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Höstsonaten - Winterthrough CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.06 | 135 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wintertrhough is the third part of the season cycle suite, a musical celebration in four parts thought by Fabio Zuffanti as the magnum opus of Hostsonaten. The band is going backwards from the fourth and final part (Springsong released in 2002) to the future project planned as it follows: Autumnsymphony (part two) and Summereve (part one).

The album is mainly instrumental-based despite only two pleasant episodes of recitative warm vocals in italian language, as it happened also in the previous record.

Musically the new album is very similar to the previous one but less celtic. The general mood is darker, still pastoral, romantic and sad with many crescendos from slow hypnotic fragments of dark/light to full melodic symphonic prog and hints of jazz and ethnic music. Excellent (and curious) the addition of brass section which makes the sound more passionate and plentiful.

The opener Entering the Halls of Winter (10:13 mns) is really beautiful: it starts off with liquid whispering piano then introduces delicate bass playing and repetitive drums' patterns. Hypnotic for sure. Then, (not) surprisingly enters the mightly mellotron with its fluent dreamy waves. Brass also takes the scene until the song turns into a more conventional sympho prog for a while, within an electric guitar solo but... suddenly another change... soft classic piano and gentle harp...clarinet also for a romantic pastiche. Wonderful 'till the end the strong crescendo lead by clarinet and majestic choir- mellotron... hornes also...what a pleasure!

The other highlight is the fantastic closer Rainsuite (12:42) that follows a similar formula. Its ending part (To the Open Field) is the reproduction of the opener from Springsong (In the Open Fields), a perfect conjunction between the two seasons albums of winter and spring.

Other tracks are shorter (total timing is in fact about 46 mns) but very interesting because go from soft to slightly harder interludes (Snowstorm). Crystal Light is about 6:46 mns and it's another gem for its sad and romantic atmosphere. Special mention for the delicate soprano sax playing.

The dull and darker atmosphere gives this new work from Hostsonaten a stronger appeal. It's a must have for the fans of contemporary italian prog bands like LA MASCHERA DI CERA and FINISTERRE. Sparse use of choir- mellotron makes the whole work sparkling. If you like the previous Springsong, this one will certainly appear as a moderate improvement. Excellent.

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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