This album is a great introduction into the exciting history of the Italian progressive music. Il trono dei ricordi is a band that fulfills all the requirements of the factory of Italian prog. The story of these Italians fulfills all the requirements needed to enter into history as another good progressive band that sadly left us just with a minimum recorded legacy in the form of a single CD, and desiring to continue enjoying new works of a band that, in such a premature way, disappeared.
If we give a quick look to the more fruitful era of Italian progressive, back into the first half of the 70s, leaving aside the three big names (PFM, Banco and Le Orme), there were a great amount of bands with an extraordinary quality, in some cases excelling that of the previously mentioned groups, that finished their musical career with a very reduced discography. Museo Rosenbach with their single and extraordinary "Zarathustra" or Il balleto di bronzo with "Sirio 2222" and one of the masterpieces of progressive "Ys". These groups suffered from disastrous promotion campaigns, in a time in which all efforts were concentrated into the big bands of the genre. This denied them the opportunity of being appreciated by the wide progressive concurrence in its country and outside of Italy, relegated into an almost absolute and unjust anonymity. An anonymity that was only broken thanks to the resurgence of prog-rock after many years, and thank you to labels like Musea that with their great work of investigation, have rescued, cleaned and released these forgotten jewels from all around the world. The list, as you will be able to imagine, doesn't finish here. Groups such as Quella vecchia locanda, Celeste, I califfi, Il baricentro or I ping pong fill a list that seems to be embedded in the 70s, becoming kind of a stigma that also invades bands of the 80's and 90's as Leviathan, Il castello di atlante, Malibran, Nuova Era, Calliope or Il trono dei ricordi.
The Italian musical culture contains big doses of classicism. In an almost unconscious way, the bands and the Italian fans enjoy an extraordinary capacity to assimilate the most complicated musical structures, which is both understandable and surprising at the same time. That is noticed in the legacy of the progressive movement of that country through the years. In this way the Italian progressive bands that arose after the 70's continued being influenced in an evident way by the masters of their own school, together with the most classic Anglo-Saxon giants. As in this case, where we have a band clearly influenced by ELP, Banco and the Genesis of the beginning of the 70's, which present us 4 compositions of a long duration with great volume, epic poetry and lyricism. Alesandro Lamuraglia (keyboards), Erik Landley (bass and sax), Stefano Cupertino (electronic effects), Paolo Lamuraglia (guitar), Alberto "the wizard" Mugnaini (voice), configure the formation that is known as Il trono dei ricordi.
"The king of memories" (19:54) is the first of the four pieces that fill the CD and also the longer one. You can already imagine that a long progressive trip is waiting for us. Keyboards "Emersonian" prevail from the start, with an opening a la "Fanfare of a common man" and a development of great dynamism, with a band, led by Alberto Mugnaini's correct voice, that progresses in a very interesting way. The atmosphere changes within the composition several times, with more relaxed parts where a guitar reminding from Steve Hackett fills sections of an exquisite instrumental fineness. The exhibition of keys occupies the most touching parts, in a range of developments coming from different influences, from Tony Banks's virtuous melodies to Rick Wright's melancholic tones. "A memorable fancy" (4:13) continues with the epic poetry that characterizes the album and in this much shorter piece, the effective technique of Paolo Lamuraglias guitar gives body to what seems a loose piece or an extracted cut of the three remaining songs. With "On the rising sun" (13:31) memories come of works as "Per an amico" of PFM or "Zarathustra" of Museo Rosenbach. An intensity and fineness of melodies that move us, with a captivating sensibility and perfect drama. Keyboards relax in some delicious atmospheres, picking up that emotion that characterizes the Italian progressive sound, with the addition of a sax that fills to perfection the background of the song, an instrument seldom seen in prog-rock. "Visions of the daughters of albion" (18:02) closes the CD with a more complex song, with sections dedicated to guitar and with Stefano Cupertino's effects in silences filled with synthesized elements that fit with the more aggressive and less lineal keyboard sound. It is the last show of this formation with a great capacity to compose with an extraordinary progressive maturity.
A work that increases in interest when framed within the misplaced works of bands that left just a progressive jewel and then disappeared. If you like long progressive trips of a lot of intensity and drama not difficult to assimilate or overcomplicated, this is your album.