Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Marsupilami followed up their excellent debut with this ambitious concept album about the extremely brutal and sadistic culture of ancient Rome. They had now also got an additional member on flute and saxophone, while keyboardist Leary Hasson (probably vocalist Fred Hasson's brother) had expanded his set of equipment to include Mellotron and el-piano beside the organ and piano, something that made their sound even better. Producer Peter Bardens also contributed with some percussion. The opener "Prelude to the Arena" opens with some vibrating organ sounds that leads right into a surprisingly heavy part with screaming and partly narrative vocals from Hasson, followed by wild drumming and guitar. But it quickly slows down to a melodic and harmonic part before a beautiful theme played on flute appears, and here we also hear the first tones of the holy Mellotron. The song then goes into a fast and catchy vocal part followed by a solo on el-piano and finally ends with the opening riff again. This is classic 70's progressive rock at its best, and the high standard lasts for the rest of the album. "Peace of Rome" is stuffed with themes that varies from mellow and beautiful to faster and more disharmonic stuff. The most complex track is undoubtedly the 13-minute "The Arena". The lyrics on the record are naturally full of gladiators, violence, fights in the arena, martyrs and evil emperors, and the band manages to capture all this drama very well in the music. The 11-minute "Time Shadows" starts with some echoing narration that sounds EXACTLY like what Michael Moorcock would do on Hawkwind's superb "Warrior on the Edge of Time" four years later. After that, the track goes into a jam where new member Mandy Reidelbanch is allowed to stretch out on saxophone. This is very efficiently followed by some themes from "Peace of Rome" and "The Arena". The album closes with "Spring" that is based around a nice melody on flute, but also features lots of chanting vocals and long duels between the two female flutists in the band. Marsupilami would unfortunately broke up after "Arena", but they left behind two obscure classics of 70's progressive rock.

Tracks :

1. Prelude To the Arena (5:23)
2. Peace Of Rome (7:01)
3. The Arena (12:55)
4. Time Shadows (11:16)
5. Spring (9:16)

Link : @

Ripped by : evermoreblues
Artwork Included

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this, didn't know there was a 2nd album. if it's 1/2 as good as the first woo hoo. cheers for the effort, from oz


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