Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Samurai Of Prog - The White Snake and Other Grimm Tales II CD (album) cover


The Samurai Of Prog


Crossover Prog

3.90 | 40 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars I've been reviewing new albums of this multi-national recording project for many years, and I'm glad to notice that finally there have been also other reviewers around lately. TSOP certainly are a force to reckon in the retro/classic prog styled department of the international prog field, despite not being a band in the traditional sense. The incredible pace of their releases, approximately two albums per year, may indeed be more than the listener really needs, but nevertheless the production team (Marco Bernard, Kimmo Pörsti and Steve Unruh) has always kept the artistic level very high, and the invited composers, usually simultaneously the keyboard players, seem to give their 100% dedication to the collaboration, as well as all the guest musicians.

I was somewhat disappointed with the first album based on Grimm tales, The Lady and the Lion, and had certain reservations for this sequel as well. Will the theatrical approach of story-telling -- and not just any stories but the imaginative fairy tales from roughly two centuries ago -- irritatingly over-dominate these compositions too? The answer is no. The White Snake is in my opinion way better than its sister, starting from the structure of the album whole.

I appreciate the way the opening instrumental piece 'The Tricky Fiddler' makes a brief return in the end to wrap it all up neatly. It's a fine piece featuring Unruh's violin in a lead role. The composition of Marco Grieco (a.k.a. MacroMarco as a ProgArchives included artist) has a flavour of classically inspired vintage Rock Progressivo Italiano, bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda or New Trolls. The symphonic instrumental bliss only improves with the nearly ten-minute 'Searching for the Fear' composed by Alessandro Di Benedetti (Mad Crayon, Inner Prospekt), which is probably my favourite track. There are lots of solistic moments for various instruments, ie. keys, violin, flute and electric guitar, all proceeding with an elegant and dynamic flow, and the cherry on the top is the beautiful wordless vocalisation by Paula Pörsti.

'The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs' does have the theatrical roled vocals (Unruh and three guests) but thank god not narrative parts the way the previous album had. In the picture Marco Vincini has a Fish-reminding face paint and he certainly puts a lot of drama in his vocal parts. Elisa Montaldo's vocals function beautifully as a softening element. Mimmo Ferri's composing style is undoubtedly heavily influenced by Nursery Cryme /Foxtrot era Genesis without reminding too closely any particular song. The following, equally lengthy track 'The Travelling Musicians' composed by Luca Scherani is basically rather similar in its dramatic, multi-vocal structure. interestingly the lyrics mix English and Italian. Perhaps here the vocals dominate a bit too much; even though the backing music is fine, it is very subsidiary to the story-oriented vocals.

The title track is the longest (17:37) and the most ambitious piece as a full-blown, multi-part prog epic. The French horn and trumpet of Marc Papeghin add a tonal sharpness, and composer Oliviero Lacagnina's organ sound is pretty tight too, but there are also beautiful calmer sections featuring vocals of Camilla Rinaldi, and later also Irish flute of Rafael Pacha. Three rather vocal-centred long pieces in a row demands a lot from the listener, and therefore the instrumental reprise is a perfect way to close the album. An excellent addition to a prog collection for those who fancy dramatic symphonic prog with vintage flavour.

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.