Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Höstsonaten - The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Chapter One CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.86 | 188 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hostsonaten's gleaming musical voyage continues unabated and progresses along nicely, the last instrumental sequence of the 4 seasons were completely exalting, especially the splendid Winter and Summer versions. Now that the cycle is complete, where will Fabio lead the ragazzi? Firstly, we are offered one of the most gorgeous album covers ever, a seemingly leather bound book of ripe green and bright yellow (remindful of the Oakland A's for our American fans or Norwich Canaries for you Europeans) in reverential praise for the Samuel Taylor Coleridge story that gives the album its name. Secondly, with La Maschera di Cera on holiday, Fabio has recruited the exemplary voice of Alessandro Corviglia, arguably one of the most original voices in modern RPI to adorn the verses with some emotional power and context. He adds that distinctive timbre on Part I and shares vocals with the delightful Simona Angioloni (of Aries fame) on Part IV. Part II features Davide Merletto (from prog-metal band Daedalus) and Part III has unknown singer Marco Dogliotti . One might easily assume that with all the lyrical content and singing that we are closer to the La Maschera di Cera- "Petali di Fuoco" style when in fact the line is simply blurred, this being a first chapter of two. When music is this appealing, who wants to worry about labels? The musicianship is world-class, starting with the tightest rhythm section in Italy, Fabio's relentless and reptilian bass allied with Maurizio di Tollo, a percussive veteran of the highest caliber. Both Luca Scherani and Matteo Nahum are phenomenal players as witnessed on previous works.

The "Prologue" is instrumentally devastating, powerful and raucous, laden with smoking guitar riffs and leads, steaming mellotron howls, bruising bass and pounding drums. The stage is set for the story to begin, beads of salted perspiration and flexed muscles. The next 4 tracks are simply titled as Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4, each one distinctive, vivid and cinematographic.

Part I - The story is introduced by Corviglia's voice, acoustic guitar, flute and mellotron swoon in the background thus giving fuel to a strong early Genesis influence, as the album may be construed as a modern "Supper's Ready"-like suite. The result is certainly engaging, the melodies twisting and turning in a variety of directions. Hushed and distorted vocalizing harkens back to the Foxhead days, there is little doubt but its utterly entertaining and musically riveting. Part II - At first the music is elegantly piano-driven, Luca Scherani infusing his arsenal of ivories into the mix as the arrangement gets more intense, while Matteo Nahum 's chunky guitar adds a metallic sheen, not to mention some slippery leads played well and fast when need be. Just to keep us on our ears (not toes) Edmondo Romano supplies seductive sax and Joanne Roan flutes her flute. Merletto does a fine job on vocals.

Part III- The windswept mood gets emotionally very heavy and expressive; Zuffanti's booming bass waltzing with the piano and the flute. Then, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, Dogliotti outright steals the show with some heavy lunged yelps that would make Ian Gillan blue (OK, purple!) with envy! Synthesizers squeal in anger, the organ swells like some wicked ocean and the battleship drums pound endlessly. You would think of a more progressive Queensryche for a second! The near 17 minute hurricane is all of sound and fury of the finest order. This is not pretty, beautiful or ornate like the Season cycle that some reviewers criticized as being too cute. It's raw, harsh and breathtaking all at once, one of the finest slice of hard melodic prog coming from RPI-land in recent memory. A finale with sultry mellotron shrieks and screeching guitar solos will keep the seagulls away.

Part IV- Bagpipes amid the crashing waves, Simona's trembling voice expresses with words what the sad violin implores, flickering piano melancholy, acoustic guitar serenity and violin imagery combine with incredible genius. Her voice has a Kate Bush-like combination of delicacy and power that ultimately rejoices in the presence of the highly emotive Celtic tinge that morphs into a gentle flurry of luxuriant piano entering through the mist, Simona wailing brightly, violin in tow. Alessandro massages a testosterone-lusty and commanding voice to finish off this album with grandiose power.

As a rule, I dislike comparing albums as they are their own monument to a place and time. So I won't. This album is a definite progression away from the previous cute and shimmering symphonics, forging a new attempt at combining La Maschera di Cera power with Hostsonaten grace.

4 tar poems

tszirmay | 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 HÖSTSONATEN 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.