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Malibran - La Cittą Sul Lago CD (album) cover

LA CITTĄ SUL LAGO

Malibran

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Five years after MALIBRAN's masterpiece "Le Porte del Silenzio" (1993) they were signed to the Italian label Mellow Records and their new CD "La Cittą sul Lago" were released. This album follows the same musical direction as their two previous albums. Their music is a blend between 70's Italian progressive rock (IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, BIBLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, CELESTE, I GIGANTI, MAXOPHONE, METAMORFOSI, MUSEO ROSENBACH, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA etc.), new Italian progressive rock (IL TRONO DEI RICORDI, MARY NEWSLETTER, STANDARTE etc.) modern progressive rock (ARENA, IQ, MARILLION, PENDRAGON etc.) and JETHRO TULL. The JETHRO TULL reminiscence is much because of the nice flute playing throughout the album. The music is very varied with many rhythm changes, extended instrumental passages and big contrasts between quiet and heavier parts. They are also very skilled musicians. I love this album as much as their previous two and it's a must have in every progressive record collection. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#4643)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a much better recorded CD than the previous 2 releases. The good aspects of Malibran are abundant on this release. Excellent instrumental passages which allow the music to develop. I was disappointed that there was less use of the flute on this release , but what flute there is adds to Malibrans unique style. Special mention for guitarist Jerry Litrico who is given real freedom on this Cd to express himself in excellent solos. However , despite my appreciation of all Malibrans CDs beware the vocals. They are at times very poor even tuneless , but luckily they only make up a small proportion of this disc.

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Send comments to platform (BETA) | Report this review (#4644)
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After the live CD "In concerto" one year later Malibran released their fourth album entited "La citta sul lago". Despite the long running time from at about 70 minutes, Malibran succeeds to keep my attention on this CD. The compositions sound alternating featuring many strong shifting moods, breaks and soli and a varied instrumentation (guitars, flute, saxophone, piano). My highlights are: a fiery, wah-wah drenched guitar solo in the titeltrack, a playful percussive break with a biting guitar solo in "The time", a Jethro Tull inspired part in "La stagione del re" and metal guitar and propulsive drums in "Nuvole di vetro". If I compare this CD to their earlier work like "Le porte del silienzio" the Marillion echoes are almost faded away. I trace some elements from Camel (flute and guitars), Genesis (keyboards and 12-string guitars) and Jethro Tull (flute) but gradually Malibran has managed to sound more original. A special word goes to the splendid duo-guitarwork from Guiseppe Scaravelli and Jerry Litrico (in the vein of Rohtery and Latimer), they deliver many moving and exciting soli and duo-guitarplay! FORZA ITALIA!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#48058)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "Malibran" has released two very good albums. This is the third one in a row. "Camel" and "Genesis" were the inspiration for respectively "The Wood of Tales" and "Le Porte del Silenzio".

This album sounds a bit harder but the band will continue to produce beautiful and melodic music. "Distanz" opens almost like "In The Cage" ("The Lamb") and it is the best of the short numbers from this album.

But there will be some marvelously symphonic songs like the sublime "Nuovo Regno". This is a pure jewel of Italian symphonic music. Well in tradition of the genre. Extraordinary and wild guitar solo combined with soft keys work. But these guitars, arghhhhhh... The highlight.

The title track is not the best song they have written. It's a long instrumental featuring partially an improv and chaotic style music. Fortunately, the second part is more a classic "Malibran" songs with nice fluting, great harmony and sweet sax.

During "In The Time", part of the vocals remind me of Peter Hammill. Dark as he could be. Very pleasantly combined with flute as well as piano. It is a bit more hectic than usual but the guitar will play a major role again and raise the quality of this song.

"Magica Attesa" is a complex instrumental. "Tull" and "Camel" atmosphere are very pleasant. There are and lots of theme changes as well. The second part is less appealing : jazzier and more rhythmy. It sounds as another song actually.

This is totally the opposite for "Le Stagione Del Re" which is a nice acoustic piece. Fully Trespass-esque. Very smooth and peaceful. Delicate flute will embellish this pastoral song. Still, it is one of my least fave from the album (excluding the short numbers of course).

The long "Nuvole Di Vetro" opens on a jazzy part but not for long. It will also turn into a very soft song, acoustic for a while. There are lots of theme changes for this very elaborate song. It is not of the caliber of "Nuovo Regno" because I'm missing the great guitar breaks. The final instrumental part falls a bit flat even if a good sax section will bring some variety.

In terms of long compositions, "On The Lightwaves" brings us back well on track with their best material. It is a complex song with powerful vocals (Hammill) is again not far away. Soft melody, great instrumental play. The riff from "Apocalypse" ("Supper's Ready") is "borrowed" for most of the finale (four minutes). But let's not blame them too much for this.

This album is just short when compared to their previous studio work. It is probably their most personal album and I would rate it seven out of ten. But not four stars. So, until further notice three stars will be my rating.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#148195)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars Malibran's "La Citta Sul Lago" comes on the heels of two very commendable past efforts that had some fine progressive moments and certainly had all the ingredients to establish a nice little career. The Sicilian band has some identifiable traits none more obvious than a heavy flute and saxophone presence in the able lungs of Giancarlo Cutuli. Keyboardist Benny Torrisi is typical of the Italian school, very ornate on piano and masterful in coloring the symphonic backdrop with synths and trons. Guitarist Jerry Litrico can howl with the best of them and is no slouch while Italian prog generally can always boast of superior bass and drum combos, no exception to the rule here. These "friends" have been around for over 20 years now and it shows in this their best album yet but the weak vocals are a hard nut to crack as it can easily grate on even enthusiastic ears. From the opening "Distanze" the languid groove is set, as each track has a life of its own. "Nuovo Regno" introduces the various soloists, so as to get a keen picture of their abilities. The singing is in Italian and it comes across fine. The instrumental title track is where the trip really takes off, a synth, bass and flute led excursion to the "City on the Lake" , morphing into a wah-wah drenched furrow that liberates the imperial sax from its bonds and rips with sheer abandon. The track has a reminiscence of the Gong classic "Isle of Everywhere" off the "You" album. Litrico's extended solo has a bluesier tone than Hillage but the exhilaration is definitely there. This is an exceptional track that simmers along nicely. When Cutuli throws in a sorrowful flute lament and the acoustic guitar chimes in, the arrangement veers into another lane, with an effect laden slinky solo. "In the Time Part 1 &2" is a bit difficult to like because the raspy heavily accented singer deflects the pleasure a tad but the music is great nevertheless. Why can't the Italians just stick to their fascinating native tongue, "fer crayin out lewd"? "Magica Attesa" is a folky breeze overtly flaunting the flute, interluding gently until the beat kicks in, very Tullish, proving convincingly that these guys have the instrumental side down pat, with another howler from Jerry Litrico's "electrico" guitar. "La Stagione Del Re" shows that when singer Beppe Scaravelli chooses his native lingo, he doesn't force the notes and the sounds flow delicately from his mouth, an acoustic folk background enchants further, uncomplicated. "Nuvole di Vetro" (Glass Clouds) Part 1 features more limpid flute flights (the quintessential Italo-prog instrument in my opinion), with more windswept Italian vocals and a delicate acoustic lilt and Part 2 , interjects a heftier buzz with ripping guitars, choppy organ and polyrhythmic chaos but maintaining the softer singing! Nice twist! The choir mellotron works in tandem with the driving guitar, finally liberating a sublime saxophone solo that shimmers brightly. Such an evocative yet underused prog instrument! So next up is a very short "Interludio" serving up some more gentle blowing! The epic "On the Lightwaves" sadly returns to the lousy English vocal delivery that just creeps nastily into your mind, sabotaging the contrasting themes. Doctor Cutuli's flute comes to medicate the pain somewhat but the disease is way too rife. An awe-inspiring and elongated lead guitar solo helps forget momentarily the nuisance. The non-vocal "Richiami" is a Middle Eastern flute riff that ends on some soft axe leads.Beautiful booklet artwork and great sound as well. Just stay away from Shakespeare and stick to Dante Alleghieri! 4 corleones.

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#163571)
Posted Sunday, March 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RPI
3 stars Malibran is a modern Italian band that deserves more exposure here on ProgArchives. Their music is reminiscent of classic '70s RPI and their third studio album, La Citta Sul Lago (1998), contains the usual trademark Malibran elements and includes references to metal, space-rock, jazz and Eastern music. The band benefits from the twin guitars of Giuseppe Scaravilli and Jerry Litrico, while Giancarlo Cutuli's flute-play is exquisite as always although his saxophone possibly surpasses it on this album.

There are a total of ten tracks that alternate between songs and instrumentals. The main standouts among these are the three epic tracks that run consecutively on the first half of the album. NUOVO REGNO features some lustrous sax and flute, although it's the killer guitar riffs and stampeding drums that really impress. Two songs on the album contain English- language vocals and the 2-part IN THE TIME is the stronger of the two. It contrasts the tranquillity of mellow flute, piano and vocals with the pyrotechnics of metal-infused guitar and drums. Sandwiched between these two songs is the 10-minute title track. UK giants Camel, Jethro Tull and Genesis clearly influenced much of Malibran's work, but during the first section of this multi-part instrumental there's a definite Focus vibe. The second section heads into space-rock territory with its mellow sax and wah wah guitar. While these three are worthy of special mention, there's not really a bad track on the album.

Overall, La Citta Sul Lago is good but not essential. While its first half is excellent, the second half isn't quite as strong. Malibran albums are generally quite lengthy affairs and this one is just short of the 70-minute mark, so perhaps it would have benefited from a tighter focus. It would still make a nice addition to any RPI collection, but there are other Malibran albums that might be worth checking-out first.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#282086)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Third and longest album by Malibran,these time my feelings are a bit mixed up.While the band still presents their deep-rooted 70's influenced music,the whole album sounds more modern,losing some of the magic of their previous releases.The vocals remain a problem,they are very flat and atonal,while on the English lyrics they are hillarious.On the other hand,the musicianship keeps going at the high level.Pastoral flute parts,dreamy solos and symphonic keys all the way.The addition of the sax makes the album more varied and eclectic,but I do not think it is for its own good,as the band lost some of their identity.

Overall the tracks sound less symphonic and complicated compared to the past,focusing mainly on melody and atmosphere.Still the albums is a good example of modern Italian Prog with big-time retro-inspirations and comes (even that way) recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#453595)
Posted Sunday, May 29, 2011 | Review Permalink

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