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Museo Rosenbach - Barbarica CD (album) cover

BARBARICA

Museo Rosenbach

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.61 | 60 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

coasterzombie
3 stars Rosenbach is back!

The latest in a trend of classic RPI bands reuniting for one more round, Museo Rosenbach join the ranks of Alphataurus, Locanda Delle Fate, and Garybaldi with new releases in the last year. Of those, only Alphataurus has offered a new studio recording, which Barbarica easily tops in both originality and authenticity. Original Museo members "Lupo" Galifi, Giancarlo Golzi, and Alberto Moreno are again joined by guitarists Sandro Libra and Max Borelli, bassist Andy Senis, and keyboard player Fabio Meggetto as on the Zarathustra Live in Studio album. These new recruits are able to achieve the rarely possible task of breathing new life into an old band while maintaining that group's original sensibility. Barbarica actually sounds like Museo Rosenbach, which is amazing considering the amount of time passed and changes in the musical landscape. A leaner, more aggressive band has emerged and while this suits the lyrical theme of war-torn civilization, it may rub some Museo stalwarts the wrong way. Heavy Prog has morphed into a hybrid Symphonic Metal genre that Museo Rosenbach seems to embrace, and this stylistic choice prevents the album from becoming a four-star affair in my book. Still, Barbarica is one of the better contemporary Italian Prog albums I've heard this year.

The album's centerpiece of course is the 14-minute "Il Respiro Del Pianeta" which hearkens immediately to the sound of 1973's classic Zarathustra. Though Barbarica never approaches the genius of that album, it keeps an eye to the past while trying new ideas. At times however, this new Museo relies a little too much on its own legacy and uses some of the same stylistic changes and mood shifts that so define the band's classic sound: In the first four minutes alone, no fewer than six distinct sections introduce "Il Respiro Del Pianeta," which borders on excess in my opinion. This Economy of Scale approach belies the individual members' contributions, and almost seems like too many cooks are stirring the broth. Though the sheer amount of compositional concepts is impressive, the transitions between them can feel forced in some cases. For instance, the pause at 5:30 as the song shifts from romantic balladry to testosterone-laden Hammond Rock...perhaps this respite was intentional but it seems like the band just couldn't find a way to get from point A to point B without simply stopping in between.

The remaining four tracks do a better job of progressing the identity of the band without being nostalgic. Lupo leads a determined bunch on "La Coda Del Diavolo," which reminds me a lot of his work with Il Tempo Delle Clessidre. "Abbandonati" reflects the album's cover art with its African themes and tribal chanting. "Fiore Di Vendetta" is the most modern sounding track here, and doesn't impress. "Il Re Del Circo" has a much darker tone and does the best job of blending the classic Museo sound with a new twist. Barbarica is a must-have for Contemporary Italian Prog fans; RPI collectors will no doubt be intrigued by its appeal, and even adventurous Heavy Prog listeners may find something to take away. The average Prog fan though will probably want to pass on Barbarica for now, and come back to it when a taste for foreign-language music has developed. Three really strong stars.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |

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