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Tracklist: 1. Allegro con brio 5-56 2. Phoebus 9-24 3. Melodia di fine autunno 8-42 4. Aria e vento 13-24 5. 5 / 5 / 1555 11-32 (Note: lyrics on tracks 1 & 2 are in English; others - in Italian) Line-up: Fabrizio Pellicciaro - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, flute Marco Angelone - electric & classical guitars Fabiano Cudazzo - keyboards Maurizio Di Tollo - drums & percussion, backing vocals Salvatore Marchesani - bass guitar With: Luca Latini - flute All music & lyrics written by F. Pelliciaro. Arranged & produced by Distillerie Di Malto. Recorded & mixed by Domenico Pulsinelli at "Miciomaos" studio, Palermo, Italy. Booklet-poster printed by "Blue Point" Co (Italy).
Prologue. "Il Manuale Dei Piccoli Discorsi" is the debut album of Distillerie Di Malto. Visit their web site for more details on the band.
The Album. Well, as you know, there are five songs on the Distillerie Di Malto debut album, two of which were sung in English and three in the band's native language. It is, however, hard to regard all of these tracks as songs, since there are few vocals in each of them. Distinctly original and diverse, (just wonderful), the instrumental arrangements dominate the entire album, as they never turn into chords and sound impressive along with the vocal parts as well. It is unnecessary, in my view, to describe each of the album's five tracks separately because all of them are created within the frame of a unified (monolithic, though!) stylistics, which, in itself, looks very original and fresh. No, I don't want to say the music of DDM (allow me to use the band's acronym as an abbreviation) is kind of indescribable, but this blend of Progressives few genres and sub-genres sounds unique in many ways. It's obvious that these young Italians tried wittingly to refrain from repetitions; avoiding any of the possible influences in the process of creating their debut (!) album. Formally, it represents a blend of Classic Symphonic Progressive, Prog Metal, and Space Rock with the complete set of essential progressive ingredients. It's quite another matter how these guys used all of these known things in still the same process of composing and arranging their songs. While the 'riffing 'n' rhyming' guitarist, vocalist and flautist Fabrizio Pelliciaro (whose vocal parts are mostly dramatic) and both the chiefs of the rhythm section (Maurizio Di Tollo & Salvatore Marchesani) work diverse and virtuosic throughout the album (all of which is on the whole typical for serious progressive bands), most of the parts of the band's main soloists Fabiano Cudazzo and Marco Angelone are unique. While Marco's classical guitar passages often remind me of the sound of medieval minstrels, however, his electric guitar solos are always slow, fluid and drawling - regardless of the tempo of his fellow band mates. In the same way, while Fabiano's piano solos are just slightly unusual, almost all of his variegated (by sound, register, and speed as well) synthesizer solos sound like the howls of ghosts. By playing in this way, both the said main soloists demonstrate a unique, at least very unusual, approach to the arrangements. With typical Symphonic Rock structures, but also with a lot of sudden raises in high speed, heavy, powerful and bombastic parts as well as falls into the 'musical' black holes where there are only some (still the same in some ways, though) ghostly sounds and very silent passages of a classical guitar. All of the music of DDM is actually based on very effective contrasts. In other words, all the pronounced contrasts they use in their music have a powerful effect (impression!) upon the listener.
Summary. Despite the fact that the DDM debut album "Il Manuale Dei Piccoli Discorsi" is quite complex, especially for traditional Neo-fans, I think most of them should find it interesting. I also think that the majority of 'classic' Prog-heads (maybe except those purists who reject any of Prog Metal's manifestations), would find this interesting as well. The point is that although the music of DDM sounds dramatic and even dark sometimes, it also has some indescribable, yet obvious, attraction. I'd say it has positive hypnotic qualities. Being properly promoted and distributed, already the debut album of DDM should reach a relatively wide audience. Generally, the band has outstanding creative potential and they must develop it in the future.
VM. November 7, 2001
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