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TALE CUE

Neo-Prog • Italy


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Tale Cue biography
This group led by female singer Laura BASLA plays a brilliant music mixing powerful passages with a David GILMOUR-like guitar and softer climates based on synthesizers a calmed down voice. This is Italian prog but the vocals are in English. The music has influences from Italian prog but it also has influences from many other prog areas. There is some interesting acoustic guitar work especially in the beginning. A contrasted music blending opposites, close to RENAISSANCE for the melodic beauty and PINK FLOYD or GENESIS for the instrumental strength.

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  • Choices Voices Beyond My Curtain , 1991

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Voices Beyond My CurtainVoices Beyond My Curtain
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Musea Records France 2006
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TALE CUE discography


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3.40 | 36 ratings
Voices Beyond My Curtain
1991

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TALE CUE Reviews


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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another piece of the early-90's Italian Neo/Symph puzzle, this Tale Cue band was formed in Milan in 1987 by female singer Laura Basla, guitarist Silvio Masanotti and keyboardist Giovanni Porpora with a starting repertoire exclusively containing covers.Shortly after they were joined by new members Davide Vecchione on bass and Filippo Oggioni on drums and recorded the demo tape ''Four tales''.The next step was to compose four more sings for promotional use and Musea Records was the label , which decided to pick up the band.The four promtional songs along with two new compositions ended up on Tale Cue's debut ''Voices beyond my curtain'', recorded in 1990 and released in 1991.

Tale Cue was quite an ambitious group as proposed by the six longs tracks of their debut, none of which clocks under the 7-min. mark, stylistically being close to compatriots MOONGARDEN, THEATRE, GALLANT FARM or ERIS PLUVIA, maybe with a more retro-drenched sound than most of the aforementioned groups.They were heavily influenced by legends such as GENESIS, YES, MARILLION and E.L.P., while the bombastic keyboard parts are reminiscent of compatriots NUOVA ERA.Nice, intellectual and highly sophisticated Neo/Symphonic Prog with a constant dramatic enviroment, delivered in extended pieces with multiple movements, where the lyrical moments are closer to the fundamentals of Neo Prog with MARILLION and ASGARD vibes, but the instrumental themes are definitely following the complex Symphonic Rock variety, led by impressive keyboard textures and beautiful guitar parts, while there are also plenty of acoustic interludes thrown in for good measure.Not all tracks stand on the same level and even some of them are a bit incosistent regarding the arrangements, but the album is created with passion and love for complicated Progressive Rock with old-school references.The atmosphere is always either melancholic or theatrical with great soaring guitar solos and grandiose synth offerings, supported by a solid rhythm section and Basla's non-accented English singing lines.

In 1992 Filippo Oggioni left Tale Cue and he was replaced by the original drummer of Theatre Alessio Cobau, but the band was put on ice after bassist Davide Vecchione left to fullfill his military obligations and never recovered its full activity.

''Voices beyond my curtain'' is a nice examle of atmospheric and even dark Neo/Symphonic Prog with references to the 70's and series of well-crafted arrangements full of surprises and haunting melodies.Warmly recommended.

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I listened to this peculiar album number of times now but I have a hard time figuring it out. And that's pretty unusual for neo prog, certainly in my case. Main reason for my being bewildered is the combination of great compositions/pretty complex neo prog on one hand and unevenness in the execution on the other hand. And then I especially mean the extremely strange female vocals I can't get hold of.

When I first heard Laura Basla sing I didn't even know for sure we were dealing with female vocals to begin with. Her voice is both dark and quite low, on the other hand it's too high pitched for an average male voice as well so all in all it's somewhere in between. So much where the vocals are concerned. How about the compositions ? First of all, these are complex most certainly for neo standards but even for prog in general this is really hard stuff to chew on. But if you give the songs some time to grow on you, you will be rewarded in the end.

The instrumental execution is very good as well so after these many listenings the positive elements have beaten the doubts due to some strange initial impressions. The recent average of 3,47 is a very fair one and I would have loved to give this 3,5 if possible but I will have to choose sadly enough. And then my personal taste and love for the album is just not adequate enough for the 4 stars so will have to give 3, with some pain in the heart that is ...

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Tale Cue is an obscure progressive rock band from Italy who released so far a single album in 1991 named Voices behind my curtain. The music of Tale Cue is quite complex, guitar dominated most of the time, with some excellent kybords arrangements and above all a very powerfull voice of Laura Basla. Also the music is somthing between neo prog, specialy the guitar is from this part and symphonic prog, the atmosphere of the album is great, sometimes very dark, the voice of Laura is keeping on this ground very well, she has a seductive voice and when needed very haunting with some excellent dark passages and almost whispering lyrics. The keybordist Giovanni Porpora and the guitarist Silvio Masanotti are the main composers, and is very obvious that they are talented, the guitar parts specialy are brilliant with nice tempo,c hanges and odd time signature, also the keys who are mmost of the time in background, keep with the rest at the highest level. What stroke me to this album besides the great voice of Laura Basla and the inventive passages from guitar side, was how easy they manage to get from more rougher moments to more slower ones almost ethereal in places. The similarities maybe are more towards from symphonic side of prog specialy the japanese school comes in mind from '80's like Teru's Symphonis or Magdalena, but also to Curved Air or some italian bands from that era like Overdrive. So all in all an excellent album quite unnoticed in prog circles, not a single piece is weak here, opening track The Knell and Prisoner Of Cutting Ligh are my fav pieces from here and the best they ever done, the rest are good all. My CD is from Musea records who get another white ball from my side because bringing to the surface some obscure bands from prog scene but with outstanding potential. 4 stars for sure, great album from italian school of prog who didn't get the attention he desearve. Recommended.

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Tale Cue is a one-shot 1991 ISP affair that tilts Pisa Tower-like towards Neo with nods and winks to Genesis, Floyd and Renaissance, led by female singer Laura Basla. This is not a cut and dry affair and leaves one slightly perplexed in being able to formulate some kind of written critique, as correctly expressed by our sinkadotentree in his earlier review. The overall sound is slightly muffled and "cottony", adding even more fade to the filigree. The 14 minute + "The Knell" has a lot going for it, promising untold glee with a brief acoustic guitar intro, very medieval and evocative that morphs slowly into a creepier atmosphere, with effective gloom and stark doom parlayed into a driving piece of hypnotic quality, as Laura's accented but effective English exhorts beyond the pale. As the pace picks up, the charging guitars start raging, the beat increases in speed and volume and the coloring keys swirling in open abandon. Lots of tempo changes with the spooky organ making some kind of demonic apparition, flavoring the darker passages with even more murk, frankly all quite palatable. The sweet pastoral intro is reprised with methodical a propos, providing even more ample grandeur, as Laura whispers with forlorn distress. The final few minutes get a tad hysterical and overtly psychotic but the Silvio Masanotti guitar foray keeps everything focused and exuberant. "Craven Smiles" continues the solemn ambiance , with heartfelt vocal intrigue , emblazoned with a fiery Masanotti escort that stretches, squeals, wanders and rips , while pianist Giovanni Porpora lays some minimalist ivory twinkles and a parping synthesizer solo that whirs excitedly . I actually really enjoy the deep melancholia that permeates this track, a sad lullaby to treachery and hypocrisy. "Prisoner of Cutting Light" is a dozen minute epic that brazenly showcases Basla's rather impressively soaring voice, eschewing the previous whispered hysterics and blasting assuredly with unabated control, both keys and guitars sowing harsh sonic ravines, while the drums are sadly (and rarely for ISP bands) plodding , undoubtedly providing the "neo" aroma. Masanotti blisters along incandescent while brooding walls of whopping keys slash the canvas, a somber bell announcing a grandiose chorus of assumed rage. Some Gilmourian inflections adorn the proceedings successfully, a bluesy reflection on the dark pool. "Choices" is a subdued and shadowy Basla blast, with woody drums ruining the otherwise expressive tone, the keys sounding very gloomy while the bellowing guitar solo ravages in tandem with Laura's harangues. "Flying to Fade" prolongs the muted mood and offers more of the same atmosphere and it all begins to sound slightly very "samey" with little contrast or variation which severely hinders the overall ability to stick this among the "great" albums of Latter Day ISP. Again, it is the stellar guitar that keeps one glued to the proceedings. The final ""Pale Light of the Morning" brings in some much needed sonic cavalry, with the luscious flute of guest Lisa Di Renzio perfuming the arrangement with gilded sparkle. This 11 minute epic has some wondrous music within its womb, dreamy, robust, spectral and angry, loaded with watery effects and that "zauber" magical flute, ornately glowing with unrestrained beauty. Here one comes to the obvious realization that a wider palette of sound would have greatly enhanced the appreciation of their craft. A little harpsichord, violin or even sax, perhaps even some mellotron could have raised the bar considerably. Definitely worthy of owning for rabid collectors of early (and therefore pioneering) Italian prog renaissance albums but nowhere approaching some of the magnificent marvels to come. 3.5 fictional indicators

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is one of those releases that leaves me sitting on the fence. I really like the dark and atmospheric soundscapes they create, but it's really the female vocals that are hit and miss with me. Eric mentioned in his review it was her vocals that kept him from giving it 4 stars, and I have to agree with him. There are times I like them, but there are also times that they really take away from my enjoyment of this recording.

The first track "The Knell" is my favourite. This is almost 15 minutes long and her vocals throughout are really kept in check. Haha. Acoustic guitar melodies lead the way for almost 2 minutes when it suddenly turns dark. Vocals before 3 minutes as the sound builds slowly. The sound becomes full after 4 1/2 minutes. An eerie calm 7 1/2 minutes in that continues for 2 minutes when acoustic guitar comes in just like at the beginning of the song. Synths are in the background as vocals come in gently a minute later. The sound becomes full again around 12 1/2 minutes as we get a taste of how harsh her vocals can be. Some nice electric guitar, and then it ends as it began with acoustic guitar. "Craven Smiles" opens with synths and vocals. Not a fan of the intro but when it gets going 1 1/2 minutes in I like it a lot. The guitar soars tastefully until a calm arrives with piano before 3 minutes.Vocals come in softly. It stays mellow until 6 minutes in when vocals and sound both get passionate briefly. Not a fan of this one overall, but loved the guitar solo.

"Prisoner Of Cutting Light" opens with synths and vocals. A fuller, uptempo sound 3 minutes in with some minor riffing to follow. I like the guitar solo 5 1/2 minutes in. A calm a minute later before it builds with theatrical vocals then minor riffs. The guitar goes on and on from before 9 1/2 minutes, and then vocals return. More tasteful guitar late. "Choices" opens with spoken words before vocals come in. They do get passionate as this contrast continues. "Flying To Fade" again opens with spoken words. I like this song from when she stops singing after 2 minutes until we get an annoying vocal section after 5 minutes. The guitar 8 minutes in is fantastic though to end it. "Pale Light Of The Morning" features some guest flute 2 1/2 minutes in. Before that we get reserved vocals. Guitar 5 1/2 minutes in is joined by piano before vocals return. The tempo picks up a lot after 9 minutes with some excellent guitar.

I do have a fondness toward bands like TALE CUE who released progressive music in the early nineties, but there's not enough here for me to give it 4 stars.

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Very interesting obscure italian prog band that released only one album in the early 90īs. Itīs really a pity that they did not come with at least one more record. It would have been nice to hear how they would develop from here. Voices Beyond My Curtain is very promising, dark and haunting with great atmospheric feel all over it. Silvio Masanttiīs guitar playing is awesome, sometimes gentle and emotional, sometimes fiery and aggressive, but always passionate. The keyboards are more in the background but add nicely to the overall dark and mysterious mood. Laura Basla vocals are quite original and a little difficult to get on initially, but once you do, itīs very nice and fits very well in the groupīs instrumental tapestry.

Actually is not an easy listen album. It sure takes some time to sink in, but itīs really worth the efford. It grows on you with every listening, and youīll find some subtle details each time. I think it is a must have for any neo prog fan at least (and fans of Rothery and Gilmour, of course). Not really essential to the average prog fan, I guess, but very good and different. My rating is 3,5 stars really. Recommended.

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by infandous

2 stars Well, based on the other reviews I picked this one up. I guess you take a chance with obscure prog albums like this one. I was not impressed. The first track seemed pretty interesting to me. Very neo-prog in the vien of Arena or IQ, but VERY dark. Some interesting guitar work and arrangements. Then the next song came on, and I thought "sounds a lot like the first song". Then the 3rd track came on, and I thought "sounds just like the first song". Then the 4th song came on, etc., etc., etc. All the songs are the same tempo, the same dark and depressing atmosphere, the same guitar sounds and keyboard sounds. By the end of the 3rd track it just gets monotonous. And the female singer just is not particularly good. She has a very odd voice that might be interesting singing in her native language (Italian, I think), but in English just does not work. And the lyrics don't help, as they are pretty bad in terms of grammar and content. On top of that, they maintain the utterly dismal and depressing nature of the whole album. I don't mind dark music at all, but this has no variation and no dynamics for the most part. So two stars only, and that just because I do think the first song is pretty good. If only they had varied from the style, format, mood, and tempo of that first song on the other tracks (and used lyrics in their native language) this might have been a decent album.

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by geezer

3 stars ***1/2

An Italian band that released this album in the beginning of the nineties. This album is not in the 70's Italian tradition. It might have some influences from that scene but more or less this is a mix of different influences. The music can be categorized somewhere between symphonic prog and neo-progressive but I can hear some prog-metal influences as well. For me the standout instrument in this band is the guitar by Silvio Masanotti. It's also the instrument that brings some metal sound into their music. Usually this would bother me because I don't find the typical prog-metal guitar playing very progressive but in this case it's not a problem because the electric guitar is played in a progressive style (no unnecessary wankery even though there is some extended soloing). Yeah, I really like the guitar playing in this album! Very beautiful at times might I add. There is also quite a bit of nice acoustic guitar playing, which balances the electric guitar nicely. The keyboards are mostly in the background creating the moody and sometimes haunting atmosphere.

Female singer Laura Basla handles the vocals. She sings in English and her rather dark vocals suite the music well. I don't find her singing very impressive but it's not bad either. There is some creepiness in her vocals that I can't explain. The lyrics are dark so maybe this explains it a bit. But I like it because the vocals suit the music's atmosphere.

It's hard to pick any specific standout tracks from this album but one justified choice would be at least the track "Flying to Fade" or perhaps the closer "Pale Light of the Morning". This track, in addition to being very good in general, has also a nice flute solo by guest flautist Liza de Renzio.

Conclusion: I believe this album is considered kind of a cult classic among some progressive enthusiasts. It didn't quite live up to my expectations but this is good stuff anyways.

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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In my opinion this is a very underrated progrock album, especially if you like TWELFTH NIGHT this Italian band will be a revalation! The six compositions (between 7 and 15 minutes) sound alternating and often very compelling featuring lots of exciting accellarations and sumptuous eruptions with excellent electric guitarplay (fiery, biting and howling), warm classical guitar and lush keyboards (strings, piano, Mellotron, synthesizers). I have to warn that the distinctive female vocals will not be everybody's cup of tea (sometimes a bit hysterical or unstable) but to me this lady fits perfect to the captivating progrock made by TALE CUE. A hidden treasure that (I have to be objective) just fails to gain four stars because of the controversial female vocals.


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 Voices Beyond My Curtain  by TALE CUE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.40 | 36 ratings

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Voices Beyond My Curtain
Tale Cue Neo-Prog

Review by The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The affluent of female voices within prog bands is a known fact. Enticingly Laura BASLA, in spite of the rare English language pronunciation whatsoever; entwines perfectly all the way, from start to end, with the pure and unique essence of this album. "Prisoner of Cutting Light" is the perfect pretext for Laura to expose herself and her gifts of the "whys" she became TALE CUE's lead singer. Eventhough it was their only work, exquisitely performed by top class musicians such as their guest flutist Lisa de RENZIO in "Pale Light of the Morning" by the way; TALE CUE leaves a legacy that will be remembered during the years to come. "Voices Beyond My Curtain" also links that lost part of the nineties regarding the neo progressive scene, to the brand new century "to be" styles, making it all have perfect sense since it's a matter of perspective, not a matter of how many albums an underrated band like TALE CUE released. It is definitely the quality, not the quantity. Hardly to overlook, this Italian band will definitely blow your mind away. A musthave piece of art for those devoted italo-prog fans out there.

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