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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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Grimalkin biography
Symphonic Prog band from Italy with long tracks filled with tasteful textures, English vocals and outstanding guitar work. "The Drifting Sailor" is about half vocal based - half instrumental. This band also knows how to enrich by multiple layers its beautiful music, which revolves between YES, GENTLE GIANT and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO. Recommended.

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GRIMALKIN discography

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3.31 | 15 ratings
The Drifting Sailer

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Drifting Sailer by GRIMALKIN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.31 | 15 ratings

The Drifting Sailer
Grimalkin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Grimalkin were a one-shot Italian band from Napoli, found in 1988 by keyboardist Giulio Cataldo and drummer Salvatore Parrella with an aim to create Symphonic Rock music.To complete the picture they recruited bassist Gabriela "Ela" Rotoli and guitarist Giancarto "Gnic" Apice in summer 89'.By early-90's they participated in several live shows,later focusing on composing material for an original release.This would come in 1996,entitled ''The drifting sailer'', and released on Pick Up Records.In this album Grimalkin are helped by sax player Marco Bifani and singer Luca Sepe.

The music on this work is typical laid-back Symphonic Rock, mostly instrumental, in the vein of SITHONIA or EZRA WINSTON with some spacey anxiety here and there, actually very carefully played with no particular risks.It starts off really strong and ''Ambush'' along with ''The Flute and the Knight'' are trully great pieces of music with pleasant guitar work and lush orchestral arrangements of high calibre.Then suddenly the band will move into monotonous space exploration with the 11-min. title-track being a huge dissapointment of Space Rock music with boring isolated instrumentation and really uninspired passages.Fortunately the next couple of cuts will see the band back on track with decent Symphonic Rock music, flashy synths,good organ and excellent guitar work without being exceptional.''Twin towers'' additionally contains the good sax work of Bifani.The next notable piece is the 10-min. long ''Covoyager'', which contains all the high and low marks of this album: Safe playing, some fantastic guitar hooks, bombastic spacey synths but also some one-dimensional passages with no interest at all.

While the band never officially called it off,it is rather questionable if they will come back for a second album,as Giancarto Apice followed a career as a doctor, Gabriela Rotoli moved on with her life as an employee in a telephone company and Giulio Cataldo continued his career in the music industry but now only as a graphic designer for Frontier Records.

''The drifting sailer'' remains a good Symphonic/Space Rock album despite its evident flaws and incoherence,as the guitar and keyboard work really shine at moments and will certainly offer the listener some beautiful music in a generally soft atmosphere.Recommended.

 The Drifting Sailer by GRIMALKIN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.31 | 15 ratings

The Drifting Sailer
Grimalkin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars One more contestant in the "nouveau-prog" arena, these musicians from Naples cook up an ultra-modern stew of intricate symphonic sounds flavoured with a diverse pallette of spacy yet measured contrasts. As the whimsically misspelled title suggests, there is a sense of "drift" with galloping Hackett-influenced guitar breaks, a bevy of synth gurgles, hints of clarinet and the odd saxual intervention. (No, I didn't mispell sex). The other musicians seem to have the uncanny foresight to intervene judiciously and propel the material into overdrive when needed, while staying nicely mute at others, giving this CD a feeling of expanse and nuance. Nevertheless, the real strength of Grimalkin lies in the structure of the songs , the onus focused on building up patiently the pieces in order to apply emphasis on the contrasts therein and, suddenly exploding into well-calculated crescendos of immaculate beauty. Very modern, very intriguing , very left-field. Listen to it a dozen times or so and it will bloom like a flower. One shot wonder from 1996 and then, they drifted into silence ...... Pity. 4 floating tars
 The Drifting Sailer by GRIMALKIN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.31 | 15 ratings

The Drifting Sailer
Grimalkin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "for months, more often for entire generations man seeks for light. He runs faster and faster in the vain attempt to reach it. He shall discover, at the end of hids route, he had lived the constant eclipse of himself".

Grimalkin is a "contemporary" italian prog band that released their only album to date in 1996 under the newly (then) born lizardrecords. The name Grimalkin can be defined as an old or evil-looking she-cat. The term stems from gray (the color) plus malkin, an archaic word for cat. During the middle ages, the name grimalkin (as cats in general) became associated with the devil and witchcraft. Women tried as witches in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were often accused of having a familiar, frequently a grimalkin. Shakespeare makes the Witch in Macbeth say, "I come, Graymalkin". The band has elaborated a musical symphonic journey though the outer space with some important dramatic sections. Symphonic science-fiction.

The main role is played by strong atmospheric and ethereal keyboards that, sadly, don't sound vintage. Fortunately, there's an excellent interplay with fiery electric guitars and some convincing rythmical evolutions that make the final result sounding often excellent, even though blending plastic Genesis sound with plastic Pink Floyd. That's the main peculiarity, after many listenings. Sound is builded and structured upon some echoes effects that, despite being very useful to give the impression of a space odissey, seem to deprive, a little, freshness and genuineness of the good arrangements. Anyway, this is not unusual for the albums released in the first and mid nineties. Vocals are very sparse and the work becomes, de facto, almost an instrumental record.

The record includes two longer tracks above the 10 minutes long: "The Drifting Sailer" (including Sails, Lost Sunset, Lightening, Ice Irides, Quantum, The Energy Touch) and "Convoyager" (including Starbees, Cryogen Slumber Seeds, Queen Bee Odissey, Eclipse). These two represent the most dreamy and spacey parts, at the risk of appearing, somehow, boring.

The opener "Silence/Ambush" and the next "The Flute and the Knight" are more pompous. The second one, in particular, that also delivers very good bass lines and drums.

An album and a band to discover.

For all you cats' lovers!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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