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Minstrel - Ahab CD (album) cover

AHAB

Minstrel

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.67 | 21 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars In 2000 the Italian formation Minstrel released their beautiful and varied debuut CD entitled Faust featuring obvious elements from the Classic Italian Prog and 76-77-Genesis. Then Minstrel seemed to have turned in just another interesting 'one-shot-progrock-band'. But nine years after Faust there was the successor named Ahab (the captain who searched for Moby Dick). I notice an important role for Mauro Ghilardini, on Faust he was one of the five 'character singers', but now he's the one and only singer, along pianoforte and orchestrations.

Well, you can conclude that on this second album the focus is on Mauro, what a powerful and distinctive voice. And it is layered with an opera-like undertone that matches perfectly with the rich Italian music tradition in which a theatrical element is often present. We can enjoy harder-edged and compelling progrock that is loaded with heavy guitar work (from fiery and biting solos to propulsive riffs) and thunderous drums (toward prog metal). At some moments this is blended with dreamy parts featuring tender piano runs and warm Italian vocals.

Remarkable is the long final composition Morte (more than 10 minutes), in my opinion obviously the most symphonic rock oriented track on this CD, delivering lots of shifting moods and more creativity and variety than in all other tracks! After a bombastic intro with dramatic vocals and wonderful piano work, the music turns into very compelling with again dramatic vocals, fiery duo-guitar work ('overdubs') and beautiful classical orchestrations, I like the contrast between the fragile piano and heavy guitar and drums. Then a mellow part with twanging acoustic guitar, pleasant piano runs and inspired vocals. Gradually the climate turns into more lush and bombastic, culminating in great finale with fiery guitar runs and powerful vocals.

You have to get used to this new Minstrel album if you are familiar with their debut CD, because on Ahab this promising new Italian formation sounds more as Heavy Prog than the symphonic rock on Faust.

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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