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Malaavia - Danze d'Incenso CD (album) cover

DANZE D'INCENSO

Malaavia

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.53 | 22 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Malaavia from Napoli started in 1998 as a project of guitarist, bassist and singer Pas Scarpato along with bassist Tullio Ippodamia.The duo welcome keyboardists Antonio Casoria and Oderigi Lusi, flutist/singer Solimena Casoria and percussionist Egidio Napolitano to form the first nucleus of the band.Just when things seem to roll, Ippodamia and A. Casoria left Malaavia in 2000 and the next year Scarpato recruited drummer Lucio Fontana.However over the span of five years Malaavia participated in several contests, concerts and festivals with success.In 2002 Scarpato met Massimo Orlandini and Raoul Caprio of MaRaCash Records, which would result the release of the band's debut ''Danze d'incenso'' in 2004.In the record several guest musicians would help the Malaavia quintet, among them keyboardist Michele Mutti from La Torre Dell' Alchimista and Lino Vairetti from Osanna.

The album proposes a nice mix of Progressive Rock with Ethnic and World Music and the opening 15-min. ''Sequenza prima: delle danze'' is a good example.Just when you get enough moments of Classic Italian Prog of symphonic nature with dominant synths, piano and organs appears a interesting journey around the world with lots of saxes, violins, mandolins and percussion, offering evident Spanish, Eastern and Arabic overtones, while some lyrics are even delivered in the Spanish and Ancient Greek language.Some dull beats or commercial moments are also present, but overall this composition sounds very nice.

Second track comes under the title ''Sequenza seconda: della conoscenza'', clocking at almost 20 minutes.Here Malaavia sound a lot like the most ethereal material of HOSTSONATEN with a touch of ZAUBER, excellent Progressive Folk with symphonic orchestrations.Beautiful flute parts, light piano interludes, dreamy female vocal lines and versatile symphonic keyboard passages with some very good instrumental moments, again another segment (''Vie interne'') seems totally out of place, hurting the composition's consistency.

Things become too dangerous regarding the tracks' lengths with the third part of the album ''Sequenza terza : tra balsami d'incenso'', which lasts over 38 minutes.But actually this sounds as the more consistent track of the whole album despite the minor flaws.Charming combination of romantic Italian Prog with Ethnic/Folk Rock, even the male vocals sounds great on this.There are strong references to the Spanish, Middle-Eastern and Mediterrenean culture throughout, either through the tunes provided by the pianos and synths or with the use of traditional instruments like the accordion, flamenco guitar, percussions or flutes.But there is still plenty of Classic Italian Prog color in this with Classical preludes and symphonic instrumental soundscapes.Again HOSTSONATEN is the closest comparison, tight mix of keyboard-based Prog with Ethnic Music, producing a variety of trippy soundscapes.

Very good album and an impressive musical concept overall.Works much better as a whole listening than separating the tracks with each listen and this way it will definitely reward you.You love HOSTSONATEN, you'll love Malaavia as well.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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