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Tale Cue - Voices Beyond My Curtain  CD (album) cover

VOICES BEYOND MY CURTAIN

Tale Cue

 

Neo-Prog

3.40 | 54 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
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
tszirmay | 3/5 |

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