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Finisterre Finisterre album cover
3.70 | 75 ratings | 7 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aqua (2:54)
2. Asia (5:10)
3. Macinaaqua, Macinaluna (8:50)
4. Caos (3:09)
5. SYN (15:11)
6. Isis (7:46)
7. Cantoantico (11:33)
8. Phaedra (7:01)

Total Time: 61:34

Bonus tracks on 1995 LP edition:
9. Harlequin (3:08)
10. Refugees (5:50)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stefano Marelli / electric, acoustic, Classical & 12-string guitars, vocals (3,6)
- Sergio Grazia / flute, guitar, backing vocals
- Boris Valle / Polymoog, Minimoog, keyboards, piano, composer
- Fabio Zuffanti / 4- & 5-string basses, vocals (7)
- Marco Cavani / drums, drum machine, percussion

- Edmondo Romano / tenor & soprano saxes, recorder
- Osvaldo Loi / violin, viola
- Claudio Castellini / tenor vocals
- Francesca Biagini / contralto vocals, lead vocals & flute (10)
- Paolo Carraffa / soprano vocals
- Stefano Cabrera / cello (10)
- Marcello Mazzocchi / drums (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Brunetto De Battè

CD Mellow Records ‎- MMP 254 (1995, Italy)

2xLP Mellow Records ‎- MMLP 104/105 (1995, Italy) With 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FINISTERRE Finisterre ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

FINISTERRE Finisterre reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars Widely favorably regarded as a modern classic, FINISTERRE's debut recording is magic to the ears. FINISTERRE blend the musical sophistication with the beauty of the 70's prog legends. This is pure original material and is 100% solid progressive music sure to please all fans. FINISTERRE have a very modern sound and do not sound like anyone else for comparison purposes. This is one of my favorite 90's prog releases from Italy. FINISTERRE blend classical piano with outrageous guitar and drum interplay. Each song has been carefully crafted and is very detailed.
Review by lor68
4 stars Well honestly the right rate should be a bit inferior (3 stars and an half), regarding of the harmonic breaks through in charge of the flute and the guitar only, but it's a minor defect!! All the rest is well performed and arranged and deserves a 4 stars rating, expecially when the impact is strong on the listener. Unfortunately this album stands alone as their best effort, being characterized by a certain personal touch of their own...afterwards they started becoming derivative and less personal. This is my opinion and, as this band from Genoa shared the Italian Progressive scene with Eris Pluvia in the early nineties, they deserve anyway a major attention.. moreover recently they have tried to emulate the traditional English Prog genre, rather than looking for a more personal way, talking about the music exploration: this fact is quite disappointing for me, but it hasn't affected my opinion definitively...listen to their debut album and then if you're curious check the other titles out!!I'm waiting for their coming back to their roots and at the moment the other albums are not captivating enough for me!

It never minds, their debut album is recommended!!

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I I quite like Fabio Zuffanti's musical projects to say the least ("La Maschera Di Cera"and "Hostsonaten"). So, I was really interested in listening to this one to check out if he could be on the same quality level with "Finisterre".

After a poor start, "Asia" is almost Crimsonesque (the early days of course). Some great fluting and guitar are on the menu. It's the first good moment of this debut album. I have a more mixed feeling about "Macinaaqua, Macinaluna". I don't fully understand the necessity of mixing fully classic themes, musical comedy (Gershin) with prog. The opera-like vocals are not convincing either. Only the last part of the song will hold some great symphonic moments. But two minutes out of almost nine is not enough.

The instrumental "...Dal Caos..." deserves its title. Fully choatic, improvised music : Crimson in all the glory...The first three songs are not really on par with what I had thought.

The longest song of the album "SYN" also diplays some classical flavours. Great piano, but moreover : beautiful flute. This song is one of the best of the album. Lots of different themes, nice spanish guitar, good sax, It is a very complex piece of music. Difficult to follow but great. I guess that we can call it Italian prog at its best. Very harmonious, passionate. It is NOT an easy track to discover.

"Isis" opens on some choirs and aerial keyboards. The guitar work in the second half pleases me a lot. The music of "Finisterre" is here again, complex. In certain aspects of their work, they could be related with "La Maschera" 'which is nothing but normal, of course). But less melodic. Still, "Isis" features some wonderful instrumental moments.

"Canto Antico" is full of sweetness and beauty and therefore it is my fave of the album. It is the one which reminds me the most of "La Maschera" (and it is probably the reason why I like it so much). Great rhythm, superb flute again; it mixed Oriental mood with the most beautiful Italian prog sounds. You should really listen to this piece of music. Italian prog in all its splendour. As "Phaedra". A poignant closing number with excellent guitar work.

I am somewhat disillusioned with this album. It is a good one, but based on "Hostsonaten" and "La Maschera", my expectations were probably too high. Three stars for this "Finisterre" debut album which starts to be interesting from "Eyn" onwards.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a good debut album from FINISTERRE, although it doesn't measure up to the follow up "In Limine". Interesting that they thank George Gershwin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Jimi Hendrix in the liner notes amongst others.

"Aqua" is a 3 minute track with piano and synths throughout. The synths cry out at times. It blends into "Asia" with a full sound coming quickly. Drums and flute lead the way 1 1/2 minutes in as bass throbs. Guitar comes in during this uptempo melody. I like when it slows down and the guitar comes in with some beautiful melodies. "Macinaaqua,Macinaluna" sounds great to open with the heavy drums and synths. Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in followed by a brief piano solo. Back to the scorching guitar. Nice. The piano interludes continue with vocals 3 minutes in that get quite theatrical. More ripping guitar 6 minutes in with a great sound 7 1/2 minutes in. "...Dal Caos..." features some cool sounding odd-metered drumming with guitar. Jazzy bass lines 1 1/2 minutes in. Sax comes in and does get dissonant at times. This is one of my favourite tunes on here.

"SYN" is the longest track at 15 minutes. Lots of piano, flute and guitar early with sax becoming prominant. I really like the tasteful guitar that ends 7 minutes in. It calms down 9 minutes in until some raw sounding guitar comes in after 10 minutes. It then stays mellow until the end. "Isis" opens with a spacey,dreamy soundscape with vocals. The tempo picks up with flute and drums 1 1/2 minutes in. The guitar 3 minutes in is great. A calm after 4 minutes as different sounds come and go quietly. "Cantoantico" opens with keys, light drums and flute. Scorching guitar a minute in. Reserved vocals and solemn flute 2 1/2 minutes in. The sounds builds as flute and drums lead the way. I like the way the drums build quickly 9 1/2 minutes in as vocal melodies arrive followed by some excellent guitar. "Phaedra" is a good uptempo instrumental with keys leading the way early. It gets spacey after 1 1/2 minutes. Guitar and piano take turns sharing the spotlight the rest of the way.

I recommend this one,"In Limine" and "La Meccanica Naturale" from this excellent Italian band, and the latter is my favourite.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars FINISTERRE are another project of the modern-era Italian mastermind Fabio Zuffanti.After my previous pleasant experience with MASCHERA DI CERA's amazing debut,it was time for me to go on and search for another Zuffanti project and how this sounds.My choice was FINISTERRE's debut album from 1995 and I didn't regret it...

There is some common ground between the music of FINISTERRE and MASCHERA...,but there are also some evident differences.Generally this album is sounding like a modern italian symphonic rock band like MASCHERA...,but I think the influences here are wider.There are some complex Crimson-esque arrangements,the band has a more symphonic sound resembling to BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO- unlike MASCHERA...,who sound a lot like MUSEO ROSENBACH-,but there are also some hints of the british prog scene especially in the guitar melodies...

After a weak start with the uninteresting ''Aqua'' intro,the band delivers a nice combination of italian and british prog in ''Asia'' with superb guitars and excellent flute work.''Macinaaqua'' has also an uninteresting rocking/classical 3 min.intro,but then the track is simply excellent with the melodic guitars and the dramatic vocals creating an over-emotional atmosphere...In ''Da Caos'' the band pays a tribute to KING CRIMSON with complex composition and Fripp-ian guitar work...''EYN'' is the absolute epic of the album and it is really hard for me to describe it...Very symphonic,complex musicianship alternating with melodic,the use of instruments like spanish guitar,flute,accordeon and saxes give a different color to this track,heavy keyboars and overall an italian symphonic atmosphere of the 70's is what you'll get,simply amazing,worth buying this album only for this track!''Isis'' is another nice dark track,with flutes,piano and keyboards taking over after the middle and vocals in the style of Francesco Di Giacomo of BANCO...''Cantoantico'' is another excellent mix of the british prog scene (melodic guitars,keyboards) and the italian romanticism (acoustic guitars,vocal style,driving flutes).The closing track ''Phaedra'' is certainly a great instrumental with beautiful piano in the old italian style,heavy organ and crying guitars.Excellent finish!

Zuffanti has done it.He has created another memorable album along with his talented collaborators,worth existing in your collection.4 full stars with my highest recommendations and neddless to say that I'm already in search for some HOSTSONATEN music!

Review by seventhsojourn
4 stars The debut album by Finisterre has a little bit of everything, and for me it's pretty much the epitome of seventies-inspired modern Italian symphonic prog. It opens with the wan but atmospheric ''Aqua'', a curious choice to get things under way as it's arguably the weakest track on the album. This is followed by its polar opposite ''Asia'', a pithy track that rattles along at a good old pace and features bustling flute and guitar exchanges.

So far so nondescript, but ''Macinaaqua, Maciluna'' hints at some of the goodies in store during the second half of the album. This song has its tongue firmly in its cheek as it juxtaposes Hendrix guitar licks with Mozart and Gershwin piano snapshots, while the singer sounds as if he's not far off the edge of a nervous breakdown. A strange little piece of circus-like music follows but then the guitar kicks in with an absolute humdinger of a guitar riff to finish the track. Now they're talking my language.

''... Dal Caos...'' is a nervous, finicky concoction that tips its hat to King Crimson with yawping saxophone and dissonant guitar licks that seem to leapfrog each other in a race toward the album's centrepiece, ''SYN''. I'm not going to make a vain attempt to describe this maze of musical thoughts, other than to say it overflows with typical Italian spirit and is brim-full of elaborate details. Despite its disorderly nature it never unravels into a mere succession of sonic knots or clusters, thanks to the pivotal use of its many motifs and fragments.

There are precious few vocals on this album and those at the start of ''Isis'' sound like some kind of incantation, which is soon overrun with viscous, visceral guitar riffs. This is very much an album of contrasting moods that draws from a diverse set of sources. For example, the plaintive guitar and flute melodies of ''Cantoantico'' sound like well-ordered infusions of Middle Eastern and folk influences, whereas closing track ''Phaedra'' is a helter-skelter mix of fast and slow passages that alternate between piano in restrained mood and guitar in full cry.

This to me is an essential album for fans of symphonic RPI, although readers might want to take my review cum grano salis since I'm a big fan of Fabio Zuffanti's numerous projects. However, I think I've got more than a grain of salt in my pumpkin and this really is an album to brighten up the torpor of any dull day.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The Nineties was hardly the most fertile time for Italian prog and RPI flavoured bands, but one of them that instantly stood out and are still very highly spoken about are the mighty Finisterre, formed in Genoa in 1993. The group is sometimes a little unfairly thought of these days as `That group Fabio Zuffanti used to play in (Zuffanti, for those not in the know, is perhaps the closest Italian equivalent to someone like Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson, a modern progressive music icon of great status, talent and knowledge in the progressive music community)', but they were so much more than that, with that evidence rife throughout their dynamic self-titled debut from 1995. It may offer all the classical and theatrical bombast that many Italian groups do, but `Finisterre' also manages to capture the tough danger that permeated many of those best-kept-secret RPI discs a world away from the polish of many of the more widely known classics, and it delivers plenty of the ravishing playing, raw unpredictability and daring experimentation of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso.

Predominantly (perhaps surprisingly) instrumental, sure enough the disc even opens with two of them, `Aqua' a low-key ambient introduction, but `Asia' is a classic RPI blast of skittering drums, searing heavy keyboards and coarse guitar blasts, where Sergio Grazia's dirty huffing flute calls to mind Biglietto per L'Inferno's classic debut and the crisp guitar solo in the finale contains a distinctly 80's icy Marillion tone. Once the disc settles into its first longer vocal piece,`Macinaaqua, Macinaluna', it reveals sweeping fanciful themes with little traces of whimsy and playfulness, even finding time to playfully flit in and out of popular classical themes. Fabio's bass is proudly thick and slinking, Boris Valle's keys offer everything from whirring electronics, upfront synth noodling and doomed romantic piano, and not only do Stefano Marelli's guitars weave seductively in a Pink Floyd-by-way-of-the-blues manner, but he also delivers a wounded and melancholic vocal with a tasty hint of pleading madness!

The snaking guitars, sparkling early a.m hours piano, murky slithering bass and sharp rattling snap to Marco Cavani's jazzy drums of improvised instrumental `...Dal Caos...' creep with the same strangled tension of early King Crimson, but it's a mere tease at only just over three minutes and clearly truncated from a longer jam before its proper end. The fifteen minute instrumental `Συν' is another of the longer pieces, a highly emotional epic of contrasting moods and schizophrenic direction changes, full of whimsical and spirited up-tempo runs and big symphonic moments. Much attention is given to sparkling classical piano and Sergio's sublime flute, but it also seductively works in reflective violin, looping electronics, strangled sax, and a haunting male/female operatic choir.

`Isis' turns stormy and tough in between washes of ambient electronics, droning treated faraway multi-tracked vocals and unhurried mysterious improvised drifts in the manner of King Crimson's `Moonchild' and a stark but ultimately hopeful acoustic finale, and Fabio takes the lead vocal for the surprisingly pretty and pleasing nearly twelve-minute `Cantoantico', with plenty of chiming guitars (the mix of acoustic guitars even briefly remind of Porcupine Tree), a spotlight again placed on Sergio's spiralling flute and a stirring choir in the finale. The up-tempo instrumental closer `Phaedra' is a culmination of everything the band have delivered throughout the disc, with plenty of runaway drums, furious electric guitar blasts and breakneck keyboard pomp, taking brief pauses time for pristine piano reflections and intimidating spacey diversions.

Perhaps the album is just a little too long (damn that CD ability to squeeze in more music than vinyl LP's!), but there's no denying the sheer talent on display and the endless high quality of the material. Parts of this version of the band would split following the release of this album, but the remaining members would regroup with additional players to release another landmark Nineties RPI stunner `In Liminie' only a year later, and the jury is still out on which is the better of these two! But `Finisterre', hailing from a pretty lean decade for RPI, is a thrilling and unique work that deserves to be treasured and still investigated today, and it truly might be something of a `modern' Italian Prog classic.

Four and a half stars.

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