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Museo Rosenbach, Italy

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Museo Rosenbach - Zarathustra. 1973 Ricordi
Museo Rosenbach - Exit. 2000 Carisch
Museo Rosenbach - Barbarica. 2013 Immaginifica

Since we've given so much focus on the 2013 Italian progressive rock renaissance, this might be a good time to address the elephant in the room. Regarding the discography above, Museo Rosenbach have more albums from an archival perspective (including a recent live in the studio rendition of "Zarathustra"), but I'm just including the 3 studio albums to date. I will cover their landmark 1973 album "Zarathustra" (an album I've owned for over 25 years) on my sister blog Unencumbered Music Reviews at another time. I have not heard "Exit", but it would seem to be a typically underwhelming reformation album, where the band tried to be relevant, and yet seemed to have no understanding of its real audience. I've seen defenders of the album as well, though no one would be willing to fall on their sword for it I'm sure.

Perhaps the "Exit" album was a lesson learned for the veterans of the original Museo Rosenbach. Because "Barbarica" not only addresses its past, but also its future. We've talked about reformations here on UTR in the past, and generally they are abject failures. From Italy, Alphataurus and Le Orme have been glaring exceptions as their reformation successfully captured the spirit of the original band without them resorting to caricature. "Barbarica" is similar - except even more successful to my ears. Alphataurus had the added benefit of an unfinished 1974 album to work with, for example. Museo Rosenbach was starting from scratch. Original bassist (and now keyboardist) Alberto Moreno and drummer Giancarlo Golzi are the only steady members across their entire discography. Joining the reunion was original "Zarathustra" lead vocalist Stefano Lupo Galifi. The latter himself coming fresh off the debut by Il Tempio delle Clessidre which no doubt revived his interest in progressive rock - and most certainly he was held in high reverence by the much younger band that surrounded him. Ego boosts after age 60 don't come as often as they once did I'm sure. Even for myself, I was shocked at just how great his voice still sounded. And he continues to belt it out with the best of them on "Barbarica". These three old warriors were then augmented by a new quartet of two guitarists, bass, and keyboards.

What amazes me most about "Barbarica" is how much the new material represents the spirit of their past, without copying it. The instrumentation is a mix of new and old - and the latter is often represented by the former. One of the most amazing aspects of "Zarathustra" was their ability to write jaw dropping breaks. Those kind where everyone looks at the stereo and says: Did you hear that? Well, guess what? You'll be doing that with "Barbarica" too. Like all great bands, it was the synergy of the collective whole that made that 1973 opus great, rather than a collection of soloists. "Barbarica" is exactly that. It's a true group effort, that retains their brilliant songwriting capability. The band sounds bold and confident. I've read some bellyaching that "Barbarica" isn't the same as "Zarathustra". Well I hope not! While I'm not willing to say it's on the same level either - there are just too many parameters to consider where it would have the same effect on me - I will say that "Barbarica" may in fact be in the Top 3 of all the great Italian albums released in 2013. And that's a huge achievement given the competition. For me, the best ever reformation album coming from Italy. Yea.... Wow.

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The ongoing HiPo list

Read about this the purpose and idea of this thread at the bottom of this post. Feel free to opine on any of these albums as you wish.

New additions (moved forward with this post)
Cosmic Triggers (Russia)

Karakorum (Germany)

Kungens Män (Sweden) This band many releases already, and 5 are durable mediums. Looks like a group to check out at least one of.

Professor Tiptop (Norway)
Weserbergland (Norway)


Prior entries that have yet to be purchased or heard
Cherry Five (Italy) Reformation album, so won't consider this against the 1975 album.

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. Considering this HiPo because of the Fella presence

Fatal Fusion (Norway)

Il Fauno di Marmo (Italy)

Hadal Sherpa (Finland)

Jordsjo (Norway) OK - just a quick update that Jordsjo will have a CD out in the fall. Yaay!

Merry Go Round (Italy)

Mythic Sunship (Denmark)

The Winstons (Italy)

Witchwood  (Italy)

Wucan (Germany)

Prior entries that have been hear…

Anglagard, Sweden

News: According to the band's website from October 8th: "The band has gone into songwriting mode after several concerts in North America (which happened to include full renditions of "Hybris"). In related news, Jonas, Johan and Erik have apparently started a side project with Thomas Johnson playing some sort of progressive jazz music. In terms of website news, the recent DVD releases have finally been added to the discography." Great - add a distraction there. These guys are hilarious. Probably by 2024 we can expect a new album then...

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Location: Stockholm

Overview: Probably the foremost contemporary post 1990 band to capture and recreate all that was great about the early 1970s original progressive rock movement.

UMR notes

Omnia Opera, England

News: Omnia Opera are still kicking! They're actively looking for a new keyboard player, so it seems they're ready to get going again. They also have an offshoot band called 7Shades and they recently played with The Oroonies - yet another blast from the past. Both of these bands have old cassettes that are in dire need of reissue.

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Location: Kidderminster (SW of Birmingham)

Overview: Omnia Opera can best be described as a heavier and more in-yer-face variation of the classic UK festival space rock sound. More Hawkwind and less Gong that is to say. About the only band I can think of that rocks harder than Ozric Tentacles in this genre.

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Homunculus Res, Italy

News: It appears the new album from Homunculus Res will be coming in November, based on a comment back in August. So great news there. No title or cover as of yet, so I'll leave the second album up.

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Location: Palermo, Sicily

Overview: Homunculus Res is a tremendous new Canterbury styled band from Italy that have perfectly captured the spirit of another era. Brilliantly mixing melody and complexity, with a jazzy undertone.

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Secret Saucer, USA

News: Secret Saucer have just released their 7th album The Reset. It appears to be LP only at the current time (and released in Germany). I've lost track of Secret Saucer, as I haven't heard anything from them since Tri-Angle Waves in 2009.


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Location: The band usually just state that are from Ohio, but if I recall right they are from near Cleveland in the northeast part.

Overview: Secret Saucer could best be described as a space rock jam band. Similar to Oresund Space Collective and  others of its ilk.

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October Equus, Spain

News: There's talk of a new album, and in at least one post, it was discussed it might be without a rhythm section - a chamber type work. Nooo.... don't do it! Resist the temptation. :-) Permafrost, from 2013, remains the last album, and I never did get any notes down for it. I'm sure I will eventually.

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Location: Madrid

Overview: October Equus'first album was almost like a psychedelic Present (Belgium), a very interesting combination that I found highly appealing. With each subsequent release, October Equus ups the ante on complexity, while toning down the more jamming aspect of their sound.

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Nuova Era, Italy

News: Return to the Castle was released late last year, and has received mixed reviews. It would appear their controversial decision to move to English has divided the fan base.

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Location: Firenze/Florence

Overview: Probably more than any other band, Nuova Era can be credited with bringing back the classic early 70s Italian progressive rock sound... kicking and screaming into the 90s. The band has reformed in the 2010 decade, though strangely they've moved to English vocals, something that goes against the very core of the style. I haven't heard them yet, so can't say how successful the reformation has been.

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Quaterna Requiem, Brazil

News: Quaterna Réquiem are very active on the live front in their home country of Brazil. No word on a new album though.

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Location: Rio de Janeiro

Overview: Quaterna Réquiem were one of the first bands of the late 1980s/early 90s progressive rock renaissance to review the works of the Mediterranean bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and Gotic, rather than the standard English "Big 3" of Genesis, Yes, and ELP.

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Lumerians, USA

News: Lumerians are very active playing live and touring. There's talk of a new album, but nothing since Transmissions From Telos Vol III from 2014 (which came after IV...) - an album I haven't heard yet myself.
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Location: Oakland, California

Overview: Lumerians' rhythms are pure Krautrock motorik, straight from the Can and Neu! school. The dreamy vocals recall Barrett era Floyd, or perhaps more to the point, the early 90s neo psych of Sun Dial

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Astrakan, England

News: In 2016, Astrakan released their 3rd album Hidden Agenda. I haven't heard it to date. Otherwise not much to report here.

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Location: London

Overview: Astrakan are a fine band operating between Canterbury and jazzier forms of rock. Comets and Monsters adds an avant prog edge.

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