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Reviews

Finisterre — In Limine
(Mellow MMP 291, 1996, CD)

In Limine Cover art

After a respectable first album, Finisterre returns with a solid follow-up. The band doesn't really have any weak links. All of the musicians are on about the same musical level, and their compositions and arrangements reflect this balance nicely. In this age of one-man-bands, it's nice to hear a strong group effort. At times moody and atmospheric, at times jazzy and heavy, In Limine has lots of diversity. The base five-piece group is often augmented with a variety of different acoustic instruments ranging from strings to brass to wind. These guest musicians actually contribute quite a lot to music throughout the album. The last two tracks "Algos" and "Orizzonte delgi Eventi" especially take advantage of the orchestral element. Many of the acoustic parts bring King Crimson's "The Night Watch" to mind. They don't sound exactly like that song, but recall that same mood. Even many of the shorter tracks are pretty intricate compositions with multiple sections. Often part changes involve switching the focus between the electric and acoustic instruments. One song can go from sounding like a peaceful symphonic piece to a fast-paced Ozric Tentacles style number. There are sporadic vocals, both in English and Italian, but much of the album is instrumental. Dissonant harmonies and jazzy chord voicings permeate the album. The guitarist uses many different tones and sometimes makes the guitar sound remarkably like a sax. You certainly won't get bored because any of the songs sounding too repetitive. In Limine is a well-rounded release.

by Mike Grimes, Published 1997-02-01


Still spacey, ethereal and sublime, Finisterre are one of the most interesting of the new Italian groups, skirting the Marillion school that so many are fond of and embracing that refined subtlety I thought was left being in Italy's 70s (or at least since Ezra Winston's Ancient Afternoons in 1989.) Finisterre’s music moves in slow waves, almost ambient at times. The wide palate of instrumentation including many analog synths, flutes, and guitars gives the overall feel reminders of bands like Celeste, Errata Corrige, or Banco at their most restrained. Yes, Finisterre's trump card is atmosphere and the luxurious instrumentation is quite effective in its execution. The music is folkier this time around and the spirit of Italy's 70s at times is revived with the varying classical and Mediterranean themes. While a few more intense and upbeat parts would have balanced out the entirety more, Finisterre’s blend is authentic, well thought out and precariously beautiful. I'm sure they're on to something although the potential hasn't quite panned out yet. A beautiful album overall.

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1997-02-01


Finisterre surprised us last year with their debut album. In Limine is an excellent follow-up. Compared to their first, we find here in most pieces more of an acoustic atmosphere. Time is given to install sonic foundations and stretch forward. The atmosphere is generally more pensive, carried admirably by the flute of new member Francesca Biagini, who along with the nuanced and expressive work of new drummer Marcello Mazzocchi supports the thoughtful moods found throughout In Limine. This is a gentle music rendered with due dedication by fellows Boris Valle playing the grand piano and Hammond organ, Fabio Zuppanti on a harmonically supportive bass an lead vocals, Stefano Marelli on mostly acoustic guitar and lead vocals, and also a host of guests on cello, vocals, violin, trumpet, clarinet, and Edmondo Romano (Eris Pluvia, Ancient Veil) on soprano sax and recorder. In Limine stands out as a mature work that ranks along the best in progressive rock. It becomes oft-rediscovered soundscapes strongly rooted in the essence of a commitment towards an expressive yet subtle and gentle music, a rich musical research that simply awaits your listening. Highly recommended.

by Alain Lachapelle, Published 1997-02-01


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Finisterre, Fabio Zuffanti / ZBand

 

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