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Finisterre - Finisterre CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.70 | 71 ratings

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4 stars The debut album by Finisterre has a little bit of everything, and for me it's pretty much the epitome of seventies-inspired modern Italian symphonic prog. It opens with the wan but atmospheric ''Aqua'', a curious choice to get things under way as it's arguably the weakest track on the album. This is followed by its polar opposite ''Asia'', a pithy track that rattles along at a good old pace and features bustling flute and guitar exchanges.

So far so nondescript, but ''Macinaaqua, Maciluna'' hints at some of the goodies in store during the second half of the album. This song has its tongue firmly in its cheek as it juxtaposes Hendrix guitar licks with Mozart and Gershwin piano snapshots, while the singer sounds as if he's not far off the edge of a nervous breakdown. A strange little piece of circus-like music follows but then the guitar kicks in with an absolute humdinger of a guitar riff to finish the track. Now they're talking my language.

''... Dal Caos...'' is a nervous, finicky concoction that tips its hat to King Crimson with yawping saxophone and dissonant guitar licks that seem to leapfrog each other in a race toward the album's centrepiece, ''SYN''. I'm not going to make a vain attempt to describe this maze of musical thoughts, other than to say it overflows with typical Italian spirit and is brim-full of elaborate details. Despite its disorderly nature it never unravels into a mere succession of sonic knots or clusters, thanks to the pivotal use of its many motifs and fragments.

There are precious few vocals on this album and those at the start of ''Isis'' sound like some kind of incantation, which is soon overrun with viscous, visceral guitar riffs. This is very much an album of contrasting moods that draws from a diverse set of sources. For example, the plaintive guitar and flute melodies of ''Cantoantico'' sound like well-ordered infusions of Middle Eastern and folk influences, whereas closing track ''Phaedra'' is a helter-skelter mix of fast and slow passages that alternate between piano in restrained mood and guitar in full cry.

This to me is an essential album for fans of symphonic RPI, although readers might want to take my review cum grano salis since I'm a big fan of Fabio Zuffanti's numerous projects. However, I think I've got more than a grain of salt in my pumpkin and this really is an album to brighten up the torpor of any dull day.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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