Crossover Prog • Italy

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Røsenkreütz picture
Røsenkreütz biography
RØSENKREÜTZ began as a solo project of music producer Fabio SERRA. It reached its present line up after a long time and thanks to the involvement of many friends.

RØSENKREÜTZ is a New Progressive band setting a crossover sound between classic British seventies prog and modern style. 'BACK TO THE STARS' is their debut album, with a long genesis, including seven high tension musical stories, creating a 'virtual bridge' between the golden years of prog and current world.

Fabio, multi-instrumentalist and producer, with more than 25 years experience in the music business, never forgot his roots and his love for British progressive rock. He begun his career as a guitar player for some local bands including ARLEQUIN (with a demotape released in the early 80's in the heat of the new prog rebirth) and then, between 1990 and 1993, YELLOW PLASTIC SHOOBEDOO (kind of 'ante-litteram' GENESIS tribute band, devoted to the 70/75 repertoire), both bands featuring the late Alberto BONOMI on keyboards, then D.F.A. He then progressed to working in a recording studio as both producer, sound engineer, musician and composer from 1989 until today.

The RØSENKREÜTZ project originates from a couple of tracks, originally written as part of another project with Alex BRUNORi (singer from the Roman band LEVIATHAN, who released two albums with MUSEA in the 90's). The project was initially abandoned due to the distance between Rome and Verona in the pre-internet era. After many years the original demos of these tracks were rediscovered. They still sounded interesting to Fabio, who was feeling the need to do something more in tune with his musical inclinations, and so they were developed into a complete album, without any commercial or creative conditioning.

The first two tracks were totally rearranged, all the drum tracks were re-programmed and all the vocal lines and lyrics re-written. At this stage two dear friends join the project: Gianni BRUNELLi (a jazz-funky drummer who has been present for many years on the Verona scene) and Gianni SABBIONI (excellent bass player with a huge resume) joined the project and brought great talent and excitement. The first official recording sessions began in the summer of 2006, then, over the years, the other five tracks were written and produced. For the delicate role of the lead vocals Fabio chose Max PIUBELLI. Max is the lead vocalist of METHODICA, a progressive rock band for whom Fabio had produced their debut album 'SE...
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3.97 | 10 ratings
Back To The Stars

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Back To The Stars by RØSENKREÜTZ album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.97 | 10 ratings

Back To The Stars
Røsenkreütz Crossover Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

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.


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 Back To The Stars by RØSENKREÜTZ album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.97 | 10 ratings

Back To The Stars
Røsenkreütz Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

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.


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 Back To The Stars by RØSENKREÜTZ album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.97 | 10 ratings

Back To The Stars
Røsenkreütz Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

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.


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