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Conqueror — Madame Zelle
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records MRC 019 CD, 2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Madame Zelle Cover art

Not much accompanied this promo – just a disc in an envelope. No booklet, tray card, or information. Normally my attitude is that if a label doesn’t care enough to send artwork or any information about their artists, I’m not gonna care enough to write a review. I have a huge box of discs like that, someday I’ll probably just chuck them all in the trash. Not sure what made me play this one, but I’m glad I did. As symphonic prog goes, this Italian band is nothing short of excellent, with long involved compositions, outstanding arrangements on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards (organ, piano, and lots of synth), sax and flute, and a female vocalist with a positively beautiful voice. A little Myspace research turned up that they are a five-piece, and this is the second album, and that singer’s name is Simona Rigano (doubling as keyboardist), with (presumably) her sibling Sabrina handling flute and sax. The sound seems to be classic-era Marillion inspired crossed up with the sound of early 90s Italian bands like Secret Cinema and Circle of Fairies, occasional hints of mid-70s Le Orme (Smogmagica) and classic PFM, with some nice jazzy and pop touches, all impeccably executed. Their style is generally more contemporary prog, as opposed to ‘neo,’ but there’s certainly a lot here to like.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Conqueror

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