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Il Tempio Delle Clessidre - Live in Seoul CD (album) cover


Il Tempio Delle Clessidre


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.56 | 19 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Emerging from the modern Italian prog scene back in 2009, Il Tempio delle Clessidre initially came together due to the desire of female keyboard player Elisa Montaldo to perform the classic Italian progressive album `Zarathustra' alongside the original vocalist Stefano "Lupo" Galifi. With the addition of more players, writing sessions soon produced an album of original compositions which formed the basis for their self-titled debut release in 2010. To some (myself included), the album was a bit of a modern Italian classic, and as good word of mouth spread, the band were also able to commence live performances. `Live in Seoul' is a two DVD set from Black Widow Records, containing a complete two hour show featuring the band performing the bulk of their debut album, as well as a daring (and risky) interpreatation of a particular work that can only be considered one of the most important and defining vintage Italian progressive albums.

The first disc is devoted to a 2011 performance of the entire Museo Rosenbach classic from 1973 `Zarathustra', however, to call it a `cover version' would be hugely dismissive and somewhat insulting. Instead, the Il Tempio band take the arrangement of the original work and then completely reinvent it. All the familiar themes still show up, but they're woven between new and alternate passages, instrumental improvisations and fresh vocal arrangements. The following fifty minute performance is played with such a wild energy by a group of musicians utterly passionate about the revered vintage RPI work, and it stands completely on its own merits. Compared to the original, the drumming, bass and electric guitars have an added attacking heavy power (some older fans and prog-snobs will likely have a tough time with this part), and plenty of focus is placed on gothic priestess Elisa Montaldo's evocative and dazzling keyboard atmospheres. Stefano "Lupo" Galifi's lead vocals sound just as strong and commanding as they did on the original work, and the thirty-odd years since then have not weakened his voice even slightly. An element that immediately lifts the piece even higher are new duet vocal passages between Stefano and Elisa, and she even takes several solo spots herself, absolutely enchanting and hypnotic.

The second set from the band has them performing most of their debut album, a strongly theatrical performance dominated by dark queen Montaldo, but all the other members charging the material with a wilder force compared to the studio album versions. There's also footage from various progressive music related festivals such as 2 Days and Nearfest Apocalypse, their first live performance in Genova from 2009, various behind the scenes bonuses, reviews and a photo gallery.

Big changes would come for Il Tempio delle Clessidre soon after the Seoul performance. A proper reunion of the original Museo Rosenbach from the Seventies would see Lupo depart to rejoin his old band, resulting in them releasing a new album `Barbarica' in 2013. Il Tempio would (thankfully) carry on with a new vocalist Francesco Ciapica to release `Alienatura' in 2013, an exciting and varied album that proved they were not simply some group of imitators, and it builds even more on the talent that was instantly displayed right from their superb debut album, whilst also allowing them to forge their own identity without relying on high profile connections. But that's the next chapter currently being written...!

Museo Rosenbach and `Zarathustra' fans, please do not be alarmed by the decision of the band to play this beloved vintage Italian release. Personally speaking, `Zarathustra' is one of my absolute favourite RPI albums that I have listened to endlessly over the years, one that I also instantly think of to recommend to listeners wanting to investigate the vintage Italian prog era for the first time. I myself approached this part of the live DVD with apprehension and some suspicion, so to witness Il Telpio delle Clessidre perform it with utmost respect to the original, but also implementing their own skill, passion and clever musical ideas is hugely satisfying and frequently thrilling. I hope diehard Italian prog fans will give it a chance and hopefully be just as won over by it as I was.

Almost four hours of concert footage, powerful live performances from a talented group of charismatic musicians, and a colourful variety of theatrical flair, `Live in Seoul' is an essential live document of Il Tempio delle Clessidre, one of the most exciting and distinctive modern RPI bands, so take the opportunity to allow Lady Elisa Montaldo and her male guard to cast their spell on you.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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