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Museo Rosenbach - Barbarica CD (album) cover


Museo Rosenbach


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.54 | 77 ratings

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4 stars Since 1993 I've been blown away by Museo Rosenbach's classic Zarathustra, but upon first listen, I really loved the atmosphere but I knew it was a tough going, especially the production wasn't that great. In 2000 two original members Alberto Moreno and Giancarlo Golzi resurrected the Museo Rosenbach name and released Exit. I wished I bought that one when it came out, because although I don't own it, I've heard it, it's still very good, but unsurprisingly doesn't reach the heights of Zarathustra. In 2010 Il Tempio Della Clessidra (names after a movement of the Zarathustra suite) released their debut with none other the former Museo Rosenbach vocalist Stefano "Lupo" Galifi. That album received a lot of praise, and for good reason. But then Stefano jumped ship and rejoined Museo Rosenbach, which, for many fans, will lend more credibility. Still, the other two original members Enzo Merogno and Pit Corradi are still not present, so they brought in some new musicians, again. Alberto Moreno is credited to keyboards (although he was originally a bassist, as Pit Corradi was responsible for keyboards in the original lineup), but they also include a second keyboardist. In 2013 comes Barbarica. Well it's nice to see the original vocalist return, but like Exit, it's still very good, but doesn't quite reach the heights of Zarathustra. I am not too surprise. On the other hand the band isn't stuck in 1973, so the sound quality and production is quite modern without slipping into neo-prog territory. The keyboards are both digital and analog (sounds like a MiniMoog Voyager is being used). The Mellotron had pretty much disappeared, although there are some sampled tron flutes. The sounds is still unmistakably Museo Rosenbach, but more updated. The three original members are in their 60s so don't expect Giancarlo Golzi to drum like there's no tomorrow like on Zarathustra, so he more stays within what he's physically able to do. Stefano "Lupo" Galifi's voice has changed, but luckily doesn't sound shot like Black Moon-era Greg Lake or Frank Bornemann during the Visionary-era Eloy. The CD has its share of rocking passages, dramatic passages, as well as the occasional foray into world music. The cover to Barbarica is pretty cheesy, a cheesy rendition of an Egyptian sphinx face, but the rest of the artwork (like the booklet as well as the CD cover) is MUCH better. Comparing what Museo Rosenbach does now in 2013 would be like what Van der Graaf Generator has been doing since 2005 when they reunited and released Present (as well as three more releases as of this typing, in October 20, 2016). Don't compare new Museo Rosenbach with Zarathustra as much as you don't compare new VdGG with H to He Who Am the Only One or Pawn Hearts. Barbarica is Museo Rosenbach of 2013, not 1973. Also I love how the CD is just 40 minutes long, as I've griped elsewhere, since the 1990s there's been way too many 70+ minute releases by prog artists that just bore me to tears, because it's way too long and the music quality really slips as it progresses (it's like they're desperately scrapping the bottom of the barrel just to fill the CD). 40 minutes is just right, and demonstrates why double albums in the '70s were the exception, not the norm, and usually double albums appear once the artist has enough experience to do such, like when Genesis came up with the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway or the Who with Tommy (unless you happen to be The Mothers of Invention, Chicago or Warm Dust, who managed double album debuts, but they had enough good material to do such). In the end, Barbarica is very good, but never reaches the heights of Zarathustra. It grew on me enough to warrant four stars.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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