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Aton's (Italy) - 2002 - "Capolinea"
(42 min, "Musea")


*****
Tracklist:
1. Star 7:11
2. La Fancuilla e l'Albero 6:03
3. Oltre Me 4:39
4. All' Ingresso 1:36
5. Il Fratello 5:03
6. Capolinea 6:20
7. Come Me 4:03
8. Sonata 2:20
9. Sempre Solo 4:40

All music & lyrics: by P. Ratto.

Line-up:

Pietro Ratto - vocals; guitars; keyboards
Vito Frallonardo - bass
Riccardo Lombardo - drums

Arranged, engineered, & produced by P. Ratto.
Recorded at P. Ratto's Studio between 1996 and 2001.

Prologue. To be honest, this is my introduction to the music of Aton's. I only know that this Italian band was formed in 1977, but released only a few albums during its long history. According to their leader and the main mastermind behind the band, Pietro Ratto, "Capolinea", which, in fact, was recorded during the second half of the 1990 and completed in the end of 2000, was the last album by the band.

The Album. I heard and read that Aton's are a Neo band more than once. Maybe their earlier albums were really about Neo, but "Capolinea" has almost nothing to do with this current trend of Progressive Rock. The music that is featured on this album has an obvious Italian feel to it, as well as most of the classic Progressive albums by the bands that came out from this country. (Which does not prevent the majority of these bands to have a unique sound.) However, originality is only one of the trumps that these guys have up their sleeves - at least regarding this album. "Capolinea" is a sincere and very interesting album, which, moreover, contains a complete set of essential progressive ingredients, all of which, including frequent changes of tone and mood, are typical for Classic Symphonic Progressive. However, a general stylistic definition of this album should sound as Classic Art-Rock with elements of Prog-Metal. It's because of almost two thirds of the CD's contents are about a full-fledged blend of these two genres. The alternation of heavy and symphonic textures is typical for each of the following songs: Star, La Fancuilla e l'Albero, Oltre Me, Come Me, and Sempre Solo (tracks 1, 2, 3, 7, & 9). Taken together, last 27 minutes. All of these songs are outstanding from the first to the last note, though the best representative of the album's predominant stylistics, as well as one of the best three tracks of "Capolinea" in general, is the last of them, Sempre Solo. The solos and riffs of electric and bass guitars and synthesizers and passages of acoustic guitar and electric piano are masterful and very tasteful throughout the album. Especially impressive are those passages of acoustic guitar that are interwoven with heavy structures, and various interplay between virtuosi solos of electric and bass guitars as well. Of course, the drumming is well matched with everything that happens on the album. The amazing passages of Church Organ are featured in the 2-minute intro to the album's opening track, Star, and also throughout the first of the two instrumental pieces on the album, All' Ingresso (4). The first half of another instrumental, Sonata (8), is filled with brilliant, truly classic passages of acoustic guitar and very diverse interplay between them and solos of bass guitar. The second half of Sonata is another example of how wonderfully can sound the passages of acoustic guitar that are masterly interwoven in the band's joint, powerful and hard-edged, arrangements. Certainly, this instrumental piece is one of the three gems in the crown of "Capolinea". Both of the remaining songs, Il Fratello and the album's title track, located in the very core of the CD (tracks 5 & 6 respectively), are completely free of the elements of Prog-Metal. What's curious is that the first of them is probably the best song on the album, whereas the ballad, Capolinea, is the only track here that is rich in repetitions.

Summary. Certainly, since the Aton's guys were sure that the presence of Capolinea on the album is a necessity, they should have placed it in the very beginning of the album. Then the musical palette of "Capolinea" would not have looked like it was broken straight through the middle. Well, in short, the track, 'in the name' of which was titled, for some reason, the whole album, has just deprived it of the status of masterpiece.

VM. August 12, 2002


Related Links:

"Musea Records" - web site & online store: http://www.musearecords.com/

Aton's web-site: http://www.atons.it


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