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Fabio Zuffanti - Fabio Zuffanti & Victoria Heward: Merlin - The Rock Opera CD (album) cover


Fabio Zuffanti

Crossover Prog

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars Mr Zuffanti should let Mr Wakeman or Mr Lucassen worry about these grand and pompous projects that have brought ridicule to prog by just about everybody outside that precise progworld.Instead, Mr Zuffanti might want to do more Hostsonnaten, or better yet restart Finisterre or better still Marschera Di Cera but really he should concentrate on LaZona as this post-rock is one of the area of further groundbreaking for prog (listen to Tarentel , Tortoise or Godspeed You Black Emperor and its side-projects)
Report this review (#24313)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a 2 CD concept album that tells the story about the adventures of Merlin the Wizard. The album is an Italian production but the lyrics are all in English, so there's no problem to follow the story. "Merlin The Rock Opera" have musical reminiscences to John Miner's rock opera "Heaven Cafe'". From time to times there's also some similarities to the musical "Chess". - There are eight characters in the rock opera, performed by eight singers. Alessandro Corvaglia who does the vocals of Merlin has a voice that's quite reminiscent to Denis Quilley who's doing Molokov in "Chess". The musicianship is very good. One of the highlights on this album are "Tricked / Must You Leave So Soon?" where I instantly get to think about a part in "Chess". - I guess that the live performance of this rock opera must have been really something to remember. Imagine 8 singers, 17 choir members, 11 musicians, 7 dancers and 5 additional performers on stage and very strong compositions. It must have been quite overwhelming. - If you were lucky enough to be in the audience on this rock opera, I guess that you've already bought the album, and if you weren't there, this album is perhaps the closest you'll ever get. Recommended!
Report this review (#24314)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Fabio Zuffanti can be compared to Roine Stolt from "The Flower Kings". He is leading an awful lot of projects at the same time and this will partially ruin this double CD set. I am just found of "La Maschera Di Cera" and "Hostsonaten" also pleases me a lot. And while "Finisterre" is only good to my ears, I was keen on listening to this "Merlin" rock opera stuff.

After having listened to the "Overture" of this "rock opera", I was just even more interested in discovering this work because it is really a good start. My high enthusiasm was just filled when I listened to the next song : "As It Was in the Beginning". A jewel of prog music with such great mellotron, subtle piano and beautiful melodies. Vocals are also very well performed here. This song has some definite "Renaissance" flavour and should please any prog lover.

But after these two very good songs, what a disappointment ! It sounds as if I was listening to a musical in Broadway or the London West End. These vocal duos just remind me this feeling. Of course, you might say that since it is a concept album about Merlin, Arthur and all that mythical story, it is almost normal. But I do not agree. There are ways to avoid falling into this trap.

The only great number after those two openings is "The Wedding March". Full of great keys and with some passionate vocals. It is also somewhat borderline to release a double CD which lenght lasts for ninety minutes (and not eightY one as mentioned). The band would have been inspired by cutting some of these short tracks which might maybe have some sort of signification in the whole history but in terms of musical interest they are just short and useless. By doing this, we would have gotten a one CD work which would have sound less boring.

Just for die-hard fans of Fabio's work (like me) who would like to discover another aspect of his personality.

Two stars.

Report this review (#146948)
Posted Thursday, October 25, 2007 | Review Permalink

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