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The Samurai Of Prog - Archiviarum CD (album) cover


The Samurai Of Prog

Crossover Prog

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4 stars The Samurai Of Prog is a very famous, actually very good cross-country forward rock band, despite the style of the cross before shaking, but I think it should be more symphonic shake. They basically each year a college, each more than an hour, there are some twenty or thirty minutes of epic. They released their sixth album "ARCHIVIARUM" this year. The band was founded in 2009, the Finnish composer and bassist Marco Bernard is the main brain, was Colossus magazine invited to do a series of stars album, the band was officially established, but each album will invite some other countries musicians Guest appearances. This year's new college took as long as 70 minutes, entering the lyrical moment after the ballooning piano + violin + flute opening, and the lead singer sounds very comfortable (not sure if it is a guest). Steve Unruh's violin seems to have increased its use this time, creating a beautiful, melancholic, classical atmosphere. Then it entered the grand sphere of symphony, multinational force at this time to play a role, the Spanish girl sounded, very epic, gorgeous beautiful keyboard and violin ensemble complement each other. It was followed by an Italian interpretation of the opera (but the flute was also brilliant) and a humorous Finnish folk song. Into the second half, the sixth with a similar guitar smooth guitar solo at the beginning, after exquisite concert and instrument competition so quietly ended by the flute. The seventh is the longest (but 10 minutes, however, much shorter than many of their previous epics), beginning with a long and gorgeous synthesizer keyboard, followed by a humorous polyphonic chorus similar to the modest giants, to be diversified attempts . The eighth guest musician at the beginning blew some of the most intoxicating saxophone, refined and elegant, feel every note is very well taken place, and then ... ... 咦? How did I hear the melody that is completely Camel "Ice"? Well, this song is also called "Ice", it seems it is a cover! This song is not prominent in many Camel works, but the main guitar solo is still very good, a kind of ice like loneliness blowing, and the cover of The Samurai Of Prog in fact, some resolve the cold A sense of warmth, and more beautiful sounds, the last crazy keyboard to join together with the saxophone arrived at the peak after sinking into the sea of ​​ice. After a period of soft piano tune, the last one is full of dynamic pop rock, saxophone is also in it, but in front of so many art rock some of the wrong. Of course, flaw does not cover the last one Yu! This is undoubtedly their best work, I think even more praiseworthy than last year's work even better! Each song is remarkable, especially the multi-instrument music complement each other and set off, the whole listening (I want to ignore the last one) is so cool, people can directly experience the beauty of art rock, an absolute The four-star half-praise! This year must listen to the masterpiece! Top Ten Candidates!
Report this review (#1890544)
Posted Saturday, March 3, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars If I remember right, someone wrote Marco Bernard to be the hardest-working musician that the writer knew. Probably it was on the liner notes of The Samurai Of Prog debut album in 2011. It can't be very far from truth, considering Bernard's key role on the massive, international multi-disc Colossus projects, and the breath-taking pace of TSOP releasing new albums full of high quality prog. Wasn't the fifth album On We Sail (2017) released just a short while ago?

But then again, TSOP isn't a regular band; first off, the core trio of bassist Marco Bernard, drummer Kimmo Pörsti and vocalist- violinist-flautist Steve Unruh don't need to compose the music themselves. The first two TSOP albums contained covers of mostly well-known prog classics, and the next two, Imperial Hotel and Lost and Found, were based on (in many cases, 70's dating and previously unreleased) compositions of the featured prog musicians across Europe and America. Archivarium is actually a collection of recordings made throughout the years, none of the tracks having been on a TSOP album before. It contains compositions of the musicians that they have worked with, and (more or less re-worked) tracks that originally have been released under other artists' names on the mentioned Colossus projects (the Decameron trilogy, to be more precise). Making them now TSOP tracks is explained by the fact that the original recordings featured TSOP members.

'Keep the Ball Rolling' by Octavio Stampalia (of Jinetes Negros) is a fine prog instrumental with some ELP/Kansas/Genesis/Camel flavour. 'Ahead of Fortune' is an edited and remixed version of Eduardo García Salueña's [S.A.L.U.E.N.A.] track from Decameron III. 'La Oscuridad', in which Unruh duets with Michelle Young in Spanish, originates from the OCEANIC LEGION project that the TSOP guys had with Lalo Huber and Carlos Lucena (of Nexus, Argentina). This song is previously unreleased, whereas the other Oceanic Legion piece 'The sleeping Lover' (both are composed by Huber) appeared on Decameron II.

'Cristalli' (composed by and featuring keyboardist Michele Mutti of La Torre dell'Alchimista) is sung by Stefano "Lupo" Galifi from Museo Rosenbach. It's an enjoyable, at times fusionesque prog piece. Instrumental 'Elitropia' is a new mix of the Decameron III track of LATTE E MIELE, featuring keyboardist/composer Oliviero Lacagnina plus the TSOP trio. 'From This Window' was originally a demo from Kerry Shacklett; another one ended up as the On We Sail opener. - I sincerely like all these tracks. In fact, I'm pretty close to rate this with five stars (like I have done with two TSOP albums).

The 8th track is a CAMEL cover: the majestic instrumental 'Ice' is among my Camel favourites. This recording was planned to feature Camel keyboardist Guy Leblanc (who appeared on the first two TSOP albums) but sadly he passed away. Luckily this cover sounds suitably different from the perfect and unbeatable original, due to sax and violin. Oh God, I just love 'Ice', and eventually I'll love this version as well. 'Predawn' is a beautiful piano solo by David Myers, continuing the tradition heard on each TSOP album.

As a "bonus track" comes 'Heroes' (DAVID BOWIE), sung by Mark Trueack. This song was chosen by Kimmo Pörsti from the two suggestions of Marco Bernard's brother who turned 60. Well... this is clearly my least fave on this release. The problem is that it follows the excellent main album and its serene ending without a pause and thus brings a sudden anticlimax. This, and the fact that I already had some tracks on the Decameron sets, makes me give only four stars. Nevertheless, Archivarium boldly continues the excellence of The Samurai Of Prog releases, and especially if you missed the Decamerons, you'll have over an hour's worth of wonderfully performed 70's style symphonic prog. Recommended? Sure!!

Report this review (#1903143)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars Our beloved multinational supergroup THE SAMURAI OF PROG is back in 2018 with another exceptional release called ARCHIVIARUM!This is a 70 minutes amazing new masterpiece which consist of rarities and special recordings,as the album is presented by SEACREST OY,the band's record label!Of course, the first impact of this new album ,is the stunning presentation,gorgeous again,truly spectacular ,a fantastic digipak with an impressive artwork from Ed Unitsky,the sensational partner of TSOP from the last albums!Definitely,the band is giving a serious importance to the presentation of each album,but this one ,I dare to say is,maybe,the most spectacular and majestic to date!Fantastic colours and wonderful images,which fit perfectly well with the music!I won't repeat what other reviewers said about this album,my only humble appreciation is about the great quality of the music included on this album!The three main members of the band are surrounded this time again by some very competent and professional musicians and there's an impression of a true alchemy between all of them!The high quality of the composition is obvious,we are spoiled with some great vintage prog rock,and any fan of this great music genre will adore this superbe,magnificent compositions from all the heart!The production is sensational,as usual,the Rickenbacker bass sound of Mr Bernard is fantastic,the mesmerising violin of Mr Unruh is perfect and the drumming wizardry from Mr Porsty is precise as a Switch watch!All the vocals are amazing,they fit perfectly well with the music on all tracks... and the atmosphere on this album is so special and wonderful!Even we have a 70 minutes album,we don't have the impression of a long and boring album,no's diverse,catchy and full of musical surprises!From compositions with a fusion vibe to strong old school of prog rock,everything is here perfectly well balanced in a clever mix,a true regale for the prog rock-vintage style-fans!Album after album,TSOP are proving an endless inspiration and they became a sure value of the genre,we have the certainty that each album of the band is better and better than the previous one,all the albums of the band they already have such a high musical quality,that it's almost impossible to find weak point of aspect in their music!I simply adore this album,I'll make many auditions with the same feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that the music delivered by TSOP os truly wonderful under all aspects!For me this is a 5 stars albums,because everything on this album is perfect,both musical and visual!
Report this review (#1905585)
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2018 | Review Permalink

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