christadoro

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.88 | 14 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Christadoro is a surprising but very welcome collaboration between modern Italian prog notable Fabio Zuffanti (Finisterre, La Maschera di Cera, Hostsonaten and his own superb solo work) and thirty-year Italian music veteran and drummer Mox Cristadoro that also boasts a band comprised of members of Yugen, Not a Good Sign and the modern incarnation of Il Biglietto per L'Inferno. On their self-titled 2017 debut album, the Christadoro band bring fresh and very different life to a range of pieces from a diverse selection of vintage Italian acts, often of the Italian canzone d'autore/singer-songwriter tradition such as Franco Battiato, Lucio Dalla, Giorgio Gaber, Roberto Vecchioni, Antonello Vendetti, Claudio Baglioni and even New Wave/Punk group Decibel, and of special interest to long-time RPI fans, it also includes contributions from Franco Mussida of Premiata Forneria Marconi and Giuseppe `Pilli' Cossa of the original version of Il Biglietto per L'Inferno.

Moody opener `L'Operaio Gerolamo' ripples with danger, as eerie background synths, Fabio's low-key murmuring bass and Andrea Dal Santo's increasingly intense treated vocal maintain the relentlessness of the Lucio Dalla original but gives it a firm modern grounding with a suitably stormy ending of wild strangled electric guitar. After a moody spoken word passages `Il Sosia' throws in plenty of Paolo Botta's sleek Mellotron and whirring synth lines, Mox Cristadoro's slinking drums and dirty wailing ever-so-slightly bluesy guitars behind Andrea's raspy purring vocal, and `L'ultimo Spettacolo' turns more uplifting with an early `Fat Old Sun'/Pink Floyd-like dreaminess (guitarist Pier Panzeri doing a fine impression of late Sixties David Gilmour) weaving around its stirring and spirited David Bowie-esque vocal - and watch out for the wild second-half direction change!

Both `Figli di...' and `Lo Stambecco Ferito' flirt with different kinds of heavy metal, the grinding guitars and heavy Hammond organ blasts of the punchy former almost reminding of underrated heavy Italian groups like L'Impero Delle Ombre and I Compagni di Baal, and the latter sustains plenty of Black Sabbath-like atmosphere throughout its harder riffs and alternatively creeping/pleading vocal that culminates in a big proggy finale - just listen to Fabio's chunky bass! `Solo' keeps up the heaviness with grinding mule-kick heavy guitars, ghostly Mellotron and sparkling Fender Rhodes electric piano runs, and `Ricercare...' is a doleful improvised acoustic guitar interlude. `L'Ombra della Luce' proves to be an uplifting closer with sweetly chiming guitars, Andrea's soaring vocal takes on the briefest of lovely falsetto moments, with the track almost sounding like a more focused and to-the-point version of the Steve Hogarth-fronted version of Marillion or a modern Anathema piece, with the same slow build with maximum pay-off those groups deliver when the achieve greatness.

Do yourself a favour - explore the original songs, so you can see how much effort the group here has put into reinterpreting the pieces in a complex, intelligent and completely exciting manner that also gives them a distinctly modern and `progged-up' appeal (one not so far removed in parts from Zuffanti's own 2014 solo work `La Quarta Vittima' actually). Even if you don't know the originals or have no connection to them, please don't dismiss this as simply a mere `covers' album or allow it to quietly vanish without a trace. It truly stands up as a superior frequently heavy modern Italian prog stunner, helping make `Christadoro' a consistently effective and unexpectedly powerful debut that's also one of the strongest releases from Italy so far in 2017, so let's hope the band come together again for further works in the future.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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