Storybook is a live recording of the Finisterre's performance at Progday in 1997. It reveals this Genoa based band to mature and confident musicians. What impressed me was how tight the band is while creating music with a loose and expansive feel. Firmly planted within the classic progressive rock sound they list their influences as: King Crimson, Camel, Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator, & Pink Floyd. And that is exactly the kind of thing you can expect from Storybook; long , well crafted, technically demanding tunes that offer a variety of sonic colors and textures. There are of plenty of guitar heroics, flute solos of enduring beauty, and keyboard-induced drama. It's enough to make one wonder if it was actually recorded in 1973 (in the best possible way, of course). One note: they are Italian, and so are all their lyrics, so it is beyond the ability of this reviewer to know what they are actually singing about.
Highlights include a wonderful flamenco guitar and flute-work in "Hispanica", a very satisfying cover of PFM's "Altaloma", and "Phaedra" which rocks along for a full fourteen minutes, allowing for various band members to solo (and play around with themes from "In the Court of the Crimson King".) The only thing that works against this album are the vocals, which never do live up to the instruments that support them.
In conclusion, I'll give Storybook a "B", this only on the account of the vocals and the fact that my personal tastes have developed along a slightly different line of progressive rock than what Finisterre pursues. Anyone who enjoys the early-to-mid seventies progressive style will find Storybook a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying album, and should seek this band out live. With a recording this good, actually being there must have been incredible.
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