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The Samurai Of Prog - Anthem to the Phoenix Star (featuring Marco Grieco) CD (album) cover


The Samurai Of Prog


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 29 ratings

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4 stars THE SAMURAI OF PROG was born in 2009, project and nickname of Marco BERNARD who worked on Colossus and Musea; its philosophy is to integrate guest musicians according to album releases; 15 including three per year since 2020, impressive. Kimmo PÍRSTI and Steve UNRUH forming the backbone, after covers of MARILLION and other groups, they embark on personal compositions from 2014 to make music of quality and emotion; themes on short stories such as Gulliver, Robinson Crusoe or Grimm's tales. Here it's S-F composed by Marco GRIECO for a symphonic prog stamped 70's.

"Anthem To The Phoenix Star" on travel with the constraints of time and space as a preamble, a PINK FLOYD sound for bass, Marek's sax and Juhani's guitar, voice-overs including that of Clive NOLAN forming a spatial soundtrack where the synthesizer is king and where the universe shaped is indeed dystopia; Juhani's infuriating guitar solo at the end. "Burning Silence" continues with the voice of Bart SCHWERTMANN from KAYAK which makes me think of JETHRO TULL; Sara's flute, what a coincidence? a title between conventional 70's rock and melodic space flight; the voice goes on the sound Charisma, carnival in the world of Alice; synths forward again on the Mellotron, percussion Ó la GENESIS, run to listen to 'The Knife' again while the heroine mother hopes for a second chance; note the pleasurable guitar solo. "Killing Hopes" continues to dive into the prog rock of yesteryear, memory atmosphere, a little about the RPWL good Yogi is there it must be normal, soothing warm voice; Steve UNRUH's violin brings the most for this nostalgic title; the instruments eyeing GENESIS, an arpeggio by divine Rafael PACHA on the guitar and a keyboard finale which this time goes to the shores of the great YES; regressive emotion guaranteed. "Bones" arrives with the folk prog title, Olivia of MOSTLY AUTUMN is the attraction; a melting pot where the beauty of the voice is entangled on the instruments drawing on progressive lands, Rafael here on the uilleann pipes, Olivia on the choirs then the synth part which shows that TSOP is above all an organ sound with Marco.

"Don't Be Afraid" Genesis intro I'll let you guess; John WILKINSON of Dr. FEELGOOD draws his voice on FISH for a moment, the warm neo-prog organ Ó la MARILLION, Sara's flute in break GENESIS 1st version; it starts again with an Irish gig then a solo by Marcel SINGOR from AYREON and KAYAK to situate the pedigree, piano arpeggio and finale with a logical crescendo before a second, more tortured guitar solo; relentless title. "Wings" to remind that this album to Marco as a grand-guest; a grand piano for the sacrifice of a life to save humanity, it was necessary to show his mastery in an astonishing piano a capela filled with hope and beauty. "Behind The Curtain" in 9 movements; the cathedral organ in the intro brings a prog metal riff before leaving Clive on vocals, yes; Marco and Kimmo are in charge of printing a grandiloquent air, one does not return from space-time and Ankaa without consequence; it's stamped prog from A to Z with the soli, the breaks and it looks like TSOP: colorful, warm, complex and associating all the instruments to release a ''substantially'' musical tune with Cam BLOKLAND of SOUTHERN EMPIRE on guitar hero.

THE SAMURAI OF PROG can afford to release so many albums in such a short time given the number of guests; a prog musical that smacks of the 70s but not as a regressive sound; here it is transformation, ingestion and digestion of the tunes of yesteryear to release soft, warm, hopeful melodies. I feared a consensual musical melting pot, I found myself with an album bringing the prog rock sound to its firmament, allowing to revise its ranges of sounds from before while living well in 2022. No novelty in the genre but a guaranteed magnificence.

alainPP | 4/5 |


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