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Minstrel - Faust CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.20 | 31 ratings

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5 stars This happens to be another magical/mystical and seemingly underappreciated Italian prog masterpiece from 2000. Allegedly, a new album has been due for a while ("Moby Dick") but until the hen lays the egg, "chick" out this one! Minstrel brazenly tackle the Faust epic (made famous by both Goethe-the book and Gounod-the opera, both stalwarts of the artistic world). After a brief spoken prelude so typical of opera, the story kicks off with utter splendor as "Bellatrix" unleashes an immaculate vocal melody, "Splendi Ancor" sung by keyboardist Mauro Ghilardini , compounded by an astounding guitar rampage by Michele Savoldelli. What an entrance and an outright prog classic! "Mefistofele" introduces Satan's famed envoy with a searing ensemble riff, elevated by a massive aria that will make you shudder (this Mauro can wail!), huge synthesizer sweeps, ornate piano colorings and an explosive fret lead. When Faust and Mephisto (voice of Davide Ferrari) face off vocally, you know that you are witnessing rock-opera at its finest! "Il Castello" fuses wicked guitar arpeggios with majestic piano flourishes, with Mauro's powerful voice booming with unrivaled emotion over almost Brian May-ish guitar blasts (I joke not!), buoyed by some resilient organ/synth/harpsichord embellishments. The title Track "Faust" is the piece de resistance, a singularly genial lead melody with Mauro now singing in German, with Giorgio Sala adding Pater Estaticus' role and Mephisto adding his devilish temptation and bellowed laugh while Satan watches perversely amused! The finale now escalates in fervor, with Mauro's Faust pleading desperately. Unexpectedly, the next verse is sung in English (Shakespeare Love Sonnet n39), with heavy guitar fueled barrages galore, pile driving the story forward! "La Neve" introduces an ensemble vocal work, with individual solos (the voluptuous Margherita) and some additional stellar axe exaltations. When the two vocalist exchange arias, the goose bumps finally make their entrance, the ideal duet for one of the most stunning vocal melodies ever tracked by rock musicians(a return visit to "Splendi Ancor"). The narrator brings this amazing work to roost, piano delicacies drawing down the velvet curtain. 5 damned souls
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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