[Review] The Samurai Of Prog – The Man In The Iron Mask (feat. Oliviero Lacagnina)

The Samurai Of Prog is a project that I have been following and appreciating since its first record releases. Over the years, they have confirmed themselves as one of the best in modern Progressive Rock thanks to fine albums. The new album “The Man In The Iron Mask (feat. Oliviero Lacagnina)” was released on June 16, 2023 via Seacrest Oy. A 17-track concept that develops the story of an unknown person imprisoned and forced to live with an iron mask on his face. Oliviero Lacagnina, a member of the historic Italian band Latte e Miele, crafted the lyrics refined for the English language by Steve. The music is permeated with references to classical composers of the 1600-1700s, the period in which the story is set. As always when I receive a parcel in the mail from the band with a new release in it, I am certain that I have a top-notch record in my hand, and this time too, expectations have been fulfilled. Both the band and the guests on the album gave a technical and very intense performance, developing ideas of absolute value. Right from the first notes of the overture, the listener is captivated by the atmospheres in pure prog style to which the band has accustomed us over the years. The technique of all the artists involved is enhanced at every step, between melodies, tempo changes and usual inserts composed and performed at the highest level. The album contains all the features that a lover of the genre looks for when buying a record, starting with the graphics and the detailed internal booklet by ed Unitsky, a long-standing collaborator of the band. A journey into Prog that reaches its peak with the passing of the minutes and the flow of the tracklist, enriched by lyrics that tell us well the various phases of the story, interpreted with dynamic and very expressive vocals. A mixture of Progressive Rock traits imbued with references to classical music and fine violin inserts skilfully played by Steve Unruh. The keyboard and guitar textures intertwine to perfection with the violin inserting itself and taking the sound to another level. The rhythm section is developed with solid, elaborate drumming and deep, load-bearing bass lines, enhanced by continuous tempo changes in pure Prog style. As I often conclude reviews of this collective of artists, the album is in my opinion a masterpiece of modern Prog music. A band that always manages to bring the classic atmospheres of the genre into a modern context with markedly personal traits. Another added value that this album and their discography has is the ability to tell compelling stories through perfectly shaped music, adding quality to the narrative. Lovers of Progressive music can find in this album everything that made them fall in love with this genre, a band that is deservedly one of the leading ones in the modern music scene.


01. The Iron Mask Ouverture (3:23)
02. Celebration for the Birth of the King (2:13)
03. Berceuse to the King (3:25)
04. The Secret Twin (4:07)
05. The Temple of the Rosicrucians (4:05)
06. The Conspiracy of the Rosicrucians (3:53)
07. Palais Royal (3:23)
08. Richelieu’s Testament (4:29)
09. Dance at the Court (4:04)
10. A Ghost from the Past (2:34)
11. Mazzarino’s Plan (4:12)
12. The Fortress (4:15)
13. I Am No More (2:42)
14. The Ambush and the Clash (4:34)
15. Father and Daughter (2:15)
16. The New King (3:21)
17. Epilogue (2:39)


Marco Bernard (The Guildmaster) / Bass
Kimmo Pörsti (Mist Season, The Guildmaster) / Drums & Percussion
Steve Unruh (Resistor, UPF) / Vocals, Violin, Flute
Oliviero Lacagnina (Latte e Miele) / Composer, Keyboards

Marek Arnold (Seven Steps To The Green Door, Cyril, Toxic Smile, UPF)
 / Sax
Thomas Berglund, Juhani Nisula (Time Traveller), Marcel Singor (Kayak), Federico Tetti / Guitars
Rafael Pacha (The Guildmaster) / Classical and Electric Guitars, Recorders, Viola da Gamba
Lauren Trew / Vocals

The Samurai Of Prog |Facebook Page|Spotify|

Seacrest Oy |Official Website|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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