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Museo Rosenbach - Zarathustra CD (album) cover

ZARATHUSTRA

Museo Rosenbach

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.29 | 556 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Many one-shoot bands from Italy have come to grace and enrich the 70s prog legacy, Museo Rosenbach being among the most celebrated ones. and quite deservedly so. Their "Zarathustra" album is a total epitome of what symphonic heavy prog is all about: mesmerizing organ and mellotron layers in harmony with robust guitar riffs and leads, powerful melodic structures craftily expanded through refined arrangements, a well-ordained sense of the epic, a clever management of the contrasts between the harder and the softer passages. The album's theme is a celebration of free will under the guiding light of Nietzsche's idea of the Superman: the goal is to get rid of the various oppressive moral traditions that have ruled Man through history and conquer a new ideal of freedom, recapturing the real self and achieving a renewed connection with the world around us. Surpassing the energy of New Trolls and predating the punch of Biglietto per l'Inferno, Museo Rosenbach stands out in that special progressive province that took place in Italy. Golzi's solid drumming and Galifi's robust singing are pertinently located in the band's overall sound. The keyboard department has a prominent use of mellotron over the Hammond organ and the Moog synth (the latter being used marginally). This album features one of the most appealing assets in a prog album - a sidelong suite, which in this case is titled like the album. 'Zarathustra' is one of the most prominent Italian prog suites: it certainly combines the drive of Ossana, the stylish splendor of PFM, the magic vibe of early KC and Genesis and the dynamics of Metamorfosi. The suite gets started with delicate flute mellotron soon joined by an overlapping string mellotron and the whole orchestrated band as the fanfare is stated. The first sung motif is delivered with a delicate magnificence that ultimately leads to the first partial finale. Section 2 starts with a mysterious piano prelude (performed by bassist Moreno), which eventually leads to a psychedelic baroque full band endeavor. The addition of some jazzy cadences in the rhythm basis allows the band to create a particular swing, which the band perpetuates in section 3 'Al di là di Bene e di Male'. 'Superuomo' is the longest section, something the instrumentalists take advantage of to display a series of attractive motifs after the brief sung section. 'Il Tempio dell Clessidre' reprises section 1's closure and takes it to an epic dimension, which originates real, frontal progressive beauty all the way to the fade-out. The married organ and mellotron layers are literally unearthly, the guitar soloing is majestic, Golzi's rolls and fills enhance the overwhelming majesty - what a grand finale!, what a suite! This is definitely the album's highlight, but there is still more. and it is great, too. 'Degli Uomini' displays an interesting set of motifs in a Manieristic framework: the song's power is more subtle than patent. 'Della Natura' lasts 8 ½ minuts, which allows the band to explore the melodic variations more loosely. This track really shows the family air that links Museo to compatriot acts Alphataurus and Metamorfosi (perhaps Semiramis, too, but Museo is obviously more polished). The ceremonious moods that fill this song's last few minutes make it quite close to the suite's general undertones. 'Dell' Eterno Ritorno' occupies the album's last 6+ minutes. The opening synth arpeggios state an agile expectation that draws the band close to spacey prog, but soon the effect is retorted by yet another display of heavy prog with featured mellotron/organ. This track is less aggressive than most of the preceding pieces, but the usual references to Baroque and Manierism are obviously present. There is not much that I can really add to all the praise that "Zarathustra" has achieved by prog fans all over the world. I'll just finish this review by asserting my conviction that Museo Rosenbach has created a prog masterpiece.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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