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The Rome Pro(g)ject - Exegi Monumentum Aere Perennius CD (album) cover

EXEGI MONUMENTUM AERE PERENNIUS

The Rome Pro(g)ject

 

Symphonic Prog

4.50 | 33 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Monumental

EXEGI MONVMENTVM AERE PERENNIVS meaning "I raised a monument more lasting than bronze" is the third album by Vincenzo Ricca's The Rome Pro(g)ject. Having enjoyed the previous two discs, I was eager to get my hands on this brand new release, and I ordered it straight from Vincenzo himself. More than living up to expectations, this album in fact surpassed them. This third instalment takes the best from Rome Pro(g)ject I and II and presents us with a truly convincing work. After a very large number of listens over the past few weeks I can attest that it is indeed a lasting monument of Symphonic Prog. The moment it stops running, I just want to start it over again!

The music of The Rome Pro(g)ject is entirely instrumental, not even narration is included this time which I feel is a boost as I found it distracting on previous releases. The album features ten tracks, all but two of which are written by Ricca who is a great composer and a superb keyboard player.

Like the name implies, the project is based in Italy, but it is in fact an international collaboration featuring contributions from several well-known British musicians. Steve Hackett makes a return appearance on the twelve and a half minute Exegi Monvmentvm which also features John Hackett on flute. Another long-time Hackett collaborator in Nick Magnus contributes the two piano pieces that bookend the album.

Other returning participants are David Jackson and David Cross who contribute winds and electric violin respectively to several tracks. The presence of these giants readily invites comparisons to the classic bands in which they made their names, and in the cases of Genesis and King Crimson the comparisons are indeed relevant. When it comes King Crimson, it is more so the early, symphonic era of In The Court Of The Crimson King that is relevant and less so the later albums that David Cross originally helped create. An exception might be the track 476 A.C. which is dedicated to John Wetton. No similarities with Van der Graaf Generator can be detected, with Jacksons contributions on sax and flutes also bringing to mind early King Crimson as well as occasionally Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson.

As a keyboard player, Ricca is clearly influenced by the likes of Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman, and Keith Emerson. The second part of the multi-part suite Aere Perennius is dedicated to Emerson, who like Wetton passed away last year. On these tracks, Emerson's influence can be felt.

Mentioning all of these great names might make some think that this is nothing but an exercise of rehearsing the classics, but that would definitely be a big mistake. EXEGI MONVMENTVM AERE PERENNIVS is not a "retro" release, but a timeless piece of excellent music!

Very highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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