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Quasar Lux Symphoniae - The Enlightening March of the Argonauts CD (album) cover


Quasar Lux Symphoniae

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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5 stars A hidden masterpiece from Italy (once more). After their wonderful "Abraham", QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE gave to prog music another beautiful stuff, plenty of rich and emotive melodies, always delicated. Both male (raw and emotive) and female (operatic and expressive) voices fit perfectly in desperated and shattering tunes, touching the listener soul and giving a feeling of majestic sadness. Music flows slowly, always in desolated landscapes. The progressive elements are mixtured with classical musicians influences (I can hear some LISZT and RACHMANINOFF tunes). In "The Punishment of the Submerged", the forth track, are the heavier rock moments, but the whole album shows a real sense of refinement. Don't miss this work. It's one of those albums that can really touch you and teach everybody why progressive is the most beautiful music genre.
Report this review (#5903)
Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I owe this discovery to Marcelo....Thanks a lot!!! Beautiful operatic Italian progressive rock with hard rock and bombastic ELP, acustic and for moments jazzy touches, a gem to be discover. I however, give this album 4 stars because I personally think that Italian lyrics would have been better....It seems that nowadays progressive music HAS to be sing in English to be good!!!..Not true. You may disagree, but is my humble opinion. Still a fantastic effort.
Report this review (#5904)
Posted Saturday, April 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Quasar lux symphomiać are an Italian prog (symphonic) band...with a tendency to grand theme´s a la opera (hence the vocal trimmings)...great piano pieces..interceptet by guitars and electronic keyboards,bass and drums. This their second album: " The Enlightning march of the argonauts" is quite a piece of work. Everything you could ask for in a prog/symphonic record is here,lavish arrangements flowing with keyboards and guitars (acoustic an all)...and a operatic-type lead singing courtesy of (male part): Roberto Scorlon.....which is ok.....but,he tears on your senses,as his vocal is rather straining in the long run. The female vocal ( Annalisa Malvasio) on the other hand are fabulous and beautiful....smooth for your ear!!The music is well arranged and competent....especially the keys and guitars are great! The mix/ production are fine and there are nice separation stereo wise!! Overall.... a fine symphonic prog cd...which after several listenings should give you a pleasant experience!! In conclusion: Nothing to write home about....on the other hand they do have something.....(i like their acoustic pieces- guitar/piano) if you find them at your local dealer...give em a try!!! You might find it to be "up your prog alley". 3 stars......could have been 4... if only the male singer...well...ok!!
Report this review (#5905)
Posted Friday, April 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
2 stars It is a concept album, but no relation here to Greek myth of argonauts and Golden Fleece. It tells the story of polar expedition, lost in endless snows.

I listened fragments of the album in store before buying and found them interesting. Yes, fragments were interesting, but the whole album, when I listened to it at home, bored me to death. Quite a dark (OK, the subject is tragic) and monotonous music, unpleasant male vocals, in English, with terrible accent. It seemed there's no end of the story - argonauts go and go and go through the snow, music plays and plays and plays, and the singer - he's still singing. Though I must say that the only song with female vocals, ''The Resonance of the Throne'' is much better and technically musicianship on all tracks is not bad at all.

To the middle of the album I found that I start to hate these argonauts instead of sympathizing them. Being an atheist, I began to ask God to send unfortunate heroes quick and painless death. At last almighty God heard my prayers, though not so quickly, only when CD stopped playing.

A couple of repeated listens did not help, the same hard journey. Can't describe how happy I was when one of my friends borrowed my CD to listen. Using all my diplomacy I persuaded him never give it back.

If you are tired of joy and pleasures and look for some boredom, this album is for you. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Report this review (#178208)
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Original symphonic music that I think shocks for example many Italian symphonic prog fans that think they know much and there can't be anymore surprises in Italia.

The Waning Season (1.) has some symphonic passages heard afterwards (strong beat with warm bass and piano, high and clear spacey keyboards, buzzy guitar) , but this is a lament, for male vocals, which has for example a bit vomitting feeling somewhere, and intensity of Devil Doll (in the strong piano part and the latter symphonic part). This whole album reminds me a bit of Jacula, as being gothic and atmospheric, with dark contrasts between light and thick symphonic structures. (And for example you must have the volume up to hear some things and then the louder parts are more arresting.

Prayers of the Highland (2.) slightly sounds Marillion, very smooth and ballads from eighties are near this. And even if you didn't like either of them so much, this is very good song, growing heavier, bigger and big is the performance of the singer, begging and shiveringly ruff.

The Resonance of the Throne (3.) has classical piano with operatic female vocals, and after 2/5 of the song it's exploding like Supertramp's Crime Of The Century's final intensity in a second. The distortion guitar changing into a hyperventilating Rick Wakeman spacey and vivid keyboard solo and going back to more atmospheric thick guitar that finds just the right conclusive chords (for the song and for example going a bit back to The Waning Season), and then more quiet operatic part. This is one of the most symphonic things music can offer, and it has much in common with Italian symphonic prog - the warm spirit where you must cry also for the happiness. In this "concept" album I see this as the most compact (in the middle of the song)

The Punishment of the Submerged (4.) is ruff heavy rock (and roll) with buzzing guitar and light (sometimes latin) acoustic guitar & weeping vocals parts, though vocals are also strong and venturing.

Five Fathers Resurrection (5.) has very closely same themes as the previous ones, first track combined to third, (well this all are the same in a way) and there's for example bright guitar (almost like the keyboard). It all ends to pathetic shouting.

The Enlightening March of the Argonauts (6.) double-summarizes the album themes loosely and ethereally, like a distant echo, amplifying to normal at the end. Either this doesn't bring much new thing, but at least in this point you think this is contiguous (master)piece of art. The very ending is nice surprising organs inflating. Definitely a good trip, and eg the sounds of the album are very great.

I would give five stars if there were more ideas in this album, though I first didn't even notice that fact so well.

Report this review (#182310)
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was only moderately enthusiast about the debut album from this Italian band. A double CD concept about the life of Abraham. This album is at times linked with classic music and I have to add that the vocal performance of Roberto Salgon is far to be impressive: actually he is so poor during the opening number "The Waning Present" that he completely ruins it.

It is a pity because most of the instrumental parts are rather good (just listen to the excellent finale during the short "Prayers of the Highland". At times, this album is also related with opera. While I say so, I refer to the track "Resonance of the Throne".

This feeling is due to the vocal work from Annalisa Malvasio. She has a fantastic voice, that's for sure and she would have replaced Salgon for the best of this album but she sounds too theatrical IMO. But this bombastic song is probably one of the best you can expect from this album.

The next song is funnily titled "The Punishment Of The Submerged": it is true that these vocals are quite a punishment! I really don't understand how the band decided to get this guy on board to perform the lead singing role; and he will still be featured on their next album...

The same type of comments is valid for the two last songs from this album as well. A classic and light piano intro for "Five Fathers Resurrection" combined with a bombastic and brilliant guitar play. For once, dear friend Salgon doesn't try to force his voice and sings quietly. This is much more bearable. There is a definite Renaissance feel in this long song. It is by far the best one from this album: if only they could have released more of this calibre (even if Salgon is back with his dreadful vocal performance during the closing part).

The title and closing track is sad and repetitive; mostly instrumental (thank god!): it is a very cold and dark number (but this can be related in the storyboard of this concept album which has already been outlined). It would have been great if Roberto would have shut for a minute or so.

To cut a long story short, this should have been a very good album but thanks to their lead vocalist it is only worth three stars (which still means that it is a good album).

Report this review (#189283)
Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4.5 stars actually...

After the succesful effort of the rock opera ''Abraham'',key minds of QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE Paolo Paroni and Roberto Sgorlon continued on working on the band's second album.For this release bassist Italo Cigainero got off the board with new member Paolo Maestrutti jumping on,while female vocalist Annalisa Malvasio kept her place on the line-up.Now, with a much reduced personel,QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE presented their sophomore album ''The Enlightening March of the Argonauts'' in 1996,again on Music is Intelligence.

Not much have changed since the group's debut two years ago.''The waning season'' opens greatly much in THE ENID vein with nice Classical parts and Sgorlon delivers some fine HACKETT-ish guitar work,but the vocals seem over the top due to their heavy theatrical approach.''Prayers of the Highland'' is a some sort of a prog-ballad with good semi- acoustic passages,balanced vocals and a great solo at the end,which hopefully could last forever.Is it Robert John Godfrey opening for ''The Resonance of the Throne''...No,it's Paolo Paroni offering great classical piano parts in the vein of THE ENID,encouraged later by the operatic vocals of Malvasio,before the track turns to a symphonic heaven full of grandiosity with sharp synths and fantastic guitars close to MINIMUM VITAL's Thierry Payssan.Excellent!

Unfortunately on ''The Punishment of the Submerged'' the band spoils its good image.Weak vocals and an awful rhytmic rock tune isn't what I expect from them and what saves the track is its great middle section with light interplays between the acoustic guitars and the electric jazzy ones.THE ENID's ghost is back on the long ''Five Fathers Resurrection'',where Paroni's dreamy classical piano parts play a dominant role along with his flashy and dramatic synthesizers,interupted only at parts by Sgorlon's balanced voice and his well-crafted solos.Awesome and highly emotional stuff once again!A symphonic/spacey intro opens for the eponymous track with keyboards/synths creating a cosmic yet classical 4-min. long atmosphere.For the rest of the track Paroni takes over with his piano,accompanied by Sgorlon's relaxed vocals,before the GENESIS--like electric solo outro where Sgorlon saves the best for last!

Having a better vocalist or simply leaving the fourth track out of the album,''The Enlightening March of the Argonauts'' would easily flirt with the ''masterpiece'' consideration...but again four magnificent tracks out of possible six are too many to ignore this album.If you love the Classical side of Prog filled with atmospheric harmonies and a grandiose approach to melody,then this album is certainly your thing.Personally I had to listen to such a good blending of Classical music and prog rock since my time listening to THE ENID's albums.Well done!

Report this review (#278218)
Posted Friday, April 16, 2010 | Review Permalink

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