Mike McLatchey    4-May-2001 The Wood of Tales/La Porte del Silenzio

Malibran are another Italian progressive with one foot in the 70s and the other in the 90s. Originally distributed by a relatively obscure label Pegaso, Malibran's debut album was better than many of their Italian cousins, with instrumental forays that sounded similar to some of Calliope's best moments. The Wood Of Tales is a modern take on 70s Italian progressive. The band is a sextet with two guitar players which adds some spontaneity to the proceedings with nice outbreaks from both of them, the keyboardist, and the sax/flute player. However, throughout the album it sounds like the band may have recorded a bit too prematurely, as some of the ideas seem underdeveloped and sketchy.

La Porte del Silenzio is a much better and more ambitious affair with the longest track clocking in at 27 minutes. The album is split directly down the middle, with the first four tracks being more influenced by modern styles, with the vocalist still showing that his command of English is less than satisfactory. The songs are an improvement on their first album with a more fiery edge. The 27 minute title track is quite an intense opus, the vocalist demonstrating here how sticking to your native language makes for a much more sincere effort. Moving through many phases including spacey sections to monster burning guitar jams, Malibran have put together a piece that at times rivals their Italian ancestors. It's a shame that the first piece wasn't quite as impressive.

(originally reviewed as part of The New Italian Progressive Rock Scene - Part 1, Exposť #4, p. 10-11, Edited for Gnosis 4/28/01)

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