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Secret Tales biography
The female fronted gothic RPI band SECRET TALES formed in 2012, a trio based around main composer and keyboard player Roby Tav, guitarist Giancarlo Gabbanella (guitars/bass) and singer/lyricist Tiziana Radis. This band evolved out of a previous musical partnership between Tav and Radis that delivered an album `The Secret Wood Tales' in 2010. This new group saw the release of their debut album "L'Antico Regno" on the Black Widow record label in 2014 on both CD and vinyl.

A lavish and enchanting work rich with history, fantasy and magic, the concept album "L'Antico Regno" (The Old Kingdom) combines gothic, classical and symphonic elements with medieval folk and hard rock with a surreal and sophisticated narrative. While Tiziana's vocals move between Italian, English and French, they retain that grand theatrical delivery expected of the proper Italian progressive bands. The heavier sections remind of Black Sabbath and another darker female-led band Blood Ceremony, while the gothic elements bring just a hint of the darker Italian acts like Il Segno del Comando.

Secret Tales are an evocative, distinctive and exciting new Italian band to discover!

Biography by Michael H (Aussie-Byrd-Brother).

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3.98 | 9 ratings
L'Antico Regno

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 L'Antico Regno by SECRET TALES album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.98 | 9 ratings

L'Antico Regno
Secret Tales Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A gothic RPI album.

Secret Tales is a new concept from a talented Italian trio who has reinvented themselves to produce a mystical, dark and gothic progressive rock album entitled "L'Antico Regno" which features 13 short songs that make a total time of 48 minutes. This is an album released in 2014 via Black Widow Records, an Italian label that has released several gothic-like albums in recent years.

The album has a clear guide, she is Tiziana Radis, the girl who sings and tells the story; she is complemented by Roby Tav on keyboards and Giancarlo Gabbanella on strings. The trio has also invited some other musicians to perform different instruments in some songs.

The album opens with "Stargate". The dark feeling appears since the very first seconds though later with guitar it becomes a bit friendlier; I imagine a film about a new planet or galaxy which is being discovered and has to tell its own story. After that introductory moment, "Il Menestrello" appears. It is a short song with beautiful female vocals and acoustic guitar that leads to "L'Antico Regno"; where piano, a male voice speaking and the female singing appear in a soft and delicate way. But after a minute, the music changes, becoming darker and heavier so it is like a blend of diverse sounds that give as a result a symphonic gothic metal piece.

"Il Giullare" is a splendid track, the voices and laughter make it closer to reality, I mean, it is like reading a book and all of a sudden witness the characters in front of you, living the life and telling the story. I love the changes of time and mood, they go from dark passages to sweet hopeful ones, without harming not even a second of the music; in the last minute they delight us with a great guitar solo. "In-Faust-O Goblin" brings a wonderful vocal performance, because Tiziana's voice might be sweet but at the same time it shows sorrow and grievance.

"Ill Canto delle Sirene" is a beautiful instrumental track that has some vocals as background, but no lyrics. The music is peaceful, with acoustic and electric guitar and delicious percussion. A folky passage that in moments becomes rockier but that has a dark/gothic essence. "Rex Introduxit Puellam" has again a folky tune, but it has some strange voices that sound like a machine, I think it is the King of the story. As background we can enjoy violin and beautiful synths. "PrincElfa" has acoustic guitar and an ethereal sound, accompanied by disarming female vocals. The song is like a ballad, a beautiful one by the way.

"L'Unicornio Lucente" adds power and brings back that heavier and darker sound of Secret Tales. As you can imagine, the vocals are great, soft in moments, heavier in others, with an opera-like style; drums are constant but not superb, strings and keys are a great complement, the guitar makes a nice solo, but that's it. "Tornano le fate" is the longest composition, a pleasant piece of rock whose gothic essence prevails, however, it has some softer moments that make it catchier and truly enjoyable. The piano as background helps a lot, while a sorrowful guitar cries in a solo, and Tiziana's voice sounds with echoes, like a siren singing.

"Le Tred" continues with the dark ambient, with some metal hints due to the guitar, though the music itself is far from being metal. "An Ancient History" is the only song that features vocals in English; this is a piece that also adds flute and violin, providing variety to the elements, though the voice in English adds as well a poppier / catchier sound. The album finishes with "Saluto del Cantore", a sweet folky tune.

Maybe the songs are not memorable, maybe there are not pieces that surprise us, but in the end, the album is very well crafted so it gives a satisfying listening experience. Not the classic RPI album, not the classic gothic album, this is a different concept that I recommend you to listen, however, I could not say it is a super or unforgettable album.

Enjoy it!

 L'Antico Regno by SECRET TALES album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.98 | 9 ratings

L'Antico Regno
Secret Tales Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Italian label Black Widow specializes in dark-toned RPI, and this new band - which however has its roots on a 2010 album The Secret Wood Tales by the core duo - makes no exception for that matter. But SECRET TALES definitely isn't a typical RPI band, or typical anything. Since I got the CD long before they were added into the Archives, I noticed that the subgenre question wasn't an easy one. The Gothic tasting music has elements from several directions, such as Folk, Metal, even Psychedelic/Space Rock, but in the end, being not quite complex and progressive enough for Eclectic Prog category, the RPI choice is surely the most logical.

The Italian lyrics (plus one, slightly more commercial sounding track in English) are sung by Tiziana Radis, who co-writes the music with keyboardist Roby Tav and also plays guitar, lute, bodhran and percussion. Her rather unique vocal expression operates between low and high, from folky sincerity to opera flavour. In my opinion the key word to this music is atmosphere, and in that sense PINK FLOYD can be taken as one helpful reference. That dark and yet relatively accessible atmosphere is seasoned with fairy tale pixiedust of ancient times. On some tracks, especially 'Il Menestrello' and the finale piece called 'Saluto del Cantore', the Medieval / Renaissance flavour is very central. The wordless (not voiceless) intro piece 'Stargate' is an example of the majestic, cinematographic spirit that's also woven into the music every now and then. The title tracks leans towards Gothic Metal without completely rejecting the folk nuances either.

What this album perhaps lacks are individually memorable and strong compositions, as well as more virtuotic use of instruments, but the distinctive atmosphere and a personal mixing of various elements that all work pretty well together makes up for an interesting album. 3 stars rounded up for beautiful cover art.

 L'Antico Regno by SECRET TALES album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.98 | 9 ratings

L'Antico Regno
Secret Tales Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Emerging from the ashes of the dark folk/prog duo Roby Tav and Tiziana Radis who released `The Secret Wood Tales' back in 2010, Italian trio Secret Tales arrives with one of the most varied, sophisticated and lavish Italian progressive releases of 2014 with their debut concept album `L'Antico Regno' (The Old Kingdom). Led by the mesmerizing semi-operatic tones of princess Tiziana Radis, the band, which also sees keyboardist Tav joined by guitarist Giancarlo Gabbanella, delivers a rich collection of dark symphonic music with strong folk and hard rock elements, as well as a rich theatrical quality, as expected from the proud tradition of Italian progressive artists both old and new.

So much of the music on `L'Antico Regno' is guided by Tiziana's charismatic and spell-binding personality. The mix of different styles won't be for all listeners, but hopefully they have the patience to discover everything the album holds and give it the repeated listens it needs. Looking at some of the highlights, opening instrumental `Stargate' soars with pomp and power as Pink Floyd-like electric guitar strains glide over symphonic synths and regal Mellotron. Both `Il Menestrello' and `Saluto del Cantore' are pretty little folk diversions with classical guitar and cooing vocals from Tiziana. The plodding title track is all doomy guitar grunt and gothic tension (with nice little up-tempo drum-battery runs too!). `Il Giullare' is more gothic heaviness around Tiziana's weeping sorrowful croon, and snarling Black Sabbath-like riffs power through `In-Faust-O Goblin'.

`Il Canto delle Sirene' is a longer instrumental where delicate acoustic guitar and glistening synths weave around ethereal wordless vocal drones and powerful driving electric guitars. `Princelfa' is a sweeping orchestral synth ballad with a heart-wrenching vocal lament, `L'unicorno Lucente' is operatic heavy goth not unlike fellow dark Italian act Il Segno del Comando. `Tornano le Fate' is a grand symphony of drifting dreamy harmonies floating over glistening electric piano tip-toes and soothing acoustic guitars. Tiziana also switches to English for the grand tale of `An Ancient History', a mix of Celtic-tinged acoustic folk with majestic violin, symphonic synths and beautifully implemented Floydian guitar solos.

Released on both vinyl LP and CD by the always reliable Black Widow record label, very few prog albums and bands offer as much variety and so many daring ideas as Secret Tales do with `L'Antico Regno'. The fact that this is a debut album, that the band are already so confident and have such a clear vision of their music is amazing, and if they're already delivering such stylish and enchanting progressive music, who knows what they may deliver in the future?

Four stars for a very promising dark Italian progressive band that sound like no other!

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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