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Distillerie di Malto - Il Manuale dei Piccoli Discorsi CD (album) cover


Distillerie di Malto


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.77 | 24 ratings

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4 stars Distillerie Di Malto are a six piece band from Italy. The band was formed slowly in 1988 and had some line up changes during the 90's, but it wasn't until 2001 that they manage to record their debut album Il Manuale dei Piccoli Discorsi. For some reason DDM is quite forgotten and are not getting enough mention when discussing modern italian bands. Another thing is the band's inclusion for Crossover Prog which I can understand for some extent, but still I don't think is the right spot for them and have always regarded them as pure RPI, this classification could distract RPI fans from getting this, and it most certainly does worth it.

Aside from the clear Italian touch, there are other influences as well which makes their music rather special. One thing that immediately comes to mind is the resemblance for Israeli band Sanhedrin (which have released their album much later) which automatically indicates influences from Camel, this is most evident in the guitar department. DDM includes two guitar players which is hard to determine who is doing what, because they are both playing in the same style. The playing is often kind of slow, conscious and clear even when the music has an upbeat rhythm, this reminds me of Latimer or Franco Falsini from Sensations' Fix. This is actually something that really characterizes the band's style and I like every time they are doing it, but the times when they get it perfectly right, it is really gorgeous. Vocals doesn't play the biggest role here but they do appear in every song except for one instrumental, don't ask me why, but the band decided to include both english and italian vocals. The album includes five tracks, the first couple of songs are in english and the last two are in italian, and like in many cases the band's original language sounds best here.

The music is most certainly progressive and has a lot to do with the more modern RPI bands rather than the 70's italian symphonic bands, although they do sound like Banco sometimes. DDM are not trying to win you over by dazzling solos or fast interplay between guitars and keys, the main focus here is on the melodies and good ideas. Every moment along the road sounds like a band effort rather than leaning on one extraordinary player, it seems they were all involved in writing the music because it is all balanced very well. There aren't many actual solos here but there are a lot of leads both from keys and guitars, so you can't really complain that there's something missing. The keyboards here are also really tastefuly done, no cheesy sounds and always has cool and groovy ideas.

Four out of five tracks here are long compositions. In every song the band successfully is taking one main idea and develop it or change it, once again everything is very well done. Although all tracks are equally good, the highlights here are "Aria e vento" and 5/5/1555 (is that a date?). The first starts with an amazing guitar lead which goes to a typical italian verse, great guitar there too. It calms down and sounds like Locanda Delle Fate and then goes back to that amazing guitar lead opener again. Few minutes before the end we get a Wakeman/Howe interlude and a cool guitar solo ends it, very good stuff.

I hope more people would check this wonderful album, it would appeal mostly to symphonic fans or RPI lovers. I know there is supposed to be a second album (not listed in PA) called Suono but I never came across it, just heard some samples. This is another excellent addition to my italian collection, 4 stars.

Sagichim | 4/5 |


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