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NotaBene NotaBene album cover
3.77 | 20 ratings | 7 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Terra Madre (6:50)
2. Danza nel Fuoco (7:00)
3. Effimero Regno di Plastica (9:13)
4. Maestrale (7:48)
5. Rosa Bianca (Suite) (13:55)
i) Rosa bianca (Part I)
ii) Notte d'autunno
iii) Rosa bianca (Part II)
6. Altopiano (hidden track) (7:52)

Total Time: 52:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniele Manerba / keyboards, programming, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Silver Pes / guitar, flute
- Gianluca Avanzati / bass
- Gustavo Pasini / drums, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals
- Andrea Alberici / vocals
- Rocco Vitiello / violin, trumpet

Releases information

CD Mellow Records MMP486 (2005)

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NOTABENE NotaBene ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(68%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NOTABENE NotaBene reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Incredible, here's just another fine new Italian progrock band, what a prolific scene! 1. Terra Madre (6:50) : It starts with majestic violin work and warm Italian vocals. Then a mid-tempo featuring a lush and pleasant symphonic rock atmosphere with delicate synthsizer flights, sensitive electric guitar and wonderful violin. The music often brings fellow Italian band Abiogenesi on my mind.

2. Danza Nel Fuoco (7:00) : First a mellow climate with interplay by soft trumpet and piano, followed by a dynamic and bombastic atmosphere delivering powerful organ waves, heavy electric guitar riffs, fiery trumpet and spectacular synthesizer runs, very entertaining!

3. Effimero Regno Di Plastica (9:13) : Again dynamic and bombastic music featuring a catchy rhythm. Lots of great interplay and good soli on organ, violin and guitar, the Italians vocals sound strong with a pleasant, often emotional undertone. Halfway the climate turns from 'heavy progressive' into dreamy with the sound of a string- ensemble, classical orchestrations, choir and violin. The final part is more dynamic and contains wonderful, very sensitive electric guitar, fat synthesizer flights and moving work on the violin.

4. Maestrale (7:48) : This track starts mellow with fine piano, flute and violin. Then many changing climates, from dreamy to propulsive featuring bombastic keyboards (organ and synthesizers). The Italian vocals are strong.

5. Rosa Bianca (Suite) (13:55) : This is Notabene their 'magnum opus', it contains lots of shifting moods, the focus is on swinging Fender Rhodes piano sound and powerful trumpet play. The interplay between the musicians is good, the rhythm-section sounds dynamic. In the end a beautiful, strongly build-up electric guitar solo, from compelling to fiery.

6. Altopiano (7:52) : After a few minutes of silence this 'hidden track' starts, it delivers a great variety, from sparkling piano and fiery electric guitar to a piece with almost Brasilian carnival music!

If you are up to the wonderful Italian progrock scene, I am sure Notabene will please you!

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I bought this album because of Erik 's review and he generally is on the right track (no pun intended) with his comments throughout this site. It's also been an awful longtime since we got any good prog from Italy (No Sound and Chiave Di Volta is not much to chew on for us Italo-progheads). So this Cd comes at the most opportune time, as its damn good!!! We are blessed to have a very good vocalist who let's his bandmates litteraly soar all over this record. The piano always seems the start off point to some great jazzy symph prog , with liberal dashes of violin, trumpet and some fiery up-front lead guitar soloing from Silver Pes. A reptilian monster bassist merges nicely with deft drumming (a particularly consistent attribute of Italian Prog). The Rosa Bianca Suite is a real gem , with some sizzling playing , very moody, very upbeat and very smooth. Maestrale is another winner, but the truth is that the whole thing is positively memorable and will constitute as another fine prog classic, adding to a thick volume of great achievements from Pastaland. 4 white roses
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars.This has pretty much everything I like in an RPI recording. Powerful Italian vocals, some heaviness and beautiful melodies to boot. I'm surprised this band hasn't "taken off" yet to be honest, but with just a few reviews I guess they haven't caught on yet. It's not because of the music that's for sure.The violin and trumpet really add another dimension as well.

There is an organic, warm atmosphere to the opener that I guess I find a lot with Italian prog. I like the synths and we get some trumpet in this one as well. There is some heavy riffing going on during the second song "Danza 'Nel Fuoco", it really rocks out. It opens quietly enough with piano and trumpet before they let it rip. Some powerful organ a minute in and later. Trumpet after 4 minutes. Great track ! "Effimero Regno Di Plastica" opens with spacey synths and spoken words before they are replaced by an incredible soundscape with violin. Drums join in and organ. Powerful sound. Lots of tempo changes in this one. Check out the drumming then the rhythm 2 1/2 minutes in. Vocals follow as guitar joins in. This song is a real ride.

"Maestrale" begins with piano then the flute comes in followed by the violin, with light drums behind it. It gets heavier. This song has so many mood shifts and time changes. It's amazing and also my favourite on the record. It includes a couple of ripping guitar solos, an organ solo along with fragile, emotional vocals. Great song ! Lastly the fifth and final track clocks in at almost 14 minutes.This epic includes some beautiful piano and trumpet, spacey synths, some atmospheric Jazz and on and on, yeah, these guys can play ! Bravo ! The hidden track is a bonus as well as it continues the magic.

I am so impressed with this album, it seems to have it all yet it flows beautifully.This review doesn't do it justice.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4.5 stars to be honest...

Among my best prog discoveries,NOTABENE are a new Italian band (possibly from Brescia) formed in 2003 with a dramatic and personal progressive sound.Influenced by both symphonic and jazz Italian rock bands of the 70's,their eponymous debut release is a endless journey in the world of skills,emotions and changing moods.Adapting a somewhat heavy symphonic sound,NOTABENE's style is based on alternating raw/melodic guitar parts,an intense vocal performance and the fantastic Hammond organ work,while some smooth flutes delicate their sound.Their haunting symphonic approach is often digged by the amazing fusion/ethnic breaks of Rocco Vitello's violin,close to the likes of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA or even QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA,and the additinal cultural trumpet doses.An fascinating work for lovers of rich top-notch musicianship.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This is a very interesting album from the new Italian prog scene. Some interesting instruments are producing a very typical sound (flute, vibraphone, violin and to a lesser extent trumpet).

The album opens on one of the highlights: "Terra Madre" is a jewel which could only be produced by an Italian band. Melodic, peaceful, harmonious and emotional. The violin play is really beautiful and the vocals are on par. But the genre has already provided lots of great vocalists. Andrea Alberici is one of them.

The style is drastically different on the following track : "Danza Nel Fuoco" sounds almost metal. Upbeat, it features a guitar riff la "Iron Maiden". The trumpet intervention is not always welcome and even if some Oriental mood enriches this track during the second half, it is my least favorite from this album.

The atmosphere remains solid during "Effimero Regno Di Plastica" which is a complex track, mostly instrumental. It features wild key passages and great drumming. As this is Italian music, it is also combined with a wonderful and truly symphonic part (the whole second half). Magnifique! Another highlight.

But this album is very pleasant almost all the way through. The introduction of "Maestrale" is another jewel of this great genre. The melody is exceptional during these two minutes and opens the way to an excellent track. Sweet violin play and almost church organ are a great combination. Not to forget the vocal performance either of course. Should I say highlight? The third one already!

The last song of this album is a long three pieces suite which is fully in-line with the other parts of this very good album. Complex musical interplay dominated by keyboards. Again, the passion heavily sweats. Maybe that the trumpet might not be really necessary (Rocco Vitiello could have concentrate more on the violin).

Some jazzy parts during the second half contrast with the symphonic sounds available on all the other numbers. "Rosabianca" is probably a bit too long, although the harmonium sounds is quite pleasant towards the end.

And for once there is a good hidden track. It changes from some poor ones which is usually the case. It is more straight forward and I prefer it to "Rosabianca". More guitar available, which is fine since not too much was featured so far. A very good way to close this work.

Seven out of ten, but I'll upgrade it to four stars.

I really hope to be able to go and see them live but when I look at their web-site, the last concert featured took place in February 2007 and almost all their concerts are played in the Brescia area (close to the Northern lakes); so I'm afraid that I won't be able to see them any time soon. A pity.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This one has a taken a bit of time to appreciate. This is not particularly complex Italian prog (not that it needs to be), and the first two songs seemed overly simplistic to me on the first few listens. But, like most Italian symphonic, this has show itself to be emotionally resonant, with that ... (read more)

Report this review (#157627) | Posted by infandous | Friday, January 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 9/10 One of the best of the current crop of Italian prog bands. Superb largely instrumental symphonic passages with superb soloing by all concerned. Strong shifts of mood and meter maintain the listener's interest throughout and a great blend of modern sounds with vintage sensibilities.. A thor ... (read more)

Report this review (#156979) | Posted by barp | Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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