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Prog Folk • Italy

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Fiaba biography
The brainchild of drummer Bruno Rubino, FIABA are a Sicilian five-piece band (bass, drums, vocals and dual guitars) who mix prog metal with medieval folk. They've been compared to everything from FATES WARNING, MAGELLAN and RUSH to KING CRIMSON and Angelo Branduardi, although they don't quite measure up to any of them. Their appeal rests mainly on Rubino's complex drum play and a fantastically gifted vocalist in the person of Giuseppe Brancato. His dramatic/operatic style is a mixture of Alberto Piras (DEUX EX MACHINA) and Demetrio Stratos (AREA). The band has released three albums between 1994 and 2001.

Their latest effort - and perhaps their best - is "Lo Sgabello del Rospo", a rock opera in eight parts where Brancato's vocals constitute the most significant soloing parts. The music alone probably wouldn't stand well on its own but Brancato, with his chameleon-like vocalizations, tackles a variety of characters with great skill. He mostly tells a story (in Italian) over simple repeated melodies; when the rest of the band do pick up, they go into a linear series of metallic riffs la IRON MADEN. You won't find any particularly memorable musical themes here, but an interesting 'one-man' prog metal opera performed by an incredible vocalist who will knock your socks off. The man really rocks.

Recommended only if you appreciate vocal-heavy stuff and don't mind rather harsh and uncomplicated prog metal.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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FIABA discography

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FIABA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 12 ratings
XII L'Appiccato
3.33 | 9 ratings
Il Cappello a tre Punte
1.25 | 7 ratings
Lo Sgabello del Rospo
3.55 | 10 ratings
I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore
3.75 | 8 ratings
La pelle nella luna

FIABA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FIABA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FIABA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FIABA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Il Bambino Coi Sonagli

FIABA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore by FIABA album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 10 ratings

I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore
Fiaba Prog Folk

Review by NotAProghead
Special Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Purchased it in a local second hand record store and plan to bring it back, maybe someone else will enjoy this record.

47 minutes of pathetic singing and heavy, quite monotonous music. I know it is a concept album and those, who speak Italian, will probably fully appreciate it and find positive qualities which I've missed, I can't judge. Musicians are good, as usual in most Italian bands, lead singer has a strong voice, but all these things do not save the album for me. Tracks are forgettable and I find the overall sound boring and often annoying. 2 stars.

 Il Bambino Coi Sonagli by FIABA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
2.00 | 1 ratings

Il Bambino Coi Sonagli
Fiaba Prog Folk

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars Fiaba is back! Almost.

Fiaba returns with the "sequel of I sogni di Marzia, a rock opera." The EP consists of one 18 minute track that is the musical sequel to their DVD release noted above which I have not seen. The music is the usual Fiaba "Jester-rock" which is Bruno Rubino's strange and totally unique blend of lighter prog-metal over heavy medieval vibe and some Italian folk influence. This band has a unique sound I appreciate from the dual heavy guitar layering that is carefully crafted. On top of that you get Rubino's top notch drumming although he is less animated here than previously. You also get the amazing booming vocals of Guiseppe Brancato, the man in the strange cap. This guy has a powerful Italian operatic delivery that will please any fan of such styles. "Il Bambino" is typical Fiaba in that the track is very vibrant and theatrical in nature, they are like an Italian version of Ange in that sense of really putting on a big dramatic show. Lots of chugging electric rhythm guitar with occasional acoustic interludes. As much as I like this band and this EP, this is certainly not the place to start for Fiaba fans and thus the two-star "fans only" rating. Newcomers should start with a full length release like their previous album, the very good "I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore." With that release you will find much more variety and a bit more spark in the performance. This is a nice teaser for fans awaiting their next full length release but certainly not essential. 5/10

 I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore by FIABA album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 10 ratings

I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore
Fiaba Prog Folk

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Delightful prog-metal, rock-opera fairytale

Now here's one of the strangest titles I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Fiaba (means "fairytale") is an unconventional band in about every way imaginable. While listed as "prog-folk" on this site this is primarily a prog-metal album with perhaps a bit of folk influence. Take one phenomenal drummer. Add an excellent vocalist. In Fiaba these are your "lead" instruments, drums and voice. Thankfully both are just wildly good. Just below them in the mix you have a melodic heavy metal guitar and bass assault peppering you with riffs. You have a dvd-video included with an 8 minute mini-story of a Gnome and a princess alternated with shots of the band in a medieval courtyard. You have heavy rocking music bursting with campy pride and plenty of humor and talent. If this all sound incredibly bizarre and preposterous, well, yeah..frankly it's a sh*tload of fun.

Fiaba is the brainchild of Bruno Rubino who writes the material and is the group's superb drummer. Their website describes the groups unique sound as "cutting and expressive, using Celtic-medieval sounds, getting close to folk-Mediterranean melodies. It supports well the intense and meaningful lyrics. Through metaphors and allegories, the fairytale becomes the background to display reflections about never out of fashion topics, while the music itself creates a fairytale-like feeling." Bruno plays as a lead musician with percussion parts that are inventive and his playing is out front in this band. The vocals are totally amazing, Giuseppe Brancato is every bit as powerful and charismatic a presence as Tarja is in Nightwish or Christian is in Ange. In fact he sounds a bit like Decamps at times, powerful and assured, with incredible flair and dramatic delivery. Behind the powerful vocals and drums you have a dual guitar presence of Carlo Bonfiglio and Massimo Catena, and the steady bass of Giuseppe Capodieci. The guitars are a bit thin in the mix sometimes but they serve the larger picture-this is not tech metal with shred guitar, it is a rather traditional metal sound where the guitars provide presence, taking the role of keyboards sometimes. They certainly can and do rock out sometimes but don't expect instrumental solos here. This is a storytelling "rock opera" with wall to wall singing. For those who don't understand Italian this might be a deal-breaker. If you love Italian vocals you're in for a treat. While I do I confess in this case I wish I could understand the story because it sounds like such fun! How about English translation in the CD booklet next time guys!

From the moment "Angelica il folletto del salice" begins you know this will be fun. The guitars harmonize a nice crunchy sound, bopping along as the drums begin their almost Bruford-ish level of expression. Soon Brancato begins his operatic pronouncements about this beautiful lady and her little Elf friend which you can watch on the accompanying DVD video, which is really quite a hoot. Remember the old band Slade and their hit "Run, Run Away?" Well Fiaba doesn't sound like Slade, but the *spirit* of the music might be similar.good fun and rock at all costs, and damn the cynics. The song ends with the devilish laugh of the little Elf guy. "Nipote di Strega" begins with tight PoS style rhythm guitar riffing and equally tight drums, soon acoustic guitars join during the breather moments adding a nice touch. The song breaks wide open into the first all-out rock section with nice electric leads. Great stuff and perhaps a bit Iron Maiden-ish guitar sounds at times. I really love how towards the end the guitar chug gets stuck in this constant pattern, while something in the timing is changing just enough so that you get this bizarre shifting effect that throws your brain off a little-nearly impossible to describe in words but some of you will know what I mean. In any case it's really a nice touch. The track ends with some brief vocal narration. "La fuga dell elfo" starts with highly melodic electric guitar harmonies shadowed with acoustic guitar before the melancholic vocals begin. The drumming here reminds me of Oceansize's latest, very busy and jerky timings with much elaborate cymbal playing. Lovely acoustic guitar interludes make you forget that this band really should have some piano or violin for icing on the cake! "La caccia" has a regal-like marching feel with lots of cool changing guitar parts coming and going. You really to pay attention to notice how there are some nice subtle things happening behind the bombast. Nice guitar solo at the end. "Arriva lo spazzacamino" begins with cawing crows and a rather sinister guitar riff accented by some kind of percussive. Brancato appears to be in-character on the vocal. Again, there are tons of subtle complexities in the guitar/drum parts but without ever putting pretension above the music. "Le pere dell orco" is a massive heavy riff end to end but not one of the more interesting tracks. "Grogni nel racchetto" starts with a nice acoustic laid over the nimble drumming with bass and lead guitar providing rich counterpoint. Brancato really holds some long notes in this one, but honestly, he must get tired of that weird hat. "Il crocchiaossa" shows off some erratic, lurching rhythms and unusual progressions with a very satisfying feel. "La gemma nel pozzo" is metal bombast at its finest with a big production but with vocals that echo the singer in Deus Ex Machina. Some great bass runs here though I wish I could hear the bass better in the mix. Guitar chugs alternate with fret burning fireworks. "Il luccio della Fontana" begins with narration and then soft acoustic guitar,

This is an original and enjoyable take on metal and I enjoyed it very much. A couple people have given this one star which is hard to understand; the talent of these musicians alone is obvious even if you dislike the style. Those who give Fiaba a bit of time to enchant will be RICHLY rewarded. This is music that is pleasantly different, very well composed, and immaculately performed. I suggest you get this album first. While Fiaba may be offputting to some people I find it so refreshing. If you find some metal you've purchased lately to be a bit stagnant or predictable, try this. It *is* different. Recommended to anyone who can handle theatrical Italian vocals. The booklet comes with complete lyrics in Italian. A bit under 4 stars but rounding up for the uniqueness factor.

 Lo Sgabello del Rospo by FIABA album cover Studio Album, 2001
1.25 | 7 ratings

Lo Sgabello del Rospo
Fiaba Prog Folk

Review by pirkka

1 stars I realy are not sure what to say... what is this music? It is not folk, nor metal. It is hard bursting rock with honestly quite horrible singing. OK the singer does know how to sing but he has only one tone: HE SHOUTS pompously. It is not nice at all. The music, I mean the melodies are like bad resitative from some second class operette and combined with the nervous drumming and raw guitar sound make this album quite reluctant music to me. There are some moments of more gentle music but overall I really don't like this. I am a collector and so I have this but yet I would not reckommend this to anybody else.
 I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore by FIABA album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 10 ratings

I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore
Fiaba Prog Folk

Review by willowfarm_2000

4 stars I know this band already since their first album. I really admire these guys, because I've never heard anything like the music they play. I'm now listening to this record, and I think it's at same time complicated and deep, strange and warm. I'm italian so I can understand their lyrics, and I assure you they are crazy!! I've got more then 2000 progressive cds, but I really never listened before to such a thing. If you're looking for something weird, here you found it!!!
 I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore by FIABA album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 10 ratings

I Racconti Del Giullare Cantore
Fiaba Prog Folk

Review by s.m

5 stars Great work fora a great Italian band. This is a masterpiece of progressive music. Tales of a fantastic medieval age winthin a sometimes hard, aggressive and sometimes very sweet sound. Highly recommended, as all of their works.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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