The first album “A.I. 2984” of Italian band Aton's was released at the end of 1988. In my CD cabinet at home I found their second CD “Caccia Grossa” which was released in 1990 by the Italian label Contempo. This is the only CD I have of this band so if I make comparisons it will be with this good album. In 1991 drummer Massimo Trasente left the band and it was only in the year 1992 that the other members Pietro Ratto and Vito Frallonardo found in Paolo Bonito a capable replacement. With Paolo they recorded the album “Dr. Faust” for Mellow records. But when the album came out, Paolo already had left the group. The very talented but young (16 years!) drummer Riccardo Lombardo joined the band, and together they recorded “Klein & Wagner”. Also a live album entitled Ombre di musica was released by Mellow a few years ago. Pietro Ratto is (or was) the most important and main composer of the band who has announced that “Capolinea” will be the last Aton's work. Pietro Ratto will concentrate on his solo projects.
The band members are:
Pietro Ratto – Vocals, guitar, keyboards, music and texts. Vito Frallonardo – Bass. Riccardo Lombardo – Drums.
A few years ago (in 1997) Pietro Ratto released a solo work entitled “Xenia”. The recordings on this album are made between 1997 and 2000. So it is a farewell compilation of tracks, which were never published before. So it is not the new Aton's album. And maybe that is the problem for me. The opening of the album is however very interesting. "Introduzione – Star" (7:11) starts with a church organ. It sounds great but it could also be a sampled one, I am not sure. Last week Ronnie Brown of the band Pallas played a fantastic church organ solo when they made recordings for a DVD in Holland. And he hadn't a church organ on the stage, that's for sure! I love that sound and it is a great opening for a progressive CD. The organ sound change into heavy synths and when I prepare to listen to heavy sympho the music transforms into a rock song with heavy guitars, jazzy fretless bass and Pietro who is shouting the lyrics. I don't want to spend further words on this track. "La fanciulla e L'Albero" (6:03) is more the Aton's I remember from that second CD I own. After a beautiful acoustic guitar opening the vocal lines are very melodic and sung in Italian. (Italian bands must sing in their own Italian language!) In this ballad we hear besides the acoustic guitar also delicate keyboards. The next track "Oltre me" (4:39) is again more up-tempo but also more mainstream pop. Not a progressive song at all. Only in the end there are some nice keyboards. "All'Ingresso" (1:36) is performed on that earlier mentioned church organ. "Il fratello" (5:03) is a song with beautiful melodies and vocal lines. This is one of the better tracks on this album for me. Title track "Capolinea" (6:20) belongs also to that same category. But it can't keep me interested for the full six minutes. "Come me" (4:03) includes more keyboards and guitar and is only for this reason more compelling. "Sonato" (2:20) has a basis of acoustic guitar but also includes some complicated drum work by Riccardo. This is just a very nice instrumental piece. The last track is called "Sempre solo" (4:40) and it has one of the few electric guitar solos this album counts.
There is something missing on this album. Especially the middle section of the album is a little bit boring to me. They are nice melodic Italian songs but there is not a kind of tension or power in the music. I find it very difficult to explain. There are no musical thrills for me. The album is not bad but for me it is not … progressive enough. I am sorry I couldn't compare this one with other studio albums of the last years. I only know their second album “Caccia grossa” which I still prefer. So the best thing to do for you is: listen to the album first at your local shop before you will eventually buy it.