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Malibran - The Wood Of Tales CD (album) cover

THE WOOD OF TALES

Malibran

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.63 | 59 ratings

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geezer
4 stars Italian prog saw a new coming in -88/-89 and Malibran were one of the first new bands to enter with this debut album from 1990. Bands like Ezra Winston and Nuova Era had already released their debut albums before them in the end of the 80's. Malibran was born in 1987 and their early sound was near prog-metal. It wasn't until the singer Giuseppe Scaravilli (also 2nd guitar) replaced the original singer that they ditched the prog-metal influences and went towards symphonic prog in the classic Italian tradition.

"Wood of Tales" is one of the most impressive debut albums by the new wave of Italian bands but it's also a sign what the band would achieve in their future releases. Nevertheless, the musicianship in this debut is already of highest quality. The bands sound is full and each instrument is given it's space to shine. The one instrument that deserves a special mention and of which fantastic use the band is known of is the flute. Flautist Giancarlo Cutuli's (also sax) playing is haunting and very beautiful. I can't think of any other band that uses the flute as good as this band (yes I prefer this over Jethro Tull). I love flute in progressive music so this obviously is wonderful news at least for me. A great example of the flute playing from this album is the instrumental piece "Sarabanda" with acoustic guitar (also very good).

Like I said, the musicianship is of highest calibre. But there is also a weak link. It's the vocals. For some reason Malibran chose to sing in English in their early career and the vocals are not delivered very expressively by Giuseppe. I always prefer that prog groups sing in their native language. I mean, why not sing in Italian when it suits the music perfectly? I'm relieved to say that probably the band also realized this and a change can be heard in future releases. The vocals are quite minimalist so they don't distract from the listening enjoyment that much.

Conclusion: A very impressive debut. There is not a weak track in the whole album. I would recommend this debut album to anyone who enjoys Italian prog in the grand seventies tradition.

geezer | 4/5 |

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