Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Røsenkreütz Back To The Stars album cover
3.90 | 65 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Signals In The Water (7:19)
2. Sitting On The Edge Of Heaven (8:09)
3. Conditioning (4:25)
4. Nothing More In You (5:20)
5. Childish Reaction (6:51)
6. I Am The Walrus (6:56)
7. Back To The Stars (17:32)

Line-up / Musicians

- Fabio Serra / guitars, keyboards and voice
- Massimo Piubelli / lead vocals
- Gianni Sabbioni / bass
- Gianni Brunelli / drums


- Angela Merlin / Guest vocal on (4)
- Carlo Soliman / Grandpiano on (4,7)
- Gabriele Amadei / Violin on (2)
- Luca Nardon / Percussions on (2)
- Cristiano Roversi / Chapman Stick on (3)

Releases information

Released on Andromeda Relix June 2nd, 2014

Thanks to kev rowland for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy RØSENKREÜTZ Back To The Stars Music

RØSENKREÜTZ Back To The Stars ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

RØSENKREÜTZ Back To The Stars reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars May 2014 brings the debut album `Back To The Stars' from an exciting new Italian group called Røsenkreütz, who, in addition to singing in English, couldn't sound less like the classical/theatrical influenced traditional RPI/Italian bands! Originally beginning as a solo project for producer Fabio Serra, symphonic and heavy prog is the order with the day, crossing over with an accessible poppy sound and a dash of AOR melodic catchiness. Their sound is instantly comparable to bands such as Spock's Beard, little moments of U.K, and especially Asia and the 80's era of the big defining vintage prog bands, but with an energy and flair all their own. Only a miss-step late in the disc lets the album down very slightly and briefly, but generally this is a very impressive debut, and it's admirable to see a band so confident and sure of their own abilities release an album this strong right from the start.

Slinking grooving hard riffs with some very 80's sounding E.L.Powell/Asia keyboard bluster contrast with softer vocal passages from lead singer Massimo Piubelli on opener `Signals in the Water'. The band beautifully build an atmospheric introduction on `Sitting on the Edge of Heaven' with some stirring violin then shatter it with a power AOR heavy stomp with symphonic synth stabs and plenty of call-and-response catchy vocals. There's also some very impressive a-capella group harmonies that would make Spock's Beard, Gentle Giant and Haken green with envy! `Conditioning' is a simple catchy AOR rocker in the style of `90125/Big Generator'-era Yes with stomping heavy drums and some hip-swiveling funky guitar grooves again for good measure. Nice subtle reggae flavours are worked into `Nothing More In You', and the upbeat `Childish Reaction' has a synth melody very similar to Asia's `Here Comes The Feeling', which is actually a good reference point overall for some of this piece. With a gutsy heaviness to some of the ripping electric guitar runs, it's also a winner with a very catchy chorus with sublime group harmonies.

Sadly, it's a very ill-conceived cover of the Beatles `I Am The Walrus' that momentarily drags the album down. First of all, nobody - ever - wants to hear Beatles cover songs. Secondly, there is nothing even remotely psychedelic about the rest of the album, so it makes even less sense to include a song in that style here, totally at odds with many of the AOR, symphonic and heavy styles covering the majority of the disc. If it had been a bonus track at the end, listeners could be a little more forgiving, but placing it just before the standout moment of the album is a definite error in judgment. Do yourself a favour, simply skip this one and focus on the outstanding original material the band have offered here, and they should be aware that their own material is good enough that they don't need to include attention-stealing covers in the future.

Unsurprisingly, for a prog band, it's the almost 18 minute title track that impresses most of all, and it just may be one of the best extended progressive works of the year! Gentle synth orchestration, delicate acoustic guitar flavours, Genesis-like organ pomp eruptions, delirious Dream Theater bombast and playful early 70's Queen-style campiness all feature. Numerous heartfelt classical piano passages excitedly bring this the closest track to proper Italian prog/RPI, and the seamless tempo changes back and forth and transitions between different sections, pleasing vocal melodies and perfectly executed soloing from all the musicians makes this one fans of modern symphonic bands will real go for, and it hints at all sorts of directions the band may like to expand upon in the future.

Some may find the lack of a clear sound or direction a little confusing, but it's really a band trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and tick a number of boxes. The album is full of strong compositions, slick playing and skillful vocals with a modern polished production, and the band is proudly unashamed of aiming to catch the ear of more accessible music listeners. Røsenkreütz are a very promising band to watch in the future, and `Back to the Stars' is a near-perfect example of how good crossover bands can be when they get that balance of progressive technicality with melodic commercial appeal just right - no easy feat!

Four and a half stars.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
4 stars Synth pads! Rosenkreutz hails from Italy, and they sure bring the style and the excitement! Honestly, as soon as I heard the amazing synth at the beginning of "Signals in the Water", I knew I was going to love Rosenkreutz's debut, "Back to the Stars".

The basic lineup includes Fabio Serra with his stylish, Floydian guitars and his in-your-face keys. Fabio is also a music producer, and you can hear it in the high production values and the amazing mix. The rest of the band is Massimo Piubelli with his melodious vocals, Gianni Sabbioni with his throbbing bass, and Gianni Brunelli with his energetic drums. These guys really bring it with a mix of 80's rock, prog metal, folksy violins sections, and an elegant classic progressive rock sound with meandering mellotron and emotive guitar solos. This great combination takes a moment to absorb, as there are some very different things going on here.

Again and again, I was impressed and my synth weakness was enabled. From the synth goodness of "Signals in the Water" to the proggier "Conditioning" to the towering epic "Back to the Stars". The latter is simply magnificent and is easily the best track on the album, as it revisits everything that I loved from earlier tracks, but combines them all into one track that is far more serious than the rest of the album. Freshness abounds, though, throughout the album.

In some ways, Rosenkreutz reminds me of a proggier, softer, more focused Seventh Wonder, but that's just a shot in the dark. This comparison is valid, though, as the level of technicality is there, but the sheer fun and energy is at the forefront. Indeed, the drama is at a high point on this album, with emotions running high in the music and the lyrics.

Speaking of lyrics, I think they are the only weakness of this debut. They aren't particularly bad or anything, but there is a boatload of cheese. I think much of this may be attributed to the band being native Italian speakers, but I can't help but roll my eyes a little on , say, "Sitting on the Edge of Heaven", a song so lyrically cloying but so phenomenal musically (especially the towering violins) that, in the end, I love it. That is the basic reaction I had on many of the tracks, and, overall, I loved the ride.

You know you want to hear this. This album is flashy, somewhat cheesy, but rich musically and serious where it counts. It explores both the deep and shallow end of the prog pool, but I think it comes out a winner in the end.

Review by andrea
4 stars Røsenkreütz is mainly the brainchild of an experienced multi-instrumentalist and producer from Verona, Fabio Serra. In 2006 he gathered around him a bunch of talented musicians to refine some of his old demos and work on new compositions. In 2014, after a long, hard work, Røsenkreütz's debut album, Back To The Stars, was finally completed and released on the independent label Andromeda Relix with a line up featuring Fabio Serra (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Gianni Brunelli (drums, percussions), Gianni Sabbioni (bass) and Massimo Piubelli (vocals). In the studio they were helped by some guests musicians such as Angela Merlin (vocals), Carlo Soliman (grand-piano), Luca Nardon (percussion), Gabriele Amadei (violin) and Cristiano Roversi (from Moongarden, Submarine Silence and Mangala Vallis - Chapman stick) who contributed to enrich the sound and the final result is an excellent crossover formula that, without being too derivative, I'm sure will appeal to fans of Toto, Kansas or The Spock's Beard.

The dark, nervous opener "Signals In The Water" is a disquieting reflection about life and afterlife where time stops for a moment while a man dives into the water from a high cliff with suicidal intentions. It's like a riddle where sneaky shadows blot out reality and you get lost in a nightmare where you are drowning in your old lies...

Then comes "Sitting On The Edge Of Heaven", a wonderful track full of spirituality and positive feelings where you can find a perfect blending between powerful rock energy and delicate, classical inspired passages. The music and lyrics are about the need to take your time and choose your own way to heaven, a way you'll never regret. The short passage a cappella is a real treat!

"Conditioning" features synthetic sounds and melodic vocals warning you about the risks of the virtual reality you live on your computer, hiding your face behind a screen, loosing your innocence, feeding the appetite of an evil, technological idol. It leads to the romantic "Nothing More In You" where the music and lyrics tell of a relationship between a man and a woman that is going through a period of deep crises, a love that is fading away between empty shadows and misplaced feelings.

Next comes the jumping "Childish Reaction" that reminds me of Van Halen and is overflowing with good feelings and positive energy, then it's the turn of a tribute to The Beatles, a nice cover of "I Am The Walrus".

The title track, "Back To The Stars", closes the album. It's a long suite divided into seven parts, an over 17 minute epic that starts by a charming piano solo pattern and then grows going through many changes in mood and rhythm. The music and lyrics depict the feelings of an astronaut floating in a crimson dusk, suspended between heaven and hell, tore apart by the contrast between the wish to go back home and the fear to loose his celestial peace... Well, in my opinion this is by far the best track of the album and a perfect conclusion for this interesting work.

Review by FragileKings
4 stars As with many albums I buy, I picked up Røsenkreütz with only a cursory listen. There are so many new artists these days, often individuals playing every instrument and recording at home, and I find it overwhelming to sample so many new recordings as I see them posted on Facebook prog pages and at the same time underwhelming as it becomes difficult to pick out someone who sounds different, who isn't just writing generic modern prog (oxymoron?). So after listening for a few short moments on YouTube, I decided to give this artist a shot, hoping I would at least grow to like the music.

At first I was not quite so impressed. By the time the album arrived, I was into thrash and death metal and so I listened once to be sure the disc had no defects and then set it aside. But once I put it on a couple of weeks later, it had my attention, mainly due to the incredible title track. But before I go there, please allow me to introduce the rest of the album.

There has been a lot said about prog bands these days trying to recapture or recreate the styles and sounds of classic prog and comparatively little attention given to the eighties and nineties. Røsenkreütz seems to be of the mind that the eighties mattered, even though their PA bio says they show a strong love for British seventies prog. The first five songs, especially "Conditioning" and "Childish Reaction" sound more like latter-half 1980's pop rock tunes with an even balance of synth-heavy European dance pop akin to what I'd imagine from Dead or Alive, hard rock/almost hair metal à la Europe, and an upbeat crossover prog style that's great to listen to when your mood is ready for swinging your arms and snapping your fingers. The opening track "Signals in the Water" also fits this description though I did feel some similarities to Supertramp in the music in parts, most likely because I have been listening to three of Supertramp's classic albums recently.

"Nothing More in You" begins with a female vocalist, Angela Merlin, and piano and once the male vocals come in, it feels like it will develop into a very attractive duet. The song leans more toward the male vocals as it progresses and there is still a strong post seventies feel to the music, much more modern. I guess I should say here that although this is not my usual choice in music style, it is very well written, arranged and performed and the recording quality is excellent. In recent days I have been sure to add this album to album playlists that include more heavy-guitar oriented music.

My two favourite tracks are "Sitting on the Edge of Heaven" and the title track. "Sitting on the Edge" begins with some Spanish-style acoustic guitar and some traditional percussion (by that I mean not a drum set). Then it gives us this bold, anthemic musical theme that resembles something of the more pop and pomp offerings of Blackmore's Night. There's an incredible A cappella vocal break that jumps in abruptly and then the song goes hard rock for a bit. At just over eight minutes, the music really moves and changes, coming back to the lighter acoustic beginning.

At last we have the title track, "Back to the Stars". If Røsenkreütz are fans of seventies prog then this is where it shows through the best. The song is 17:32 long and is a bit like "Supper's Ready" in that there is a story behind the lyrics (an astronaut who returns to earth and finds everyone has disappeared, then reflects on some memories, and finally talks about his return to the stars) and the song is a clever stitching together of several musical ideas. The beginning with its beautiful piano and strings and soul-stirring vocal melody are easily one of the most ear- catching parts of the album. Then responding on cue, the song suddenly switches to organ, drums and guitar and takes us into classic prog territory. The music keeps changing and changing again. There are instrumental passages that conjure up memories of Yes, ELP, and Genesis as well as Saga, KariBow, and Spock's Beard. No doubt other progheads will find more bands that compare, most likely in 90's neoprogressive groups. After a series of different stages, the song returns to its sweet beginning as our protagonist announces that he is now truly heading home, back to the stars. This is one very enjoyable piece of 17 minutes plus of song and music!

I almost forgot to mention the cover of "I am the Walrus". It is rather good I feel as the music stays within the sound/style parameters established by the rest of the album but still maintains enough sincere adherence to the original that the song is not basterdized. Some may choose to disagree and I do notice that the song still stands apart from the rest of the album, but I think it's a nice touch.

Though a little light on the prog side at times, there is some excellent music on this album with two tracks really standing out for me but the rest also being worth listening too as the whole album plays front to back. Four very solid stars!

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Back in 2014 I started working on collating material for my books, which meant anything that had been sent to me for review was put to one side as I would get to it when I was done. I never expected it to take anything like as long as it did (writing books is bloody hard work), and since then I have been playing catch up, and 2023 is the year when I have committed to not only getting my fifth book out but also catching up with everything on my review list. I came across Røsenkreütz when I was part of the crossover team on PA, and once they were approved I entered them onto the site, so it is rather embarrassing to realise some 9 years later that I never actually reviewed the debut myself. In fact, I did have to check that I had not, as this album is incredibly familiar to me, so I must have played it a great deal when it came out, just never committed to putting my views down in words.

The man behind the band is Fabio Senna, and in many ways, this started when he wrote some songs with singer Alex Brunori (Leviathan), yet due to them being so far apart the project was stopped, only for Fabio to rediscover the demos some time later and decide to do something with them. He brought in Gianni Sabbioni (bass) and Gianni Brunelli (drums) to further develop the material and write new songs and the final piece of the puzzle was the addition of singer Massimo Piubelli from Methodica, whose debut album had been produced by Fabio some years earlier. The result is an album which many would not deem to be Italian, as there is little or nothing from the pervasive RPI genre, but instead mixes together prog with AOR, throws in plenty of Eighties influences and sounds to create something which is fresh, vibrant and definitely crossover in its truest state, although there are a few times when it comes closer to neo.

So much prog expects the listener to sit there and be impressed, instead Røsenkreütz expect people to be jumping up and down and enjoying themselves as this is packed full of fun and a style which makes the listener smile. Fabio provides keyboards, guitar and vocals, and is at the heart of what is going on, which can include elements of pop rock here and there. All one must do with this is sit back and enjoy it as it is a blast from beginning to end. I was somewhat surprised at the one cover as the swirling atmospheric take on "I Am The Walrus" is quite different to the rest of the album, although it is certainly interesting, but they end with their most progressive song, the title cut which is more than 17 minutes long. It goes between melodic vocals accompanied solely by piano to something far more dramatic and multi-layered, with nods back to the bombast of the Seventies, yet there are sections which could be taken out as commercial rock single, such is the diversity,

There has been just one more album since this release, 2020's 'Divide et Impera' which has seen the original quartet extended to a sextet, and I can see myself looking out for it as this really is a fresh and exciting delight.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of RØSENKREÜTZ "Back To The Stars"

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.