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Malibran - Oltre L'Ignoto CD (album) cover



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3 stars This Malibran release,does not appeal to me as much as the wood of tales and Le Porte del siilenzo

There are many positives , slick playing a Genesis influence including a clone of watcher of the skies. There are many extended instrumental passages , but these do not have the same bite as previous CDs More keyboards and much lesess guitar. It also contains tracks which appear to be influenced by Floyd in sound and structure. All of this is ok ,but where is the traditional Malibran sound of great Tull inflluenced flute and out of tune vocals. For those who want a Malibran Tull sound the CD contains a remake of bouree which is also included on the excellent Itullians fan club release songs for Jethro.

For aTull influenced sound you are better advised to check out the wonderfu Uk band Molly Bloom . For more info check out ( When will they be placed on this site ? )

Report this review (#4645)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the last full original album from this excellent Italian band. One of my fave in the genre.

If ever you would like to discover all the magic of Italian symph, I recommend you to listen to "Si Dira Di Me". Nice flute, strong vocals, lush keyboards, complex suite of themes, but more than anything : these keys are absolutely gorgeous. Soft sax as well to complete this nice picture. It is by far the best piece of music. The closing section belongs not only to the best of their repertoire but also to the best of Symphonic rock. Being Italian or generic. The guitar solo will fill all your needs for beauty and This long and beautiful song overshadows any other one.

The title track "Oltre L' Ignoto" also belongs to the best ones of this work. Even if it is a partial rip-off of "Watcher" during the opening. But if you can make abstraction of this start, you'll get the best out of this band : expressive and poignant vocals, harmonious instrumental sections (church organ and so emotional guitar...). The second highlight.

"In Viaggio" is just a little behind. Strongly linked to "Genesis", it holds an excellent guitar solo. Upbeat song (almost neo-prog) at times, it also reminds me "King Crimson" of the very early period (mellotron I guess). The song stops at just over ten minutes After a blank, we'll get a kind of "Jethro Tull" medley from which "Bouree" is the best known one. The band has released a tribute album called "Songs For Jethro" in 2000.

Of course, and for the very first time, there will be several fillers on this short album (according to their standards). All being short tracks like "L' Incontro" which is a pastoral acoustic song and nothing from the other world really. "La Via D'acqua" is the instrumental counterpart even if more pleasant. Third one of the same kind "Verso sud". A dull acoustic and passionless song. Far from their inspired work unfortunately.

The album is also less personal. When you listen to "Mare Calmo", you feel like being on board of "DSOTM". It is a very pleasant instrumental of course which will be appealing to any old nostalgic as I am but you need to like such regressive work to appreciate it.

There is also a weird track featured. "Cerchio Mobile" is partially influenced by electro-funky-pop sound as if "Malibran" was "inspired" by the poor work of "Banco" during the nineties. Not really a good idea IMO.

This album, while being a good one thanks to the three long songs is not the one I prefer and I would recommend their first two albums if you would like to discover this great Italian band.

Three stars.

Report this review (#148825)
Posted Sunday, November 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A fine example of Italian symphonic prog, very much a mixture of ealy Genesis and Jethro Tull. Fine playing throughout and excellent production. I actually prefer this CD to their earlier efforts as it seems a more subtle and 'supple' musical fare, revisiting their original inspirations but also sounding as though they continue to progress as a band. Good enough to make me want to revist their earlier recordings.
Report this review (#156980)
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Released in 2001, Oltre L'Ignoto was the last album Malibran recorded as a six-piece band. The group's official website doesn't contain an abundance of information, and their myspace site doesn't translate into English very well. From what I can gather, band members Giancarlo Cutuli (winds) and Benny Torrisi (keyboards) left during this same year. Whether this was during the recording of this album I don't know. Giuseppe Scaravalli plays virtually all instruments on three tracks here, but he was maybe just doing that McCartney thing rather than filling in for absent colleagues.

Reading through the song list gives the impression this is a concept album. Even with my extremely limited Italian language skills I can tell there's a nautical thread here, with songs about waterways and calm seas. The album artwork reinforces this idea as it depicts a Renaissance-style scene of sailing ships in a harbour. While I can't describe the narrative I do think the compositional unity clinches this as a concept album, with musical themes recurring throughout the disc. On the subject of language, I've no idea if any people are put off RPI because of the Italian language vocals. Personally I prefer bands to sing in the vernacular, and I can't get enough of this type of little-known gem from Italy and the Spanish/Portuguese-speaking worlds. Setting aside the vocals, this album is a real musical feast that has strong shades of prog giants Jethro Tull, Genesis, VDGG and King Crimson. Admittedly this does border on slavish imitation on one song, but more of that later.

The album gets off to a fairly inauspicious start that has the opening moments of Si Dira Di Me flirting with Neo-Prog. However the song quickly settles into more familiar RPI territory with legato flute, sensitive vocals and one of those plaintive electric guitar riffs I'm especially fond of. Playful flute and vibes usher in a section that includes mournful saxophone refrains, doubled on flute. The opening riff reappears with yet more flute, this time of the Ian Anderson-inspired staccato variety. Just when you think the song is finished following further melodious synthesizer and guitar solos, Malibran hit you with a coda straight out of the left field. So typical of those Italians! For a few seconds I'll swear that's David Jackson's rasping saxophone I'm listening to. The second song gets under way with another flute and vibes duet. What is it with Italian bands and vibes? They all seem to use them. Not that I'm complaining mind, as the effect is usually delightful. After this brief intro the main part of Watcher Of The... oops sorry, Oltre L'Ignoto continues with another wonderfully tender melody and sections that contain contrasts of dynamics and tempo.

L'Incontro is the first of the songs on which Giuseppe Scaravalli plays all instruments, albeit with the addition of a couple of string players on this one. It has more than a little of Cadence And Cascade about it. Not the melody as such, but more the general mood of the song. Cerchio Mobile consists of a funk groove on either side of a brief guitar jam that reminds me of German space rockers Eloy, complete with squelching guitar chords. La Via D'Acqua and Verso Sud are the other Giuseppe Scaravalli ''solo'' pieces on the album. The former is a short acoustic instrumental; the latter is more of the same with vocals. Both are fairly innocuous tracks with maybe just a suggestion of filler. Scaravalli's slide guitar on the instrumental Mare Calmo has a bit of Dave Gilmour about it. Actually it's probably more than a bit, and then there's the Any Colour You like synth part. In Viaggio closes the album in epic fashion with the heaviest riffs on the disc. The instrumental closing section that reprises the title track is truly glorious music. There's about 30 seconds of silence before we get a ''hidden'' Jethro Tull tribute and that's your lot.

Hopefully my review doesn't give the impression this album is entirely derivative and fleshed out with fillers. I don't think Malibran make any bones of their influences and there are possibly one or two tracks that are less than outstanding. However thanks to the three top-notch songs here I rate it as excellent and a worthwhile addition to any RPI collection.

Report this review (#267660)
Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After ''La citta sul lago'' several official and unofficial rare studio/live recordings of Malibran saw the light like ''Raccolta 1990 - 1998'' (1998),''In concerto'' and ''Rari ed Inediti'' (both from 2000).In the meantime Malibran even toured in the USA with Giancarlo Cutuli and Benny Torrisi announcing their departure shortly after.So the fourth studio work of Malibran was a bit of an adventure,partly recorded by the whole band and partly recorded by Giuseppe Scaravilli alone.The new album, entitled ''Oltre l'ignoto'', was finally released on Mellow Records,with the band already shortened to a quartet.

Despite the difficult situation the band was going through,''Oltre l'ignoto'' sees Malibran fresh and inspired and fortunately the whole album is sung in Italian for the first time,leaving the dull English vocals behind for good.Musically the album follows the same vein as with ''''La citta sul lago'',their sound is more modern compared to the early days,but still their musicianship has a strong retro influence.Alternating between symphonic arrangements with powerful organ,harmonic flutes and sensitive guitar work and more Neo-Proggish moments with floating synthesizers and strong guitar solos,Malibran are still alive and well,offering some splendid moments among the overall decent stuff of the album,especially in the longer tracks.There are also plenty of acoustic passages with the support of violin,cello and smooth bass to give a sort of dreamy feeling to the album.However a few negative points are still present,apart from their early sound nostalgia.The sparse electronic effects and the distorted guitar at moments seem rather useless,still for the first time Malibran's vocals belong among the highlights of the album.

Another more than decent Malibran release,not so close to their early masterpieces, but a step forward from the previous album.Anyone into modern Italian Symphonic Rock,who does enjoy also some vintage passages,should simply purchase this.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#585505)
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011 | Review Permalink

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