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Höstsonaten - The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Chapter One CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.86 | 188 ratings

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3 stars One of the most prolific musicians working in Italian prog today, Fabio Zuffanti - bassist and composer has been responsible for numerous bands and projects including Finisterre, La Maschera Di Cera, Aries and Hostsonaten who's latest release is this first part of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.

Having only dabbled with Hostsonaten in the past with a couple of parts of the 4 Cd's making up the season cycle in my collection I was quite surprised at what I heard here. Winterthrough and Autumn Symphony had been enjoyable and pleasant, though it has to be said not terribly exciting pieces of symphonic prog. While Rime... has parts that could fit into that mould and still largely symphonic it has plenty of rocking out moments and also includes as you'd expect with the nature of the project, vocals, using Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem as lyrics. This is not the first time Hostsonaten have dabbled with Rime... having tracks titled parts 1 and 2 on the first two albums. Whether these are the same as the pieces titled parts 1 and 2 here I couldn't say. Ultimately I find this a more satisfying album than the season cycle due to the more dynamic and diverse nature of the material, bearing more of a resemblance in the heavier parts to La Maschera Di Cera than Hostsonaten's recent output at least.

Aided by a good number of other musicians including most of La Maschera Di Cera it's all beautifully performed as you'd expect from a Zuffanti project with violin, flute, sax and even bagpipes alongside the more traditional instruments. Vintage keyboards in abundance alongside some fiery guitar work and the seemingly ever present Maurizio Di Tollo turning in some solid drumming.

Overall an enjoyable release, which has impressed me enough to shell out for part 2 when it emerges. If you already like Zuffanti's work then this will not disappoint and be another welcome addtion to your collection. If you don't however I doubt you'll be converted by Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. 3 1/2 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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