Exposé Online banner

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

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Inquire - Melancholia – The second CD on this 2-disk set is devoted to a lively and entertaining rendition of Louis Verne’s 3rd Organ Symphony. Fans of Keith Emerson’s various classical interpretations, or IQ’s better...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues