In 1973, the legendary Italian progressive rock group Museo Rosenbach released their critically acclaimed album Zarathustra. They reunited nearly forty years later with new band members to re-record their magnum opus Zarathustra live in a recording studio. This album, Zarathustra, Live In Studio (see review) released in 2012, was a little bit different compared to the original version. The order of the tracks had completely been changed. Furthermore, it sounded more modern, thanks to the use of instruments that weren't available in the seventies. One year later, they released their brand new studio album Barbarica with this new line-up. Another year later, a new album could be added to the band's discography. This time a live album they named Live In Tokyo.
As the title already indicates, it was recorded in Japan. This was done at the Italian Progressive Rock Fest, a festival where only Italian progressive rock bands performed at Club Citta, Kawasaki, Tokyo. Museum Rosenbach played at this club on the 26th of April, 2013. They presented their new line-up on stage here for the first time. This included the three historical monuments of the band, namely Stefano 'Lupo' Galifi (vocals), Giancarlo Golzi (drums) and Alberto Moreno (keyboards). They were assisted by Fabio Meggetto (keyboards), Sandro Libra (guitars), Max Borelli (guitars and vocals) and Andy Senis (bass and vocals). They offered the public the whole panorama of their musical world. This means the tracklist on this double CD reflects the band's history all the way! On the first disc the band takes you back to the days of Zarathustra. This historic work is implemented in full. Like on Zarathustra, Live In Studio they played the extra instrumental intro, and the title track at the end, only this time I had the impression that this live version came closer to the original studio version than the new version recorded (live) in the recording studio. I guess it must have had to do with the fact they were in front of a live audience that knew the original album from start to finish, singing along all the way! You have to know that in the '80s Zarathustra was a great success in Japan and had one of the first prints on CD (1982). The album is still being appreciated by a large group of fans. On the second disc, the band presented almost their entire last studio album Barbarica. It was performed in front of a live audience for the very first time ever. Only Fiore Di Vendetta wasn't played, probably because it isn't featured on the album. However, the track is on the second disc, only added as a demo version of the song that's probably a pre-production from before it was recorded for the album. While listening to those new tunes it became clear to me they hadn't stayed in the seventies music wise. They had developed a style that lives up to the musical standards with which the current progressive rock bands present themselves nowadays much more. A style which I certainly enjoy. Many solos on keyboards and guitars can be enjoyed still. Vocal wise everything stays as I like it too. The passion is still there and, like the rest of the band members, singer Stefano 'Lupo' Galifi is in great shape. Not bad, for a person who started singing forty years ago already!
I'm not sure if the band was nervous at the time the songs were recorded, but they probably were. However, you can't hear this at all. Throughout the whole recording process, the band did an outstanding job. They worked through their set like real professionals, giving their fans in the Land of the Rising Sun one of the best days of their lives! Bravo!
You could say Live In Tokyo offers the opportunity to trace the "progressive" evolution of a
band's sound. The forty years between Zarathustra and Barbarica came together in a perfect way on this release! This new live album manages to bring to the surface the unique moments of both the present and the past. You can hear the music was made with the same musical intention today as it was then! Museo Rosenbach rules!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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