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Ellesmere biography
Founded in Rome, Italy in 2014

The band is the project of Roberto VITELLI, bass and guitar player of TAPROBAN.
The album "Les Châteaux de la Loire" was made with special guest John Hackett on flute, Daniel Pomo (RANEST RANE)on drums and percussion, and Anthony Philipps as The Narrator. Vitelli on guitars and Pomo (drums) are joined by Massimo GRECO (guitars), Paolo CARNELLI (keyboards) and Alex MEVI (flute). The music is in the style of early GENESIS and ANTHONY PHILIPPS with the use of classic,acoustic guitar with strings and flute melodies. And not to mention the sound of vintage mellotron can be heard to provide the sound of the 70's.

Bio by rdtprog

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Les Chateaux de la LoireLes Chateaux de la Loire
Ams 2015
$22.82 (used)
From Sea & BeyondFrom Sea & Beyond
Ams Italy 2018
$11.98 (used)
Ellesmere II: From Sea & BeyondEllesmere II: From Sea & Beyond
Ams 2019
$26.13 (used)

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ELLESMERE discography

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ELLESMERE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 49 ratings
Les Châteaux De La Loire
3.99 | 83 ratings
II - From Sea And Beyond

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ELLESMERE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 II - From Sea And Beyond by ELLESMERE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.99 | 83 ratings

II - From Sea And Beyond
Ellesmere Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This one came as a real surprise to me as Roberto and Paolo's previous Ellesmere effort--2015's Les Châteaux de la Loire--was so gentle and bucolic; "From the Sea and Beyond" is full out Neo Prog Rock in the GALAHAD or RIVERSEA vein as opposed to the pastoral Anthony Phillips-like acoustic guitar-based fare of the previous. It's very good--with thick, full sound and well-constructed Neo Prog songs.

1. "Tidal Breath" (2:13) a subtle keyboard synth extravaganza over ocean surf sounds. (4.5/5)

2. "Marine Extravaganza" (11:55) nice Neo Prog sound palette but the song never really goes anywhere exciting or unusual (though the walkabout that slurred Rickenbacker bass is on for the first few minutes is very entertaining). It seems a basic structure set up just to allow the individual instruments to each have solo times. The bare bones "strings" and "bass" section in the seventh minute is quite cloying and downright annoying. Luckily the Arp solos take us out of it, and lead us to the best section of the song: the bridge at 7:45. The ensuing drum and Arp lead rhythmic pattern grows very old quite quickly. Even the addition of organ and the return of the slurred Rickenbacker cannot save it (though the awesome 7:45 bridge is repeated twice starting at 9:33). The closing section is just too close to GENESIS Wind and Wuthering. (8/10)

3. "Runaway" (6:01) Vocalist Robert Berry's voice bears a striking resemblance to that of Thomas Thielen. (8.5/10)

4. "Marine Coda" (2:09) a pleasant interlude instrumental whose foundation and David Jackson's song-length saxophone solo are meant, methinks, to conjure up late-night sea journeys on a still, uneventful moonless night. (4.5/5)

5. "The Schooner" (11:02) church organ opens this one before chunky bass, flanged guitars and steady drums enter. When Keith More's lead guitar enters around the one minute mark, everybody pauses as if to give him their full attention. Then the full band rejoins to support and encourage his continued soloing until we break at the 2:30 mark for a solo from the omnipresent church organ. I have to say, the organ-band-and-electric guitar combination in this song really works well--the clean, crystalline organ tone and volume and that of Keith's slightly dirty lead guitar are perfect foils for one another! Even over eleven minutes! The tenth minute gets a little too-IQ-ish but then a return to the church organ as the lead over the final minute restores glory. Well met! (9.5/10)

6. "Ridge Fanfare (3:21) full, deep and thick Neo Prog soundscape opens this one with gradually ascending arpeggiated chords from moog synth leading the way as the rest of the band follows. Davy O'List's MIKE OLDFIELD-like guitar tone takes on the lead as the song moves out of intro/A section phase to the B section (chorus?) Ends rather abruptly. (9/10)

7. "Time, Life Again (8:59) a very nice retro-GENESIS Neo Prog sound and chord palette opens this one before the voice of Robert Berry enters at the 1:40 mark. Lots of Arp-y synth strings and chunky 'underwater' Rickenbacker bass permeate every second of this song--it's a nice sound--well done, sounding rather fresh and original and not over-the-top. A break at 5:35 allows the drums to switch to a kind of "Man on the Corner" tom-tom pattern while Brett Kull takes a turn at the lead guitar, soloing with an distorted and wah-ed style and flair reminiscent of some of the stars of the late 60s and 70s--Eric Clapton, to be specific. Excellent job, Brett! A solo that just keeps getting better as it goes--and definitely the best I've ever heard out of you! I have to admit, this is one of the better Neo Prog songs I've ever heard. (10/10)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of refreshing Neo Prog. Roberto Vitelli and Paolo Carnelli definitely have something refreshing to offer Prog World--and a gift for coaxing peak performances out of their guests--even as accomplished guests as these!

 Les Châteaux De La Loire by ELLESMERE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 49 ratings

Les Châteaux De La Loire
Ellesmere Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Beautiful pastoral music in the vein of the 21st Century releases of Andrew Marshall's WILLOWGLASS and early BIG BIG TRAIN--recent artists who were also inspired by the ANTHONY PHILLIPS-like instrument palette. In my opinion, the music is quite fitting and elevated enough to do justice to the subject matter it is trying to honor, the chateaux of France's famed Loire Valley. All songs are acoustic guitar based with layers of support from Mellotrons, strings, "period"-sounding keyboards, hand percussives, wordless singing, and woodwinds. Obviously, the music is up to the master's own standards as the one and only Anthony Phillips adds his vocal talents to set the album's overall mood with the recitation of an Alfred Austin poem as the Suite's opener and closer. The two bonus tracks, the lyrically accompanied "The Ancient Samovar" and the gorgeous piano-based "Wintry Afternoon" are as fitting to the album's overall feel as is its central "Chateaux Suite." Like the works of Mssrs. Marshall, Spawnton & Poole, this music is quite gorgeous, relaxing, and undemanding. Definitely a worthy addition to any prog lover's music collection--and especially to those who enjoy the contemplative and reverential side of human nature.
 Les Châteaux De La Loire by ELLESMERE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 49 ratings

Les Châteaux De La Loire
Ellesmere Symphonic Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ellesmere is mainly the brainchild of Roberto Vitelli, bass and guitar player from the Roman prog band Taproban. In 2014 he gathered around him some prestigious guest musicians to play his compositions and in 2015 released an interesting debut album on AMS Records. It's entitled Les Ch'teaux de la Loire and it's a charming work where acoustic, pastoral atmospheres prevail. The line up features Roberto Vitelli (Takamine 6 strings classic, Eko Ranger 12 strings, Fender "Geddy Lee" jazz bass, Fender Stratocaster, E-Bow, Moog Taurus III), John Hackett (flute), Anthony Phillips (narrative vocals), Daniele Pomo (drums, percussions), Luciano Regoli (vocals), Giulia Nuti (violin, viola), Pietro Horvath (cello), Linda Giuntini (horn), Fabio Bonuglia (Mellotron M 400, Moog Model D, keyboards), Paolo Carnelli (electric piano, keyboards, acoustic piano), Danilo Mintrone (strings arrangement) and Dario Esposito (drums).

The main course of the album is the title track, a wonderful, dreamy thirty-eight minute suite divided into eleven parts. It was inspired to Roberto Vitelli by a holiday he spent in France and starts with the narrative vocals provided by former Genesis member Anthony Phillips who reads some verses taken from Lines Written On Visiting The Ch'teaux On The Loire, a poem by Alfred Austin. Just close your eyes and let the music flow and show you some pondering pictures of the vast panorama of the past... In fact, the Loire Valley is studded with over a thousand ch'teaux, each with distinct architectural characteristics covering a wide range of variations, from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods. Some sections of the suite are dedicated to some specific castles, amazing monuments of heart and mind such as Sully-sur-Loire, Meung-sur-Loire, Blois, Chambord and Chaumont-sur-Loire while the other sections mark the passages from one place to another as thoughts and feelings get mixed in an intermittent dream, cradled by the river waters. No need for words: except the narrative vocals that open and close the suite there are no lyrics and even the beautiful voice of Luciano Regoli is used here just as an instrument to add colours and emotions. By the way, Luciano Regoli (singer from Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, Samadhi, DGM) is also a talented painter and took charge of the wonderful art cover that probably depicts the atmosphere of this album better than all my words...

The last two pieces are credited as bonus tracks but they are not fillers at all. The mysterious, dark "The Ancient Samovar" tells in music and words about the almost magic power of an ancient samovar, a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia as well as in other countries. Thanks to the thaumaturgic properties of its tea you can relax even in a silent, troubled night, waiting for the sun with a renewed feeling of hope... The closer "Wintry Afternoon" is a beautiful, melancholic instrumental track with the notes of an acoustic piano in the forefront the the sound of the wind in the background.

On the whole, a very good album!

 Les Châteaux De La Loire by ELLESMERE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 49 ratings

Les Châteaux De La Loire
Ellesmere Symphonic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ellesmere is the enchanting project set up by Taproban guitarist and bassist Roberto Vitelli that seeks to put in musical form the beauty of the castles on the Loire River in France, arguably one of the most visually stimulating tours one could hope to visit. Interestingly enough, French progger Patrick Broguière took up a similar venture, depicting glorious edifices such as Chambord, Chenonceaux, D'Amboise and Blois, albeit in a slightly different style. Here Vitelli strays into Anthony Phillips territory, who happens to be a guest narrator on this album by no sheer coincidence, a pastoral universe mostly directed by 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, as well as occasional bass, electric guitar, E-bow and Moog bass pedals. Guests include John Hackett who provides bucolic flute, Daniele Pomo of Ranestrane on drums, Fabio Bonuglia splashes loads of mellotron on each track as well as Paolo Carnelli on piano and synths. Luciano Regoli (RRR) adds some vocals when needed but he is also a fabulous painter of the artwork presented here. Throw in some strings and other orchestrations and you see the full picture.

The music is highly atmospheric, gentle and sweet background music that has no pretensions other than to deliver sumptuous melodies, played with restrained passion and obvious enjoyment. All the tracks flow majestically, very much the lovely river that provides the inspiration, occasional effects (creaking doors, thunderclaps, galloping horses), making this a very rural adventure, far from the maddening urban sprawl and its distinctive cacophony. There are no real highlight tracks that need development as everything just fits into a general whole, though the narration by Ant Phillips (tracks 1 and 11) is quite precious. Longer tracks "Chambord" and "Chaumont-sur-Loire" are terrific pieces that exalt perfectly the virtues of this special recording. Bonus track "The Ancient Samovar" features Luciano Regoli, singing in English quite perfectly as well as some pizzicato strings that spice the mood charmingly. The second bonus piece ends the album on a "Wintry Afternoon" note, a cool and atmospheric piano ?driven finale to a highly enjoyable adventure, a perfect Sunday morning selection, easy and relaxing on the ears and delightfully melodic and attractive.

The cover artwork is some of the best ever, a solitary hare glancing over at the chateau de Chambord, a stunning vista in real life, let alone in artful form.

4 Sancerre greetings

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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