Finisterre - Storybook

Year of Release: 2001
Label: MoonJune Records
Catalog Number: MJR002
Format: CD
Total Time: 77:14:00

If the name Finisterre doesn't say anything to you, well, you probably haven't been following the Italian progressive rock movement lately. With a sound that clearly picks up on its seventies Italian predecessors, the band has reaped praise all across the world and has helped try and put its country back on the map of progressive rock. A daunting task, as the legacy left behind by the most legendary Italian acts is a hard one to follow and live up to, something that most prog rock connoisseurs would tell you.

In pursuit of such a task, the members of Finisterre have decided to release the live Storybook, recorded four years ago [at ProgDay 1997] and summing up the act's sound, style, and talents in an attractive package for those who have never heard it. And just as is to be expected, the record is a trip through the traditions of Italian progressive rock, engrossed in heavy doses of melancholic psychedelia, epically melodramatic passages, and jazzy segments, all with the narrative flow and mutating structure that one would normally hope for.

What would also be hoped for and was not achieved, however, is a decent production with a solid sound and mix. Storybook is a live record that is lacking in that area, and it does detract from the listening experience, surpassing the level of quality tolerance that is usually given live albums. Moreover, the first three tracks of the album seem to be played by a half-sedated Finisterre, with only occasional flashes of brilliance to make up for the slack, among which Sergio Grazia's graceful flute intro to "In Limine" is to be found.

Fortunately, the cover version of the PFM classic "Altaloma" suddenly kicks the band into gear and has guitarist Stefano Marelli waking up to discover his own abilities again; a wakeup call that Grazia and keyboardist Boris Valle luckily do not need throughout Storybook. At any rate, the sudden tremor explodes into a glorious series of raunchy pseudo-jams ("Macinaaqua, Macinaluna"), Middle Eastern melodies ("Asia"), tributes to bands such as Genesis, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson ("Phaedra"), and inimitable traditional Italian prog ("Canto Antico"), so that one is finally introduced to the real Italian renaissance that Finisterre embodies. One could argue that the band is stuck in a time capsule and has little to do with the music of today, and one would actually be right. For those with nostalgia and love for classic Italian progressive rock, however, this is the real deal.

In Limine (7:19) / Orizzonte Degli Eventi (15:29) / Hispanica (5:52) / Altaloma (10:12) / Macinaaqua, Macinaluna (8:12) / Asia (4:49) / Phaedra (13:51) / Canto Antico (11:30)

Fabio Zuffanti - bass, vocals
Stefano Marelli - electric guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals
Boris Valle - keyboards
Sergio Grazia - flute
Andrea Orlando - drums

Finisterre (1995)
In Limine (1996)
Live - Ai Margini Della Terra Fertile (1998)
In Ogni Luogo (1999)
Live At Progday '97 (2000, ltd. ed.)
Storybook (2001)
Harmony Of The Spheres (2002)
La Meccanica Naturale (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 611
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]