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Celeste: Il Risveglio del Principe

Italian symphonic progressive rock act Celeste released a minor classic in 1976 with Celeste (also known as Principe Di Un Giorno), but then quickly broke up and seemingly vanishing from the scene completely, but after a couple of archival releases over the years, the band got back together back in 2016 with a vastly changed line-up now we have their first new studio album in over 40 years, Il Risveglio del Principe. Founding member Ciro Perrino is still on board with his excellent vocals and wide array of vintage keyboards, and the full line-up for this album is as follows:

Ciro Perrino / Mellotron, Eminent, Solina, ARP 2600 / Odyssey, Minimoog, piano, shamanic percussion, glockenspiel, lead & backing vocals, composer
Mauro Vero / acoustic & electric guitars
Massimo Dal PrĂ¡ / piano, Rhodes, harpsichord
Marco Moro / flute, recorders, tenor saxophone
Andrea De Martini / alto & tenor saxophones
Sergio Caputo / violin
Mariano Dapor / cello, backing vocals
Francesco Bertone / electric bass
Enzo Cioffi / drums
Marzio Marossa / percussion, backing vocals

With special guests:
Elisa Montaldo / vocals
Alfio Costa / Hammond organ
Claudia Enrico / rainstick (1,3)
Ciro Perrino Junior / narration (1), gong (5)

If you have fond memories of Celeste's lush, pastoral take on progressive rock, then you are certainly in for a treat here with this 2019 release. All the elements are still here; the soaring Mellotron, gorgeous flute, wispy violin, enchanting acoustic guitars, recorders, Hammond organ, Moog, cello, and those beautiful Italian vocals. "Bianca Vestale" almost sounds like a long lost track from King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King, The Wake of Poseidon, or Lizard era, the Mellotron strings just magnificent, the flute weaving in and out with the violin, at times jazzy, at times folky, but in the end pure grandiose progressive rock as only an Italian band can deliver. "Statue di Sale" is the longest track here at just under 9-minutes, kicking off with some majestic piano before the haunting Mellotron kicks in, with a little help from violin and flute, making for some tremendous musical ear candy. Simply gorgeous stuff that needs to be heard to be believed. Toss in a cool sax solo and you have one of the albums easy highlights. "Fonte Perenne" is another wild King Crimson/Moody Blues styled symphonic rocker, bashing drums, violin, acoustic guitar and the ever present Mellotron offer sumptuous, dramatic, yet honestly beautiful sounds to combat the equally enchanting vocals, a bit of MiniMoog also jumping into the fray along with some sax and jazzy electric guitar. The sax & flute are featured mightily on "Falsi Piani Lontani", but also look out for some piano, Hammond, and of course, the Mellotron.

This is one of those albums where the music is just so beautiful your heart will ache with emotion & delight. Recently, I was in a short discussion with a viewer on our YouTube channel about how he feels progressive rock music has to be fast & complex to qualify; well, Il Risveglio del Principe and the music of Celeste is a perfect example of how you can easily disprove that theory. Nothing overly complex, loud, fast, or aggressive to be found here, just lush, enchanting music by an Italian prog act that we should all be very happy that they are back delivering the goods once again. Outstanding!

Track Listing
1. Qual Fior di Loto (6:04)
2. Bianca Vestale (6:49)
3. Statue di Sale (8:38)
4. Principessa Oscura (6:22)
5. Fonte Perenne (6:12)
6. Giardini di Pietra (4:32)
7. Falsi Piani Lontani (6:08)
8. Porpora E Giancinto (5:50)

Added: June 8th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1327
Language: english

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