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Museo Rosenbach - Zarathustra CD (album) cover

ZARATHUSTRA

Museo Rosenbach

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.29 | 539 ratings

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Negoba
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Rocking RPI Album is Worth Some Extra Listening Time

I acquired ZARATHUSTRA in a glut of Italian prog about 2-3 years ago, and it frankly didn't leave much of an impression on me. I've recently been going through those albums one by one with much deeper listens. While a few albums have worn down with repeated careful scrutiny, this one keeps getting better. After several days of triple end over end playing time, I've been pleasantly rewarded by Museo Rosenbach in the classic manner of good prog.

In general, ZARATHUSTRA incorporates much more classic hard rock guitar than most Italian prog. While many RPI bands use some guitar soloing a la Steve Hackett, Museo Rosenbach's Enzo Merogno gets in plenty of energetic riffage as well. Others have made comparisons to Deep Purple but the lines here are so much more complex. Alternating between unison, harmony, and counterpoint with the also wonderful keys, the guitar lines are much more composed parts of the music than solo spots.

The introductory epic title track is a big chunk to bite off, especially at first, and this is probably why my first impression was not as strong as my current opinion. While this album does have sections of typical romantic Italian sentiment, it also has monstrously rocking passages where the whole band is simply humming. "Della Natura" has some deliciously intense work that looks ahead to modern bands like Anglagard. As a matter of fact, after making this connection, I am hearing connections to the 90's Swedes all over this record. In contrast, however, vocalist Stefano Lupo Galifi is featured prominently, and his rough baritone contrasts sharply with Anglagard's occasional wispy ornamentation. He simultaneously achieves a rocker's ability to be convincingly aggressive and the sense of Italian melodicism, and is perhaps my favorite of the RPI vocalists.

While the compositions on this album are very good, this is not a virtuosic album. No single player takes a spot simply to show his skills. There are no big solo spots. The most impressive sections are instead when everyone is playing full bore in delightfully interconnected parts. This is not to say the players are weak. In fact, all nail their parts well. But this is a music about the song, about the big picture.

I'm not ready to place this in the essential category, but without a doubt, this is an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Negoba | 4/5 |

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