Aton's - Capolinea

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4448-AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:22:00

Aton's Capolinea is an album that isn't what it at first seems it will be, isn't exactly what your second impression is either, but settles in to it's third impression. That first impression that you are going to get is strongly classically influenced symphonic rock, as the baroque organ that is the introductory part of "Introduzione - Star" suggests. But that the rest of the track is percussive metal leads to your second impression. Bass lines pop out at you from the mix while the rest of the instruments are all part of swirling mess. Only vocals rise to the same level as the bass -- though the balance is all wrong. But like the best metal, guitars scream out leads while the rhythm section lays down a heavy, assaultive base. In there, too, are keyboards. But Aton's aren't a metal band either; not really. On "La Fanciulla E L'Albero" a steely guitar plays a nice, mellow intro (think ELP's "Only In The Beginning") which leads into a mellow, shimmery piece. Can this be the same band? Here they sound like the expected Italian progressive rock band, with touch of hard prog (Arena) and neo-prog (IQ, Pendragon). In fact, I think the best comparison is to Mexico's Cast.

Atypical for a Musea release, the liner notes are in French only. From what I can ascertain, Aton's got their start in 1977, but did release their first album until 1989. So this band, at least the core of the trio Pietro Ratto (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Vito Frallonardo (bass) have been together awhile. Yet, Capolinea sounds very loose. The individual performances are good, at times very good, and there are some very fine moments on this CD, especially Ratto's guitar playing. What mars this otherwise very good release is the oddly punchy production; some of the instruments seem very close mic'd, making them louder than other instruments, even when those others should be at the forefront. Here's an album that's a good candidate for remixing, adjusting and evening out the balances. If you are an enterprising individual, you might be able to adjust using the equalizer on your stereo. The balance is a little better on "Il Fratello" and even better on the mellow, mid-tempo title track. This is also where the band seems tightest. It's not perfect, as at the 5-minute mark, there are a few moments that seem rushed, as if the band loses their timing for a second.

Originally released independentally in 1997

Introduzione - Star (7:11) / La Fanciulla e l'Albero (6:03) / Oltre me (4:39) / All'ingresso (1:36) / Il Fratello (5:03) / Capolinea (6:20) / Come me (4:03) / Sonata (2:20) / Sempre solo (4:40)

Pietro Ratto - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Vito Frallonardo - bass
Riccardo Lombardo - drums

H (1985)
Caccia Grossa (1991)
Dr Faust (1992)
Klein & Wagner (1996)
Capolinea (1997/2002)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin IT

Added: September 22nd 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 850
Language: english


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