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Museo Rosenbach - Zarathustra CD (album) cover

ZARATHUSTRA

Museo Rosenbach

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.30 | 787 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
5 stars 'The most glorious Mellotron eruption in progrock history!'

In the early 90s I got in touch with Spanish proghead Angel Romero, due to an increasing dust allergy he had to sell his very rare vinyl prog collection. I bought a bunch of Spanish prog and showed Angel his list to a fellow vinyl prog collector. He got very excited and asked me to order Zarathustra by Museo Rosenbach ASAP. Unfortunately it turned out that meanwhile two Japanese had bought his entire collection. My friend almost in tears, he had just missed the Holy Grail on vinyl. But I was put on the trail of this Classic Italian Prog gem: soon after I read the new Syn-Phonic catalogue, noticed euphoric words about Museo Rosenbach, bought the Contempo CD reissue and shared his euphoric words during my first listening session.

For me the epic titletrack is a perfect example why 'symphonic' rock became a sub-genre of progressive rock, all elements of the word 'symphony' have been put into this highly acclaimed composition: a running time of 20 minutes, five parts with contrasting shifting moods and a returning theme, melodic and harmonic interplay between several instruments, a build-up and a sumptuous grand finale. To me Museo Rosenbach sounds like a five- piece symphonic rock orchestra.

1. Zarathustra : The titletrack starts with soaring Mellotron flutes as the theme, then swelling drums and a sumptuous outburst featuring majestic Mellotron violins, welcome to the realm of Museo Rosenbach their epic masterpiece Zarathustra. From now on it's 20 minutes flowing shifting moods, from mellow to bombastic and from slow rhythms to accellarations and up-tempo beats, the theme is wonderfully blended in these different climates. And topped with great Italian vocals, with a wide range and loaded with emotion. The one moment dreamy with twanging electric guitar, a tender voice and soft Hammond. The other moment bombastic with propulsive guitar riffs and dynamic drums. In between a few accellarations that increase the huge tension between the mellow and bombastic parts.

The Mellotron is omnipresent, with the flute - and violin section, this unsurpassed vintage keyboard colours this composition in the best tradition of early King Crimson.

In the final part the build-up is breathtaking and one of the most compelling and exciting moments in progrock history, IMHO. First a fiery guitar with lush Hammond and floods of Mellotron violins, in combination with an outstanding, very dynamic rhythm-section. Then the music slows down with gradually more powerful drums and an awesome Mellotron violin sound. This culminates in a mindblowing grand finale featuring the theme in a bombastic eruption: howling electric guitar runs and glorious Mellotron violins, topped with excellent work from the rhythm-section, this is Symphonic Rock Heaven, a triple layer of goose bumps!

Next the three tracks (between 4 and 9 minutes) that complete this album: the climates are varied, again we can enjoy a tension between the mellow and bombastic parts, a dynamic rhythm-section, wonderful work on keyboards and strong Italian vocals.

2. Degli Uomini (4:01) : This song alternates between mellow with a soaring Mellotron violin sound and a mid-tempo rhythm with powerful guitar riffs and lush Hammond, the emotional Italian vocals add an extra dimension. Often early Genesis come to my mind.

3. Della Natura (8:24) : Excellent interplay between the powerful drums, lush Hammond and swinging piano. Halfway subtle work on the vibraphone and in the end a fiery electric guitar, the Italian vocals are wonderful.

4. Dell'Eterno Ritorno (6:15) : Lots of changing climates with a very tasteful and varied keyboard sound (Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog). And finally a strong build up and wonderful grand finale featuring fat Minimoog flights, emotional vocals and lush Hammond, very compelling.

This album is one of the highlights in Classic Italian Prog, and the epic titletrack can compete with the epics from legendary Seventies Progrock bands, not to be missed by Mellotron loving symphomaniacs.

Pretty often PA change the amount of two social comments into zero, so it is really two, even one from a band member.

TenYearsAfter | 5/5 |

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