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Secret Tales - L'Antico Regno CD (album) cover


Secret Tales


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.00 | 8 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Emerging from the ashes of the dark folk/prog duo Roby Tav and Tiziana Radis who released `The Secret Wood Tales' back in 2010, Italian trio Secret Tales arrives with one of the most varied, sophisticated and lavish Italian progressive releases of 2014 with their debut concept album `L'Antico Regno' (The Old Kingdom). Led by the mesmerizing semi-operatic tones of princess Tiziana Radis, the band, which also sees keyboardist Tav joined by guitarist Giancarlo Gabbanella, delivers a rich collection of dark symphonic music with strong folk and hard rock elements, as well as a rich theatrical quality, as expected from the proud tradition of Italian progressive artists both old and new.

So much of the music on `L'Antico Regno' is guided by Tiziana's charismatic and spell-binding personality. The mix of different styles won't be for all listeners, but hopefully they have the patience to discover everything the album holds and give it the repeated listens it needs. Looking at some of the highlights, opening instrumental `Stargate' soars with pomp and power as Pink Floyd-like electric guitar strains glide over symphonic synths and regal Mellotron. Both `Il Menestrello' and `Saluto del Cantore' are pretty little folk diversions with classical guitar and cooing vocals from Tiziana. The plodding title track is all doomy guitar grunt and gothic tension (with nice little up-tempo drum-battery runs too!). `Il Giullare' is more gothic heaviness around Tiziana's weeping sorrowful croon, and snarling Black Sabbath-like riffs power through `In-Faust-O Goblin'.

`Il Canto delle Sirene' is a longer instrumental where delicate acoustic guitar and glistening synths weave around ethereal wordless vocal drones and powerful driving electric guitars. `Princelfa' is a sweeping orchestral synth ballad with a heart-wrenching vocal lament, `L'unicorno Lucente' is operatic heavy goth not unlike fellow dark Italian act Il Segno del Comando. `Tornano le Fate' is a grand symphony of drifting dreamy harmonies floating over glistening electric piano tip-toes and soothing acoustic guitars. Tiziana also switches to English for the grand tale of `An Ancient History', a mix of Celtic-tinged acoustic folk with majestic violin, symphonic synths and beautifully implemented Floydian guitar solos.

Released on both vinyl LP and CD by the always reliable Black Widow record label, very few prog albums and bands offer as much variety and so many daring ideas as Secret Tales do with `L'Antico Regno'. The fact that this is a debut album, that the band are already so confident and have such a clear vision of their music is amazing, and if they're already delivering such stylish and enchanting progressive music, who knows what they may deliver in the future?

Four stars for a very promising dark Italian progressive band that sound like no other!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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