One of the most interesting new Italian progressive rock acts nowadays is without a doubt Il Tempio Delle Clessidre. They were formed after a meeting in 2006 between Stefano'Lupo' Galifi (the historical voice of the Museum Rosenbach), and Elisa Montaldo (a female keyboardist extraordinaire!). At first they brought the music of the legendary album Zarathustra (1973) back to the stage with Tempio Delle Clessidre (named after a song that closed this suite). Later on they recorded their eponymous debut album in 2010 which only included self written songs. Three years later saw the release of alieNatura (see review). However it was made without Galifi, who reformed the old band, and was replaced by Francesco Ciapica. The double DVD that is now released of the band strangely enough contains the bands first line up. They named it Live In Seoul after their tour and concert done in 2011 at this place.
The first DVD contains the entire concert in Seoul and opens with some footage of the arrival of the band, the soundcheck and the makeup prep. The first part of the concert is dedicated precisely to Zarathustra. It is like a trip back in time to relive an ambiance of one of the cult Italian prog albums. It's really awesome to see at the start of the show how the musicians are all dressed like monks. In the second part of the show the band reproduces the songs of their debut and then close with a medley still hinged on Zarathustra. The images give us a band in great shape, with Elisa who plays the priestess of the temple on stage. She is sometimes a bit of a dark lady and a little witch. She really looks cool behind her keyboards on which she creates the chemistry of the group. Most certainly is the contribution of Stefano very important in the whole of the band. Galifi still has a voice that can excite, although on stage he is maybe a bit static, but it's nice to see him back at work after forty years, with the music that made him famous. The precise interventions of Giulio Canepa on guitar work very well, while Fabio Gremo on bass and Paolo Tixi on drums create the right rhythms and beats to support the instrumentalists and singers in the best possible way. It struck me as the old repertoire integrates well with the new compositions. The band certainly makes deliberately retro music, but it is not easy to make music so compelling, so believable. The concert ends with footage of a singing session. The first disc ends with extra footage shot during their first dinner and breakfast, a city tour and their visit to a music store.
The second disc features some performances including the first live appearance in Genoa and clips of concerts held in Veruno, ProgLiguria and NEARfest. Too bad that the footage of the prestigious festival in the United States was shot with one camera. There is also space for a brief interview and a playback studio performance for an Italian TV show. All together this second DVD is rather interesting to watch. Most of all the Genoa show is rather good.
Live In Seoul is a DVD of great interest and not to be missed by fans of fantastic Italian progressive rock music. Hopefully, a second DVD of the band shot with the new lineup will be of the same high quality. I am already looking forward to it. Even if it takes a couple of years to be released!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
Where to buy?
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