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Malibran - Trasparenze CD (album) cover

TRASPARENZE

Malibran

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.71 | 25 ratings

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seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator
RPI
4 stars Although nominally a Malibran album, it's probably more correct to think of Trasparenze (2009) as a Giuseppe Scaravilli solo project. In fact, it's even sub-titled 'A new musical project by Giuseppe Scaravilli from Malibran'. Having said that, four members of the original band play on the album and Malibran is still on the go so I don't believe Scaravilli warrants a separate database entry on Prog Archives. The other members of Malibran, past and present, that feature here are Alessio Scaravilli (drums), Jerry Litrico (guitar) and Giancarlo Cutuli (saxophone). Guest musician Toni Granata also plays violin on three tracks. Giuseppe handles the vocals and plays all other instruments... guitars, bass, keys, flute.

Trasparenze is classic '70s-inspired RPI and Giuseppe himself believes this to be his best work to date. The cd booklet contains lyrics and lengthy sleeve notes for each song, one song to each page. Although this text is in Italian, the production information is printed in English. Strange. This album is heavier in places than other Malibran discs, with the usual Camel and Jethro Tull stylings seemingly absent. However there's still plenty of acoustic stuff , mostly around the middle of the album, and Genesis remains a strong influence.

Giuseppe Scaravilli composed all the tracks, although Jerry Litrico collaborated on the two long songs that bookend the album. The first of these, the title track, is over 13-minutes long and consists of numerous ideas that involve all the classic Malibran ingredients; moody intro, funky drum rhythms, majestic main theme accompanied by flute and acoustic guitar, electric guitar solos and hard rock riffs. Excellent. Pensieri Fragili also tops the 13- minute mark and is even more complex. There are many twists and turns that help to maintain interest and fans of classic Genesis should surely enjoy this song. So the two epics at either end of the album are excellent but what of the rest?

Well, In Un Attimo and Nel Ricordo are briskly paced songs that, although pleasant enough, don't exactly set the heather on fire. Vento d'Oriente is the first song on the album to feature Granata's frenetic violin and this is much better. The heavy riff and oriental sound make it reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. A definite highlight. Presagio starts out as a fairly typical Malibran song and also features the first synthesizer solo on the disc. However we're then treated to a blistering guitar solo, heavy riffs and galloping drums. This isn't too far from Black Sabbath territory.

That run of acoustic tracks I mentioned starts with the flute and violin interplay of Proggia di Maggio. This is a lovely instrumental that livens up near the end with what is the only other synthesizer solo of note on the album. La Marea is another melodic soft rocker/ballad and is one of my favourites here. The mellow introduction of the instrumental Volo Magico soon gives way to an agitated, scraping violin and funky drums. There's a bit of a Mediterranean folk influence on Promesse Vane thanks to the acoustic guitar, although Steve Hackett also springs to mind. This song shifts nicely from slow and mellow to brisk and bright. The short instrumental Gioco di Specchi also has strong shades of Hackett, this time with electric guitar and accompanying eerie sound effects.

Trasparenze is a long album that clocks in at 78-minutes, so you get your money's worth. There's not even much filler on it, with maybe just a couple of slightly weaker songs. My one criticism is that the album is a bit light on keyboards, but the loads of great flute you usually get with Malibran offset this. Trasparenze is an excellent album although I'm not sure if I agree with Giuseppe that this is his best work to date, as I have a soft spot for Malibran's Oltre L'Ignoto. RPI fans should of course have both these albums!

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |

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