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Rumblin' Orchestra - Spartacus  CD (album) cover


Rumblin' Orchestra

Symphonic Prog

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3 stars Wel, a bit too pompous for me - all these choirs and orchestra - and sometimes too much bombastic and hence boring, RO's Spartacus contains some awesome moments. I'm not satisfied with the quality of the record,but I can see the problems HUNGARIAN Proggers face with :-( - we have almost the same and even worse...OK, imagine ELP jamming with choir,orchestra and DREAM THEATER on the background...;-) Tastes are differ - it's not much MY kind of music, but it's good and rare stuff for any Symphonic Prog Collector (recommended). Again I see not much soul and emotions here, but the masterity and highl level of musicianship are unquestionable.
Report this review (#107045)
Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars The Rumblin Orchestra is a Hungarian musical project with Ella Bela (keyboards/vocals) as the musical brainchild. The subject for this album is the known story about the heroic slave who's life ended so tragically after he had organized a revolution against the Romans, Kirk Douglas played a perfect role in the Sixties movie version that featured lots of action and bombastic moments. Well, this has been translated in a very pleasant way into the music on Spartacus: many fluent up-tempo songs and bombastic climates delivering a choir and lots of flashy synthesizer soli, evoking Keith Emerson during Fanfare For The Common Man. Because of the use of classical instruments like the flute, cello, trombone and violin, the music also reminds me of early solo Rick Wakeman while the work on paino and synthesizers has echoes from Triumvirat. Although Rumblin Orchestra their sound is modern and a bit polished, I was pleased with lots of interesting interludes and breaks. Guitarist Janos Varga (from legendary Hungarian progrock band East) appears as a guest musician in the track Vitory Of Death, he delivers two biting soli. The bonus-track is a live version (10 minutes) of America (The Nice) tha tcontains a modern keyboard sound and trumpet. A fine album with lots of variety and strong keyboard work, my rating is 3,5 stars.
Report this review (#127035)
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars RUMBLIN ORCHESTRA seem to be a family-band occasion,led by keyboardist/vocalist Bela Ella with five more family members participating on this project.Multi-instrumentalist Jusztin Szabo completes the basic line-up,while East's guitarist Janos Varga is responsible for the scarce electric guitar solos and melodies.Their debut ''Spartacus'', which seems to be a concept album,came out in 1998.

STYLE: Centered around piano/keyboards and orchestra instruments,the album can sound nothing different than a mix of Classical-influenced rock,keyboard-driven prog with maybe a slight tone of a Rock Opera added.Many times the band sounds like an orchestra jamming with a progressive rock band,while the string-driven parts along with the flute passages are trully ethereal and dreamy.Surprisingly the album contains a lot of synth parts along with numerous organ jams,which blend nicely with the orchestra feeling.Depending on the track the style ranges from bombasic synth-driven prog to melodic Classical music with the rhythm section suppirting.Vocals are scarce,limited to decent choirs and aggresive/theatrical male vocals with an operatic dose.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: The whole family had to be huge followers of THE ENID along with keyboard-driven monster acts like EMERSON,LAKE & PALMER or TRIUMVIRAT.Best modern act to compare are definitely Italians QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE with a less guitar-driven sound with a touch of compatriots SOLARIS,mainly on the flute section.

PLUS: All I can say about the Classical-influenced musicianship of the album is that this is majestic.Bella Ella seems to lose the battle against the rest of the family,the handlers of the orchestral instrumentation,who deliver absolutely essential,romantic and melodic Classical-inspired music,often flirting with grandiose soundtrack music .Bella himself has some great moments and a big plus for him is the fact he doesn't perform too selfish.Beautiful interplays throughout the album between keys and flutes/violins.Worth mentioning the nice performance of Janos Varga on guitars.

MINUS: Definitely the bad sound of the synths,which sound sometimes cheesy,other ones too plastic,spoiling some of the finest themes of ''Spartacus''.Some long keyboard solos of Bella are a bit stretched,while a concept album could have been based a bit more on (the very decent) vocal sections,which are almost absent.

WILL APPEAL TO: Not only keyboard freaks who can't live without their prog filled with keyboard sounds,but also fans of pure classical music...but ''Spartacus'' is a great exampe of an album heading to open-minded listeners of artistic music..

CONCLUSION/RATING: Musically speaking we are talking about top notch Classical Prog here and it's a pity that this band disappeared soon after their second release.If it weren't those plastic synths,we would propably be talking about a far more better release now.However,I recommend this album strongly to the whole prog audience due to its beatiful classical themes and my final taste leads me to a 3.5 rating.

Report this review (#294164)
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Review Permalink

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