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Minstrel - Ahab CD (album) cover

AHAB

Minstrel

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.73 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Propu
5 stars After almost 10 years, here is the Minstrel's second album, Ahab, which tells the story of the main character of Melville's novel. At first some listeners might be surprised or also disappointed of the radical style change, the differences between the previous album, since there are much heavier guitars, less operatic voices, less keyboards and more ferocious bass slapping. That's what happened to me, and for about a month I didn't listen it. Then, with random song selection of the music player I discovered the magical piano intro of Caccia, followed by the marching guitars and an incredible voice. So I did it again, selected the first song, Vendetta, and listened again. These are my opinions about every song in the album:

1.Vendetta: the first song of the album, which announces the main differences between the old and the new Minstrels. Ghilardini has a stronger voice, more similar to the Sala's (Mefistofele in Faust), rocking, but still with the operatic echo, making him, again, one of the most brilliant singers Progressive Rock has ever had. Here we can also notice the amazing skills of the bassist, featuring some really strong slaps.

2. Presagio: this is actually a kinda psychedelic passage song, which lasts only two minutes and doesn't give much contributes to the album itself.

3. Partenza: ok, here we go. This is the third song, which translated means "Departure". Here we can listen to a brilliant multitrack work of Ghilardini, who put all together some of the lowest notes of his vocal range, showing again (and again, and again) his incredible skills. The song is divided in two parts, in the second the piano is the only rhytmic instrument, and Ahab is singing on it. Sublime.

4. Oceano: the second instrumental song of the album (if you consider also Presagio), this time showing the skills of Savoldelli, the guitarist of the band. There two parts here too, the first rappresenting the calm and the quite ocean, the second the tempestuous one, with much more anger with the chords and the solos, returning then to the calm.

5. Alba: this isn't actually a song more than a crescendo. It begins with soft piano and soft vocals, until the multitrack choir enters again (the same of "Partenza"), with "Nasce l'alba", giving more life to the music, which finds it apex with the 7/4 part with all instruments at the end. My favourite song of the album.

6. Caccia: I've already said about the very beginning with the piano, the marching guitars, and the incredible singing of Ghilardini. The song goes on with a fully progressive rock part full of guitar solos, time changes, until it fades slowly to the end.

7. Rampone: it starts with the heaviest and most ''metallish" chords I've ever heard of the band, featuring also dissonances with both electric and classical guitar. The vocals are also quite rude and strong, but all this fades with the chorus, which creates an atmosphere of hope. Then starts again the strong part, but it is immediately stopped and we return to have feelings of hope and peace. Briliant.

8. Tempesta: a 3 minute passage song, full of guitar solos, time changes, all typical progressive rock things, which prepare the listener to the end of the album.

9. Delirio: a dark monologue of Ahab, who is sure of his imminent death. Another passage song that preannounces the end of the album.

10. Morte: "Death" in English. This is the ''Faust'' of the album, if you remember that song of the previous album. It begins with another much longer monologue of Ahab, before his death, who thinks about his life and if what he had done had or didn't have sense. It is divided in two parts and also here there is the multitrack duet, this time with his high notes. After the second part of the monologue, there is a long incredibly complex part of piano solos, guitar solos, bass solos, time changes, everything, showing again the great skills of this unknown band. Then the music suddenly changes, only the piano, the classical guitar and a harp remain, playing a silent melody, which introduces the last words of Ahab, resigned words. Another progressive crescendo, with more and more instruments, with higher and higher vocals and more and more harrowing words, "Per navigare sono costretto a soffrire, per soffrire costretto a cercare, per cercare sognare, per sognare morire.", "To sail, I must suffer, to suffer, seek, to seek, dream, and to dream, die!", leaving the scene to a 6 minutes instrumental piece with classical guitar and other acustical instruments.

Propu | 5/5 |

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