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Tracklist: 1. In Limine 7:19 (Valle) 2. Orizonte Degli Eventi 15:29 (Zuffanti) 3. Hispanica 5:52 (Marelli) 4. Altaloma 10:12 (Mussida & Premoli of PFM) 5. Macinaaqua - Macinaluna 8:12 (Laricchia, Valle, Marelli) 6. Asia 4:49 (Valle) 7. Phaedra 13:51 (Valle) 8. Canto Antico 11:28 (Zuffanti) Line-up: Fabio Zuffanti - basses, vocals Stefano Marelli - electric & acoustic guitars, vocals Boris Valle - keyboards Sergio Grazia - flutes Andrea Orlando - drums Produced by Renfro at Proglodite / ProgDay. Executive producer Leonardo Pavcovic at "MoonJune Records".
"MoonJune Records" web-site:
Prologue. Until now, I wasn't acquainted with the creation of Finisterre. I don't even have an idea from which studio albums are the songs that the band had included in their live show at the ProgDay-'97 festival recently documented on this CD. All lyrics are in Italian.
The Album. Despite the fact that Finisterre's music is rather influenced by Marillion and Genesis as a whole, there are only two songs on the album that sound really (terribly!) derivative: Orizonte Degli Eventi and Phaedra (tracks 2 & 7 respectively). The first of them, filled with the barefaced borrowings of all compositional and performing structures, arrangements, and solos created by Mark Kelly and his band mates, is on the whole typical for all of the Marillion wannabes (and there are lots of them around). Phaedra consists of the two parts, though only the first of them was constructed by Valle by using of the details of early Genesis. While the second part of Phaedra is just merely an OK cover version of the most beautiful part of Firth of Fifth from Genesis's album "Selling England By the Pound". By the way, keyboardist Boris Valle is the only Finisterre member whose derivative passages and solos are evident throughout the album. Most of them are openly a la Tony Banks (on most of the album's tracks), Mark Kelly (on still the same Orizonte Degli Eventi and Phaedra), and Manfred Mann (yeah, on Altaloma (4) and Phaedra again) At the same time, most of his piano passages, but especially the jazzy piano solos that are featured In Limine, Macinaaqua - Macinaluna, and Asia (tracks 1, 5 & 6), are the most original elements in an overall musical palette of the album. While it is hard to find any defects in parts of the virtuoso flautist Sergio Grazia, as well as in the excellent work of both of the chiefs of the rhythm section (bassist Fabio Zuffanti and drummer Andrea Orlando) in general, guitarist and vocalist Stefano Morelli uses both of his duties according to the spirit of borrowing only on the said Orizonte Degli Eventi and Phaedra. On all of the remaining six tracks, both of his electric & acoustic guitars, as well as vocals, sound fresh and tasteful. Despite the presence of a few derivative keyboard and mellotron passages in each of them, all of these six compositions represent rather an original and interesting Symphonic Neo with the elements of Classic Art-Rock (in places). Wonderful, diverse and very tasteful passages and rhythms of Spanish acoustic guitar along with the Eastern-like solos of flute are featured Hispanica (track 3), while a few of the other Eastern-like solos of flute and electric guitar can be heard on Asia (track 6) and Canto Antico (track 8) respectively. And that is not everything about the positive sides of the "Storybook" album. While the second and next to last are the worst songs here, their next-track neighbours - the first and the last compositions (In Limine, which is the only instrumental on the album, and Canto Antico) are real gems of Classic Progressive Rock. Although both of them are structurally similar to the other good tracks, all of which are in the middle of the album (tracks 3 to 6), they're more diverse and quirky than any of the other 'stories' of "Storybook".
Summary. If not to count Orizonte Degli Eventi and Phaedra, both of which are just more or less decent imitations (but not the clones) of Marillion and Genesis respectively, Finisterre looks like one of the most interesting Neo bands - at least on this album. If both of the weak songs that are featured the "Storybook" album, are from the early album(s) of Finisterre and all of the others are their more recent works, then the band is on the right way and their development is more than evident, and vice versa...
VM. December 21, 2001
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