Museo Rosenbach
Zarathustra


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (173 Reviews)
October 11th, 2021 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the legendary Italian prog bands. One of the Italian prog gems.

“Zarathustra” is the debut studio album of Museo Rosenbach and was released in 1973. The line up on the album is Stefano “Lupo” Galifi, Enzo Merogno, Pit Corradi, Alberto Moreno and Giancarlo Golzi.


Everything really began when a group, initially named Inaugurazione Museo Rosenbach, was created around 1971 from the fusion of two late 60’s bands from Sanremo, La Quinta Strada and Il Sistema. Their first line up included the future Celeste’s member Leonardo Lagorio on sax and flute, and the future guitarist of Museo Rosenbach, Enzo Merogno. Sanremo’s groups, La Quinta Strada and Il Sistema, were two of the first Italian rock bands to spread prog rock in Italy.

Everytime that the name of Museo Rosenbach is pronounced, you can see a sparkle in the eyes of every European truly progressive rock fan. Their album “Zarathustra” is usually considered as one of the best examples of the genre to come from outside England. However, the band wasn’t successful at the time. They were accused of right-wing inclinations for the Mussolini image in the front cover collage on an all-black background and because Nietzsche inspired the lyrics. Both things contributed to limit the diffusion of their name and their album. So, it’s not strange that Museo Rosenbach had a very short life, splitting soon after their album “Zarathustra” and some good live concerts in the summer of 1973.

“Zarathustra” is, undoubtedly, one of the most impressive Italian prog rock albums ever, with an astonishing blend of hard and symphonic progressive rock. It’s still a perfect example of the Italian powerful idiosyncratic musical creativity. It’s not hard to understand why this is regarded as one of the best albums of the Italian prog rock scene. This is symphonic prog rock with a rough edge, but without becoming too much heavy progressive. The arrangements are heavily loaded with Mellotron, organ, piano, aggressive guitar and furious drumming. Everything is amazingly played. The compositions are flawless. This is a complex album with many time changes, something that happens all the time.

Though the music is generally dark and heavy, it still manages to remain melodic and fluid. The traditional rock ensemble of electric guitar, bass and drums has plenty to offer, with the Mellotron and Hammond organ capable of taking on both lead and supporting roles. The continually captivating interplay is a result of wicked distorted electric guitar, varied and beautifully arranged keyboards, a versatile rhythm section and strong expressive Italian vocals. Stefano Lupo Galifi’s singing is bold and passionate, elevating the rest of the music to a higher level. It all comes together in a constant tension, topped by the majestic outbursts of Mellotron, which is the main hallmark of the album.

In the original vinyl version, side A was entirely occupied by the long “Zarathustra” suite, consisting of five parts with the duration of about twenty minutes. “L’Ultimo Uomo” is the segment that opens the album between solemn and emphatic sounds and King Crimson’s solutions. Hammond, piano and Mellotron introduce “Il Re Di Ieri”, the second chapter of “Zarathustra” in which Museum Rosenbach manages to blend the symphony of the early King Crimson with the darker sounds of the Italian prog. “Al Di La Del Bene E Del Male”, is a song that deepens and expands the prog demands of the band. “Superuomo” is the most changeable episode of the all “Zarathustra” suite. The fifth and final chapter, “Il Tempio Delle Clessidre”, returns to the final theme of “L’Ultimo Uomo”, a pompous and grand instrumental.

The three other tracks on the album maintain the same high standard. “Degli Uomini” opens the B side of the vinyl. The initial Mellotron foreshadows the violent attack by Merogno’s riffs, who contend for the scene at Corradi’s Hammond and Golzi’s battery pyrotechnics. “Della Natura” moves to a more jazz rock territory, with Hammond, Mellotron and guitar always in evidence with the rhythmic section, with Moreno’s pulsating and nervous bass to underline the frenetic drumming of Golzi and where Galifi softens the atmosphere for a few moments before the usual jazz rock assaults. The equally beautiful “Dell’Eterno Ritorno” closes the album, an eclectic prog track with the typical Mediterranean sound.


Conclusion: There are so many outstanding melodies and themes on this album that it’s not without reason that “Zarathustra” is considered one of the milestones in the Italian prog rock of the 70’s. The band had dedicated itself to the powerful and rocking version of symphonic rock music, where they managed the balancing act from rough, hard rock to more intellectually shaped, complex rock with flying colors. In fact, it’s almost a definitive example. Here you have the big keyboards, organ and Mellotron, a passionate and strong vocalist, a drummer who’s clearly a jazzer and compositions that are both dramatic and rocking at once. Hardly any other work can develop such a harmony between hard guitar riffs and soft Mellotron carpets. Wrap it up in one of the finest covers of the era and you have a perfect package. “Zarathustra” is, undoubtedly, one of the universally recognized masterpieces of the Italian prog rock scene.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (58)
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
ProgJect (4)
A heavy, melodic slice of Italian prog enriched by haunting mellotron....



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
October 11th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

After the two Swedish albums from All Traps On Earth and Atlas, let's go to a warmer place, the Mediterranean south, Italy. As many of we know, Italy always was, and still is, one of the best and most important lands to the prog rock music. Probably, the best examples of that were in the 70's with Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Le Orme and the most original of all Area, a unique band not only in the panorama of Italy but even in the all world.

However, as an amazing prolific prog country, there were many other great examples all over the time, especially in the 70's. Many other bands were less prolific and despite some only have relase a single album, they made an enoumous contribution with works with the same quality of some of the works of the bands previously mentioned.

This is the case of the band of today, Museo Rosenbach. Museo Rosenbach only released a single album "Zarathustra". But "Zarathustra" all over the time became to be seen as one of the best and most important works in the panorama of the Italian prog and in the entire world, becoming a true landmark prog album.

So, I hope you check it or revisit it, whatever the case. This is an album that deserves to be remembered and has more love on Sputnik.

Jethro42
October 11th 2021


16793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like that album. There are really strong moments in it. Heavy and soft at the same time. A milestone for the RPI.

Divaman
October 11th 2021


12892 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh yeah! I remember that one. Good times, good times.

Digging: Lindsey Buckingham - Lindsey Buckingham

Zig
October 12th 2021


2352 Comments


this is great stuff

e210013
October 12th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, a milestone for the RPI, indeed. And was you my friend who first published a review of it in your famous ProgJect. Those were better times for prog on Sputnik, I bet.

e210013
October 12th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's nice to know that you also like this album Diva. Great.

e210013
October 12th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is great stuff Zig, like we have in the Portuguese albums that you mentioned to me. I'm not forgotten of your request. I intend to publish some reviews of them in the next year.

quetzal
October 12th 2021


831 Comments


haven't listened to this since my prog days like 15 years ago, remember it being pretty good but a bit overly theatrical for my tastes. my favorite non-English prog album was O A e o Z from Os Mutantes.

e210013
October 12th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the comment quetzal. Great Brazilian band and nice album.

TheIntruder
October 12th 2021


566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It has been long time that I expect to check this album. I have huge expectations about it. It is now the time thanks to you. I will read your review later.

e210013
October 12th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great, Intruder. Go for it, soon as you can.

Jethro42
October 12th 2021


16793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

''And was you my friend who first published a review of it in your famous ProgJect. Those were better times for prog on Sputnik, I bet.''

Good bet. All my fellaw progheads were still active on Sputnik in those times. There were time where it was stimulating to publish or even to simply comment on here. You can tell these active days by the number of the comment pages. One can say that you arrived to sputnik a tad late, but at least, you're the one who carries the prog torch and still make it bright on here.

e210013
October 12th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, but it's a bit boring to published reviews with so few comments. Probably people is a bit busy, especially to check some new stuff.

Jethro42
October 12th 2021


16793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As long as you have at least one reader, your mission is done, my friend. Keep the good work coming...

Album is so close to being a 4.5, I might give that score to it...But I'd leave it to a 4 for my ProgJect review.

e210013
October 13th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice. Let's proceed our prog journey.

bnelso55
October 14th 2021


1362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd. This album is top-notch. I'm glad to see it finally get the e210013 treatment. Great write-up, as always.

Digging: Sisare - Leaving the Land

e210013
October 14th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bnelso.

TheIntruder
October 14th 2021


566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As I suspected this is an amazing album with all the main and best identifies that a true Italian prog album must have. The review is awesome as usual and very well informative. Like bnelso said it needed your special treatment. So, have a pos and like Jethro said, keep your good work coming.

e210013
October 14th 2021


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm glad you liked it. We need more love for this kind of albums here on Sputnik. Thanks, pal.



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