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THE ROME PRO(G)JECT

Symphonic Prog • Italy


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The Rome Pro(g)ject picture
The Rome Pro(g)ject biography
Vincenzo Ricca - Born in Cosenza, Italy in 1962

The Rome Pro(g)ject is a Symphonic progressive rock project lead by Italian keyboard player and composer Vincenzo Ricca. In addition to Ricca's keyboards, the music of The Rome Pro(g)ject features contributions from well-known British and Italian musicians. Two of the central participants are Steve Hackett (Genesis) and David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator) who both have played on all three of The Rome Pro(g)ject's albums. Other contributers include David Cross (King Crimson), Richard Sinclair (Caravan), Francesco Di Giacomo (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso), and Billy Sherwood (Yes).

The music is instrumental with occasional narration and is based around the history and mythology of the eternal city of Rome.

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THE ROME PRO(G)JECT discography


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THE ROME PRO(G)JECT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 30 ratings
The Rome Pro(G)ject
2012
3.96 | 32 ratings
Of Fate And Glory
2016
4.53 | 21 ratings
Exegi Monumentum Aere Perennius
2017

THE ROME PRO(G)JECT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE ROME PRO(G)JECT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE ROME PRO(G)JECT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE ROME PRO(G)JECT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Down to the Domus Aurea/Towards the Future
2012

THE ROME PRO(G)JECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Down to the Domus Aurea/Towards the Future by ROME PRO(G)JECT, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Down to the Domus Aurea/Towards the Future
The Rome Pro(g)ject Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars A small taste of the first album

This limited edition CD-single contains early versions of two tracks that later appeared on the first Rome Pro(g)ject album. The first track is Down to the Domus Aurea, co-written by pro(g)ject leader Vincenzo Ricca and Steve Hackett, and featuring the latter on lead guitar. The second track is Towards the Future, co-written by Ricca and John Hackett, who plays flute on the track. Both tracks are very strong and give a good preview of the album.

Existing in only 500 copies, this CD-single is a nice collectors item of which I am a proud owner. It can still be ordered straight from Vincenzo Ricca himself through his website. The music contained within is excellent, though most people will be satisfied with the full-length album which is highly recommended.

 Exegi Monumentum Aere Perennius by ROME PRO(G)JECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.53 | 21 ratings

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Exegi Monumentum Aere Perennius
The Rome Pro(g)ject Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars Monumental

EXEGI MONVMENTVM AERE PERENNIVS meaning "I raised a monument more lasting than bronze" is the third album by Vincenzo Ricca's The Rome Pro(g)ject. Having enjoyed the previous two discs, I was eager to get my hands on this brand new release, and I ordered it straight from Vincenzo himself. More than living up to expectations, this album in fact surpassed them. This third instalment takes the best from Rome Pro(g)ject I and II and presents us with a truly convincing work. After a very large number of listens over the past few weeks I can attest that it is indeed a lasting monument of Symphonic Prog. The moment it stops running, I just want to start it over again!

The music of The Rome Pro(g)ject is entirely instrumental, not even narration is included this time which I feel is a boost as I found it distracting on previous releases. The album features ten tracks, all but two of which are written by Ricca who is a great composer and a superb keyboard player.

Like the name implies, the project is based in Italy, but it is in fact an international collaboration featuring contributions from several well-known British musicians. Steve Hackett makes a return appearance on the twelve and a half minute Exegi Monvmentvm which also features John Hackett on flute. Another long-time Hackett collaborator in Nick Magnus contributes the two piano pieces that bookend the album.

Other returning participants are David Jackson and David Cross who contribute winds and electric violin respectively to several tracks. The presence of these giants readily invites comparisons to the classic bands in which they made their names, and in the cases of Genesis and King Crimson the comparisons are indeed relevant. When it comes King Crimson, it is more so the early, symphonic era of In The Court Of The Crimson King that is relevant and less so the later albums that David Cross originally helped create. An exception might be the track 476 A.C. which is dedicated to John Wetton. No similarities with Van der Graaf Generator can be detected, with Jacksons contributions on sax and flutes also bringing to mind early King Crimson as well as occasionally Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson.

As a keyboard player, Ricca is clearly influenced by the likes of Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman, and Keith Emerson. The second part of the multi-part suite Aere Perennius is dedicated to Emerson, who like Wetton passed away last year. On these tracks, Emerson's influence can be felt.

Mentioning all of these great names might make some think that this is nothing but an exercise of rehearsing the classics, but that would definitely be a big mistake. EXEGI MONVMENTVM AERE PERENNIVS is not a "retro" release, but a timeless piece of excellent music!

Very highly recommended!

 Of Fate And Glory by ROME PRO(G)JECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 32 ratings

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Of Fate And Glory
The Rome Pro(g)ject Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "This is a story of fate and glory"

The Rome Pro(g)ject is a progressive Rock project led by the Italian musician Vincenzo Ricca. Of Fate And Glory is the second album released under this moniker and like on the first album Steve Hackett and David Jackson are again involved. In addition, Ricca has this time enlisted the talents of the amazing Billy Sherwood. The names of these four men (Ricca, Hackett, Jackson, and Sherwood) are printed on the front cover of the album, but there are also some further people involved in the recording.

The presence of Hackett and Sherwood obviously invites comparisons to Genesis and Yes, and while references to these bands (as well as to some other classic progressive Rock giants) are indeed relevant, perhaps even more relevant are references to Hackett's solo work and also to the solo work of Rick Wakeman whose keyboard playing is an obvious influence on Ricca's. David Jackson's flutes and saxophones, however, remind more of Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and Mel Collins' contributions to King Crimson and Camel than they bring to mind anything by Jackson's day job in Van Der Graaf Generator.

Since the music found here is lighter than that of bands like Genesis and Yes, and also in virtue of being completely instrumental, comparisons can also be made to more mellow and folky acts like Gandalf (see, for example, the latter's collaborations with Hackett) and to Mike Oldfield. Occasionally, a jazzier aspect can also be detected in some tracks.

As indicated above, there are no vocals on this album. But the opening track does have some spoken word courtesy of Steve Hackett's wife Joanna, which is basically just a matter of reading out the titles of each subsequent track of the album! I find this aspect pretty lame and pointless and the fact that this opening track also includes a melody that comes a bit too close for comfort to Genesis' Hairless Heart does not help the track. Once you get past this, however, you are in for some excellent music.

My favourite tracks are The Wolf And The Twins and The Conquest Of The World both co-written by Sherwood and S.P.Q.R. co-written with Hackett. Overall, a very nice album!

 Of Fate And Glory by ROME PRO(G)JECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 32 ratings

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Of Fate And Glory
The Rome Pro(g)ject Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After three and a half years the cleverly named ROME PRO(G)JECT are back as a collective offering a sequel to the eponymous release that took conceptual instrumental symphonic prog to new heights. The PRO(G)JECT consists of the three permanent members: founder and keyboard junkie Vicenzo Ricca, bassist extraordinaire Billy Sherwood who simply loves these ongoing PRO(G)JECTS but also contributes percussion and guitar and Genesis guitar god and solo eclectic progger Steve Hackett on guitars. Also on board are David Jackson of Van Der Graaf Generator fame on winds. There are several other musicians on board who contribute more keys, more guitars, more bass and just more! Noticeably absent as i was sitting through this just waiting for some horrible vocalist to mar the beautiful music is the absence of any vocals whatsoever save the introductory narration as the guiding voice by Joanna Lehmann Hackett, poetic author and wife of, yes, Steve Hackett.

Released on April 21st, 2016, which happens to be the 2769th anniversary of Rome's foundation, the subject matter tackles exactly what it proposes. This is indeed a concept album that tells the musical tale about ancient ROME and the story OF FATE AND GLORY. These types of concept albums usually tackle such subjects with vocals and lyrics of some sort, but this one is totally instrumental except for Ms Hackett's short narrative introductions on the very first track. The rest of the album is supposed to be a completely accurate representation of ROME's history throughout the ages in musical form and as the music segues from one passage to another somehow also is supposed to represent the continuing developments of the city that began in 753 BC and took 870 years of conquests to reach its apex in 117 AC before its ultimate decline.

The music is very much like the first edition (only better) and continues the symphonic prog rock style that floats around in a dreamy neo-prog meets the late "Wind Or Wuthering" Genesis style of symphonic prog that floats around, drops a few bombs and marches down into new musical thoroughfares. The focus is primarily on the multi keyboard parts and their melodic meanderings that weave together to deliver an emotional response to what is being sonically depicted. Hackett's guitar contributions are just as strong showing emotional counterpoints to the keyboard runs and thorough well thought out progressive rock workouts. The album has eleven tracks in all and each track tells a particular tale of various stages of ROME's long standing history as one of the world's greatest and most formidable empires. While i personally can't say i understand any these connections between the might and symphonic pomp that the music delivers and which stories it supposedly represents, i am happy to inform you that it doesn't really matter if you connect to this as intended by the artists or not. The music more than stands on its own without any arcane references to antiquity or the trials and tribulations of life in the Mediterranean empire.

THE ROME PRO(G)JECT might sound a little familiar if you are already familiar with the Colossus Project series. It has the same type of symphonic prog rock sound encountered on a majority of those types of releases that are also conceptual in nature. Billy Sherwood has been behind the scenes on many of these and seems indefatigable in this regard. Perhaps my one complaint about this album is that the lack of vocals leaves the listener a little perplexed and lost in the sea of antiquity and implores a more descriptive analysis that can act as training wheels for the uninitiated of the long history that only true historians would completely comprehend. Another slight issue i have is that from what i know of the ROMAN empire through my limited reading of it and the excellent cable TV series ROME is that it was particularly brutal and the mellow and suave music that is exhibited here doesn't necessarily bring conquest and plunder to mind! That said, this is a strong collection of tracks that may not quite warrant its bloated 66 minute and 22 second run but wrests out only the most appropriate emotional responses from the listener throughout a majority of the minutes within it.

One of my favorite tracks, for example, is the sublime "Seven Hills And A River" which at 13:12 never outstays its welcome at all. It begins with a repetitive marching type riff with a sustained key that builds and builds and builds. It continues to slowly blossom into an ever more melodic and complex progressive behemoth that pulls out all the symphonic prog and space rock punches and ekes out all the appurtenant and desired effects. It is punctuated by beautiful classical guitar segments as well as heavy rock approaches and conjures up the journey at hand quite successfully while other tracks may leave the listener a bit perplexed. Overall i wouldn't call this a stunningly successful conceptual masterpiece of any sort however this is a ridiculously pleasant slice of symphonic prog done right with perfect production, meliorable mixing and the majestic melding of seasoned musicians taking turns pouring out their hearts to bring a larger than life experience. Quite recommended and musically more challenging than the first eponymous release.

 The Rome Pro(G)ject by ROME PRO(G)JECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.91 | 30 ratings

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The Rome Pro(G)ject
The Rome Pro(g)ject Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "The Rome Pro(G)ject" is an Italian concept album conceived and produced by Vincenzo Ricca as ''A musical walk through the history and the places, the greatness and the beauty of the Eternal City''. The album is mainly instrumental and features a host of guest artists well known in the prog community and each track offers something special. After an Italian narrative from Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's Francesco Di Giacomo, it launches into a scintillating guitar solo layered with dreamy synths on '... April 21st 753 B.C.'. This is followed by acoustic guitar picking and gentle synths and the wonderful electric violin work of King Crimson's David Cross on 'Over 2,000 Fountains'. The violin is exquisite, relaxing and tranquil, and the piece has a medieval Elizabethan feel, and a Canterbury flavour in its lengthy running time. The cadence quickens after about 5 minutes and the keyboard of Vincenzo Ricca dominates.

Guests that feature include the members of Il Tempio delle Clessidre and Mauro Montobbio from Narrow Pass on 'In And Around The Colosseum'. This musical journey is laced with grand piano and spacey synth, along with guitar picking finesse and a steady drum beat. Soaring electric guitars are well executed by Montobbio, and overall the musicianship is brilliant.

'Monuments And Statues Everywhere' features the members of The Steve Hackett Band, John Hackett on flute and Nick Magnus on keyboards. This is an ambient tune with a pretty melody, enhanced by a sumptuous flute passage. The guitar powerhouse Steve Hackett features on 'Down To Domus Aurea' and as usual the legendary guitarist is first class. I also like how the tune speeds up and a 70s organ takes over.

'Caracalla's Dream' features Canterbury giant Richard Sinclair on his patented fretless bass. It is sprinkled through with a floating flute melody and swathes of drifting synth lines. 'A Mankind Heritage...' flows with the saxophone excellence of Van der Graaf Generator's David Jackson. His flute playing is also stunning, and this one stands out as a definitive highlight of exquisite musicianship. '... Towards The Future' is the return of Mauro Montobbio to close things off, with ribbons of flute drifting along, before the bonus track. This bonus is actually more of Steve Hackett, never a bad thing, playing well on 'The Mouth Of Truth'. The lead guitar is embellished with cathedral organ phrases, and an angelic choral choir; again extraordinary musicianship.

Overall the album is a nice slice of Italian prog pizza with all the trimmings, and a hard 70s flavour throughout. It is well worthwhile indulging in this delizioso Italian banquet. Bellissimo!

 The Rome Pro(G)ject by ROME PRO(G)JECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.91 | 30 ratings

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The Rome Pro(G)ject
The Rome Pro(g)ject Symphonic Prog

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars 'The Rome Pro(G)ject' is a concept album that reflects the history, monuments and psyche of The Eternal City via a series of musical vignettes and features several well-kent names from planet prog. It's also a glorification of Anglo-Italian collaboration and alternate tracks feature the likes of continentals Mauro Montobbio of Narrow Pass and members of Il Tempio delle Clessidre, and John Hackett and Nick Magnus from the UK. The path travelled follows the city's evolution, from the mythic material of twins Romulus and Remus suckling on a wolf's teats, to the modern day and projecting forward as a city of the future.

After a short prologue featuring Banco's Francesco Di Giacomo reading extracts from Livy's 'The History of Rome' the album kicks off proper with '... April 21st 753 B.C.' Appropriately enough - since it deals with the birth of the city and the legendary circumstances around which it got its name - this track features the Italian house band. The listener's attention may be focused on the big guns of the duty roster but the album isn't solely dependent on the famous individuals. Vincenzo Ricca is the main man behind the project and his vintage keys have more fizz than a sherbet fountain, although admittedly there are occasional nods to 'Cinema Show' on this track.

Talking of fountains, the inspiration for the album came when Steve Hackett quipped to his friend Ricca in 2009 that he would like to make a record about the fountains of Rome. The idea subsequently grew to involve a number of famous musicians and 'Over 2,000 Fountains' showcases the almost liturgical violin (acoustic and electric) of David Cross, along with more Genesis influence in the form of 12-string guitars and a 'play me Old King Cole' feel in places. Hackett himself features on 'Down To Domus Aurea' and this track has enough pomp and bombast to match that of the great city.

While the expansive form of the music largely reflects the subject matter, the English musicians involved in the project likewise have connections to Italy. 'Caracalla's Dream' is a sensitive dialogue between a flute and the fretless bass of Richard Sinclair, a chap who has all but settled in Italy and lives there for most of the year. And of course David Jackson has close links to Osanna; the album is mostly an all-you-can-eat symphonic feast but his 'A Mankind Heritage...' provides a significant counterpoise and it sure spices things up with its Bacchanalian sax and flute evocations.

Saying that 'The Rome Pro(G)ject' represents a bonanza of famous English proggers is a bit like describing Gustav Klimt's 'The Kiss' as two people snogging in a psychedelic sleeping bag. But it's very much a joint venture with enough arrabbiata sauce to satisfy fans of the Italian prog; it harks back to a lost golden age and seventies-style prog almost leaps out of the speakers like that mythical wolf.

Thanks to southsideofthesky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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