Museo Rosenbach: Zarathustra (1973)
Museo Rosenbach was one of those Italian prog bands that proceeded to give us one album then vanished (although Mellow Records did release some live material and rare and previously unreleased material in the 1990s, and the band did reunite in 1999 and released a CD called Exit).
Zarathustra (1973) was the only album Museo Rosenbach released during their lifetime (aside, of course, from their recent reunion) and it’s nothing short of a masterpiece of Italian prog rock. This was also one of the first Italian prog albums I ever heard, back in 1993 (when I was 20), just as my knowledge of prog rock was going beyond Yes, ELP, Genesis, King Crimson, etc.
There are no highlights to this album as all of it is incredible. Lots of great use of Mellotron and Hammond organ, some synthesizers with aggressive guitar work. I just totally dig that mystical atmosphere that I don’t get too often on many albums. The album starts with a side length suite, which is the title track and if you like what you’re hearing, then you’re sure to dig the next three tracks, “Degli Uomini”, “Della Natura”, and “Dell’Eterno Ritorno”.
The album is inspired by the works of 19th Century German philospher Friederich Wilhelm Nietzche, who is, unfortunately, quite admired by those with extreme right-wing views. Because of that, it did not help Museo Rosenbach by being better known in their native Italy, although I have no idea where the band members themselves stood politically.
Regardless, this album had been discovered by diehard prog rock fans and has received legendary status as one of the greats of Italian prog. I am totally amazed by the whole album, and if you’re a newcomer to the Italian prog scene, this album is a total must!
– Giancarlo Golzi: drums, vocals
– Alberto Moreno: bass, piano
– Enzo Merogno: guitar, vocals
– Pit Corradi: Mellotron, Hammond organ, vibes, Farfisa electric piano
– Stafano Lupo Galifi: lead vocals
Moog synthesizer provided by Angelo Vaggi