Fabio Zuffanti has been one of the most active musicians on the Italian prog scene for 20 years and has made a name for himself with his bands Höstsonaten and La Maschera di Cera. With "La quarta vittima" ("The Fourth Victim"), Zuffantis' fourth solo album now appears, for which he was inspired by Michael Ende's story collection "Der Spiegel im Spiegel", to which some of the seven titles allude. Musically, the 45-year-old Genoese offers fine retro-prog sounds that, together with saxophone and flute, are close to the Canterbury prog or - as in "Sotto un cielo nero" - flirt openly with jazz. Actually, with "La quarta vittima" everything would be musically in the green if Zuffanti hadn't insisted on taking over the lead vocals personally: His voice is too thin, which he sometimes declaims, then uses again in the style of Italian singer-songwriters, the Cantautori. For his next record, Zuffanti should therefore have the courage to retain the authentic chansonesque singing - or hire a guest vocalist.
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