Malibran - Oltre L'ignoto

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Mellow Records
Catalog Number: MMP 409
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:49:00

Malibran is the kind of Italian band you think has been around for ages but still remains a big question mark in the history of progressive rock. Apparently they released their very first album The Wood Of Tales on vinyl way back in 1990, but in between releases they needed plenty of time. So as long as you didn't know what was happening, the world probably thought that Malibran had called it a day. Not so because with this new release they tend to be even closer to vintage Italian prog than ever before. Mainly the decision to go back to singing in Italian is an improvement, adding an extra texture from which the entire album benefits. Add to that the superb flute playing and wonderful layers of keyboards plus outstanding guitar work and you understand that Malibran is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

The opening track "Si Dira Di Me" alone already justifies the purchase, because this track simply includes everything a prog lover can dream of. The recording is crystal-clear, delivering a perfect detailed musical scope. Led by Giuseppe Scaravilli who sings as well as playing the guitar, keyboards, flute, bass and percussion, it enables the band to offer two different styles of guitar in one single song. The fragile interaction between keyboards and flute lay down the carpet on which the title track can evolve. OK, maybe it contains some very strong resemblance to the Genesis classic "Watcher In The Skies" but Malibran tries to change it towards its own identity as soon as they can. By introducing acoustic guitar and violin a song like "L'incontro" can deliver a completely new sound, more intimate, more modest, more classical, more authentic, even more typical Italian. The style changes completely once the band introduces a very firm drum pattern and synthesized bass during "Cherchio Mobole" giving the whole a "funky" twist.

The slide guitar during "Mare Calmo" slightly evokes an early Pink Floyd feel before it switches towards authentic Malibran. The album closes with "In Viaggio" where Scaravilli sings in a very theatrical way expanding the dimension of the song. Again some very tight but correct drumming leads the way to some superb guitar solos. The flashes of organ slightly betray an adoration for Tony Banks yet the rest of the arrangement perfectly suppresses the music to flourish into deep Genesis waters! On the contrary as for a very brief section the music steers towards authentic Jethro Tull, beautifully executed on flute by Scaravilli, who else? For those of you who let the disc sit in your CD player: your patience is soon rewarded by means of an unannounced slice of pure Jethro Tull "Bouré" which is tackled in a myriad of styles. A surprising end to a lovely album. The nice 16 page booklet contains plenty of photographs taken during the band's visit to Progday in October 2000, a proof that this band is loved the world over! Fully understandable when you listen to this outstanding album!

Si Dira Di Me (12:20) / Oltre L'Ignoto (8:03) / L'Incontro (2:48) / Cherchio Mobole (5:14) / La Via D'Acqua (2:52) / Verso Sud (2:12) / Mare Calmo (4:50) / In Viaggio (10:00)

Giancarlo Cutuli - flute, sax, piccolo
Jerry Litrico - electric guitar
Angelo Messina - electric bass
Alessio Scaravilli - drums, percussion
Benny Torrisi - piano, keyboards
Giuseppe Scaravilli - vocals, electric, acoutsic & slide guitar, flute, bass, percussion, keyboards, wah-wah


Vito Germena - violin
Antonio Longo - cello

The Wood Of Tales (vinyl) (1990)
Le Porte De Silenzio (1993)
Molecole (1995) (prog compilation)
La Citta Sul Lago (1998)
Raccolta 1990 - 1998 (cassette) (1998)
The Wood Of Tales (1999) (Brazilian CD release)
Le Porte De Silenzio (1999) (Brazilian CD release)
In Concerto (2000) (Official Bootleg)
Songs For Jethro (2000) (Italian Jethro Tull tribute comp.)
Rari Ed Inediti (1987-2000) (2000)
Live At ProgDay (2001)
Oltre L'ignoto (2001)
The Wood Of Tales (+3 bonus tracks) (2002)
Strani Colori (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: September 22nd 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 608
Language: english


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