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Ellesmere Wyrd album cover
3.92 | 107 ratings | 3 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Challenge (7:26)
2. The Eary Manor (6:24)
3. Endeavour (8:24)
4. Ajar (8:05)
5. Endeless (13:14)

Total Time 43:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Roberto Vitelli / bass, guitars, bass pedals
- Fabio Bonuglia / keyboards
- Mattias Olsson / drums

- Tony Pagliuca / keyboards
- Tomas Bodin / keyboards
- Fabio Liberatori / keyboards
- David Jackson / saxophone
- David Cross / violin
- John Hackett / flute
- Luciano Regoli / vocals
- Giorgio Pizzala / vocals

Releases information

Label: AMS (AMS317CD)
Format: CD, Digital
December 4, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ELLESMERE Wyrd ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ELLESMERE Wyrd reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars More polished Neo Prog of the symphonic RPI sort from ambitious Italian Roberto Vitelli. Top notch, sound, musicianship and composition for anyone into those things.

1. "Challenge" (7:26) cinematic piano jazz with eerie synth and percussion sounds. 'Tron comes in at the end of the second minute to signal a change. The new motif takes off in a BANCO kind of way, supporting soli from a variety of synths, violin (David Cross), organ, and electric guitar. Another thematic shift at 4:10--this one setting up the joinder of vocals. The violin play is so dextrous yet subtle--it's crazed yet almost goes unnoticed within the tapestry. The vocalist really shows his strength with some very high, sustained notes in the sixth minute, then things fade into the wind--which then bleeds into the next song. (13.25/15)

2. "The Eery Manor" (6:24) wind from "Challenge" is carried forward by the crazed flute playing of John Hackett. The next instruments to join in give it a classically-tinged Gothic feel, John Hackett stiil going crazy, then it goes very classic RPI (LE ORME Felona e Sonora) in the second half of the second minute. At 3:15 we switch into more abrasive IL BALLETTO-like motif but then alternating into some absolutely gorgeous melodic themes over the next two and a half minutes. (8.75/10)

3. "Endeavour" (8:24) smooth opening with great sound palette across the board: Aarp synth in the lead, arpeggiated guitars, bass pedals, and syncopated drums. 45 seconds in an oddly recorded, oddly placed voice begins talk-singing with a melancholy passion. Flutes and vocalized "da-da-te-da-da de-da-dum"s play into a kind of chorus. Then raunchy Hammond organ leads us into another mre unsettling theme within which electric guitar, bass and saxes offer quite frenzied, untamed solo lines. At 4:55 we come out and smooth over again--though the sax is still a bit crazed, the lead guitar presents in a calm, heroic way. A couple more rounds in and out of chaos occur before we seem to resolve the conflict and emerge into the light of victory. (17.5/20)

4. "Ajar" (8:05) a take off/variation on some of the themes and riffs from YES's "Gates of Delirium" Still, the best song on the album. Vocals don't make themselves known until the fourth minute (with Trevor Horn-like flanged bass!). Weird reverse spoken passages persist here and there. Smooth yet-edgy sax solo (so controlled and adept by virtuoso David Jackson!) in the sixth minute. Love the grand entry of the 'Tron and saxes for the final 45 seconds. (13.75/15)

5. "Endless" (13:14) incorporating a riff that is familiar to me from an old KNIGHT AREA song (2007's "Under a New Sign") as the main melodic hook throws me a bit off. And then once I think I've gotten over it, the similarities persist- -at least for the first 5:20. The fact that it holds nearly the exact same pace and sonic palette (embellished by the saxes and flutes) is also a distraction. But then in the seventh minute the new melodic territory takes us into another familiar and gorgeous ear worm. this one from Another transition, this one more complete, at the 7:00 mark takes us into Camel-meets-Paul Reynolds (Flock of Seagulls) before turning full-on Phil Collins-era GENESIS (Duke and later especially) before returning us to the KNIGHT AREA fold. Great drumming--on a par with Phil Collins' strongest, most bombastic. At 11:00 we weirdly transition into an entirely different, more KRAFTWERK/JEAN- MICHEL JARRE-like synth-pop section--to the finish! What?!?! Please explain! The song is good, the musicianship and composition excellent, it just feels a bit . . . borrowed. But then, didn't most of the great masters of Classical Music lift and borrow riffs and themes to "play with" from all of their predecessors? (22/25)

Total Time 43:33

Creative music making that often takes us right to the edge of "acceptable bombast." The songs have a modern originality to them while also paying homage to many past RPI masterpieces and styles. Though there are plenty of original twists and effects used in the making of these songs--each with its own (though the "crazed" soli from the seasoned veterans is a pretty common thread throughout)--I still think Roberto's compositions lie perhaps a little too firmly within the "safety" of classic RPI.

B+/4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if you are wanting to hear embellishments and expansions on themes and works of the RPI masters that have gone before.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars This is the project of multi-instrumentalist Roberto Vitelli with the help of Tomas Bodin, John Hackett, David Cross, and others. This is pure symphonic prog driven by sumptuous keyboard melodies in the line of the Italian scene and ELP. It's mostly instrumental with a bit of signing. Some songs start with some delicate piano and flute before the pace picks up with all instruments shining providing a lavish symphonic sound. The flute can be very busy at times as the drums playing of Mattias Olsson. The first 3 tracks are flowing together by the sound of the wind in the wintertime. Besides the rich instrumentation on this album from the traditional rock instruments of guitar, bass, keys, and the flute, sax, and violin, what standout and more important is the quality of the songwriting which offers a strong balance of atmosphere from the light to the dark and dramatic with enough dynamics and punch that despite his inspiration taken in the 70's sound like a modern album that will please a lot of prog fans of the symphonic British and Italian style.
Review by andrea
4 stars "Wyrd" is the third album by Roman project Ellesmere and was released in 2020 on the independent label AMS Records. To complete the line up and enrich the sound, this time composer and multi instrumentalist Roberto Vitelli (bass, guitar, Moog) gathered around him many prestigious guests such as Mattias Olsson (drums, from Anglagard, and White Willow), Tomas Bodin (keyboards, from The Flower Kings), David Cross (violin, from King Crimson), John Hackett (flute), David Jackson (sax, from Van Der Graaf Generator), Tony Pagliuca (keyboards, from Le Orme), Luciano Regoli (vocals, from Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno and DGM), Fabio Liberatori (keyboards, from Il Poliedro di Leonardo and the new line up of Reale Accademia di Musica), Fabio Bonuglia (keyboards, Mellotron, Hammond, Moog) and Giorgio Pizzala (vocals). The result is a good mix of vintage sounds, modern prog and jazz rock with a wide range of influences ranging from Yes, King Crimson or Kansas to Transatlantic, The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard.

The wonderful artwork by Rodney Matthews recalls the style of Roger Dean and evokes wondrous stories and epic adventures in fantastic worlds and enchanted woods. The first three tracks are linked together and form an excellent suite. On "Challenge" you can hear the voice of a young warrior leaving his country for new territories crawling with tall tales, myths and stories of haunted spirits and goblins. He's hiding under the cloak of his dreams as the wind blows... "The Eery Manor" is a sparkling instrumental section where John Hackett and David Jackson showcase all their great talent painting disquieting atmospheres and adding vivid touches of colours to the picture with saxes, flutes and other wind instruments. After a long ride through a dark forest on a strange horse among nymphs, friendly dwarves and lurking werewolves you're in sight of a mysterious castle... "Endeavour" ends the first part of the album combining dreamy, pastoral parts and harder passages and could recall every now and again ELP or Van Der Graaf Generator. The warrior relies on his good luck to defy the fate and discover what's hidden behind the walls of the castle...

The second part of the album (or the side B of the LP) begins with "Ajar" and a martial marching beat. Echoes of Delirium III could come to mind. Hardly any sunlight breaks through the dense tree tops of the forest, and the myths surrounding these woods are more fantastical than paranormal. You can imagine hunting Tarkus and other strange creatures all around... However, the only way to know for certain what monsters await around the next bend is to venture out into the darkness yourself...

The long instrumental "Endless" closes the album. There are other surprises along the way that you might never expect to find deep in the woods and so it's no surprise that the surreal world depicted in the art cover could develop a reputation for spooky sounds and ghostly apparitions. Some cinematic passages could recall Ennio Morricone and stir the imagination of the listener and could be the perfect for a fantasy film score...

On the whole, a very good album. Especially recommended to symphonic prog lovers!

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