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TRACK LIST: 1. Il Viaggio Nell' Oceano Capovolto-I 13:45 2. Il Grande Labirinto 9:43 3. Il Canto Dell' Inferno 3:00 4. Al Confini Del Mondo 12:41 5. Il Viaggio Nell' Oceano Capovolto-II 22:35 6. La Consunzione 3:34 All music: by Zuffanti & Macor. All lyrics: by Zuffanti. All arrangements: by La Maschera Di Cera. LINE-UP: Agostino Macor - - pianos, organs, & synthesizers; lead guitars Fabio Zuffanti - - basses, rhythm guitars, & bass pedals Marco Cavani - drums & assorted percussion Alessandro Corvaglia - vocals Andrea Monetti - flutes Produced by Zuffanti, Macor, & R. Vigo. Engineered by R. Vigo at "Zerodisci", Genoa.
Prolusion. La Maschera Di Cera is one of the most renowned Italian outfits formed in the new millennium. "Il Grande Labirinto" is the follow-up to the band's eponymous debut album, which was released on Mellow Records just a year ago.
Synopsis. "Il Grande Labirinto" is a full-fledged concept album and is in a way like those Rock Operas that feature only one singer: such as Marillion's "Brave", "Raising the Stones" by Xitizen Cain, and especially Genesis's "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". This mostly keyboard-driven music is filled with the spirit of progressive classicism and, at the same time, breathes with exceptional originality, which is due to the fact that it is both inspired by Classic Symphonic Art-Rock of the 1970s and is the product of genuine inspiration. There are six tracks on this 65-minute album, one of which: Il Canto Dell' Inferno (3) is an instrumental piece consisting of interplay between slow passages of Mellotron and mid-tempo solos of piano and oboe. In fact, this is just an intro (very logical intro though) to Al Confini Del Mondo. All the contents of the album are coherent and are of a monolithic stylistics representing Classic Symphonic Art-Rock with some elements of Prog-Metal, Jazz-Fusion, and music of Baroque. Only the longest track here: Il Viaggio Nell' Oceano Capovolto-II (5) contains also an episode where seemingly abstract, atonal solos of all the instruments involved sound like entities of Avant-garde Academic Music. The fluent transitions from mild to hard-edged structures, large-scaled instrumental arrangements of a clearly dramatic character, the magic sounds of Mellotron, Hammond, and flute, and theatrically dramatic vocals are typical for all of the songs on the album. All of them are real masterworks, and the 22-minute Viaggio Nell' Oceano Capovolto-II is the biggest jewel in the crown of this brilliant album.
Conclusion. The large number of fresh ideas on "Il Grande Labirinto" along with its clearly classic sound spells a major success for this album. Which, though, has already been proved by the fact that the first edition of CDs was sold in two weeks after "Il Grande Labirinto" was released. Indeed, this masterpiece has everything necessary to quickly get a cult status and become a real classic for the future as well.
VM: June 6, 2003
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