Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Höstsonaten - The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Chapter One CD (album) cover



Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
5 stars This album is absolutely awesome.

It seems as to return to old -mid Genesis and as they compose a very inspirated incidental symphony of symphonic prog rock.

Male Vocals in general very similar as Peter Gabriel.(parts I and II mostly)

So put the best ingredients of Genesis with the best of Le Orme or with PFM get an inspired composition of incidental symphonic prog rock we are.

So is not a discovery that english symphonic prog rock and italian symphonic prog rock are the master bands. A mix of the two best prog rock of those countries is a work like this.

So a very inspirited symphony of prog rock.Excellent musicianship . Excellent songs and excellent vocals.

A masterpiece for me in this times of prog. works in a level from regular to poor.

Report this review (#750292)
Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hostsonaten's gleaming musical voyage continues unabated and progresses along nicely, the last instrumental sequence of the 4 seasons were completely exalting, especially the splendid Winter and Summer versions. Now that the cycle is complete, where will Fabio lead the ragazzi? Firstly, we are offered one of the most gorgeous album covers ever, a seemingly leather bound book of ripe green and bright yellow (remindful of the Oakland A's for our American fans or Norwich Canaries for you Europeans) in reverential praise for the Samuel Taylor Coleridge story that gives the album its name. Secondly, with La Maschera di Cera on holiday, Fabio has recruited the exemplary voice of Alessandro Corviglia, arguably one of the most original voices in modern RPI to adorn the verses with some emotional power and context. He adds that distinctive timbre on Part I and shares vocals with the delightful Simona Angioloni (of Aries fame) on Part IV. Part II features Davide Merletto (from prog-metal band Daedalus) and Part III has unknown singer Marco Dogliotti . One might easily assume that with all the lyrical content and singing that we are closer to the La Maschera di Cera- "Petali di Fuoco" style when in fact the line is simply blurred, this being a first chapter of two. When music is this appealing, who wants to worry about labels? The musicianship is world-class, starting with the tightest rhythm section in Italy, Fabio's relentless and reptilian bass allied with Maurizio di Tollo, a percussive veteran of the highest caliber. Both Luca Scherani and Matteo Nahum are phenomenal players as witnessed on previous works.

The "Prologue" is instrumentally devastating, powerful and raucous, laden with smoking guitar riffs and leads, steaming mellotron howls, bruising bass and pounding drums. The stage is set for the story to begin, beads of salted perspiration and flexed muscles. The next 4 tracks are simply titled as Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4, each one distinctive, vivid and cinematographic.

Part I - The story is introduced by Corviglia's voice, acoustic guitar, flute and mellotron swoon in the background thus giving fuel to a strong early Genesis influence, as the album may be construed as a modern "Supper's Ready"-like suite. The result is certainly engaging, the melodies twisting and turning in a variety of directions. Hushed and distorted vocalizing harkens back to the Foxhead days, there is little doubt but its utterly entertaining and musically riveting. Part II - At first the music is elegantly piano-driven, Luca Scherani infusing his arsenal of ivories into the mix as the arrangement gets more intense, while Matteo Nahum 's chunky guitar adds a metallic sheen, not to mention some slippery leads played well and fast when need be. Just to keep us on our ears (not toes) Edmondo Romano supplies seductive sax and Joanne Roan flutes her flute. Merletto does a fine job on vocals.

Part III- The windswept mood gets emotionally very heavy and expressive; Zuffanti's booming bass waltzing with the piano and the flute. Then, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, Dogliotti outright steals the show with some heavy lunged yelps that would make Ian Gillan blue (OK, purple!) with envy! Synthesizers squeal in anger, the organ swells like some wicked ocean and the battleship drums pound endlessly. You would think of a more progressive Queensryche for a second! The near 17 minute hurricane is all of sound and fury of the finest order. This is not pretty, beautiful or ornate like the Season cycle that some reviewers criticized as being too cute. It's raw, harsh and breathtaking all at once, one of the finest slice of hard melodic prog coming from RPI-land in recent memory. A finale with sultry mellotron shrieks and screeching guitar solos will keep the seagulls away.

Part IV- Bagpipes amid the crashing waves, Simona's trembling voice expresses with words what the sad violin implores, flickering piano melancholy, acoustic guitar serenity and violin imagery combine with incredible genius. Her voice has a Kate Bush-like combination of delicacy and power that ultimately rejoices in the presence of the highly emotive Celtic tinge that morphs into a gentle flurry of luxuriant piano entering through the mist, Simona wailing brightly, violin in tow. Alessandro massages a testosterone-lusty and commanding voice to finish off this album with grandiose power.

As a rule, I dislike comparing albums as they are their own monument to a place and time. So I won't. This album is a definite progression away from the previous cute and shimmering symphonics, forging a new attempt at combining La Maschera di Cera power with Hostsonaten grace.

4 tar poems

Report this review (#769417)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent new album from Fabio Zuffanti. What we find here is the recycling of a couple of older versions of Rime of an Ancient Mariner.

Part One here is a reworking of a track of the same name from Finisterre Project's album entitled 'Hostsonaten' and Part Two is a reworking of of a track with the same name from Hostsonaten's 'Mirrorgames' album.

Parts Three and Four - as well as the Prologue - are all original tracks from what I can gather although they all refer back to common themes and variations on those themes, reflected in Parts One and Two. The arrangements here have far more depth than previous versions and the mellotron work is particularly worthy of note. It is incredibly lush and sends shivers down the spine. The music is extremely melodic and relaxing to listen to and the mixture of male and female vocals, as well as long instrumental passages, mean there is something for all lovers of melodic prog rock here. The music really is beautiful.

Five stars - without a doubt.

Report this review (#776661)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the most prolific musicians working in Italian prog today, Fabio Zuffanti - bassist and composer has been responsible for numerous bands and projects including Finisterre, La Maschera Di Cera, Aries and Hostsonaten who's latest release is this first part of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.

Having only dabbled with Hostsonaten in the past with a couple of parts of the 4 Cd's making up the season cycle in my collection I was quite surprised at what I heard here. Winterthrough and Autumn Symphony had been enjoyable and pleasant, though it has to be said not terribly exciting pieces of symphonic prog. While Rime... has parts that could fit into that mould and still largely symphonic it has plenty of rocking out moments and also includes as you'd expect with the nature of the project, vocals, using Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem as lyrics. This is not the first time Hostsonaten have dabbled with Rime... having tracks titled parts 1 and 2 on the first two albums. Whether these are the same as the pieces titled parts 1 and 2 here I couldn't say. Ultimately I find this a more satisfying album than the season cycle due to the more dynamic and diverse nature of the material, bearing more of a resemblance in the heavier parts to La Maschera Di Cera than Hostsonaten's recent output at least.

Aided by a good number of other musicians including most of La Maschera Di Cera it's all beautifully performed as you'd expect from a Zuffanti project with violin, flute, sax and even bagpipes alongside the more traditional instruments. Vintage keyboards in abundance alongside some fiery guitar work and the seemingly ever present Maurizio Di Tollo turning in some solid drumming.

Overall an enjoyable release, which has impressed me enough to shell out for part 2 when it emerges. If you already like Zuffanti's work then this will not disappoint and be another welcome addtion to your collection. If you don't however I doubt you'll be converted by Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. 3 1/2 stars.

Report this review (#791024)
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars FABIO ZUFFANTI is one of the most hard working musicians in our times. He have a dozen projects like FINISTERRE, ARIES, LA MASCHERA DI CERA, LAZONA, MERLIN, QUADRAPHONIC, ROHMER, R.U.G.H.E., ZAAL, HÖSTSONATEN itself and his solo career and every year he pulled out of his hat one or two albums.

Like his 4 albums suite that was based on seasons: Springsong (2001), Winterthrough (2008), Autumnsymphony (2009) and Summereve (2011).

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Chapter One (2012) comes from a long love that FABIO ZUFFANTI have for the English writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his poem 'The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', published in 1798.

FABIO already worked on the poem on others HÖSTSONATEN albums, Höstsonaten (1997) and Mirrorgames (1998). But this time he decided to give full treatment to the poem in 2 albums, the Part 2 will be released in early 2013.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Chapter One (2012) delivers great Symphonic/Acoustic Progressive Rock with a hint of heavy Hard Rock kinda parts and lots of great synths. He worked with lots of musicians in the album to deliver some epic feel, thing that the poem needed. And he achieved. It's Progressive Rock in the vein of the old Italian Bands with a touch of the new era and great vocals by a bunch of nice guests, one different in each track.

And all the great music comes beautifully packed in a very sweet Gatefold LP alike package. BTF worked hard and did a very good job.

Report this review (#831295)
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Time and time again I am realizing that Zuffanti is as good as gold. With so many projects that span so many different styles, it's hard to get bored when plunging into his discography. What he offers us with his newest Hostonaten release is an epic concept album based on Colerige's classic poem that is jammed packed with most everything you could want. The arrangements and instrumentations are amazing, bringing everything from classical guitar, to piano, violin, and of course, tons and tons of mellotron used in the most effective of ways. But, what makes this album stand out for me is the masterful use of melody and theatricality. The vocals and narrative approach remind me a bit of Ainur mixed with a lot of Peter Gabriel era genesis, however, this is no Genesis rip off. With Hostsonaten, Zuffanti combines the early Genesis feel with the best of classic Italian prog and what I consider to be a Scandinavian type sensibility for the mellotron (even though he's Italian). Once again, a huge applause to Mr. Zuffanti for yet another great album; I'd imagine most symphonic prog fans will love this. Plus, for those Iron Maiden fanboys out there looking for some more Rime of the Ancient Mariner, here's where you stop looking and start basking in the glory.
Report this review (#1287579)
Posted Saturday, October 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ''Summerve'' was instantly followed by another album by Zuffanti's Hostsonaten, ''The rime of the ancient mariner: Chapter one'', infuenced by the everinspiring poem of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, so many Rock/Rock-related artists have used this as an influential background to their music.Main team remains the same as on the previous release, only seeing the return of Edmondo Romano on wind instruments.Vocals are delivered by five different guests, Alessandro Corvaglia of La Maschera di Cera, Carlo Carnevali, a constant collaborator of Zuffanti in several of his projects, Simona Angilioni of Aries and some new blood on Davide Merletto and Marco Dogliotti.Released on BTF in 2012.

Performed as a Symphonic Rock Opera with different vocalists and divided in five lengthy movements, ''The rime of the ancient mariner: Chapter one'' sees the ultimate return of Hostsonaten in the band's very early years.On a personal note and after listening to so many albums by the band, I finally have detected a relation between the use or not of diaeresis in the band's name, the presence of diaeresis showcase a strong link with a more Classic Prog sound compared to the more versatile albums by the band, it has something to do with this, no doubt.Musically this is one of the best offerings by the Italians, a magnificent piece of art with modern and vintage influences in a Classic Prog Rock vein, featuring the related sea/seashore sounds and offering incredible musicianship throughout.The best definition of Symphonic Rock this is, filled with thematic variations and instrumental majesty, led primarly by the quirky synth lines and the dominant use of Mellotron, accompanied by beautiful sax injections, Classical-drenched violin and delicate flute work, the one that provides the discreet folky colors in here.Piano work is along the lines of Classical Music and guitars are excellent to say the least, Matteo Nahum offers incredible solos and dramatic riffs all the way.Influences come from both the Italian Prog scene as well as Classic Prog masters like KING CRIMSON and CAMEL, but the lyrics are all sung in English by the superb vocal team of the album.No particular highlights, I think that every piece has its own charm, everything is well-played and the interplays, grandiose orchestrations, bucolic soundscapes and rockin' grooves come and go all the time.

The best Hostsonaten offering thus far?Propably yes.A dramatic interpretation of ''The rime of the ancient mariner'' with a nice lyrical background and excellent instrumental ideas, performed in a long symphonic suite.You have to lay your hands on this beauty...4.5 stars.

Report this review (#1392704)
Posted Friday, April 3, 2015 | Review Permalink

HÖSTSONATEN The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Chapter One ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of HÖSTSONATEN The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Chapter One

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.