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MAESTOSO - Caterwauling Esoteric (2007)


It's a slow burn getting a band off the ground when you are best known as a member of a 70's stadium filler that's still on the road. Barclay James Harvest keyboardist Woolly Wolstenholme's sideline provides him with an outlet for his own music and Maestoso's fourth album of polished prog for the noughties looks likely to keep fans happy.

Mercifully free from sounding like a tribute to himself, Woolly's writing and performance resonate with themes and structures deployed by BJH, right down to John Lees's guitar stylings, but without detriment to the identity the band has managed to forge of its own.

True, Maestoso's sound is hard to pin down, crossing melodic symphonic progressive with punchy rock outbursts and ballads, but if this outlet for his eclecticism keeps Woolstenholme writing and his listeners listening, everyone's happy.


Review by Peter Muir

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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