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Höstsonaten - Mirrorgames CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.55 | 73 ratings

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4 stars HOSTSONATEN soon turned from a FINISTERRE offshoot band to a steady project of Fabio Zuffanti.Just a year after the excellent debut,they recorded a second album called ''Mirrorgames'',released in July 1998 by Mellow Records.The line-up is almost the same compared to the debut's one (actually all the FINISTERRE team is present) and all the music was written by Zuffanti himself,while all lyrics are in English.I admit I was a bit sceptic before purchasing this album,having read the mixed reviews around the web...but I didn't regret it!

''The dream'' clocks at 24 minutes,offering superb Symphonic/Medieval Rock with somewhat weak vocals but excellent musicianship.This track constantly alternates between dark- sounding Symphonic Rock of the Italian school,loaded with haunting guitar melodies and mellotron,and soft Medieval music,based on acoustic passages and traditional flutes,as well as some exciting female choirs.Only the sparse vocals of Zuffanti seem a little out of the concept,but please do not pay attention.The track is simply beautiful!

''Mirrorcloud'' is another dark sounding track in the line,based mostly on its excellent mellow atmospheric instrumental passages.Interesting sax solos,heavy mellotron throughout,relaxed flutes and a grandiose guitar part before the end create a monumental soundscape.''Seasons of eve'' is more of the same.A symphonic track with an intense atmosphere,but this time the vocals by Zuffanti also contribute on the track's beauty,delivering dreamy and sensitive harmonies.The other ingredients are all there:Another memorable mellotron presentation by Osvaldo Giordano (along with his interesting work on organ and synths),emotional guitar soloing and a middle section with flutes and acoustic guitars.''The rime of the ancient mariner II'' comes as a sequel to the eponymous track of HOSTSONATEN's first album.Claudio Castellini is again the singer of this track (as he was in the first album),which opens with soft piano,before recovering the grandiosity of its predecessor with dark and complex guitars taking over,delivering haunting melodies and complicated breaks,along with deep symphonic keyboards.The really short ''There's a certain slant of light'' is an emotional piano-driven and song-based composition which also has some lovely opening vocal harmonies close to YES.

After 50 minutes of great music I find myself wanting for more before entering the closer ''Ellipsis''.A fantastic guitar melody is the greatest introduction to what is on the way and ''Ellipsis'' seems like a continuation of the opener.Classic Italian Symphonic Rock with nice moog synths and strong organ,complicated interplays and muddy electric guitars,supported by the familiar flute work of Marco Moro and a good dose of saxes but both with a little repetitive sound.Another memorable track with changing atmospheres and climates.

I really don't know if ''Mirrorgames'' is better or worst than ''Hostsonaten''.What I know for sure is that this album contains some unclassified inner beauty and a deep intense atmosphere I like a lot.Fantastic work by Zuffanti on song-writing and arranging,which deserves a place among your discography's elit albums.Highly recommended!

apps79 | 4/5 |


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