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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ron E. Carter - Play Hendrix – Covering the Jimi Hendrix catalogue requires skill as well as thought about which arrangements to interpret and which ones not to disturb. Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cover of “Voodoo Chile -...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues