[Review] Prometheo – Stupor Mundi Vol. 1

Italian Progressive Rock band Prometheo, originally from Bari, revisits the story ofel King Frederick II in this first volume. Divided into two chapters, the first of which “Stupor Mundi Vol. I” was released on June 23, 2023 and contains 8 tracks ranging from 3 to over 8 minutes in length. Listening begins with “Ouverture (Ecco la Primavera)” an introductory passage that immediately brings out the band’s Progressive imprinting. Excellent phrasing between guitar, horns and keyboards with a solid and elaborate rhythm section, enhanced by tempo changes. With an ending with a Baroque touch blending with Prog, a dreamy guitar arpeggio guides us to the next track. Winds and gentle guitar arpeggios open “Puer Apuliae” on which an intense, pathos-laden female vocal interprets the lyrics. A fine track centred on the narration of the story at the heart of the disc’s theme. An interweaving of macho and feminine vocals, guitar arpeggios, flute and keyboards in the background, ending with the addition of percussion. A blend of Folk and Prog sounds characterizes “Il Giovan Fedrigo,” with a warm and expressive male vocal. Highly refined flute and keyboard inserts complement guitar arpeggios and a solid, elaborate rhythm section. The track is engaging and positive melodies, with an interesting development of the narrative (for those who understand Italian linguals). The music is developed in a crescendo that in the second half of the track incorporates more Rock elements and a fine guitar solo insert, which then gives way to keyboards. “Imperatore” continues to explore Folk Prog sounds, with a more Rock imprint than the previous one. The choral refrains are very engaging, as are the rhythms and pleasant melodies created by the interweaving guitar, flute and keyboards. The tempo changes are an added value to the sound, giving a markedly Progressive touch with distinctly Mediterranean traits. The intensity increases as the minutes go by and in the middle part the guitar ele keyboards duet in a sequence of solo interventionsu in a prolonged trumental sezioens. With the return of the vocal the track concludes with the last stanzas and refrains. The longest track on the album, “Lujarà,” which exceeds 8 minutes in length, opens with a touch of Arabic music and vocals. With a change the band develops a Prog track with granitic guitar riffs and a solid rhythm section, showing a heavier side to their sound. As in the best Italian tradition of the genre, keyboards and guitar intertwine in the instrumental sections giving a Symphonic touch. A track that enhances the band’s compositional technique, but unfortunately loses incisiveness in the mix and master. Dreamy atmospheres return in “Scomunica I” with warm, expressive vocals and fine guitar arpeggios. Traditional influences mix with classic Prog Rock, then end the track with a section with pompous and solemn atmospheres. Energetic and engaging “La Crociata Degli Scomunicati” is full of tempo changes and phrasing between guitar and keyboards. The vocal is dynamic and incisive, interepting well all the various phases of the ever-evolving song. An elaborate composition full of fine cues, with a marked Symphonic Prog imprinting, with instrumental sections of absolute value. The album ends with “La Riconquista” a fine track of Progressive Folk with forays into the more Heavy sounds. The vocal concludes the first part of the story, while the music is full of tempo changes and technical and Symphonic passages that mingle to create an emotional and very engaging track. All of the band’s technique in composition and execution is brought out, leaving us wanting to listen to the record again in the future. This third installment of the discography confirms how the band’s ideas are of a high standard. Both compositional and lyric-writing technique is certainly enhanced, making for an intense tracklist from start to finish. A blend of Progressive with Italian and Mediterranean traits with forays into Folk Rock and a Baroque touch. In some places, very few fortunately, the sound is less clean, making some phrasing that would be excellent lose incisiveness. Overall the record is of a high standard, a recommended listen for lovers of Italian Progressive Rock sounds, leaving us wanting to hear the second chapter.


01. Ouverture (Ecco la Primavera) (4:32)
02. Puer Apuliae (4:29)
03. Il Giovan Fedrigo (6:03)
04. Imperatore (7:26)
05. Lujarà (8:09)
06. Scomunica I (3:18)
07. La Crociata degli Scomunicati (4:40)
08. La Riconquista (4:37)


Ashley Symons / Flute, Piccolo
Alessandro Memmi / Guitars, Bouzouki, Backing Vocals
Alessandro Rana / Drums
Francesco Schiavone / Bass Guitar
Andrea Siano / Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Andrea Tarquilio / Vocals

 / Vocals (2)
Shahd Awayed / Oud (5)
Alessio Roma, Michele Antonacci / Choruses

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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