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Finisterre - In Limine

Artist: Finisterre
Title: In Limine
Label: Mellow Records MMP 291
Length(s): 61 minutes
Year(s) of release: 1996
Month of review: 01/1997

Line up

Francesca Biagini - flutes, choir director
Stefano Marelli - guitars, vocals
Marcello Mazzoccki - drums
Boris Valle - keys
Fabio Zuppanti - bass, vocals

Tracks

1) Intro 0.12
2) In Limine 7.17
3) XXV 4.38
4) Preludio 4.23
5) Ideenkleid Leibnitz Frei 6.04
6) Hispanica 5.37
7) Interludio 3.43
8) Algos 13.28
9) Orrizionte Degli Eventi 16.13

Summary

Another one by the band from Italy. Their previous one contained a very good track in the form of Cantoantico, but on the whole it was kind of disjointed.

The music

Intro is soo short I'm even a bit dubious about spending a sentence on it. Ah well. In Limine then starts out rather happy with flute and reminding me of Focus (also in the melody). Also reference to Flairck can be made here, but the raunchy guitar is definitely Finisterre's own. Then the track moves into high gear with guitar and synth competing, but although the tempo is high the sound is somewhat soft and subdued. The drumming is rather hectic giving a good drive to the track. The songs also contains a rather typcially progressive keyboardsolo and also some more free meanderings on saxophone, with moody piano. After another sound experiment, a delicate piano melody starts, later accompanied by flute. Beautiful, also when it moves into a majestic guitar solo, in the best Firth of Fifth tradition. On the whole one migth say a melting pot of diverse influences and styles and it's a wonder the band gets away with it.

The next song is vocal, with low vocals by Claudio Castellini and his vocals are very pleasant to listen to. On the whole, a Genesis atmosphere is evoked with a good vocal melody and piano in the foreground.

Preludio starts out rather moody and also dark with whispering voices and an atmospheric, emotionally torn guitar crying out into the whispering silence and in the end it whimpering and wailing sound is accompanied by saxophone. In style one could compare this song with Please by Pendragon also because of the load of emotion present in it.

The next one up with a remarkable title if I say so myself, is of a totally different style: hectic, percussive and dissonant. Very quick repetitive melodies on the piano and flute and also involving some inaccessible and incoherent sax. The song then takes a turn for the jazzy and although rather like In Limine in its diversity, this song is that little more disjointed and in fact it turns out that it is an Ideenkleid (carpet of ideas). The extremely chaotic ending is enough for any nearby parent to make sure you are put on the list of people in search of a new home.

Hispanica starts out with a beautiful flute, and then becomes a little folky and also rather up-beat and happy. The intricate harmonies of the song make it an interesting although not very subdued listen. References to Gentle Giant can be made, although the Spanish influences in the song are even less discountable. At the end the flute seems to play til fade, but acoustic guitar then takes over and again the Genesis influence is there (the soft Genesis that is, of Wind and Wuthering).

Before the two long tracks, there's still Interludio and as its name already says it is not meant as a song, but an interlude between the shorter early tracks and the coming epics. The song is very repetitive and classical.

The first of the epics starts with classical piano (very nice too) and some very low bass sounds occasionally in the back. The music then erupts into a jazzrock intermezzo with electric guitar on the fore and the flute part of In Limine reoccurs. Then an up-tempo threatening part starts with choir singing and ever quicker drumming. This is almost opera (remember the last part of I Robot). The keyboard here takes every trick out of the book and really lets go of reason. The sound of them is rather old, a little how the old keyboard pioneers experimented with their newly created instruments. Then abruptly a solo clarinet (or almost solo) takes over and the entire atmosphere of the song is changed while at the end a lone piano closes the door.

The flute of the last track is again very melodic and typcially of Italian progressive rock. This song is less classical than the previous and thus more likeable for progressive lovers. The vocals are soft and non-obtrusive but enhance emotion. This song is the Cantoantico of In Limine. The second part of the song Ascesa is sung differently, louder and more orating. The tempo is a lot higher here as well. The next part then is again trusted with a good melody and sung as the first part. La Danza is in the beginning rather merry, but a more mysterious section then follows. The guitar solo of the next part of the song is again loud and the melodies in this part sound rather familiar. After a while a raunchy guitar in the back starts to work up to a melodic climax enhanced by the now more powerful, emotional singing Fabio Zuppanti.

One those tracks where time flies.

Conclusion

A good album, that can capture with beautiful melodies and can be rich in emotion as well as being inaccessible for those that think one style to a song is ten too little. Orrizonte is the typical epic, while Algos is more avant garde and less melodic. The sound of Finisterre contains both influences of Genesis and modern classical music (Le Orme comes to mind) and it works out well. Great variety, good musicianship and although a little disjointed at times, well worth the trouble of finding. Broaden your horizon if need be.

Jur


© Jurriaan Hage