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Höstsonaten - Mirrorgames CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.55 | 78 ratings

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4 stars Although I have not heard all of the prolific Mr Zuffante's projects, this 2nd Hostsonaten album is my favourite thus far. It is more traditionally symphonic than Finisterre, and not as highbrow as either Finisterre or Aries. It is also quite different from the third Hostsonaten album, Springsong, which is entirely instrumental and more tilted to the folky Celtic side of things, an area only fleetingly explored here. Hostsonaten is clearly influenced by Eris Pluvia and their groundbreaking early 1990s album at the dawn of the Italian prog revival, but It also harkens back to the golden era of the 1970s, while presenting an original, unified musical concept.

First of all, nothing is either weak or boring here, even the longer tracks, "The Dream" and the closer, "Ellipsis". The former starts the CD off with alternating classically inspired instrumental movements, gently melded male/female vocals, recorder backings, lusciously plodding mellotron themes, and memorable melodies both of a vocal and instrumental nature, a cornucopia of delights for symphonic prog fans. I too have heard negative reports of the vocalist but personally think he fits fine with the music. The changes in mood are handled well and do not seem haphazardly inserted for shock value or just to impress the musicians among us.

"Mirrorcloud" is a simply gorgeous heavily mellotron dominated song with a lead guitar theme to die for. It's very mystical sounding and also includes some of the aforementioned recorder and other gentle wind instruments in the break. It is probably my favourite on the disk, along with the folk-influenced and catchy "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" Part 2. "Season of Eve" also has many beautiful moments. In fact as I listen to this album for the first time in a while for review purposes, it strikes me even better than I remembered it. And that in itself is the highest praise.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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