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All Around The World: New Trolls

They’ve been making sweet music for six decades but these Italians have never given up their progressive roots.

Incorporating jazz rock and symphonic sounds, New Trolls were among the pioneers of the nascent Italian prog scene in the ’60s. And yet, despite a pedigree that goes back nearly half a century, the band will play their first ever UK show headlining this year’s Summer’s End Festival on September 27.

“The main reason we’ve not played in England before was that we were totally absorbed by Italy,” admits founder and mainman Vittorio De Scalzi. “We concentrated on our home country, where we were playing 180 gigs a year at our height, but I’m really excited we’re finally coming over. I think fans will love our high energy and progressive performance.”

Despite many line-up and stylistic changes, New Trolls are defiantly prog. Just don’t mention a dalliance with pop that scored some Italian chart hits in the late ’70s and lasted until the early ’90s. “It allowed us to survive when prog music was unprofitable,” says De Scalzi frankly. “But our sudden evolution into a pop band was forced on us and we’d rather forget about that era. However, it allowed us to keep a high profile.”

There’s no doubt the band’s real passion is the progressive music that earned them their reputation. “Like most beat generation bands, we started with The Beatles in the late ’60s,” De Scalzi explains, “and we had a remarkable experience opening for the Rolling Stones in Italy in 1967. We took a lot of influence from Vanilla Fudge and Jethro Tull, but invested our time into creating our own style and distinctive sound.”

New Trolls’ creativity really came into its own in 1971, with the release of their second album, Concerto Grosso Per I, which doubled up as the soundtrack for giallo movie La Vittima Designata. It was here that New Trolls forged a symphonic rock template that inspired so many others: “This album allows us to play around the world and has helped keep me on the right track.”

De Scalzi is delighted that New Trolls have lasted so long: “What makes us particularly proud is that we’re accepted as unique because we’ve brought authentic Italian baroque music to a wider audience.”

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Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.