Exposé Online banner

Finisterre — Finisterre
(Mellow MMP 254, 1995, CD)

by Alain Lachapelle, 1995-11-01:

Finisterre Cover art

The name Finisterre comes from the Latin finis terrae, the limits of the Earth. Romans used to believe that the Earth ended near Hercules' columns which we call now the Gibraltar passage. Finisterre is the name of this region located in Spain. Finisterre is also the title of a collection of poems by Italian poet Eugenio Montale who was born in Genoa, the city where the band lives. This reference to a poet is an apt one, as Finisterre's music is an arabesque of lightly-colored nuances, with eloquent orchestrations. To the traditional grouping of acoustic guitar, keyboard, drums and bass we also find a flute player who also doubles on electric guitar and backing vocals. Add to this initial setup guests on recorder, soprano and tenor saxophones, viola, violin, and a five-person choir and you get the ingredients needed for a broad variety of styles. From the rather new-agey intro to Gregorian-like vocals to hard rock bits where Mozart and Gershwin suddenly are making appearances, to the tragico-romantic vocal parts on "Macinaaqua, macinaluna," the broad feeling of the music is one of playfulness that doesn't sacrifice the underlying seriousness of the compositions. Finisterre aren't doing the heaviest prog around. Rather, a gentle approach is used where often the flute moves from back to foreground, supported aptly by a good rhythmic section and at times poignant melodic lines. A large part of the album is instrumental and this shines on the 15-minute "Sun," a smooth-going melodic piece, perhaps echoing a bit of Genesis in the Selling England by the Pound period by the voluptuous guitar leads. All in all it makes for a very interesting debut album. The band has already started composing the material for the next album and they'll enter the studios in November for a possible disc release in January or February. The Earth doesn't stop at Gibraltar and Finisterre makes for a sweet celebration of a newfound territory where romanticism neighbors an ambivalence of dynamic and subtle moments.


by Peter Thelen, 1995-11-01:

How good it is to hear a new Italian band with such a solid footing in the 70s. Sure they tinker around with some neo-progressivisms (and they do that quite well also), but it's clear that this young five-piece from Genova have cut their teeth on the classics. They give many of the 70s bands a good run for their effort, yet Finisterre have to be commended for capturing the spirit without copping the riffs. They have done their homework well. All five members play something – there is no dedicated vocalist / frontman here to get in the way of the music. In fact only three of the album's eight tracks feature vocals, capably provided by the various band members, lyrics in Italian, of course. The instrumentation is guitar, keys, bass, and drums, augmented by flute, with guests providing additional flute, recorder, alto and tenor saxes, violin, and viola – plus full chorus on one track. There is so much going on here musically that it's difficult to itemize, and furthermore each track is significantly different from the others – yet it can be said that the sound is a band effort, and while there are solos aplenty, no one instrument seems to dominate the mix. They bounce between driving high energy rock excursions and more serene folk and classical elements with surprising ease. Influences are evident, but well assimilated within their own vision. Suffice to say that fans of Camel, PFM, Osanna, Tull, as well as newer bands should find much here to enjoy. Evidence again that symphonic rock in the classic style is alive and well. Finisterre is one of the best new surprises of the year.


by Mike McLatchey, 1995-11-01:

Finisterre is another debut from the country with more bands than fans. While many of Italy's newer outfits fall squarely in mediocrity, Finisterre looks like one of the brighter spots. The band is essentially a quintet with several guests and perform an atmospheric symphonic rock with influences from both the 70s Italian scene and the British neo-psych outfits like Ozric Tentacles or Omnia Opera. Finisterre have created an elaborate and elegant music and aren't afraid to be inventive or complex. There are some brilliant moments with great guitar and keys, yet the entirety isn't all that gripping as Finisterre spend more time in low key than where they really shine which is in the upbeat vein. The spacey synths that provide the atmospheres and ambiance are quite prevalent throughout the album yet prove to be a bit overdone through the length of the album. Debuts tend to get the rough edges out in a band and hopefully their second will prove this group's tremendous potential, as this is a nice album.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 8 , 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Finisterre, Fabio Zuffanti

More info

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hamadryad - Live in France 2006 – The Crescendo festival from 2006 featured several of today’s best prog bands, including Quebec’s Hamadryad. This album captures Jean François Désilets (bass, vocals), Denis...  (2008) » Read more

Foxtrot Zulu - Frozen in Time – Foxtrot Zulu is a Rhode Island group who should be finding a quick path onto the roots radio wave still prevalent across the US. One of the things that sets the seven piece apart from other roots...  (2000) » Read more

Volcano the Bear - Amidst the Noise and Twigs – In #34, I likened Volcano the Bear’s previous outing, Classic Erasmus Fusion, to the stranger parts of Ummagumma, and to a certain extent that comparison is still valid. There is an increased...  (2008) » Read more

Deus Ex Machina - Diacronie Metronomiche – Every Deus Ex Machina listener has a preferred song that is a wish to hear performed live. Diacronie Metronomiche sheds any doubts about the band using studio overdubs to make their full sound. This...  (1997) » Read more

3RDegree - Human Interest Story – A four-piece from New York City, 3RDegree specializes in well-crafted, hook-infected, song-oriented rock with strong melodic drive and progressive overtones. In fact they've been around for some...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues