People who read our Italian special (see article), must have noticed that our former reviewer Erik Neuteboom wrote the following: “One highly acclaimed group was Museo Rosenbach with their album Zarathustra (1973) about Nietzsche's super human. This album had such euphoric reviews that I decided to order it. Well, very soon I was mesmerized by the splendid title track, a twenty-minute killer composition with echoes from Genesis and King Crimson. The foundation of this wonderful and moving song is a beautiful theme − like Firth Of Fifth by Genesis − that returns in different atmospheres: from dreamy to heavy and bombastic and with different colouring of the instruments. The interplay between the electric guitar, keyboards, rhythm section and the strong and expressive Italian vocals are very captivating. It all creates a constant tension topped by majestic eruptions of the Mellotron. These moments give the title track the same compelling impact as it does on the early albums of King Crimson. Goosebumps all over! The other three shorter tracks sound fluent and powerful with a lot of Hammond organ and guitar play with echoes from Steve Hackett. For me this album is one of the absolute highlights of the adventurous and varied Italian prog rock scene of the seventies and a must have.”
Well, several years later I discovered the album myself, thanks to the live version of the studio album. Museo Rosenbach reunited nearly forty years later to re-record their magnum opus Zarathustra live in a studio without the usual cheering audience. The album called Zarathustra - Live In Studio was recorded by founding members Stefano'Lupo' Galifi (vocals), Giancarlo Golzi (drums) and Alberto Moreno (piano). I'm not sure what happened to the other original band members, but they're no longer part of the line-up. Maybe the new band members inspired the others to come up with an even better version than the original piece of art. The contributions of guitarists Sandro Libra and Max Borelli, bassist Andy Senis, and keyboard player Fabio Meggetto certainly lifted the new versions of the old compositions to the highest possible level.
I found it rather peculiar that the order of the tracks had completely changed. They now placed the Zarathustra suite at the end, while it originally was the opening piece! Well, it doesn't really matter as long as the music is still the same. This is certainly the case except for some newly written parts, for example the new intro for Dell'Eterno Ritorno. In the overall sound, the keyboards are more prominent than on the original recordings; maybe a bit more modern. Beautiful parts performed on the organ, Mellotron and synthesizers shine throughout the album. Since the seventies the music scene went through drastic changes, both musically and technically, and in a way these changes can be heard in the old compositions as well. The production is much better than on the original album, and you'll notice heavier guitar parts every now and then, although the above-mentioned influences are still present. I guess the guitar players must have listened to bands like Dream Theater or Deep Purple as well, although the music never tends to prog metal or hard rock.
I think that some people who have listened to this new version can't live with it, because they're stuck to the original album. But those who are open-minded or unfamiliar with the band and like good progressive rock will certainly enjoy Zarathustra - Live In Studio a lot.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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