Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Samurai Of Prog - Archiviarum CD (album) cover


The Samurai Of Prog


Crossover Prog

3.91 | 137 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
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!!

Matti | 4/5 |


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

Share this THE SAMURAI OF PROG review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

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.