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(56:32; Andromeda Relix)
Back in 2014 I started working on collating material for my books, which meant anything that had been sent to me for review was put to one side as I would get to it when I was done. I never expected it to take anything like as long as it did (writing books is bloody hard work), and since then I have been playing catch up, and 2023 is the year when I have committed to not only getting my fifth book out but also catching up with everything on my review list. I came across Rosenkreutz when I was part of the crossover team on PA, and once they were approved I entered them onto the site, so it is rather embarrassing to realise some 9 years later that I never actually reviewed the debut myself. In fact, I did have to check that I had not, as this album is incredibly familiar to me, so I must have played it a great deal when it came out, just never committed to putting my views down in words. The man behind the band is Fabio Senna, and in many ways, this started when he wrote some songs with singer Alex Brunori (Leviathan), yet due to them being so far apart the project was stopped, only for Fabio to rediscover the demos some time later and decide to do something with them. He brought in Gianni Sabbioni (bass) and Gianni Brunelli (drums) to further develop the material and write new songs and the final piece of the puzzle was the addition of singer Massimo Piubelli from Methodica, whose debut album had been produced by Fabio some years earlier. The result is an album which many would not deem to be Italian, as there is little or nothing from the pervasive RPI genre, but instead mixes together prog with AOR, throws in plenty of Eighties influences and sounds to create something which is fresh, vibrant and definitely crossover in its truest state, although there are a few times when it comes closer to neo. So much prog expects the listener to sit there and be impressed, instead Rosenkreutz expect people to be jumping up and down and enjoying themselves as this is packed full of fun and a style which makes the listener smile. Fabio provides keyboards, guitar and vocals, and is at the heart of what is going on, which can include elements of pop rock here and there. All one must do with this is sit back and enjoy it as it is a blast from beginning to end. I was somewhat surprised at the one cover as the swirling atmospheric take on “I Am The Walrus” is quite different to the rest of the album, although it is certainly interesting, but they end with their most progressive song, the title cut which is more than 17 minutes long. It goes between melodic vocals accompanied solely by piano to something far more dramatic and multi-layered, with nods back to the bombast of the Seventies, yet there are sections which could be taken out as commercial rock single, such is the diversity. There has been just one more album since this release, 2020’s ‘Divide et Impera’ which has seen the original quartet extended to a sextet, and I can see myself looking out for it as this really is a fresh and exciting delight.
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