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SEI LACRIME D'AMBRA

NotaBene

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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NotaBene Sei Lacrime d'Ambra album cover
3.95 | 36 ratings | 12 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Revolution Bourgeoise (parte I) (6:41)
2. Le Mistificazioni dell'Ombra (11:32)
3. Maschera di Cera (4:43)
4. Sei Lacrime d'Ambra (7:14)
5. Il Treno di Obuda (16:05)
- Lo Scrigno dei Sogni
- Pensieri che Mutano
- Il Viaggio
- La Magia dell'Isola
- The Return of Life
6. La Revolution Bourgeoise (parte II) (17:06)
- Il Sonno della Ragione Genera Mostri
- Intermezzo
- Bolero pour un Generation Defunte
- Il Ritorno

Total Time: 63:21

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Daniele Manerba / keyboards, choruses
- Giampietro Maccabiani / electric and classic guitarchitarra, mandolin
- Gianluca Avanzati / electric bass, stick
- Gustavo Pasini / drums, percussions, voices
- Andrea Alberici / lead vocalist

Releases information

CD Mellow Records MMP496 - January 2007
Recorded and mixed at the Gussago (Brescia - Italy) "Noise Studio"
Arranged and produced by NotaBene
Cover art by Cristina Zurolo

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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NOTABENE Sei Lacrime d'Ambra ratings distribution


3.95
(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

NOTABENE Sei Lacrime d'Ambra reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After their wonderful and acclaimed eponymous debut album, here is the new album by Italian symphonic prog band Notabene. It contains six compositions, three have a running time between 10 and 20 minutes. But this no problem because Notabene succeeds to keep my attention during the entire album: lots of fine shifting moods, wonderful, often howling guitar soli, some flashy synthesizer soli (like on La Revolution Bourgeoise Parte II) and warm Italian vocals with that typical Mediterenean dramatic undertone. I was also pleased by the delicate musical surprises like a jazzy piano part in Le Mistificazioni Dell'Ombra, mandolin and accordion in the titletrack and a break with percussion in Il Treno Di Obuda. Notabene their most pleasant element is the interplay between the guitar and keyboards, this remind me of another fine Italian band named Nuova Era like in the song La Revolution Bourgeoise (parte I). In my opinion Notabene has matured after their promising first album, I am sure that many progheads and symphomaniacs will be delighted about this new album!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#110229) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 01, 2007

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Year 2007 has started very well. The second Notabene's album to date is a convincing symphonic effort inspired by the italian prog tradition (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Locanda delle Fate mainly) within interesting and distinctive deep vocals provided by Andrea Alberici who reminds somehow the famous singer-songwriter Francesco Guccini.

Over 63 minutes of catching melodies erupting from fine arrengements and based on electric guitar' excellent solos and keyboards marvellous adventures. Bass and drums are also strong and passionate. Generally the sound isn't very varied and complex, tough, only some wonderful mandolin's and flute's excursions apart as in the great track "Sei Lacrime d'Ambra" (7,14 mns). This is my favourite track for the romantic parts alternating with shifting moods and uptempos, the pompous arrengements, the aggressive electric guitar and the mellow accordion.

Another track worthy of special mention is the long "Il Treno di Obuda" (16,05 mns) which starts with evocative recitative vocals and fades into a strong bass'n'drum work reminding me of the Jethro Tull's tune "Paradise Steakhouse". Vocals come then changing the general mood into a more melodic and optimistic feel alternating with instrumental parts that at the 7th minute on becomes beautifully dark. Then a quasi-ethno part with percussions and keyboards' noises introducing another convincing symphonic part that hides, wisely, a touch of jazzy flavour. The only negative remark are the vocals in the last two minutes that are sung in english with strong italian accent.

I still haven't listen to the Notabene's debut. All I can say is that Sei Lacrime d'Ambra deserves its place in the group of the great italian prog records of the recent years.

Let's hope Notabene will continue to add new releases in their discography and to please our exigent ears.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#113609) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 26, 2007

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Fascinating release by this Italian band.

The band obviously has it's roots firmly based in the 70's, and are quite fond of using very 70's sounding hard rock guitar chops in the songs. They are just as fond of using keyboards to deliver symphonic touches to the songs; mixing guitar chops with melodic guitar playing and soloing, using lots of piano partly instead of and partly in addition to more regular synths, and enjoys inserting the odd jazz-inspired themes and moods too. That the synths here at times sound like Marillion and Genesis combined; before heading out in Pink Floyd inspired themes makes it even harder to place them.

Quirky song structures with a lot of movement between moods, themes and styles and a sound that at most times comes across as hard rock symphonic rock this is a release mostly for a select crowd. Fans of symphonic rock and hard rock that doesn't mind the slightly dramatic Italian vocals here will most likely enjoy this release.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#156419) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 23, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This great Italian band produced another beautiful album. Their second one.

It is so nice to be able to listen to such wonderful music. Bearing in mind that "Nota Bene" is such a new band only adds more greatness to their work. The central song of this album is the epic "La Révolution Bourgeoise" which is spread over twenty-four minutes (but in two parts).

The first is as magical as one could dream of. Italian prog at its best. One could think that the genre died in the late seventies, when the three major (Banco, PFM, Le Orme) turned from their excellent original music into some sort of electro pop or related stuff. When you listen to "La Révolution Bourgeoise - Part I", you instantly know that something special is going to take place.

The band shared the bill with the great "Maschera Di Cera" during some touring in Italy and the influence from this fantastic band is of course very much present. Not only during "Il Treno." but globally upon their entire work. There is even a track called "Maschera Di Cera". Could they be more grateful? I guess not.

While one listens to "Sei Lacrime D'Ambra", there is only one word that comes through my mind : CHAPEAU. Hats off. Music like I was listening in the early mid seventies. No wonder that I love this marvellous band so much.

Two epic numbers close this beautiful album. Just to confirm that the epics days are not gone. But the great "Maschera Di Cera" already confirmed this recently.

"Il Treno Di Obuda" holds everything a lover of this genre is found of : wonderful instrumental passages, inspired vocals, glorious keyboards play, lots of theme changes. Not to forget the sumptuous drumming from Gustavo Pasini. Of course, musicianship has always been a characteristic of these gifted Italian band, but I can't be laudatory enough about "Nota Bene" to encourage you to discover how good they are.

Fortunately, such band as "Nota Bene" do still exist to catch up and hold the prog flag pretty high. I can't think of such a great English band nowadays. I honestly believe that the Italian genre is the only one to keep on producing such great Symphonic prog talents as "Nota Bene".

The music proposed might not be love at first sight (although it was for me), but please : keep on digging into their work. You will be rewarded with so much diversity, skilled performance and clever compositions. But of course, I might be biased since I am so in love with the sounds of all these great Italian bands. If ever you have some doubts about my feelings for "Il Treno", let me confirm that it is a masterpiece of progressive music.

This is an immense album. Five stars? Yes! It is a shame that so little reviews are posted for such a great album on a prog site. So now, you know what you have to do. Just listen to this superb album and talk about it.

Very few current bands (as I used to call them), do produce such emotional, powerful, beautiful, inspired and creative music as "Nota Bene". A gem.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#162997) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 01, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Vintage symphonic prog from today for selected listners

After i read the beautiful and full of meaning review of Zowie Ziggy about this albim, i said to my self, i must get this one to check them out. Surprise this album knock out of my socks, really, super from capo al fine, a masterpice of prog music. The band has it's roots in the 70's italian symphonic prog, and are quite fond of using very 70's sounding prog, the result is a stunning symphonic album of the highest calibre. The synth are present on every piece and with guitars solos and melodic aproach give to the listner a pleasent discovery all through the album. Even in some places are some jazzy intenspired themes and moods. The album sounds very strong for a young band, and is among the best albums i heard from today. Sei lacrime d'ambra has a lots of strong structures, nice moods, time signatures so a big 5 album for me. Fans of vintage italian prog bands will love this album. The first 2 pieces are the best from here, the rest are also very great and well done, every musian is sure on his instrument and capable to release something for a true value in the future of prog. So an importand album in symphonic prog from today, among the best in last years and desearve a much more attention from prog conoseurs, because they desearve it. Very rare i give 5 stars to a young band, but Notabene and specially their second album Sei lacrime d'ambra is a masterpiece of moder symphonic prog. Recommended, amazing music

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#177911) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Notabene's second effort is a quantum leap forward (guess that's what is meant by "progression") after some manpower changes, namely a new guitarist and the disappearance of the violin/trumpet element that made the debut so unique. The sophomore release wastes little time in boldly stating its colors, "La Revolution Bourgeoise Parte1" instills a raucous and hard-edged classic RPI ride with ballsy guitar musings that recalls the mythical Foglie di Vetro , operatic Italian language vocals and mounds of dense atmosphere. The 11 minute "Le Mistificazioni dell'Ombra" keeps the pace hectic, with heady doses of raging and passionate vocals, including some satanic/sardonic laughter , variances in mood and textures , at times dreamy and then subtly grimy and sweaty, where Giampietro Maccabiani's manic riffing keeps the pace ablaze with the keyboard complicity of the effusive Daniele Manerba. Drummer Gus Pasini is a stalwart drummer (who also chairs the more pastoral Corte Aulica) who can rock, jazz and roll with great skill, especially in a duet with Manerba's piano. Gianluca Avanzati shows considerable dexterity in handling the bass and never disappoints even on the Stick. This piece epitomizes the continuing legacy of the hard-edge faction within RPI's new bands that openly favors harsher climates instead of the Celeste/Höstsonaten pastoral symphonics. In that sense, Notabene is closer to Il Bacio della Medusa, at least in style and spirit. "Maschera di Cera" is a more traditional RPI piece that broods within the confines of Italian folk, loaded with acoustic guitars and tons of spirited singing that takes center stage with unbridled eloquence. The title track is yet another winner, again espousing burly vocal tendencies, this time with rather palpable Jethro Tull influences (the inveterate main guitar-led theme for one), the playing relying on some overt classicisms in terms of intricacy, where the piano and mandolin take turns at shining through the opaque electric guitar clouds that permeate the arrangement. Maccabiani's screaming guitar solo is a treat as well as the immediately thereafter jazzy romp. Andrea Alberici has a pleasant and powerful voice that complements the music tremendously. The surprising accordion makes an impromptu cameo appearance at the very end that is quite stunning. The next masterful 16 minute epic , "Il Treno di Obuda" (which I presume recalls the impressions of a train ride in a section of Budapest -Obuda means "old Buda"- a city composed of the hilly Buda and the flat Pest , both partitioned by the mighty Danube). The music combines the tension of hard-rock gymnastics, the playfulness of typical RPI and some amusing jazz leanings that provide candor, contrast and a hint of welcome rebellion. This piece is also a definite highlight, constantly stretched by assorted pressures and directions, truly breaking the standard and daring to voyage into exhilarating soundscapes (such as the African percussion motifs midway through). A wonderful ride full of unexpected triumphs and tribulations, what prog was really meant to be in terms of experimentation! The final English vocal part is really quite clever, thick Italian accent and all! BTW, that was the idea! Knowing that they are on momentum's favorite track, the band closes out with a extended 17 minute reprise of the opening salvo, " La Revolution Bourgeoise Parte 2" , a severely developed musical adventure that searches out pitilessly the very far reaches of expression. A true modern masterpiece of unmitigated proportions . The raunchy guitar riff introduces wobbly synth motifs, vigorous drumming, some sexy bass and a fantastic atmosphere laden with expressive creativity. The guitar really shines brightly as if wired to explode, gloomy little snippets aimed at inducing even more angst, Alberici's vocals growing in zeal as if hypnotized by the entire concept, a true talent . Maccabiani solos forcefully again, showing that he is a force to be reckoned with. There is very little to express negative comments about in this fine release, perhaps a little more overt soloing would help but these are team players of the first order and they stick to playing it their way. While perhaps as good as Bacio della Medusa second effort, the true essence of this band's future will appear with the next one, creating a dud or an outright masterpiece. This is close to that perfect mark but not quite yet. Certainly a recent RPI group that needs to be followed closely and an excellent addition to any Italo-Prog collection. 4.5 amber tears.

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#209771) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 02, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars NOTABENE's debut completely floored me back in 2006 when I first listened to it. I ended up giving it a well deserved 4.5 stars. Their second album has a bit of a different feel with a new lead guitarist and their violin / trumpet player has left. It took me longer to warm up to this one and I still feel it's not nearly as good as the debut.

"La Revolution Bourgeoise (Parte 1)" opens with spoken word samples as heavy guitar and drums come in. Nice. Again the organ really brings some Sweden bands to mind just like their debut album did. It settles then we get vocals before 2 minutes. Not a big fan of how he seems to shout the lyrics. Great section before 4 minutes with guitar and organ though. "Le Mistificazioni Dell'Ombra" puts the focus on the vocals as the guitar, drums and organ support early. Lots of tempo changes and mood shifts on this 11 1/2 minute track. Nice guitar 4 1/2 minutes in especially a minute later. I like the heavy sound that comes and goes. "Mashera Di Cera" opens with the guitar grinding away as the organ runs wild. Some good bass lines as well before it settles with reserved vocals and gentle guitar. It is so uplifting before 1 1/2 minutes as his vocals get more passionate.

"Sei Lacrime D'Ambra" has some good bombast early before gentle vocals and piano take over. Again lots of tempo changes. Guitar joins in and flute later. Scorching guitar before 5 minutes then it calms right down with accordion. "Il Treno Di Obuda" is 16 minutes long and quite the journey. It begins with spoken words then a nice heavy sound with organ, drums and guitar comes in. Sounds like mellotron after 3 minutes. A brighter sound follows with vocals. Heaviness after 7 1/2 minutes with piano and bass. I like the guitar before 13 minutes but it's even better a minute later ! Emotional vocals follow, what a great way to end this song. "La Revolution Bourgeoise (Parte 2)" is the 17 minute closer. It opens with guitar before keyboards join in. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in and a great sound with it. A dark calm before 7 minutes and a vocal melody also joins in as the guitar grinds away. Marching style drums come in joined by some excellent guitar. A calm with piano 11 1/2 minutes in and almost spoken vocals join in then guitar at 15 minutes.

While I didn't like this nearly as much as the debut it's clear that most reviewers do so please check it out. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#211421) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Among the new prog bands frm Italy, Notabene is one of the busiest ones - only two years after their debut album, their sophomore effort "Sei Lacrime d'Ambra" graced the market, and it didn't take too long before it started eventually gathering positive feedback from fans and reviewers. The heritage from the hard rock trend of clasic Italian symphonic rock makes this band related to Nuova Era, Chiave di Volta and Ubi Maior, but you can also notice traces from Genesis' old-school melodic sense, also traces of contemporary symphonic prog's dynamics, plus some jazzy tricks settled in for good effect. The fact that half of the album's tracks last 11 to 17 minutes indicates a strong confidence of Notabene for their creative juices: indeed, the compositional creativity is more accomplished here than in the promising debut album. The album kicks off with the first part of 'La Revolution Bourgeoise', which reveals itself as the central item in thsi tracklist. It bears lots of punch throughout the well-ordaind fluidity than runs the various motif and mood shifts. The organ and lead guitar are in charge of the center stage, while the drummer's endeavors allows the whole sonic structure build up solidly. Following is the first long piece, 'Le Mistificazioni dell'Ombra', whose lyricism may somewhat remind us of Sithonia for the opening motif, but eventually things strongly wander on a powerful display of muscular sonorities, properly augmented with jazz-rock flavors, and this makes the band lean closer to the paragon of Museo Rosenbach. 'Machera di Cera' is built on a clever alternance of acoustic and electric instrumentations, which curiously may remind us of Zuffanti's LMDC [and I seriously doubt that this personal impression has anything to do with the song's title]. Next, the namesake track delivers a precious set of varied themes clearly articulated within a 7 minute framework: the inclusion of mandolin and teh conclusion on a bossanova-like swing give this song a peculiar colorfulness. 'Il Treno di Obuda' is a 16 minute suite that sets the firstsomber moods in the album, which turn out to be more greyish than actually dark. But this is only part of the pictutre, and in fact, the predominant ambiences are staged on an optimistic mood. Once again, the utilization of occasional jazzy arrangements helps to generate a healthy dose of variety to the melodies' development. Manerb'as keyboards seem influenced by Bardens and Banks in distinct moments. The album's last 17 minutes are occupied by the second part of 'La Revolution Bourgeoise', which retakes a couple of motifs from Part 1, and then elaborates a magnificent progressive architecture. The 'Bolero pour un Generation Defunte' section brings martial airs augmented by a mysterious, ethereal vibration, while the last section gets started with a lovely piano passage that graudally sets the foundation for the joyful coda. Notabene is, most of all, a band with clear idea sabout what the essence of prog rock has always been, and from there, it aims at preserving it for our contemporary times. This album entitled "Sei Lacrime d'Ambra" is prooof that their ideas are accurate, and what's more, the band members have enough talent and efficiency to make things really happen in prog music.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#241025) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI
4 stars Sei Lacrime d'Ambra (2007) is the second album by contemporary Italian band NotaBene. The album runs for over an hour and contains only 6 tracks. That running time allows for plenty of detailed arrangements on the long multi-part epics, and means it's tailor-made for fans of Italian symphonic prog. Lead singer Andrea Alberici has a fine voice, deep and confident, but there are plenty of extended instrumental passages such as the jazzy improvisation on LE MISTIFICAZIONI DELL'OMBRA. The music generally has a nostalgic feel that harks back to the '70s, but it's not just a re-hash of the classics that seemingly influenced it. It has a fresh, modern sound with sections of LA REVOLUTION BOURGEOISE (PARTE II) reminding me of alt-rock and even synthesizer-pop. There's also the seemingly obligatory folk influence in the mandolin and accordion of SEI LACRIME D'AMBRA.

As far as the other songs go, LA REVOLUTION BOURGEOISE (PARTE I) is dominated by a metal-tinged guitar riff, MASCHERA DI CERA is a catchy mainstream song, and the multi- section IL TRENO DI OBUDA contains one of the album's best melodies. This is another of those albums that sits somewhere between good and excellent. It's accessible yet interesting, varied yet cohesive. Given that there's a dedication to ProgArchives (among notable others) in the cd's booklet, I think the band deserves some attention here so I'm going to go with 4 stars. Hopefully they can win over a few new fans thanks to this great place.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#292599) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars NotaBene were formed in Brescia in 2003 on the initiative of Gustavo Pasini (drums, percussion, vocals) and Gianluca Avanzati (bass), both former members of a band called Lithos. After a first eponymous album in 2005 and some line up changes, in 2007 NotaBene released their best work so far, "Sei lacrime d'ambra" (Six tears of amber), on the independent label Mellow Records. On this album the line up features, along with Gustavo Pasini and Gianluca Avanzati, Andrea Alberici (vocals), Giampietro Maccabiani (guitars, mandolin) and Daniele Manerba (keyboards, vocals). NotaBene's sources of inspiration range from classical to jazz, from the prog masters of the seventies to Italian melody and "canzone d'autore" but the band managed to shape an original sound blending new ideas and reminiscences from the past. The result is quite good and on this work music flows away steadily conveying feelings and emotions, without weak moments.

The opener "La révolution bourgeoise (parte I)" starts bringing echoes from the seventies... Breaking news report the murder of the Italian poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. It happened one night in Rome in November 1975, during the "years of lead" when every day shootings in the streets, riots and hard slogans used to poison Italy. Music and lyrics try to drive you back in time. What's the legacy of those days of ideological fighting? Disillusion rules by now... "We are slaves of an illusion and of our holes of memory / We've lost the last train trying to find a faith in which nobody believes anymore...".

Next comes the long and complex "Le mistificazioni dell'ombra" (The mystifications of the shade) that starts depicting the bleak reality of a loser who lives into the shade and dislikes other people. Then the light of hope turns on... "There's no need to live in the dark / Stop grudging, it's dawn by now / It's a sunny day, if you want it...". Let truth lead your actions... "Ego veritas, tuarum actionum dux sum!". The instrumental coda is excellent.

"Maschera di cera" (Mask of wax) is an introspective track about the need to hide themselves from other people because being sincere is not convenient. Sometimes we have to put on a mask of wax to protect our fragility, it's easy to get lost in this life where there are so many nuances... "Mask of wax drip down from the face / I can see a new look that I don't know / Perhaps it's just a natural changing / A mutation that I can not accept...".

"Sei lacrime d'ambra" (Six tears of amber) is bittersweet and dreamy. It features clear classical influences and many changes of mood and atmosphere. Lyrics depict the disappointment for a reality that exploits people and then throws them away, worn out. The wish to leave is strong and you look at the sky. Suddenly a mysterious shadow comes down inviting you to fly away taking with you nothing but your dearest dreams... "Souls here can happily fly / No condemns nor judgements because of what you are / Freedom to express yourself at your best / Respect and passion for everything...".

"Il treno di Obuda" (The train to Obuda) is a beautiful suite in five parts. It's a tribute to the Sziget Festival, one of the most important music and cultural festivals in Europe that is held every year in August in Hungary, on an island on the Danube, Obuda, close to Budapest. The suite tells of a boy who sets off with his backpack and goes to Obuda by train carrying with him his dreams while tiredness and troubles are left behind. The journey leads to the magic of the island... "It seems a theatre without walls / A big stage made of living dreams...".

The last track is the second part of "La révolution bourgeoise (parte II)". It's a long and complex suite in four parts dealing with the generational gap. What's left of the ideological struggles of the seventies? Well, after so many years spent running after illusions and dreams you realize that youth is gone and that the sleep of reason generates monsters... "I believed to have jumped into the future / But eventually it was just the usual illusion / Now I look back and I laugh a little bit / They have persuaded me that reality is different...". Finally the truth hits hard and takes you back to your roots, you look in the mirror and what you see is not a boy but a man... "In the mirror I can't see my face / It's my father's face... And then I can hear the cry of a baby / He wants me, yes, I'm his daddy / I know that this is the whole story / The beginning is the end...".

On the whole a very good album and an excellent addition to every prog collection!

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#303494) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 11, 2010

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars The prog community received warmly Notabene's debut and the Italian progsters soon moved on with the process of recording its follow up.In 2006 the band worked hard for three months at Noise Studio in Gussago, Brescia and the next year Notabene's sophomore effort ''Sei lacrime d'ambra'' was released again on Mellow Records.

The album continues along the lines already drawn by the five-piece act on their debut and their sound flirts intensively with the Retro Prog style of LA MASCHERA DI CERA.Well-crafted, pounding and dynamic Progressive Rock with huge vintage blinks and a style ranging from Classic Symphonic Rock to Heavy Prog, thus recalling the goodies offered in the past by ALPHATAURUS, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, MUSEO ROSENBACH or IL BALLETO DI BRONZO.Lots of complex time changes, impressive and attacking breaks, rough and expressive vocal work and powerful interplays try to find place in Notabene's compositions and the result is pretty great.Nice and versatile guitar work by Giampietro Maccabiani with jazzy chops, heavier grooves and more delicate solos, even nicer keyboard performance by Daniele Manerba filled with sudden changes, from 70's-influenced organ waves to jazzy piano interludes to strong synthesizer moves.But Notabene never forget to throw in some good melodies as well with more sensitive approach in a typical Italian romantic style.Two out of the six compositions exceed the 16-min. mark, being great examples of grandiose Italian Prog with solid arrangements, the only semi-weak point being some Neo Prog-sounding synths that are quite nice but hurt a bit the consistency of an otherwise 70's-sounding album.

Unfortunately Notabene faded away after this release with only one more appearance on the 2008 compilation album ''Dante's Inferno: The Divine Comedy - Part I'' and I am pretty sure they even had an official announcement of their demise back at the time, automatically listing them among the unfairly lost Italian bands of the new era.''Sei lacrime d'ambra'' still is a fantastic example of furious and dynamic first class Progressive Rock and of course highly recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#898829) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013

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3 stars Nota Bene have been around since 2003, releasing two albums and gaining a strong reputation as one of the leading Italian bands in running. While their sound is rooted in the '70s tradition, Nota Bene has a strong tendency to experiment with many approaches and have solidified themselves as "th ... (read more)

Report this review (#174495) | Posted by jimmy_row | Thursday, June 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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