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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

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I was quite impressed with their debut album released some ?nine years prior this one (" Faust"). This one is also a concept album which is built around "Ahab": the captain of the boat chasing the famous white whale "Moby Dick" (written by Herman Melville).

When I listened to the opening number ("Vendetta"), I wondered if I was listening to the same band. From Italian symphonic prog, I was drawn into deep metal music with no link at all with the music I was waiting for. And "Partenza" just confirmed the feeling. More metal, unfortunately. Bizarrely (but very well received), the last two minutes are delicate and feature passionate vocals and intimate piano. Quite a mix!

The long instrumental "Oceano" is also a dual track: at times quite, at times violent. But in both cases it is very well performed and the guitar is just fabulous. On the smooth side, the piano is extremely relaxing.

We are brought back again into the most gentle Italian symphonic genre with the beautiful "Alba". The vocal part from Mauro Ghilardini is formidable. A monument of emotions and skills. The instrumental breaks are not shy either. Guitar is again the strongest element. A highlight. What a great track!

"Rampone" is another one which combines opera-like vocals, metal lines and sweet passages. Vocals are the highlight (once more). But be warned: this song (and this album) features quite dual music. I am not sure that these two extremes (metal and Italian symph) will please a lot of prog ears. These combinations are not quite frequent to say the least.

As you might have expected, "Tempesta" (storm it means) is quite devastating, even brutal. It is a speedy and escalating instrumental which is extremely well built and performed. Fasten your seat belt! The next song is perfectly described in the title: "Delirio". It is the weakest track of this album.

The long "Morte" is the climax of the story (but maybe not the highest point of this release). It is a good synthesis of the whole work. Metal style is on the forefront ( a bit too much IMHHO). After six minutes of a violent treat, things are calming down and the band is offering again the other facet of their music: needless to say that I prefer this side of their moon... The long closing instrumental combines some fine acoustic work.

"Ahab" is an album quite difficult to rate. It is flirting with the four stars if you're a metal freak, more on the three stars side if you're an ISP lover. I guess that you understand that my rating is three stars even if I would have loved to rate it with seven out of ten.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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