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The Rebus / Il Fauno Di Marmo - The Rebus CD (album) cover


The Rebus / Il Fauno Di Marmo

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars There was much confusion over The Rebus when they first came to the attention of the Italian Prog team of the Prog Archives a year or so back! There were some conflicting early reports as to whether this band was a lost relic of the vintage 70's era, or in fact a modern band. Some internet sleuthing later and the latter turned out to be the case! Emerging in 2001, The Rebus had already been through two previous name and line-up changes after initially coming together in the early 90's, but the one constant was vocalist/flutist Luca Sterle, and it's no surprise to find that he dominates a lot of the compositions here. The order of the day is not only heavy 70's inspired retro RPI/Italian prog with wild flute passages and a rough production, perhaps along the lines of Il Biglietto per L'Inferno and Delirium, but also shorter, punchy little dynamic blasts of 60's flavoured up-tempo energy and ear-pleasing melodies. 2011 would eventually see The Rebus morph into Il Fauno di Marmo, but for now let's cast our ears back to 2002.

Opener `Ronchi Cali Bropmp' is an up-tempo and frantic introductory instrumental burst of bashing drums, whirring vintage synths and huffing flute, and foot-tapping it is too! `Piccola Colomba Bianca' is a nice grinding organ stomp with a floating psychedelic break in the middle, Luca's distinctive gravely vocal instantly reminding of Martin Grice of RPI legends Delirium. `Donegal' is an upbeat instrumental folk jig full of positivity and love, the catchy `L'Ultimo Viaggio' is a spiky grooving rocker with an infectious melody and stomping beat. `Lui E' Come Gli Altri' is a nice bluesy laid-back chill-out with plenty of jazzy licks and a little fusion fire before a disorientating flute and spacey effects breakdown in the finale. `Ramadan' is a lusty R&B flavoured strutter with some scorching Hendrix-styled guitar straight out of the 60's, `Ghetto Mania' sticks to the same era for another groover with a powerful scuzzy fuzziness and shattering drumming. The mellow `Cogito Ergo Sum' allows for some furious electric guitar jamming over drowsy warm group harmonies, and album closer `Madre Natura' is a joyous acoustic bopper that wouldn't have sounded out of place on the first Delirium album `Dolce Acqua'. It's the perfect way to finish this charming and positive little album. In fact, I think this album might be about the most fun you can have with an Italian prog work!

The self-titled Rebus disc displays a confident and technically accomplished band tearing through some vintage influenced Italian prog rockers, and it's an undemanding but still tasty album performed with a playful energy. The best was yet to come when the group renamed themselves Il Fauno di Marmo and recently released the album `Canti, Racconti e Battaglie' in 2013, but there's no denying this is an accomplished disc. I think listeners, especially RPI lovers, will be pretty impressed by it's positive vibes, and personally, I'm a sucker for those dirty sounding Delirium and Il Biglietto-type bands, so for me, `The Rebus' is a real winner.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

Report this review (#1194839)
Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This group and their first album was misconsidered for years as another vintage Italian Prog rarity.The truth is that The Rebus came from Monfalcone and were formed in 2001 as a sextet, led by singer/flutist Luca Sterle.Their first eponymous album came out the following year, self- produced and self-distributed, making it a very hard-to-come-by release.It was propably mistaken with a 73' library album, carrying the same name with this group.

One reason for this total mess up behind two completely unrelated releases was the fact that The Rebus played a strongly 70's-influenced Hard Prog, a bit similar to OSANNA, JUMBO and I CALIFFI.However the clean production does not leave many doubts about the chronological placement of this work, even more strengthened by some very modern sounding synthesizers.Getting deep into the musical point of view, the tracks contain a sharp and often adventurous Hard Rock with definite Italian Prog vibes, based on Sterle's rough vocals, the hard-hitting flute grooves and the angular guitar work.A fair amount of Folk inspiratiions appear here and there, while the keyboard parts are quite interesting with bombastic organ moves and a decent dose of soaring synthesizers.The pieces are not particularly long or even original, but the music is solid with good breaks, tapping rhythmic tunes and rich arrangements.A few of the shorter pieces are quite straightforward flute-based Hard Rock, but the vast majority of the album flows in a cool, progressive enviroment with a dominant guitar-led edge and some trully powerful flute work.

A second and even rarest album, entitled ''Acroterius'' was released in 2005, before the changes in the line-up led to a change of name as well with the group moving on under the name Il Fauno di Marmo.

So, don't ever get fooled around the fame of this album.It is quite rare, yes, but it has nothing to do with the 70's.It is just a passionate, dynamic and angular retro-influenced Hard Italian Prog work with focus on the guitar and flute passages.Recommended.

Report this review (#1194851)
Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 | Review Permalink

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