sabato 8 marzo 2014

aneddoti e download



                           Aneddoti divertenti (e gratificanti) sui Malibran nel corso degli anni:

Una volta Jerry stava provando una chitarra in un negozio di  strumenti musicali del Veneto, accennando qualche pezzo dei Malibran: un cliente del posto, nostro fan, gli ha chiesto come facesse a conoscere quei pezzi, non riconoscendolo come uno del gruppo: Un po’ come se ( senza fare paragoni! ) un fan degli Zeppelin sentisse un tizio suonare “Stairway To Heaven” in un negozio, per poi scoprire che il tipo è Jimmy Page…!

Una persona dal Brasile mi ha scritto di aver comprato per 7 volte il nostro primo disco, perché, essendo  questo in vinile, rovinava tutte le copie a furia di ascoltarlo!

Un altro fan, a proposito del nostro live “In Concerto”, mi ha scritto che per lui noi siamo come i Genesis, i King Crimson, o altri gruppi Prog di questo livello: esagerato!

Un altro, dagli Stati Uniti, non si aspettava che rispondessi personalmente ad una sua mail, e mi ha confessato che, solo per questo, è rimasto tutto il giorno con un gran sorriso stampato in faccia!
Un giapponese mi ha comunicato di aver appena visto il nostro disco d’esordio in un negozio di Tokyo: lui comunque l’aveva già.

Ad un mio amico, in vacanza in Messico, hanno proposto e consigliato un nostro disco, parlando di un’ottima Prog band italiana…e lui ha risposto che ci conosceva di persona, naturalmente.

Nel 1991 eravamo nel negozio Black Widow di Genova ( oggi anche etichetta discografica ), pieno di nostri estimatori che ci chiedevano di autografare il nostro primo disco, che era anche in vetrina: un ragazzo aveva già la sua copia a casa, ma pur di averne una autografata, ne ha comprata un’altra sul posto; un tipo aveva il personaggio di quella copertina tatuato sul braccio!

Mentre eravamo sul palco negli USA, tutti i cd nostri che ci eravamo portati dietro sono stati venduti in pochi minuti…Peccato per il freddo!

Quando abbiamo suonato alla Festa dell’Unità di Catania, nel settembre 1991, Carmen Consoli a fine concerto è salita sul palco ad abbracciarci, urlando “ma dove "bip"…la prendete tutta questa grinta?”.

Un fan dalla Germania ed uno dal Nord Italia, pur avendo già tutti i nostri dischi, mi hanno richiesto “in blocco” anche i 50 (!) concerti inediti che avevo messo su CD: una bella spesa!

Arturo Stalteri dei Pierrot Lunaire ( gruppo Prog italiano anni ’70 ben noto ai cultori del genere ) mi ha scritto che gli piacciono i Malibran: oggi conduce programmi di musica classica su Radio Rai 1, ma non ha affatto rinnegato il Progressive: nel 1988 avevo registrato un suo speciale in tre puntate tutto dedicato ai Jethro Tull, sempre sulla RAI.

Mentre suonavamo prima del Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, vedevo Vittorio Nocenzi godere muovendo la testa, dietro di noi, durante l’incalzante sezione finale di “On The Lightwaves”: sulla mia macchina ha poi avuto belle parole nei nostri confronti. Qualche ora prima in macchina avevo Francesco Di Giacomo: come, per un fan degli U2, andare in giro con Bono e The Edge, parlando come colleghi…per poi cenare insieme.

Un libro sulla PFM ci paragona a loro, riguardo la spettacolarità di un gruppo Progressive sul palco: La PFM per gli anni ’70 e i Malibran per gli anni ’90.

Ian Anderson ha apprezzato il cd italiano di tributo ai Jethro Tull: come pezzo di apertura era stata scelta la nostra versione di “Bourèe”, che è dunque il primo pezzo che lui ha ascoltato.

Un nostro estimatore romano ci ha visti suonare dalle parti di Roma nel 1989: aveva 12 anni, ed era il primo concerto della sua vita. Due anni dopo è venuto a vederci ancora, all’Alpheus (oggi Planet), sempre a Roma. E ci segue ancora...

Un fan dal Costarica, pur avendo tutti i nostri dischi, mi ha chiesto anche un pò di materiale inedito.

Franz Di Cioccio della PFM mi ha inviato una e-mail di congratulazioni per la nostra prevista partecipazione ad un Festival prog in Francia: poi non siamo andati... ma basta il pensiero! Lui si diceva "very gasato", perchè stava partendo per Tokyo con la band ( ne avrebbero tratto "Live in Japan", dvd e cd ), preannunciandomi che avrebbe di nuovo indossato il kimono, come negli anni '70...

In occasione della Festa del Lavoro del 1996 ci ritroviamo a suonare a Catania di fronte a ventimila persone (subito dopo ci saranno Gino Paoli ed Edoardo Bennato). E mancano due di noi! Però va bene lo stesso, e di fronte a quel mare di gente, è una botta d’adrenalina pazzesca!

Un fan dal Belgio mi scrive che per lui la nostra suite, “Le Porte del Silenzio”, è un “capolavoro” paragonabile a “Supper’s Ready” dei Genesis: davvero esagerato! Il nostro disco omonimo viene intanto inserito tra i 10 lavori più belli del Progressive italiano anni ’90 sulla rivista “Prog”, in edicola nel 2015.

Giuseppe Scaravilli, 2015






Malibran - Tracce - revisited songs

Link - http://www13.zippyshare.com/v/91105531/file.html

  1 - DISTANZE
  2 - ON THE LIGHTWAVES
  3 - LIBERO
  4 - STRANI COLORI
  5 - THE MUSICAL BOX
  6 - NUVOLE DI VETRO
  7 - PYRAMID'S STREET
  8 - LA CITTA' SUL LAGO
  9 - MALIBRAN
10 - PRELUDE

SCARAVILLI / MESSINA / SCARAVILLI / LITRICO

ORCHESTRAL ARRANGEMENTS COMPOSED
& PERFORMED BY GIUSEPPE SCARAVILLI

KROSSOVER 2003 & CASTLE ROCK STUDIOS 2004



ProgArchives reviews:

This is a progressive masterpiece from 1990 that has been digitally transferred from a mint vinyl LP and re-issued on the magnificent Brazilian label Rock Symphony. The original vinyl LP was released on the Pegaso Records label and it was MALIBRAN's debut album. MALIBRAN was born in 1987 on the Sicily Island outside Italy. They are playing typical Italian progressive rock with a 70's sound. The musicianship is strong and the music contains many instrumental passages and some nice flute playing. Many of my favourite albums are from Italy with bands such as IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, CELESTE, I GIGANTI, MARY NEWSLETTER, MAXOPHONE, METAMORFOSI, MUSEO ROSENBACH, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA and STANDARTE, and now I can add MALIBRAN to the list as well. MALIBRAN has much in common with many of these aforementioned bands. This is without doubt an Italian classic, but unfortunately I think that not many know about this band. They have recently released a new album called "La Città sul Lago" on one of Italy's two major progressive rock labels: Mellow Records. Buy this album and you won't regret it! Highly recommended!

 Back in 1987, the Sicilian band MALIBRAN was born. In the beginning, the Catania natives took off particularly far from the progressive rock tendencies, where a very metal-sound orientation predominated all over their compositions and arrangements. It wasn't until 1989 and during a Prog Festival organized in Rome, when MALIBRAN finally started to set off among the prog world along huge bands of the size of LEVIATHAN, EDITH and NOTTURNO CONCERTANTE. After this mega-show and judging by the response of the fans to the band, they finally produced their first album which was released in 1990 on the Pegaso Records label. Later on, the now seventies-oriented style band released the incredible masterpiece presented as "the best Italian album since 1977", "Le Porte del Silenzio", where MALIBRAN conquered their place among the best three Italian bands of the 90's with FINISTERRE and NUOVA ERA. Out of curiosity, is how I discovered MALIBRAN. "The Wood of Tales" is an overlooked album, that could easily be measured up to the instrumentation quality and strong composition of "Le Porte del Silenzio", but due the fact it is indeed the band's debut album, it lacks of a deserved recognition and fully acceptance. In that context, is why I firstly wanted to upload my review on "Le Porte del Silenzio", to create a wider panorama where comparisons could be included and counterpoints could be dissipated. It was useful as well because it grew higher expectations on the fans, and in that order, I hoped most of the now MALIBRAN fans could feel the proximity of discovering a brand new band for them. "The Wood of Tales" is a sea full of complexities and simplicities. Why? Because it's got it all, so you can continuously question yourself why of the surprising displays of geniality on unpredictable conversations between an intrepid flute and a ruthless guitar that sounds off almost disturbing. The opening song of this album named after the band, contains the precise amount of eerie ingredients to avoid you from leaving your seat, warming you up for what's to come (at this point, I must say Giuseppe SCARAVILLI sings spectacularly clear in English. That's a plus for any foreign band which is constantly struggling to remain universal). Giancarlo CUTULI and Benny TORRISI take away exceptionally the self-titled piece for almost nine minutes, being inspirationally interrupted by Jerry LITRICO's astonishing guitar managing and neat drum performing by Alessio SCARAVALLI. This instrumental suite is beautifully executed from beginning to end, proving that they could be catalogued among the Italian greatest musicians. When moving on to "Sarabanda", you and your ears can realize musical purity comes in a MALIBRAN shape, here you will be able to contemplate the difficulty of playing an acoustic guitar so rapidly and impetuous that it'll make you ask for seconds. "Pyramid's Street" is the suitable excuse for Giuseppe SCARAVALLI to sweat emotiveness and delicacy throughout his voice while he's having a short conversation with the intertwining flute that flows all over the album. The climax of this suite is represented in a beautiful encounter between the flute that turns quite charming at the pure Arabic style and a echoing guitar that overtakes every now and then to Giuseppe's voice. The lyrics may be repetitive here, but the music floating around them is unarguably variant. The inevitable end comes when we catch up with "Prelude", an indisputable heartbreaking -almost epical- song that evokes great unfelt feelings, that brings out the melodic in you and that will irremediably turn your thoughts against each other. In here, you will experience a certain turn of fate concerning the lyrical composition, but the music accompanying the vocals is outstanding as the rest of the album. A critical point of departure to compare works to come from most of the Italian bands and many others involved in the art rock, "The Wood of Tales" is the debut album from an underrated band that's certainly deserving of applause and recognition. MALIBRAN will clearly appeal to Italian prog rock fans and to fearless proggers that find in curiosity their source of personal reward. Extremely recommended!

 Malibran offers a pure symphonic music. Not always Italian since vocals (when available) are a mix of English and Italian. Their debut album, which is mostly instrumental (thank god, because I am not convinced by Giuseppe Scaravilli (the lead vocalist of the band). This is particularly true during the opening number "Malibran". We'll just get confirmed than when playing instrumental music, the band sounds a lot better. The title track is definitely a highlight. Italian symph as they can produce : beautiful and poignant music where emotion has a a lot do. Another great track is "Pyramid's Street". Very strong fluting, this "Bolero" type song is really fascinating. Of course, it is not the first to use this classic theme, but they do it with brio. And what to say about the magnificent "Prelude" ? Apart that it is a weird title for a closing number, it is the most achieved song from this very good album. Wonderful melody, stronger beat than usual, superb guitar work (there won't be many like this on "The Wood of Tales") and again superb flute play. It is the best song from this album and I really recommend it to you if you have the chance to get hold on this album. This band is not very well known but fully deserve your attention. If you like "Camel" ("Moonmadness", "Snow Goose" period), this band will really please you. The flute adds a little "Tull" flavour which is also very pleasant. Four stars.

Another major name of the growing Italian progressive rock scene of the late-80's/early-90's along with Nuova Era,Ezra Winston,Sithonia etc...They were found in 1987 in Catania,Sicily,starting an almost metal band,before refining their sound by late-80's into a delicate symphonic package,influenced by the 70's Italian legends.First album ''The wood of tales'' was originally released in 1990 by Pegaso Records and it's their only release totally sung in English.Forget about the English lyrics,as ''The wood of tales'' is sounding more like a lost gem of the 70's Italian prog wave than anything close to UK prog.It is mostly an instrumental release coming like a cross between BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO,OSANNA and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO,featuring tons of dark symphonic arrangements,filled with strong flute work,atmospheric synths and delicious Hammong organ passages.Especially the flutes are to the fore,ranging from gentle sounds to haunting driving parts,while keyboardist's Beny Torrisi style reminds me a lot of NUOVA ERA's Walter Pini,being at the same time classical-tinged and melodic.Some very intense grandiose parts in terms of symphonicism are fully characterized by strange and powerful guitar chords,good solos,changing tempos and deep keyboard work...Believe me,this is one of the finest prog rock works to come out in the 1980-1990 period with a very uncommercial sound and trully profressional performances and arrangements,demanding repeated listenings to be appreciated.Highly recommended to all fans of symphonic rock!

The Wood Of Tales, the 1990 debut by Italian band Malibran, is something of a rarity (at least in my RPI collection) insofar as it consists exclusively of English language vocals. I'm not particularly keen on this idea, preferring groups to sing in their native language. Some of Malibran's future releases would in fact feature both English and Italian vocals, which if anything is even more unsatisfactory in my opinion. The funny thing is that the sleeve notes are written entirely in Italian. Given that the vocals are in English it would have been nice to have at least some information on the band in that language, but what do I know? By all accounts Malibran were formed as a metal band in 1987 and I'd say there's still some evidence of that on this album. The band includes two guitarists and they tend to dominate on this album. Generally speaking Benny Torrisi's keyboards play only a supporting role, although Giancarlo Cutuli's flute is well to the fore on each track. If you like flute and double electric guitars, there's a fair chance you'll enjoy this. The first two tracks are identical in length, with each clocking in at 8.39. I don't think there's any great significance in this fact; I just think it's a bit strange. The first song, Malibran, opens with caterwauling guitars over a piano and drums stomp. Stirring stuff indeed, although I'm not overly keen on the digital-sounding keyboards. The vocal part of the song is slow and subdued and provides an effective contrast to the introduction. These guys are clearly influenced by bands such as Jethro Tull and Camel, having at one time or another covered some of these artists' material. This may explain the prominence of the flute on their albums although here it reminds me of the man they call The Flute, Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues. Anyway, the extended flute solo reintroduces the opening theme, which in turn brings this first song to a close. It's a great start to the album and the next track is equally good. The title track begins with keys and Alessio Scaravalli's toms setting the scene. This is a slow-paced instrumental featuring flute once again, and some guitar that's vaguely reminiscent of BJH's John Lees. Midway through there's a change of rhythm with the guitars adopting a distinctly metal tone. The third track, Sarabanda, is a Baroque-styled instrumental piece featuring flute and classical guitar. The singing on Pyramid's Street sounds a bit cheesy but it would be churlish of me to further criticise Giuseppe Scaravalli's English vocals. It's not really that big a deal; suffice to say his voice sounds so much better in Italian. There's some snake charmer flute on this song, and this Arabic influence plus the bolero rhythm make it sound more like Rock Andaluz than RPI. Some of the electric guitar even reminds me of Spanish band Mezquita. A guest musician plays the keyboard solo toward the end of this song, but I have no idea why. The final track proper, Prelude, features yet more flute; Giancarlo Cutuli owns this album! Lead guitarist Jerry Litrico gets in on the act here as well though, with a couple of blistering solos. There are three live bonus tracks on this Mellow re-release from 2002. I generally don't care for so-called bonus tracks, but that's an issue probably best reserved for the forums. The three tracks in this case are Song For Lisa, Mystery, and Trequanda. Trequanda is the most worthwhile addition to the album despite the drum solo, while Mystery features excellent guitar and saxophone solos. Song For Lisa I could do without although I could honestly do without any bonus tracks, especially live tracks added to a studio album.
Overall this is another fine RPI album, and while it's not one of the '70s classics it is nonetheless very much in that style. It's not my favourite Malibran album and I feel the English language vocals detract slightly from it, although for others those same vocals may actually be a positive. Flute fans in particular should check out this band.
Malibran is one of the bigger names in the nineties' resurgence of Italian progressive rock, and this 1990 debut is the album that put them on the map for prog fans worldwide. The Wood of Tales is an interesting, but flawed, concoction of neo-prog, Italian symphonic prog, and even a few dashes of progressive folk. Flute plays a major part in Malibran's debut, and I love how the instrument is presented as an integral part of their sound - other than that, The Wood of Tales is characterized by the mix of pastoral symphonic prog and eighties' neo-prog that inspired many Italian prog bands around this era. The Wood of Tales is not a flawless gem that's been forgotten by the sands of time, but it's a solid debut that should satisfy most Italian prog enthusiasts. The easiest comparisons to draw when talking about this album are probably Premiata Forneria Marconi, IQ, and even a bit of Jethro Tull (the flute-led sections make this comparison almost inevitable). The Wood of Tales is a mainly instrumental album, but there are a handful of vocal sections that ultimately leave me with a lukewarm impression. At least on this album, Giuseppe Scaravilli is not the most gifted vocalist and his singing parts come across as detrimental to the compositions. While he's far from an atrocious vocalist, the album would've been a bit better had it been fully instrumental. After all, The Wood of Tales does have plenty of excellent moments of symphonic prog - though there aren't any killer tracks here, Malibran was still a group of gifted songwriters from the beginning. The musicianship on this debut is also quite impressive, and every musician delivers their part with finesse.While it may seem that The Wood of Tales is a near-flawless album after reading the first two paragraphs of my review, I've yet to mention that the album has a pretty weak production. The sound is simply muddy and unpolished, and the occasional 'buzzing' noises and uneven mix really don't do the album any justice. It's not unlistenable or anything like that, but The Wood of Tales definitely would've left a better impression if the production were up to par with the music. The Wood of Tales is a flawed, but ultimately promising, debut from one of the biggest names in nineties' Italian progressive rock. Malibran offered plenty of cool ideas and solid compositions with this effort, and I'll be curious to hear what that's led them to create on future albums. Though not essential by any means, The Wood of Talesis a solid observation worthy of 3 stars. Fans of symphonic prog may want to check out this somewhat obscure classic.

 This is the last full original album from this excellent Italian band. One of my fave in the genre.If ever you would like to discover all the magic of Italian symph, I recommend you to listen to "Si Dira Di Me". Nice flute, strong vocals, lush keyboards, complex suite of themes, but more than anything : these keys are absolutely gorgeous. Soft sax as well to complete this nice picture. It is by far the best piece of music. The closing section belongs not only to the best of their repertoire but also to the best of Symphonic rock. Being Italian or generic. The guitar solo will fill all your needs for beauty and This long and beautiful song overshadows any other one. The title track "Oltre L' Ignoto" also belongs to the best ones of this work. Even if it is a partial rip-off of "Watcher" during the opening. But if you can make abstraction of this start, you'll get the best out of this band : expressive and poignant vocals, harmonious instrumental sections (church organ and so emotional guitar...). The second highlight. "In Viaggio" is just a little behind. Strongly linked to "Genesis", it holds an excellent guitar solo. Upbeat song (almost neo-prog) at times, it also reminds me "King Crimson" of the very early period (mellotron I guess). The song stops at just over ten minutes After a blank, we'll get a kind of "Jethro Tull" medley from which "Bouree" is the best known one. The band has released a tribute album called "Songs For Jethro" in 2000. Of course, and for the very first time, there will be several fillers on this short album (according to their standards). All being short tracks like "L' Incontro" which is a pastoral acoustic song and nothing from the other world really. "La Via D'acqua" is the instrumental counterpart even if more pleasant. Third one of the same kind "Verso sud". A dull acoustic and passionless song. Far from their inspired work unfortunately. The album is also less personal. When you listen to "Mare Calmo", you feel like being on board of "DSOTM". It is a very pleasant instrumental of course which will be appealing to any old nostalgic as I am but you need to like such regressive work to appreciate it. There is also a weird track featured. "Cerchio Mobile" is partially influenced by electro-funky-pop sound as if "Malibran" was "inspired" by the poor work of "Banco" during the nineties. Not really a good idea IMO. This album, while being a good one thanks to the three long songs is not the one I prefer and I would recommend their first two albums if you would like to discover this great Italian band. Three stars.

 Released in 2001, Oltre L'Ignoto was the last album Malibran recorded as a six-piece band. The group's official website doesn't contain an abundance of information, and their myspace site doesn't translate into English very well. From what I can gather, band members Giancarlo Cutuli (winds) and Benny Torrisi (keyboards) left during this same year. Whether this was during the recording of this album I don't know. Giuseppe Scaravalli plays virtually all instruments on three tracks here, but he was maybe just doing that McCartney thing rather than filling in for absent colleagues. Reading through the song list gives the impression this is a concept album. Even with my extremely limited Italian language skills I can tell there's a nautical thread here, with songs about waterways and calm seas. The album artwork reinforces this idea as it depicts a Renaissance-style scene of sailing ships in a harbour. While I can't describe the narrative I do think the compositional unity clinches this as a concept album, with musical themes recurring throughout the disc. On the subject of language, I've no idea if any people are put off RPI because of the Italian language vocals. Personally I prefer bands to sing in the vernacular, and I can't get enough of this type of little-known gem from Italy and the Spanish/Portuguese-speaking worlds. Setting aside the vocals, this album is a real musical feast that has strong shades of prog giants Jethro Tull, Genesis, VDGG and King Crimson. Admittedly this does border on slavish imitation on one song, but more of that later. The album gets off to a fairly inauspicious start that has the opening moments of Si Dira Di Me flirting with Neo-Prog. However the song quickly settles into more familiar RPI territory with legato flute, sensitive vocals and one of those plaintive electric guitar riffs I'm especially fond of. Playful flute and vibes usher in a section that includes mournful saxophone refrains, doubled on flute. The opening riff reappears with yet more flute, this time of the Ian Anderson-inspired staccato variety. Just when you think the song is finished following further melodious synthesizer and guitar solos, Malibran hit you with a coda straight out of the left field. So typical of those Italians! For a few seconds I'll swear that's David Jackson's rasping saxophone I'm listening to. The second song gets under way with another flute and vibes duet. What is it with Italian bands and vibes? They all seem to use them. Not that I'm complaining mind, as the effect is usually delightful. After this brief intro the main part of Watcher Of The... oops sorry, Oltre L'Ignoto continues with another wonderfully tender melody and sections that contain contrasts of dynamics and tempo. L'Incontro is the first of the songs on which Giuseppe Scaravalli plays all instruments, albeit with the addition of a couple of string players on this one. It has more than a little of Cadence And Cascade about it. Not the melody as such, but more the general mood of the song. Cerchio Mobile consists of a funk groove on either side of a brief guitar jam that reminds me of German space rockers Eloy, complete with squelching guitar chords. La Via D'Acqua and Verso Sud are the other Giuseppe Scaravalli ''solo'' pieces on the album. The former is a short acoustic instrumental; the latter is more of the same with vocals. Both are fairly innocuous tracks with maybe just a suggestion of filler. Scaravalli's slide guitar on the instrumental Mare Calmo has a bit of Dave Gilmour about it. Actually it's probably more than a bit, and then there's the Any Colour You like synth part. In Viaggio closes the album in epic fashion with the heaviest riffs on the disc. The instrumental closing section that reprises the title track is truly glorious music. There's about 30 seconds of silence before we get a ''hidden'' Jethro Tull tribute and that's your lot. Hopefully my review doesn't give the impression this album is entirely derivative and fleshed out with fillers. I don't think Malibran make any bones of their influences and there are possibly one or two tracks that are less than outstanding. However thanks to the three top-notch songs here I rate it as excellent and a worthwhile addition to any RPI collection.

 After ''La citta sul lago'' several official and unofficial rare studio/live recordings of Malibran saw the light like ''Raccolta 1990 - 1998'' (1998),''In concerto'' and ''Rari ed Inediti'' (both from 2000).In the meantime Malibran even toured in the USA with Giancarlo Cutuli and Benny Torrisi announcing their departure shortly after.So the fourth studio work of Malibran was a bit of an adventure,partly recorded by the whole band and partly recorded by Giuseppe Scaravilli alone.The new album, entitled ''Oltre l'ignoto'', was finally released on Mellow Records,with the band already shortened to a quartet. Despite the difficult situation the band was going through,''Oltre l'ignoto'' sees Malibran fresh and inspired and fortunately the whole album is sung in Italian for the first time,leaving the dull English vocals behind for good.Musically the album follows the same vein as with ''''La citta sul lago'',their sound is more modern compared to the early days,but still their musicianship has a strong retro influence.Alternating between symphonic arrangements with powerful organ,harmonic flutes and sensitive guitar work and more Neo-Proggish moments with floating synthesizers and strong guitar solos,Malibran are still alive and well,offering some splendid moments among the overall decent stuff of the album,especially in the longer tracks.There are also plenty of acoustic passages with the support of violin,cello and smooth bass to give a sort of dreamy feeling to the album.However a few negative points are still present,apart from their early sound nostalgia.The sparse electronic effects and the distorted guitar at moments seem rather useless,still for the first time Malibran's vocals belong among the highlights of the album. Another more than decent Malibran release,not so close to their early masterpieces, but a step forward from the previous album.Anyone into modern Italian Symphonic Rock,who does enjoy also some vintage passages,should simply purchase this.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars. 


 Five years after MALIBRAN's masterpiece "Le Porte del Silenzio" (1993) they were signed to the Italian label Mellow Records and their new CD "La Città sul Lago" were released. This album follows the same musical direction as their two previous albums. Their music is a blend between 70's Italian progressive rock (IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, BIBLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, CELESTE, I GIGANTI, MAXOPHONE, METAMORFOSI, MUSEO ROSENBACH, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA etc.), new Italian progressive rock (IL TRONO DEI RICORDI, MARY NEWSLETTER, STANDARTE etc.) modern progressive rock (ARENA, IQ, MARILLION, PENDRAGON etc.) and JETHRO TULL. The JETHRO TULL reminiscence is much because of the nice flute playing throughout the album. The music is very varied with many rhythm changes, extended instrumental passages and big contrasts between quiet and heavier parts. They are also very skilled musicians. I love this album as much as their previous two and it's a must have in every progressive record collection. Highly recommended!


After the live CD "In concerto" one year later Malibran released their fourth album entited "La citta sul lago". Despite the long running time from at about 70 minutes, Malibran succeeds to keep my attention on this CD. The compositions sound alternating featuring many strong shifting moods, breaks and soli and a varied instrumentation (guitars, flute, saxophone, piano). My highlights are: a fiery, wah-wah drenched guitar solo in the titeltrack, a playful percussive break with a biting guitar solo in "The time", a Jethro Tull inspired part in "La stagione del re" and metal guitar and propulsive drums in "Nuvole di vetro". If I compare this CD to their earlier work like "Le porte del silienzio" the Marillion echoes are almost faded away. I trace some elements from Camel (flute and guitars), Genesis (keyboards and 12-string guitars) and Jethro Tull (flute) but gradually Malibran has managed to sound more original. A special word goes to the splendid duo-guitarwork from Guiseppe Scaravelli and Jerry Litrico (in the vein of Rohtery and Latimer), they deliver many moving and exciting soli and duo-guitarplay! FORZA ITALIA!

 "Malibran" has released two very good albums. This is the third one in a row. "Camel" and "Genesis" were the inspiration for respectively "The Wood of Tales" and "Le Porte del Silenzio". This album sounds a bit harder but the band will continue to produce beautiful and melodic music. "Distanz" opens almost like "In The Cage" ("The Lamb") and it is the best of the short numbers from this album. But there will be some marvelously symphonic songs like the sublime "Nuovo Regno". This is a pure jewel of Italian symphonic music. Well in tradition of the genre. Extraordinary and wild guitar solo combined with soft keys work. But these guitars, arghhhhhh... The highlight. The title track is not the best song they have written. It's a long instrumental featuring partially an improv and chaotic style music. Fortunately, the second part is more a classic "Malibran" songs with nice fluting, great harmony and sweet sax. During "In The Time", part of the vocals remind me of Peter Hammill. Dark as he could be. Very pleasantly combined with flute as well as piano. It is a bit more hectic than usual but the guitar will play a major role again and raise the quality of this song. "Magica Attesa" is a complex instrumental. "Tull" and "Camel" atmosphere are very pleasant. There are and lots of theme changes as well. The second part is less appealing : jazzier and more rhythmy. It sounds as another song actually. This is totally the opposite for "Le Stagione Del Re" which is a nice acoustic piece. Fully Trespass-esque. Very smooth and peaceful. Delicate flute will embellish this pastoral song. Still, it is one of my least fave from the album (excluding the short numbers of course). The long "Nuvole Di Vetro" opens on a jazzy part but not for long. It will also turn into a very soft song, acoustic for a while. There are lots of theme changes for this very elaborate song. It is not of the caliber of "Nuovo Regno" because I'm missing the great guitar breaks. The final instrumental part falls a bit flat even if a good sax section will bring some variety. In terms of long compositions, "On The Lightwaves" brings us back well on track with their best material. It is a complex song with powerful vocals (Hammill) is again not far away. Soft melody, great instrumental play. The riff from "Apocalypse" ("Supper's Ready") is "borrowed" for most of the finale (four minutes). But let's not blame them too much for this. This album is just short when compared to their previous studio work. It is probably their most personal album and I would rate it seven out of ten. But not four stars. So, until further notice three stars will be my rating.
Malibran's "La Citta Sul Lago" comes on the heels of two very commendable past efforts that had some fine progressive moments and certainly had all the ingredients to establish a nice little career. The Sicilian band has some identifiable traits none more obvious than a heavy flute and saxophone presence in the able lungs of Giancarlo Cutuli. Keyboardist Benny Torrisi is typical of the Italian school, very ornate on piano and masterful in coloring the symphonic backdrop with synths and trons. Guitarist Jerry Litrico can howl with the best of them and is no slouch while Italian prog generally can always boast of superior bass and drum combos, no exception to the rule here. These "friends" have been around for over 20 years now and it shows in this their best album yet but the weak vocals are a hard nut to crack as it can easily grate on even enthusiastic ears. From the opening "Distanze" the languid groove is set, as each track has a life of its own. "Nuovo Regno" introduces the various soloists, so as to get a keen picture of their abilities. The singing is in Italian and it comes across fine. The instrumental title track is where the trip really takes off, a synth, bass and flute led excursion to the "City on the Lake" , morphing into a wah-wah drenched furrow that liberates the imperial sax from its bonds and rips with sheer abandon. The track has a reminiscence of the Gong classic "Isle of Everywhere" off the "You" album. Litrico's extended solo has a bluesier tone than Hillage but the exhilaration is definitely there. This is an exceptional track that simmers along nicely. When Cutuli throws in a sorrowful flute lament and the acoustic guitar chimes in, the arrangement veers into another lane, with an effect laden slinky solo. "In the Time Part 1 &2" is a bit difficult to like because the raspy heavily accented singer deflects the pleasure a tad but the music is great nevertheless. Why can't the Italians just stick to their fascinating native tongue, "fer crayin out lewd"? "Magica Attesa" is a folky breeze overtly flaunting the flute, interluding gently until the beat kicks in, very Tullish, proving convincingly that these guys have the instrumental side down pat, with another howler from Jerry Litrico's "electrico" guitar. "La Stagione Del Re" shows that when singer Beppe Scaravelli chooses his native lingo, he doesn't force the notes and the sounds flow delicately from his mouth, an acoustic folk background enchants further, uncomplicated. "Nuvole di Vetro" (Glass Clouds) Part 1 features more limpid flute flights (the quintessential Italo-prog instrument in my opinion), with more windswept Italian vocals and a delicate acoustic lilt and Part 2 , interjects a heftier buzz with ripping guitars, choppy organ and polyrhythmic chaos but maintaining the softer singing! Nice twist! The choir mellotron works in tandem with the driving guitar, finally liberating a sublime saxophone solo that shimmers brightly. Such an evocative yet underused prog instrument! So next up is a very short "Interludio" serving up some more gentle blowing! The epic "On the Lightwaves" sadly returns to the lousy English vocal delivery that just creeps nastily into your mind, sabotaging the contrasting themes. Doctor Cutuli's flute comes to medicate the pain somewhat but the disease is way too rife. An awe-inspiring and elongated lead guitar solo helps forget momentarily the nuisance. The non-vocal "Richiami" is a Middle Eastern flute riff that ends on some soft axe leads.Beautiful booklet artwork and great sound as well. Just stay away from Shakespeare and stick to Dante Alleghieri! 4 corleones.

 Malibran is a modern Italian band that deserves more exposure here on ProgArchives. Their music is reminiscent of classic '70s RPI and their third studio album, La Citta Sul Lago (1998), contains the usual trademark Malibran elements and includes references to metal, space-rock, jazz and Eastern music. The band benefits from the twin guitars of Giuseppe Scaravilli and Jerry Litrico, while Giancarlo Cutuli's flute-play is exquisite as always although his saxophone possibly surpasses it on this album. There are a total of ten tracks that alternate between songs and instrumentals. The main standouts among these are the three epic tracks that run consecutively on the first half of the album. NUOVO REGNO features some lustrous sax and flute, although it's the killer guitar riffs and stampeding drums that really impress. Two songs on the album contain English- language vocals and the 2-part IN THE TIME is the stronger of the two. It contrasts the tranquillity of mellow flute, piano and vocals with the pyrotechnics of metal-infused guitar and drums. Sandwiched between these two songs is the 10-minute title track. UK giants Camel, Jethro Tull and Genesis clearly influenced much of Malibran's work, but during the first section of this multi-part instrumental there's a definite Focus vibe. The second section heads into space-rock territory with its mellow sax and wah wah guitar. While these three are worthy of special mention, there's not really a bad track on the album. Overall, La Citta Sul Lago is good but not essential. While its first half is excellent, the second half isn't quite as strong. Malibran albums are generally quite lengthy affairs and this one is just short of the 70-minute mark, so perhaps it would have benefited from a tighter focus. It would still make a nice addition to any RPI collection, but there are other Malibran albums that might be worth checking-out first. Third and longest album by Malibran,these time my feelings are a bit mixed up.While the band still presents their deep-rooted 70's influenced music,the whole album sounds more modern,losing some of the magic of their previous releases.The vocals remain a problem,they are very flat and atonal,while on the English lyrics they are hillarious.On the other hand,the musicianship keeps going at the high level.Pastoral flute parts,dreamy solos and symphonic keys all the way.The addition of the sax makes the album more varied and eclectic,but I do not think it is for its own good,as the band lost some of their identity.Overall the tracks sound less symphonic and complicated compared to the past,focusing mainly on melody and atmosphere.Still the albums is a good example of modern Italian Prog with big-time retro-inspirations and comes (even that way) recommended. 


MALIBRAN's second album that has been out of print for over 5 years is now re-issued from the master-tapes by the magnificent Brazilian label Rock Symphony. This is, if possible, an even greater masterpiece than MALIBRAN's debut album "The Wood of Tales" (1990). Here you can find all the elements from the debut: the wonderful flute playing, the majestic keyboards, the nice guitar work and the saxophone, an instrument not often heard in progressive rock. MALIBRAN has a great 70's symphonic sound with reminiscences to other great Italian bands such as IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, CELESTE, FINISTERRE, I GIGANTI, MARY NEWSLETTER, MAXOPHONE, METAMORFOSI, MUSEO ROSENBACH, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA and STANDARTE. The title track is a 27 minutes classic masterpiece. This album is perhaps the best Italian album in the 90's along with MARY NEWSLETTER's album "Nuove Lettere" (1996) and STANDARTE's album "Stimmung" (1998). I love Italian symphonic and progressive rock, and Rock Symphony have done a cultural charitable by re-releasing MALIBRAN's two first albums. Thank you for the music! I hope I'll get to hear their latest 1998 release "La Città sul Lago" too. Highly recommended!

 Judging by the opinions and reviews of many collaborators, MALIBRAN is contemplated as one of the best contemporary progressive rock bands from one of the most influent countries of this genre, and speaking for me, I think so too. This Sicilian sextet produces in 1993 their second album "La Porte del Silenzio", which many consider, me included, one of the greatest musical works of the last ten years. The previous circumstances surrounding this album, such as "The Wood of Tales"; were precisely the most propitious to project a brand new reorganization, to reborn not only as a band but as a revealing yet convincing musical process. From the first moment the album captivates you into an indescribable world, most of all when it takes you through passages of extreme symphonic contents, almost classic I'd say. A special mention deserves this CD's last cut, a 27 minutes suite named after the album, a majestic and solemn piece, a walk through several mood types, all of them intense and versatile. I have always enjoyed pointing out the best track from an album that deserves the mention of a "suite", but if I could, this time, I'd pick them all and review each one of them respectively. thing I won't do in order to get you hooked on this incredible Italian prog production. Individually each instrument is superbly interpreted, the flute performing by Giancarlo CUTULI, unarguably exquisite, very appealed to the one played by Kollar ATTILA of SOLARIS than the JETHRO TULL's; is not only virtuous, fast, precise, but delicate, fine, varied and jolly as well. The keyboards played by Jerry LITRICO sound off classic in some interludes, mostly the piano, quite spacey sometimes, creating atmospheres propitious for the enlightenment of the flute and the guitar, where this last one has many moments of extreme brilliantness, profoundly sensed, inspired and very provocative due the inconveniences of sounding sort of neo-progressive sometimes, but I'd difficultly label it that. Maybe the virtuosity and sensitiveness displayed in this album are the most convincing combination it's got besides the harmonies, cadencies and rhythms accompanying all the tracks masterfully played in here. It is imperative to underline that the highlighted weakness of this band is undoubtedly its vocalist; where the quality of his voice lacks of preciseness. This may be the only reason of why I wouldn't consider MALIBRAN as one of the top class bands of the modern era nor the Italian art rock as well. Still, no matter the flaws this album may contain, I'd dare to say it's one of those productions I could widely recommend practically to any respected lover of good music, independently of its musical preferred genres.

First of all I want to remark that, despite of recording in the recent times for the Brazilian Label Rock Symphony, they are from Catania, in the isle of Sicily-Italy,even though- in the period regarding the issue of their debut album- they tried to undersign a long contract for the EMI Records label from Italy and of course they failed, cause they sold a few copies out...well the same experience as for another 90's band with an old 70's sound, Nuova Era, whose destiny was anyway a bit different.I like to point out that Malibran-unlike Nuova Era-are performing a few lives still today and with good results, even though their production from the Studio is a bit weak . But coming back to such "Le Porte del Silenzio, the 70's imprinting is strong and quite obvious, all along the album suite. The presence of the guitars is important-sometimes reminding me of the harmonic solutions by Aufklarung, (another remarkable Italian symphonic ensemble with a mood of "hard rock"), by adding the flute as well as an approach of "classical music", which is very interesting.But the other music features are not so "progressive", in the sense that they are not exploring the language of the new millennium nowadays, nor they produce something really fresh and innovative, unlike for instance Il Trono dei Ricordi...well you know that I prefer another kind of progressive music in the vein of After Crying or Isildurs Bane, but I think of some good music passages for this Italian Band and it's a pity they have not performed some really original tunes, by looking for example for a more personal way of composing suites. Glass Hammer for instance has been able to perform something original in the USA, despite of using some typical symphonic breaks-through !!...Well at the end make your own choice and add an half star at least, because I'm sure that I can't affect the opinion of their several fans!!!  Seventies music played in the nineties. Who could complain ? Not me, that's for sure. The band released a great debut album and three years later came "Le Porte del Silenzio". And even if there are little variation in the music played, some changes did appear with this album. There are more more sax in here, which at times provides some soft jazzy moments like in "Livin' Alone". I also can notice more "Genesis" oriented music (but "Camel" is still present as well lke on their first album "The Wood of Tales"). Guiseppe is doing better on the vocals as well (good news !). And more than anything, some songs will be sung in Italian and that's a major improvement. The epic track and title song "Le Porte del Silenzio" is the absolute highlight and by far the best song. A jewel of a harmony (but that's what Italian symph is all about, right). Tranquil symphonic music with light piano, sweet fluting, emotional vocals and tutti quanti. This masterpiece raise the level of this album significantly, because I must say that the other songs are lacking some inspiration in comparison with their previous work. Most of the songs are good like "Libero" but I am missing some of the magic here. And the "Genesis" orientation is fully recognizable during the synth solo of "I Know Your Soul" ("Cinema Show" or "In The Cage"). But don't worry, we'll get brilliant instrumental passages as well as our necessary dosis of emotion. "Malibran" music is not the most elaborate but at the same time, they attract me more than a band like "Banco" for instance. This music is really accessible and since there are not so many vocal parts (bearing in mind that more than half are sung in English unfortunately) the language barrier should have no effect. This band would deserve more attention from the progheads out there. Just listen to the magnificent finale of "Le Porte del Silenzio". You'll get all there ! Four stars.

3.5 stars.This album is very much a tale of two halves in my opinion. The first half is good but fails to capture my imagination, i'm not sure why they decided to sing in English on the first two tracks either. Still it's quite enjoyable, especially the flute.The second half is actually the side long title track. They sing in Italian and the highlight is the guitar to end this over 27 minute track. Things get started with "Livin' Alone" which features some good contrasts and tempo changes. I like the flute and synths to open. Sax before 5 minutes followed by vocals for the first time. Pretty good tune. "I Know Your Soul" has lots of piano, flute and drums early. Vocals a minute in. A change after 2 1/2 minutes and I like the guitar a minute later. It's an ok song. "Libero" is where we hear Italian vocals for the first time. Some excellent soaring guitar before 3 minutes, vocals follow. Some more nice flute then the tempo picks up before 7 minutes with sax to end it. "Nel Labirinto" is a short instrumental with some cool guitar melodies throughout. "Le Porte Del Silenzio" is the closing title track. A good atmosphere thanks to the synths early. The guitar cries out followed by vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. The guitar is back a minute later. I like the vocals that follow, they have some passion to them. Piano takes over 5 1/2 minutes in then flute joins in. Lots of synths and flute then those vocals return 11 1/2 minutes in.This sounds so good. A calm with keyboards follows. It picks back up then vocals return 18 1/2 minutes in. Guitar leads the way 20 1/2 minutes in. Flute 22 minutes in as it settles. It kicks back in with scorching guitar 23 1/2 minutes in. Vocals a minute later. I like it. More guitar creates an incredible finish. I really like the title track, it's such a ride ! Overall though 3.5 stars seems right.

After the excellency of ''The wood of tales'',MALIBRAN had to go on to produce another monumental release.The previous album successed many good critics and the band begun performing all around Italy,some of their dates included also the biggest Italian Rock festivals.With lot of time to work on their music, MALIBRAN enter 1993 wih a brand new album,''Le porte del silenzio'', released again on Pegasus Records,re-issued on CD at the end of the 90's by the Brazilian label Rock Symphony. Nothing has changed,compared to their 1990 debut, regarding both the line-up and music style.Vintage influences and symphonic keyboards along with melodic and sometimes heavier guitar parts travel the listener to 70's Italy and its prog rock romanticism.The band sounds closer than ever to NUOVA ERA with keyboardist Benny Torrisi having an even more energetic role.Unforunately the first two tracks are sung in English and, though the musicianship is fantastic with tons of symph keys, driving flutes, distinctive guitars and complex arrangements but a surprisingly rather dark atmosphere, the magic produced by the Italian lyrics is not there.The follower ''Libero'' has a more simple form than the English tracks,guide by the nice synths,beautiful organ and strong voice of Giussepe Scaravilli,a track which reminds me of NUOVA ERA more than anything.The short instrumental ''Nel labirinto'' is actually bassist's Angelo Messina personal moment,while the album closes with the great epic ''Le porte del silenzio'',clocking at 27 minutes.Though MALIBRAN borrow some lines of the opener at the first moments of the track,soon it transforms into a symphonic opus with numerous magnificent changing moods and tempos.Thrilling and lovely flute work by Giancardo Cutulli, which will leave you wanting for more,Torrissi makes the moog synthesizer outburst plenty of spacey yet melodic lines and his piano work is a tribute to classical music,while even guitarist Jerry Litrico borrows some influences from classical inspiration for his own instrument.Musically the album is a stand out with a lot of space for some instrumental symphonic rock of the best quality,while Scaravilli performs quite well behind the microphone,though vocals were never MALIBRAN's strong point. Among the best releases of traditional Italian Symphonic Rock,created the time of the return of the Italian Prog scene during the 90's,and definitely essential for any prog collection!

 Trasparenze is the fifth studio album by Malibran, a band from Catania whose roots date back to 1987. It was released in 2009 on the independent label Electromantic, more than seven years after its predecessor Oltre l'ignoto. Although it was originally conceived as a solo project of the leader and multi-instrumentalist Giuseppe Scaravilli, later other members of the band joined him during the recording sessions and eventually this excellent work was released under the name Malibran with a line up featuring Giuseppe Scaravilli (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, flute, bass, keyboards), Jerry Litrico (guitar) and Alessio Scaravilli (drums) plus the guests Giancarlo Cutuli (sax) and Toni Granata (violin). Of course, here composer and lyricist Giuseppe Scaravilli does the lion's share playing almost all the instruments but the result is in perfect continuity with the band sound. In the booklet you can find extended liner notes that explain the genesis of each track while the art cover is taken from a painting by Karl Friedrich Schinkel that in some way describes the spirit of this work...The opener is the title track, "Trasparenze" (Transparencies), a complex suite with many changes in rhythm and mood featuring some passages that could recall Genesis or Jethro Tull. It's about the passing of time... All along your life there's something or someone that attracts you and shows you the way you have to follow with its perfumes and its fire. You have to go on and on as your age flows away like a short poem, between dreams and reality, led by your will and by the flames of that fire...Next comes the dreamy "In un attimo" (In a while). It starts with strummed guitar and flute, then the music and lyrics conjure up a long awaited, timeless moment of peace. You have in front of you a white canvas that your are going to fill with the colours of your dreams... You are painting a magic landscape and your soul is flying over there. Your troubles are left behind and you can smile, forgetting for a moment all the problems of everyday life, your mind is already over there..."Vento d'Oriente" (Wind from the East) features a mysterious, exotic flavour. Heavy electric guitar riffs are mixed with Mediterranean influences while the music and lyrics evoke distant deserts and ancient sands, lost identities and empty realities. Listen to the voice of the wind blowing from the East, it carries echoes of ancient songs and whispers mysterious charms..."Presagio" (Omen) alternates calm, pastoral sections to heavy riffs and Latin rock passages. It tells of obscure presages looming on the horizon like the thundering sound of the rapids ahead while you are swimming on the calm waters of a river, cradled by the current. Well, you've better keep calm and fight against all the adversities of life without fear..."Pioggia di maggio" (Rain of May) is a beautiful, dreamy instrumental track full of soaring, delicate melodies. It leads to "La marea" (The tide) that tells in music and words of the contrast between the need to go away searching for a better way of life and the responsibilities that prevent you from leaving, keeping you tightly bound to your routine. You know you have to stay but you feel a strange emptiness growing inside you, maybe one day or another you'll turn your glance back and you'll start running after an idea, following dreams and ideals, drifting with the tide towards new horizons..."Nel Ricordo" (In the memory) is about the power of fate. Your future turns around you like a dark shadow from whom you can't escape, you'll soon forget who you are because you're already changing and moving forward, you can't help it! The days and the nights you spent are like circles in the water that soon will fade away, the past is going to melt in your memory, you can't cheat on destiny..."Volo Magico" (Magic flight) is a short instrumental track that conveys a strange sense of mystery. You can hear the sound of the bumblebees around you as you're flying from flower to flower under the charm of exotic perfumes and colourful landscapes... It leads to the nocturnal atmospheres of "Promesse vane" (Vain promises), a piece about a man who feels like an eternal boy and finds difficult to accept his everyday life and the burden of time passing by. Where are the promises of his childhood, what is left of his old dreams? He's burning out and nothing but his fantasy and imagination can set him free from the metaphorical chains of reality and make him happy, at least for a while...The short, dreamy "Gioco di specchi" (Game of mirrors) is a nice instrumental track that introduces the wonderful suite that closes the album, "Pensieri fragili" (Fragile thoughts), a long, complex piece that every now and again recalls Arti & Mestieri and begins by the sound of a pouring rain... Here the music and lyrics take you back in time to World War I, in a trench along the front between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Under the rain the thoughts of a young infantry soldier unfurl while the water washes away a desperate night of waiting. Around the soldier there is nothing but mud and fog but he dreams of enchanted valleys and smiling faces that now seem just faded memories... A thousands eyes observe the human fragility from the sky, the soldier feels that the real enemy is inside him, he wants to give up not because of cowardice but because he feels that this war is not his own business. He doesn't care about honour and glory and in the fog he gets stealthily out of his shelter and runs for his life, disappearing in the rain...On the whole, I think that this is a wonderful album without weak moments that will not disappoint Italian prog  fans...
By 2005 the degradation of Malibran was completed.Giuseppe Scaravilli was practically the only remaining member of the band, but -instead of calling it quits- his desire for progressive music led him to the Tower Hills Studios in Belpasso at the end of 2006 for the recordings of a new album.Former members Jerry Litrico, Alessio Scaravilli and Giancarlo Cutuli helped him on some tracks along with Toni Granata, who provided violin duties in three pieces.The whole process ended in 2007 and all liner notes were written by Giuseppe Scaravilli in the same year, but the album would not find a release home until 2009, when Electromantic Music decided to give Malibran's new effort a chance.The man handled most of guitars, keyboards, flutes, bass parts and vocals in this work.
This was definitely Malibran's most uneven effort ever, no wonder with Scaravilli being the left-alone person for this whole work.The compositions date from mid-90's unreleased stuff to tracks written during the period of the recordings.Musically this is a weird album.The two longest pieces, the eponymous one and ''Pensieri fragili'', co-written by Jerry Litrico are good, old Malibran at their very best.Folky Symphonic Rock with sensitive Italian vocals, laid-back tunes and pastoral flutes, occasionally interrupted by nice electric guitars and atmospheric keyboards, creating emotions somewhere between melancholy and drama and a fine balance between melodious and atmospheric soundscapes with smooth interplays placed here and there.The rest of the album finds Scaravilli in a bit of confusion.Most of them maintain the folky atmosphere, flavored by more Singer/Songwriter stylings and less proggy influences, based on mellow acoustic lines, flutes and poetic vocals.These pieces though are often colored by sax, violin and keyboards for a more artistic approach.CELESTE are among the groups to spring to mind.Malibran were not known for massive electric riffs, but a few tracks in ''Trasparenze'' display the more attacking side of Scaravilli with powerful guitars and strong rhythmic tunes, definitely the less interesting material of the album.The man though has done a great job overall to keep the spirit of the band alive along the lines of Classic Italian Prog ala PFM and LOCANDA DELLE FATE, even if the folky side is more pronounced. A new album is yet to be desired.Malibran remained active for sometime regarding their live performances and the driving force named Giuseppe Scaravilli reputedly had tons of material ready to be released, but their absence from the recent scene make it rather questionable. ''Trasparenze'' finds Malibran reduced and generally more relaxed, even if the addition of a pair of heavier tracks is also displayed. Pastoral Symphonic/Folk Rock, based mainly on acoustic guitars, keyboards and flutes.Smooth, emotional and recommended music.
The new millenium officially found Malibran in a transitional period with Torrisi and Cutuli out of the band.Still they had a contract with Mellow Records and, instead of a regular studio album, the undisputed leader of the group Giuseppe Scaravilli returned with a compilation of tracks, covering the history of Malibran and containing rare live recordings, unreleased material and a few covers.This compilation was released in 2003 under the title ''Strani colori''.This is a very interesting CD actually with a great photo gallery, covering Malibran's journey through the ages, but also musically the album stands quite strong.Most of the unreleased tracks are either solo performances by Scaravilli or products of the new reduced line-up and range from melancholic Italian Symphonic Rock with smooth guitars, flutes and keyboards to acoustic textures with a folky edge, the quality is very nice and the compositions are really decent, though not the best among Malibran's discography.For those not aware of the sound, imagine HOSTSONATEN and FINISTERRE both on stage.Some of the well-known Malibran's tracks like an instrumental version of ''The wood of tales'' or ''La Stagione Del Re'' along with unknown material have been captured live from early-90's and it is always a good thing to listen to Malibran's delicate and dramatic sound in a live performance, not to say that the compositions are great.The album contains also some cover songs like ''Rhayader'' by Camel, '' Cause We've Ended As Lovers'' by Jeff Beck or even ''Bouree'' by Ian Anderson in an effort by Scaravilli to add a slight Malibran flavor in these without any amazing result, as most of them are kept as they were. Nevertheless this is an interesting Malibran collection, which contains enough material to make also a dedicated fan of the band purchase it.An album full of Italian romance and tradition and a nice addition for fans of Italian Prog, Symphonic Rock or Folk Rock.

After ''La citta sul lago'' several official and unofficial rare studio/live recordings of Malibran saw the light like ''Raccolta 1990 - 1998'' (1998),''In concerto'' and ''Rari ed Inediti'' (both from 2000).In the meantime Malibran even toured in the USA with Giancarlo Cutuli and Benny Torrisi announcing their departure shortly after.So the fourth studio work of Malibran was a bit of an adventure,partly recorded by the whole band and partly recorded by Giuseppe Scaravilli alone.The new album, entitled ''Oltre l'ignoto'', was finally released on Mellow Records,with the band already shortened to a quartet. Despite the difficult situation the band was going through,''Oltre l'ignoto'' sees Malibran fresh and inspired and fortunately the whole album is sung in Italian for the first time,leaving the dull English vocals behind for good.Musically the album follows the same vein as with ''''La citta sul lago'',their sound is more modern compared to the early days,but still their musicianship has a strong retro influence.Alternating between symphonic arrangements with powerful organ,harmonic flutes and sensitive guitar work and more Neo-Proggish moments with floating synthesizers and strong guitar solos,Malibran are still alive and well,offering some splendid moments among the overall decent stuff of the album,especially in the longer tracks.There are also plenty of acoustic passages with the support of violin,cello and smooth bass to give a sort of dreamy feeling to the album.However a few negative points are still present,apart from their early sound nostalgia.The sparse electronic effects and the distorted guitar at moments seem rather useless,still for the first time Malibran's vocals belong among the highlights of the album. Another more than decent Malibran release,not so close to their early masterpieces, but a step forward from the previous album.Anyone into modern Italian Symphonic Rock,who does enjoy also some vintage passages,should simply purchase this.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.
Malibran from Sicily, Italy has managed to release a considerable amount of good albums and they have earned themselves a good reputation. A reputation which started with this album. The music here is both a dominated by the flutes and some guitars at the end. The sound is the typical neo-prog sound. This mostly due to the guitars and the vocals which reminds me a lot about the British neo-prog sound from the 1980s. The English vocals is also a contributing factor to the British sound on this album. The songs are on average good with some really superb melody lines scattered around. The guitar solos on the final track Prelude means the album ends on an untraditional manner, this being an RPI album. Which neatly brings me to....This is not a traditional RPI album by any means, but The Wood Of Tales still has enough DNA material to fit into this scene. But most of all; this is a debut album with all it's traditional ills. And it is a good album by all standards. I have my gripes with the vocals and the lack of any truly great songs. But besides of this, The Wood Of Tales is well worth checking out. 3 stars
 Malibran is a modern Italian band that deserves more exposure here on ProgArchives. Their music is reminiscent of classic '70s RPI and their third studio album, La Citta Sul Lago (1998), contains the usual trademark Malibran elements and includes references to metal, space-rock, jazz and Eastern music. The band benefits from the twin guitars of Giuseppe Scaravilli and Jerry Litrico, while Giancarlo Cutuli's flute-play is exquisite as always although his saxophone possibly surpasses it on this album. There are a total of ten tracks that alternate between songs and instrumentals. The main standouts among these are the three epic tracks that run consecutively on the first half of the album. NUOVO REGNO features some lustrous sax and flute, although it's the killer guitar riffs and stampeding drums that really impress. Two songs on the album contain English- language vocals and the 2-part IN THE TIME is the stronger of the two. It contrasts the tranquillity of mellow flute, piano and vocals with the pyrotechnics of metal-infused guitar and drums. Sandwiched between these two songs is the 10-minute title track. UK giants Camel, Jethro Tull and Genesis clearly influenced much of Malibran's work, but during the first section of this multi-part instrumental there's a definite Focus vibe. The second section heads into space-rock territory with its mellow sax and wah wah guitar. While these three are worthy of special mention, there's not really a bad track on the album. Overall, La Citta Sul Lago is good but not essential. While its first half is excellent, the second half isn't quite as strong. Malibran albums are generally quite lengthy affairs and this one is just short of the 70-minute mark, so perhaps it would have benefited from a tighter focus. It would still make a nice addition to any RPI collection, but there are other Malibran albums that might be worth checking-out first.

Although nominally a Malibran album, it's probably more correct to think of Trasparenze (2009) as a Giuseppe Scaravilli solo project. In fact, it's even sub-titled 'A new musical project by Giuseppe Scaravilli from Malibran'. Having said that, four members of the original band play on the album and Malibran is still on the go so I don't believe Scaravilli warrants a separate database entry on Prog Archives. The other members of Malibran, past and present, that feature here are Alessio Scaravilli (drums), Jerry Litrico (guitar) and Giancarlo Cutuli (saxophone). Guest musician Toni Granata also plays violin on three tracks. Giuseppe handles the vocals and plays all other instruments... guitars, bass, keys, flute. Trasparenze is classic '70s-inspired RPI and Giuseppe himself believes this to be his best work to date. The cd booklet contains lyrics and lengthy sleeve notes for each song, one song to each page. Although this text is in Italian, the production information is printed in English. Strange. This album is heavier in places than other Malibran discs, with the usual Camel and Jethro Tull stylings seemingly absent. However there's still plenty of acoustic stuff , mostly around the middle of the album, and Genesis remains a strong influence. Giuseppe Scaravilli composed all the tracks, although Jerry Litrico collaborated on the two long songs that bookend the album. The first of these, the title track, is over 13-minutes long and consists of numerous ideas that involve all the classic Malibran ingredients; moody intro, funky drum rhythms, majestic main theme accompanied by flute and acoustic guitar, electric guitar solos and hard rock riffs. Excellent. Pensieri Fragili also tops the 13- minute mark and is even more complex. There are many twists and turns that help to maintain interest and fans of classic Genesis should surely enjoy this song. So the two epics at either end of the album are excellent but what of the rest? Well, In Un Attimo and Nel Ricordo are briskly paced songs that, although pleasant enough, don't exactly set the heather on fire. Vento d'Oriente is the first song on the album to feature Granata's frenetic violin and this is much better. The heavy riff and oriental sound make it reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. A definite highlight. Presagio starts out as a fairly typical Malibran song and also features the first synthesizer solo on the disc. However we're then treated to a blistering guitar solo, heavy riffs and galloping drums. This isn't too far from Black Sabbath territory. That run of acoustic tracks I mentioned starts with the flute and violin interplay of Proggia di Maggio. This is a lovely instrumental that livens up near the end with what is the only other synthesizer solo of note on the album. La Marea is another melodic soft rocker/ballad and is one of my favourites here. The mellow introduction of the instrumental Volo Magico soon gives way to an agitated, scraping violin and funky drums. There's a bit of a Mediterranean folk influence on Promesse Vane thanks to the acoustic guitar, although Steve Hackett also springs to mind. This song shifts nicely from slow and mellow to brisk and bright. The short instrumental Gioco di Specchi also has strong shades of Hackett, this time with electric guitar and accompanying eerie sound effects. Trasparenze is a long album that clocks in at 78-minutes, so you get your money's worth. There's not even much filler on it, with maybe just a couple of slightly weaker songs. My one criticism is that the album is a bit light on keyboards, but the loads of great flute you usually get with Malibran offset this. Trasparenze is an excellent album although I'm not sure if I agree with Giuseppe that this is his best work to date, as I have a soft spot for Malibran's Oltre L'Ignoto. RPI fans should of course have both these albums!

The Wood Of Tales, the 1990 debut by Italian band Malibran, is something of a rarity (at least in my RPI collection) insofar as it consists exclusively of English language vocals. I'm not particularly keen on this idea, preferring groups to sing in their native language. Some of Malibran's future releases would in fact feature both English and Italian vocals, which if anything is even more unsatisfactory in my opinion. The funny thing is that the sleeve notes are written entirely in Italian. Given that the vocals are in English it would have been nice to have at least some information on the band in that language, but what do I know? By all accounts Malibran were formed as a metal band in 1987 and I'd say there's still some evidence of that on this album. The band includes two guitarists and they tend to dominate on this album. Generally speaking Benny Torrisi's keyboards play only a supporting role, although Giancarlo Cutuli's flute is well to the fore on each track. If you like flute and double electric guitars, there's a fair chance you'll enjoy this.The first two tracks are identical in length, with each clocking in at 8.39. I don't think there's any great significance in this fact; I just think it's a bit strange. The first song, Malibran, opens with caterwauling guitars over a piano and drums stomp. Stirring stuff indeed, although I'm not overly keen on the digital-sounding keyboards. The vocal part of the song is slow and subdued and provides an effective contrast to the introduction. These guys are clearly influenced by bands such as Jethro Tull and Camel, having at one time or another covered some of these artists' material. This may explain the prominence of the flute on their albums although here it reminds me of the man they call The Flute, Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues. Anyway, the extended flute solo reintroduces the opening theme, which in turn brings this first song to a close. It's a great start to the album and the next track is equally good. The title track begins with keys and Alessio Scaravalli's toms setting the scene. This is a slow-paced instrumental featuring flute once again, and some guitar that's vaguely reminiscent of BJH's John Lees. Midway through there's a change of rhythm with the guitars adopting a distinctly metal tone. The third track, Sarabanda, is a Baroque-styled instrumental piece featuring flute and classical guitar. The singing on Pyramid's Street sounds a bit cheesy but it would be churlish of me to further criticise Giuseppe Scaravalli's English vocals. It's not really that big a deal; suffice to say his voice sounds so much better in Italian. There's some snake charmer flute on this song, and this Arabic influence plus the bolero rhythm make it sound more like Rock Andaluz than RPI. Some of the electric guitar even reminds me of Spanish band Mezquita. A guest musician plays the keyboard solo toward the end of this song, but I have no idea why. The final track proper, Prelude, features yet more flute; Giancarlo Cutuli owns this album! Lead guitarist Jerry Litrico gets in on the act here as well though, with a couple of blistering solos. There are three live bonus tracks on this Mellow re-release from 2002. I generally don't care for so-called bonus tracks, but that's an issue probably best reserved for the forums. The three tracks in this case are Song For Lisa, Mystery, and Trequanda. Trequanda is the most worthwhile addition to the album despite the drum solo, while Mystery features excellent guitar and saxophone solos. Song For Lisa I could do without although I could honestly do without any bonus tracks, especially live tracks added to a studio album. Overall this is another fine RPI album, and while it's not one of the '70s classics it is nonetheless very much in that style. It's not my favourite Malibran album and I feel the English language vocals detract slightly from it, although for others those same vocals may actually be a positive. Flute fans in particular should check out this band.







Review by The Prognaut 
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Back in 1987, the Sicilian band MALIBRAN was born. In the beginning, the Catania natives took off particularly far from the progressive rock tendencies, where a very metal-sound orientation predominated all over their compositions and arrangements. It wasn't until 1989 and during a Prog Festival organized in Rome, when MALIBRAN finally started to set off among the prog world along huge bands of the size of LEVIATHAN, EDITH and NOTTURNO CONCERTANTE. After this mega-show and judging by the response of the fans to the band, they finally produced their first album which was released in 1990 on the Pegaso Records label. Later on, the now seventies-oriented style band released the incredible masterpiece presented as "the best Italian album since 1977", "Le Porte del Silenzio", where MALIBRAN conquered their place among the best three Italian bands of the 90's with FINISTERRE and NUOVA ERA.

Out of curiosity, is how I discovered MALIBRAN. "The Wood of Tales" is an overlooked album, that could easily be measured up to the instrumentation quality and strong composition of "Le Porte del Silenzio", but due the fact it is indeed the band's debut album, it lacks of a deserved recognition and fully acceptance. In that context, is why I firstly wanted to upload my review on "Le Porte del Silenzio", to create a wider panorama where comparisons could be included and counterpoints could be dissipated. It was useful as well because it grew higher expectations on the fans, and in that order, I hoped most of the now MALIBRAN fans could feel the proximity of discovering a brand new band for them.
"The Wood of Tales" is a sea full of complexities and simplicities. Why? Because it's got it all, so you can continuously question yourself why of the surprising displays of geniality on unpredictable conversations between an intrepid flute and a ruthless guitar that sounds off almost disturbing. The opening song of this album named after the band, contains the precise amount of eerie ingredients to avoid you from leaving your seat, warming you up for what's to come (at this point, I must say Giuseppe SCARAVILLI sings spectacularly clear in English. That's a plus for any foreign band which is constantly struggling to remain universal).

Giancarlo CUTULI and Benny TORRISI take away exceptionally the self-titled piece for almost nine minutes, being inspirationally interrupted by Jerry LITRICO's astonishing guitar managing and neat drum performing by Alessio SCARAVALLI. This instrumental suite is beautifully executed from beginning to end, proving that they could be catalogued among the Italian greatest musicians. When moving on to "Sarabanda", you and your ears can realize musical purity comes in a MALIBRAN shape, here you will be able to contemplate the difficulty of playing an acoustic guitar so rapidly and impetuous that it'll make you ask for seconds.
"Pyramid's Street" is the suitable excuse for Giuseppe SCARAVALLI to sweat emotiveness and delicacy throughout his voice while he's having a short conversation with the intertwining flute that flows all over the album. The climax of this suite is represented in a beautiful encounter between the flute that turns quite charming at the pure Arabic style and a echoing guitar that overtakes every now and then to Giuseppe's voice. The lyrics may be repetitive here, but the music floating around them is unarguably variant. The inevitable end comes when we catch up with "Prelude", an indisputable heartbreaking -almost epical- song that evokes great unfelt feelings, that brings out the melodic in you and that will irremediably turn your thoughts against each other. In here, you will experience a certain turn of fate concerning the lyrical composition, but the music accompanying the vocals is outstanding as the rest of the album.

A critical point of departure to compare works to come from most of the Italian bands and many others involved in the art rock, "The Wood of Tales" is the debut album from an underrated band that's certainly deserving of applause and recognition. MALIBRAN will clearly appeal to Italian prog rock fans and to fearless proggers that find in curiosity their source of personal reward. Extremely recommended!


MALIBRAN: BIOGRAFIA AGGIORNATA:

I Malibran si formano a Catania nell’estate del 1987 e cominciano subito a suonare brani di propria composizione in classico stile Progressive Rock. Alla fine del 1988 la line up comprende GIUSEPPE SCARAVILLI  ( voce, chitarra ), GIANCARLO CUTULI ( flauto, sax ), JERRY LITRICO ( chitarra ), ANGELO MESSINA ( basso ), ALESSIO SCARAVILLI ( batteria ) e BENNY TORRISI ( tastiere). Con questa formazione registrano cinque dischi: THE WOOD OF TALES ( 1990 ), LE PORTE DEL SILENZIO ( 1993 ), LA CITTA’ SUL LAGO ( 1998 ), IN CONCERTO ( 2000 ) e OLTRE L’IGNOTO ( 2001 ), i primi due per la romana Pegaso Records, i successivi per la Mellow Records di San Remo.Tengono concerti sempre più spettacolari in ogni parte della Sicilia, si esibiscono varie volte a Roma e partecipano ai maggiori festival Progressive italiani ( Castelverde ‘89, Mondovì ‘91, Altomonte ’94… ). Su L’ ITALIA DEL ROCK, edito da LA REPUBBLICA, sono indicati come uno dei gruppi più importanti della nuova scena Prog tricolore. Suonano insieme agli OSANNA, agli ANEKDOTEN e compaiono sull’ Enciclopedia del Rock Italiano ( Arcana Editrice, 1993 ). Nel 1996, alla Festa del 1° Maggio tenuta a Catania con Edoardo Bennato e Gino Paoli, hanno di fronte ventimila persone. Nel 1999, a Belpasso, sono sul palco con il BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, e nell’ ottobre 2000 suonano in America, in North Carolina,  in occasione del PROGDAY FESTIVAL, insieme alle migliori formazioni internazionali. Partecipano inoltre alla raccolta MOLECOLE ( Kaliphonia, 1995 ) e a SONGS FOR JETHRO, tributo ai JETHRO TULL ( Il Popolo del Blues, 2000 ). Nel 2001 Cutuli e Torrisi decidono di lasciare la band, che prosegue comunque l’attività ridotta a quartetto, con Giuseppe Scaravilli impegnato anche al flauto. Dopo la ristampa brasiliana dei primi due dischi (Rock Symphony,1999 ), nel 2002 la Mellow pubblica THE WOOD OF TALES PLUS e nel 2003 STRANI COLORI, raccolta di pezzi rari ed inediti. LIVE ON STAGE 1994 è invece il titolo del CD pubblicato dalla brasiliana Rock Symphony. Nel 2003 il previsto show di apertura all’esibizione palermitana dei JETHRO TULL   è annullato all’ultimo momento dagli organizzatori locali. E’ del settembre dello stesso anno la data al BLOOM di Milano con i DEUS EX MACHINA, mentre la francese Musea pubblica il triplo KALEVALA, opera di artisti vari, compresa la band siciliana, che partecipa anche al natalizio TANTI AUGURI CD ( 2003 ) e a THE LETTERS, tributo ai KING CRIMSON di un anno dopo. Cancellato il concerto della PFM che i Malibran avrebbero dovuto aprire nell’estate 2004 a Catania, viene affidata alla ELECTROMANTIC di Beppe Crovella ( ARTI E MESTIERI ) la pubblicazione del dvd antologico 10 ANNI IN CONCERTO ( 2005 ). Spezzoni di questo stessa raccolta vengono proiettati sul maxischermo del primo Prog Festival di Buenos Aires. Tra il 2005 e il 2006 Giuseppe Scaravilli registra THE HOME STUDIO SESSIONS e partecipa come ospite alla ITULLIANS CONVENTION di Novi Ligure con Ian Anderson, gli ex JETHRO TULL Glenn Cornick, Clive Bunker e Dave Pegg, più  John Weathers ( ex GENTLE GIANT ). Nel 2006 i Malibran suonano anche all’ANDRIA PROGFEST, con BALLETTO DI BRONZO, OSANNA, METAMORFOSI, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, MALAAVIA e CONQUEROR. Nel 2009 esce TRASPARENZE, il nuovo disco: in realtà più un lavoro solista di Giuseppe Scaravilli, con collaborazioni interne ed esterne al gruppo. Il brano omonimo vince il premio nazionale “ProgContest”. La band si esibisce dal vivo fino all’agosto 2010, registrando, all’inizio dell’anno successivo, il brano “Straniero". Il secondo disco, “Le Porte del Silenzio”, con un missaggio inedito risalente al marzo 1992, viene pubblicato dalla Mellow Records nel 2015. Lo stesso lavoro viene inserito dalla rivista "Prog Italia" come uno dei 10 migliori dischi di Progressive italiano degli anni '90. Per problemi di salute del vocalist i Malibran si fermano per un paio di anni, ripartendo nel 2013 come trio, ma integrando presto nella formazione il nuovo tastierista Alberto Litrico per il biennio 2014-2015. Il secondo disco, “Le Porte del Silenzio”, con un missaggio inedito risalente al marzo 1992, viene pubblicato dalla Mellow Records nell’ottobre del 2015. Lo stesso lavoro viene inserito dalla rivista "Prog Italia" come uno dei 10 migliori dischi di Progressive italiano degli anni '90. Nel 2016 la AMS di Milano pubblica la raccolta di rari ed inediti intitolata "Straniero". In programma anche la pubblicazione di “Tracce”, con brani editi ma arrangiati in maniera completamente nuova e vagamente “orchestrale”.



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