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4.0 out of 5 stars Diverse album of Italian Prog and Rock, 16 Aug. 2011
The Soft Machine Operator (COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Livent (Audio CD)
By the time this album was released, the New Trolls had already changed styles various times, starting off as a psychedelic beat group, moving into a progressive rock direction before splitting up after the classic Concerto Grosso album. One faction continued with progressive rock (NT Atomic System) and then recorded, bizarrely, an album of Jazz fusion similar to Soft Machine. They then reformed again. This album was recorded by a lineup that saw members of the two factions reform.

It covers all the band's past up to that point, with excellent vocal harmonies, and instrumentation that veers from ballads through hard rock, symphonic rock, progressive rock and a little bit of jazz fusion. The opening couple of tracks are slow ballads with slightly proggy interludes, but by track 4 it's pure progressive. It's really an excellent document of the band's progress up to 1976, before they went on to record a series of pop albums before fragmenting again. The only downside is that there is only a brief snippet from the band's classic Concerto Grosso, but this is more than made up with an absolutely frantic jazz-fusion rendition of Night on Bald Mountain. The final two tracks are back to the ballads, and perhaps hint at what was coming with the following albums.

Some people may find this album inconsistent and schizophrenic, but that's what I like about it.
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Livent by New Trolls (Audio CD - 2000)
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