When you name your band RÝsenkreŁtz, the outside world might think you are coming from Germany. I am not sure if that is what founding member Fabio Serra was trying to do when he came up with a musical project, which he started around 2006 with this name. He did this in the area of Verona where he already was an established producer. However, it took him until 2014 to release the debut album of this Italian progressive rock band.
Back To The Stars was recorded with the already mentioned Fabio Serra (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Gianni Brunelli (drums, percussions), Gianni Sabbioni (bass) and Massimo Piubelli (vocals). I am not sure if without the help of guest musicians Angela Merlin (vocals), Carlo Soliman (piano), Luca Nardon (percussion), Gabriele Amadei (violin) and Cristiano Roversi (Chapman stick) they could have made the same strong debut album as they have presented now. The album is without a doubt, a work of craftsmanship and passion. It has a brilliant production which is perfectly focused on all the details that makes this release a feast for your ears. With an excellent keyboard player and vocalist in your line up you are almost sure every composition reaches a very high level. Sure the music that you hear in those compositions might sound familiar every now and then as the musical references from the seventies come to the surface many times. Right from the opening track Signals In The Water until the final epic piece Back To The Stars, you can hear that Fabio has grown up listening to the music made by bands such as U.K. and Gentle Giant. Well I didn't care at all that the music of U.K. could be heard on Back To The Stars and the title track. Or the Gentle Giant a cappella vocals on Sitting On The Edge Of Heaven. Or the musical hints of Kansas well on the same track thanks to the excellent violin contributions. Maybe they didn't have to do a cover of The Beatles I Am The Walrus but I'll have to confess that I did like it a lot. It may be not very original like all of the other songs on this release, but who cares if they sound so damn good! Who is original nowadays? I guess nobody!
Back To The Stars is a fine debut which will be enjoyed by a lot of people in the progressive rock community. I can only be positive about this release and hopefully a strong follow up album will be in my mailbox very soon!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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