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ZAUBER

Prog Folk • Italy


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A somptuous mixing between Progressive baroque, Italian classical and medieval musics. ZAUBER is an itaprog band from Torino with an interesting melodic sound, long instrumental suites and great keyboards and flute. The arrangements are full and lush. In addition to the standard instruments they augment their sound with chimes, xylophone, glockenspiel, flute, harmonica, viola, cello, recorder and oboe. Close to JETHRO TULL or FRUUPP but more clever and baroque. Worth to be discovered.


Related bands on PA: CLARION, TALE

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Il SognoIl Sogno
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$14.35
$27.16 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Muenchner Sym.; Hokanson; G...-Zauber Classic CD NEW US $14.31 Buy It Now 7h 20m
Chantal Mathieu - Zauber De Harfe LP GERMAN PRESS NM Vinyl Eurodisc US $1.99 [0 bids]
12h 9m
HANS JURGEN HUFEISEN - ZAUBER DER FLOTE 3 NEW CD US $17.30 Buy It Now 1 day
KARL BOHM; MOZART DIE ZAUBER FLOTE; WUNDERLICH,FISCHER-DIESKAU DGG STEREO TULIPS US $12.50 [0 bids]
1 day
ZAUBER DER BERGE MOUNTAIN MAGIC, TONI NOICHL ZITHER -LP US $5.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Vienna Master Series Im Zauber der Harfe CD 1991 US $1.50 [0 bids]
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OESCHS DIE DRITTEN - JODEL ZAUBER NEW CD US $27.13 Buy It Now 2 days
Zauber Der Operette by Various Artists (10 CD Box Set, 2004, Eurotrend) VG US $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
WELCH UNBEKANNTER ZAUBER ... - NEW CD US $9.93 Buy It Now 2 days
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BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG V. - CHOR-ZAUBER: UNFORGETTABLE CHOIR MELODIES - NEW CD BOXSET US $34.11 Buy It Now 2 days
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Zauber - Il Sogno [CD New] US $22.17 Buy It Now 7 days
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Zauber LP not on label italian 180 gram reissue inner sleeve with lyrics US $43.00 Buy It Now 9 days
BROKKEN~DIE ROSY-SINGERS~BRAUER LP "Zauber der Erinnerungen" 196? {Philips} NM US $19.95 Buy It Now 10 days
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MOZART Die Zauber Flote vinyl DGG LP NM Karl Bohm German US $8.95 Buy It Now 10 days
ZAUBER - PHOENIX [ZAUBER] [CD] [1 DISC] - NEW CD US $28.73 Buy It Now 11 days
Various : Zauber der Klassik CD US $10.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Toni Noichl Zither Zauber der Berge Mountain Magic 1979 YODEL ALPHORNS Sealed LP US $10.00 Buy It Now 12 days
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Gheorghe Zamfir : Zauber der Weihnachtszeit CD US $2.13 Buy It Now 12 days
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ZAUBER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.44 | 21 ratings
Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno')
1978
2.00 | 3 ratings
Est
1991
2.83 | 11 ratings
Phoenix
1992
2.96 | 4 ratings
Aliens
1993
3.04 | 6 ratings
Profondo blu
2001
1.14 | 2 ratings
Draghi & Vampiri
2006

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

3.50 | 2 ratings
Venti
1997

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

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

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

ZAUBER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Draghi & Vampiri by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 2006
1.14 | 2 ratings

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Draghi & Vampiri
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

1 stars Five years after the very good ''Profondo blu'' Leo Fiore had been promoted to a full-time member, but the long collaboration of Zauber with Mellow Records had already ended.Thus, the new album ''Draghi e vampiri'' was released independently by the band and distributed by BTF.Several guests participated with the quartet of Zauber with former member Gianni Cristiani offering his flute in one track and Fil di Ferro's guitarist Danilo Ghiglieri playing in some tracks as well.

After the proggy and adventurous material of the previous work any listener would expect a normal following on ''Draghi e vampiri'' with an even more pronounced Italian Prog taste.Instead, Zauber's new album recalls more of their recordings from the 80's, as captured on ''Est''.Too many poppy sensibilities, less instrumental passages and cheesy keyboards around pinpoint a group that struggles to find its music identity and not a veteran act of Italian Prog.An untight mix of light Fusion, Pop Rock, melodic Rock with only shadows of Italian Prog was the proposal of Zauber, suffering from childish keyboards, cliche rhythmic tunes and rather colorless singing lines.Some tracks are even closer to forgettable ballads with mellow orchestal themes around.The only true Prog piece on the album is the long ''Sogni'', a calm composition of spacey Prog with Folk and Classical nuances in a rather melancholic mood.The album contains three covers as well, that couls be only regarded as a sign of limited inspiration.The classic ''750.000 anni fa l'amore'' by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO is performed under the same emotional level with eventually great vocals by Fieri, but suffers from plastic keyboards.''Can anybody hear me?'' by GRAVY TRAIN is a pounding rocker, not close to Zauber's style, sung in Italian and containing good, electrified guitars, but the band fails to capture the raw feeling of the original version.''Il vento'' by LUCIO BATTISTI is propably the best cover of all with decent singing, more dominant electric guitars and some decent keyboard parts.

Zauber's career can only be seen with respect.I hate to say this, but a band, that survived through the storms of Pop, Dance and Techno Music during the 80's and 90's, always producing decent to great works, ended its long trip in a very dissapointing way, exactly at the time Progressive Rock has turned the page again for its own good.Pale Soft/Pop/melodic Rock was the farewell album of Zauber, not recommended to fans of Progressive Rock.Stick with one or more of their earlier material for some intricate music, this one shouln't be on the list of this otherwise very good Italian act...1.5 stars.

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 Profondo blu  by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.04 | 6 ratings

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Profondo blu
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Despite the seven years separating ''Aliens'' from the next Zauber release, these were much intense for the group members.In 94' the whole group participated in Michele Tale's ''Senza frontiere'' album and two years later they helped on the second Clarion release ''Bouree'', mostly consisting of cover songs.The same year Oscar Giadanino released a solo album under the Myros name and in 97' Zauber released their first live album ''Venti''.Unfortunately this was the last time Liliana Bodini played with the group and in fact the official line-up for the next album ''Profondo blu'' was reduced to the Massimo Cavagliato/Mauro Cavagliato/Giordanino trio with Gianni Cristiani participating as a a guest.Vocals are delivered by Clarion's singer Leo Feri, while the album appeared in 2001, as expected on Mellow Records.

This time the pop sensibilities are very much abandoned by the group, which shows a slow but confident turn to its roots with the album dominated by the Classical-inpired Progressive Rock of the early years along with diverse folky vibes, this time including a bit of Celtic influences in a pair of tracks.The instrumental tracks or breaks are very good, even if some cheap synthesizers always appear here and there, with Giordanino offering some incredible work through long synth runs, delicate organ themes and impressive piano interludes of a Classical nature.The sound of the group remains more or less keyboard-oriented with the solid support of bass and drums, although there are moments with a richer sound as proposed by the presence of Cristiani's magnificent flute parts or the nice electric bursts of Mauro Cavagliato or guest participant Danilo Ghiglieri.The folky influences are either delivered by the flute or harmonica drives or through the related inspiration on Giordanino's keyboards.The vocal moments of the album are definitely along the lines of Classic Italian Prog with a romantic flavor as offered by bands such as SITHONIA or IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE.Feri's voice is decent though not outstanding, but definitely nice enough to create moments of an atmospheric lyricism in the best Italian tradition.

Forget about the more commercial side of Zauber.''Profondo blu'' is up there with the old stuff of the group, a nice mix of Symphonic and Folk Rock in an Italian way with a very good instrumental comfort.Recommended.

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 Aliens by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.96 | 4 ratings

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Aliens
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars While Zauber were taking a long break during the 80's, their flutist Gianni Cristiani joined the former keyboardist of the band Paolo Clari in the new Clarion project.Almost all Zauber members contributed on this album, maybe this was the needed situation to force the band recording a new release.So, in 1994 Zauber returned with a new work under the title ''Aliens'', another product of Mellow Records.

The sound of the album is pretty close to the second part of the ''Est'' work, that is fairly commercial soft prog with Classical influences on recordings around mid-80's.10 years later not much has changed.Zauber insist on playing a sort of light-weight mostly instrumental but accesible Progressive Rock with a nice dose of symphonic and folk influences, led by the piano and organ of Oscar Giadanino, the flutes of Gianni Cristiani and sometimes the decent voice of Liliana Bodini.This time though they were joined by several guest musicians on cello, oboe, harmonica and viola, adding often to the album a more Classical-based color.Zauber do not forget to throw in some pretty memorable grooves here and there, so energy and softness are well combined to say the least.The inspiration is still here with ''Aliens'', the members of the band still show some pretty good skills on songwriting and the flute work of Cristiani is simply beautiful.However the album suffers a bit from the questionable coherence between the tracks and the bad-sounding digital synthesizers.

The return of Zauber marked no particular surprises, either from a bad or a good point of view.The flame burnt on with ''Aliens'' with the band playing some secure but well-crafted melodic Progressive Rock with symphonic and folk leanings.Recommended overall.

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 Phoenix by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.83 | 11 ratings

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Phoenix
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ZAUBER is one of the less known bands of the 70's Italian Prog movement,formed in mid- 70's in Turin by female singer/guitarist Liliana Bodini and bassist/guitarist Mauro Cavagliato.The band released only one self-titled album close to the likes of RPI in 1978,which was later re-issued by Vinly Magic under the title ''Il sogno''.The biggest surprise though came in 1992,when Mellow Records released a new CD entitled ''Phoenix'',the content of which was some 1977 recordings of the band,presenting their early phase.

STYLE: While categorized under the Prog Folk category,the early sound of ZAUBER was definitely Symphonic/Classical Prog Rock,strongly driven by the keyboards of Paolo Clari (later to form the band CLARION).Floating synths,classical piano and dominant organ are all over the place.As for guitars,do not expect much,except some acoustic dreamy passages. However the general atmosphere is not boring at all with the very strong bass work of Mauro Cavagliato being also responsible for that.Lots of nice classical interludes,a few smooth flute work and a good amount of instrumental work give you the overall picture.Last but not least comes Liliana Bodini.While she hasn't any remarkable voice,her vocals are smooth,clear and dreamy,a great support for the instrumental material.

SOUNDS LIKE: I would set ZAUBER's sound somewhere between LE ORME's strong keyboard-based Classical Prog and some GOBLIN's organ-driven slow parts.A good combination.

PLUS: As the album is so heavily based on keys,it would be succesful if the keyboard work is at least decent...and yes,it is.Plenty of beautiful varied passages with use of organ,piano,harpsichord and synths and fine alternation of styles between virtuosic solos,organ-led passages and classical-inspired interlusdes.Female vocals are quite nice as well.A solid rhythm section.

MINUS: Almost total absence of guitars.Very mediocre sound of the recordings.Not the most original band around.

WILL APPEAL TO:... fans of Italian Prog,keyboard-driven prog and Symphonic Rock.

CONCLUSION: ''Phoenix'' could have easily been part of the band's official discography.It is melodic,dreamy,romantic and dark at the same time.Yet it leaves the listener with a feeling that there is a missing piece in the puzzle.Very enjoyable in general with great emotional changes.Strongly recommended,3.5 stars.

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 Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno') by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.44 | 21 ratings

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Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno')
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Zauber claim five studio albums in their discography, but this is the only one released back when they were first formed in the seventies. Three others are made up of demos, rarities and other material that was unreleased until the band reformed in the nineties. The group supposedly closed out their career for good with a 2001 studio recording titled ‘Profondo Blu’, but resurfaced once again five years later with ‘Draghi e Vampiri’. As far as I know they’re probably still at the task of making music today.

I’ve heard some of the nineties reissued stuff, and most is a bit on the weak side so it’s understandable why it was never released when it was originally recorded in the seventies. The arrangements aren’t particularly progressive and the tempo of most tracks is closer to lounge-act music than to either prog or folk.

This album is striking in its differences though. First, most of the songs here are unhurried, with intricate piano and what sounds like a clavinet making a beautiful sound that the percussion and synths just sort of play in and around. I think the clavinet-sounding thing might be a xylophone or glockenspiel. Both of these are credited in the liner notes, so it must be one of them. And also the few songs like the title track where the tempo does pick up still manage to retain that folksy feel instead of lapsing into a weird form of easy-listening music like ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Est’.

“Dietro la Collina” is the most charming piece, with its light and airy piano accented by the xylospiel (or whatever it is) and an almost humorous oddly-timed stark snare drum beat that at times seems completely unassociated with the rest of the music, but the whole thing works somehow.

Vocalist Liliana Bodini isn’t as prominent as she would be on the records released in the nineties, and in fact even when she does sing on tracks like “Riflessione Spleen” the instruments dominate and she plays only a fleeting and secondary role. That works quite well actually, and I like the sound more than on ‘Phoenix’ where she seems to be trying too hard to carry the band (and doesn’t need to). By the way, I don’t speak or read Italian but any song whose title translates to roughly ‘Reflections on a spleen’ must have some really interesting lyrics.

I’m not sure if this is a concept album or even one with a common theme, but with a title like ‘Il Sogno’ (the Dream) one could reasonable make that assumption.

In any case, “Id” is short but is a beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental with more of the xylospiel and I think maybe a cello (or the synthesized equivalent of one), while “Deimos” (moon) is more strident with stilted organ riffs and soft but almost martial-sounding percussion. This track definitely has a xylophone and it seems to be dueting with the piano through most of the song. Very pleasant if not overly complex.

Zauber are another largely forgotten seventies act that has had a few minor resurgences over the subsequent thirty years or so since their original breakup. The sound is easy to listen to but not overly stunning or ground-breaking. I like it as background music, and have this one on the stack of CDs that are appropriate enough to play in my office without headphones. Not quite Muzak, but mellow and classical enough to not offend anyone who might happen to walk by. That in itself is good for three stars I suppose, but no more.

peace

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 Phoenix by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.83 | 11 ratings

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Phoenix
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Well once more I get to use the phrase “underwhelmed”. In this case that feeling is ascribed to this early nineties release of some studio tracks originally recorded in the mid-seventies when Zauber were still an active band. The reason I believe was the reformation of the band around 1990, and they released another album of early recordings (‘Est’) shortly after this one. There’s yet another titled ‘Aliens’ that appears to be similar; I don’t know much about that one but it has the markings of also being a rehashing of stuff the group couldn’t get released when it was first recorded in the seventies. Their only actual release back then was the decent and more folksy ‘Il Sogno’, but this album is only mildly in that same vein. Most of the members of Zauber also recorded a couple of albums under the name Clarion in the mid-nineties, presumably named after keyboardist/guitarist Paolo Clari who played in Zauber and is given most of the artistic credits for the Clarion albums.

The only justification I can hear for calling this a progressive folk band are the vocals of Liliana Bodini, who also plays guitar and some percussion here (triangles and such). She has a fairly comfortable folk voice but lacks much range and at times sounds more like a lounge-act singer thanks mostly to the slightly cheesy organ and electric piano arrangements. Otherwise I would call these guys something closer to contemporary adult or even easy-listening music but with the added twist of mellotron and lots of keyboards.

None of the compositions are very complex or original though, and after a while the overall sound borders on being slightly insipid. I like the flute passages, but frankly there’s been precious little flute music I’ve ever heard that wasn’t appealing on at least some level, so that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. And like most Latin music the acoustic guitar work is expressive, though in this case also quite placid which is great for transitions or short interludes but gets a bit boring nearly forty minutes on in an album.

Like I said the electric piano tends to be a bit cheesy and over-the-top at times, particularly on the almost nightclub-jazz sounding long instrumental part of “Uomo” and the slow, requiem-like “Dalla Finestra”, which are also the two longest tracks on the album.

There’s not really a highlight here, and for the most part the album is quite consistent musically – it’s just that it’s consistently unexceptional. The only other album of Zauber’s that I’ve heard is ‘Il Sogno’, and while that one isn’t an essential classic or anything either, I would recommend it over this one for anyone wanting to discover the band. Maybe I’ll try and hunt down some of those Clarion albums to see if they are any better. Two stars for this one though (despite the excellent artwork).

peace

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 Est by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Est
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Est also got released in 91 or 92 from older material. This album is apparently what Zauber was doing in the 80's (and it sounds like it unfortunately) and is divided in two parts; a studio part with tracks from 86 and a live part from 83 (or is that the other way around). Bith left me quite unimpressed , and bored. Still the same sort of music lacking energy (even live) much like Renaissance but this time around , they seem to go thru the motions not entirely convinced IMO by the music.

Where Phoenix had a superb and fantastic sleeve art work , I find this one ugly and naive. Reserved for dedicated fans only.

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 Phoenix by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.83 | 11 ratings

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Phoenix
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars This got its first release in 91. Knowing the desert prog landscape of the end of the 80's, this must've felt like an oasis when this came out. Some friends were telling me to check this out for more than ten years before I finally got around to it.

I am generally wary of so-called albums recorded in an era but released much later. How the original tapes have been tampered with or re-recorded/overdubbed etc... Nothing immediately apparent here , this album staying close to the style developped on Il Sogno (their only release in that decade and up to 500 copies distributed - the vinyl must go for a fortune).

We are dealing with an ultra-symphonic prog , pleasing very much neo-progheads , along the lines of Renaissance (circa Novella) , but slightly more interesting than BJH but lacking energy much like Il Sogno. This is why I think that the tapes were not tampered with.

Relatively irrelevant historically , pleasant to the non-demanding proghead, probably irritatingly boring for the adventuresome proghead, but what a fantastic sleeve artwork.

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 Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno') by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.44 | 21 ratings

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Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno')
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Zauber's only historical release is a rather symphonic prog adventure typical of the late 70's synths allowed to make. Two KB players and a feast of Moogs but I find that the energy is very absent much like Barclay James Harvest of those years or Renaissance. Apparently , there are four bonus tracks but unspecified of which Apoteosi is one but since it sits second in the running order....... the other ones are..... your guess is as good as mine. As for the sound, it is very correct but lacks depth (remark about the energy), the tracks glide by , sometimes drawing your attention and at times (not that many) boring you.

This group is overly symphonic for my taste but will please people who like a sort of Italian Renaissance.

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 Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno') by ZAUBER album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.44 | 21 ratings

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Zauber (aka 'Il Sogno')
Zauber Prog Folk

Review by The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A highly underrated Milanese band that certainly has got its place in prog history. Whether their music is spectacular or not, the proposal is very clear though, to make every instrument sound off individually wonderful. The folkloric Italian elements flourish beautifully for almost 42 minutes, acoustic guitars flying through compassed chords, a piano striking exceptionally intertwined (difficultly arranged to my concern), flutes intromissions all around and whenever the synths let there be interludes in between. ZAUBER fits perfectly into any type of mood, it's got harmonious entwined passages and randomly executed moments that will make you stick around until the album is over. Then, you'll play it all over again.

The first two tracks are instrumental, so you can allow yourself to pay more attention to each one of the instruments separately. "Valzer su BACH" takes off very well orchestrated with an impetuous piano and a rather dark violoncello (played by guest musician Giulio ARPINATI), that as the songs moves on, enlighten a better view to crafted sounds out of rhythmic synths and quietly clattered drums. "Liliana" has this peculiar dialogue between acoustic guitars where almost unperceivable bass tunes break in between the strings conversation making the song even easier to digest.

"Canzone per un' amica" starts rather the same as its couple of predecessors, but with a flute variation that turns the song into a quite enjoyable experience. Liliana BODINI's voice is mellow yet paused, and it sort of slows down the process of the interpretation all along the lyrics that happen to be insignificantly corny and freakishly short. There's a three minute guitar prelude named "Glockenturm" to get to "Dietro la Collina", that to my concern, is the best piece in this late seventies album. The song is inexplicably aggressive in the beginning, and it kind of brings out the beautiful in Liliana's voice, making what is left of the track sound incomparably great to the rest of the album. The constant struggle between both piano and percussions is marvelous, Liliana's grand finale throughout deep and dark vocalizations is remarkably outstanding. A great song undoubtedly.

It took me quite few sessions of constant listening to "Il Sogno" to realize I had to dissect this album in two separate parts. The first half, which I have just described to you; is plagued of assorted emotions and instrumented improvisations, while the rest of the album is magically orchestrated, where the same piano and guitars sound off spectacularly different. It is impressive, almost pure. "Spleen" keeps up the battling spirit of that piano and percussions I just told you about, but there's this strange, almost pleasant twist, that changes the panorama instantly into a whole new kind of music that makes you wonder if you're still listening to the same band. "Id" is a soft piece that roams through melodic guitars and a sweet flute that keeps the good company of a schmaltzy piano. In the other hand, we have the unmistakable psychedelic touch every seventies respectable production had to have, represented throughout "Deimos", another instrumental piece that claims for absolute attention when listening to it. Skilful pianist Anna GALLIANO proved she could take it on here.

ZAUBER is an interesting band that proposes constant feedback when being listened to, it's the kind of unknown band to you that will get to earn a spot between your prog preferences, making every time you pop the CD in an incomparable experience. This music challenges the most adventurous prog listeners not to compare sounds through the usual channels, but to enjoy and relax. If you're into constant prog rock rediscovery, ZAUBER is the band for you.

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