As the title implies, "Lady Roma" is meant as a tribute
to the Eternal City of Rome (Sardella's home town),
represented on the cover as a beautiful woman.
The main sources of inspiration here seem to be bands
like Genesis, Camel and Marillion.
The album's title-track, a mini-suite in four movements,
is introduced by a passage recited by the soothingly
deep voice of Daniele Si Nasce (known in Italy for his
activity as a one-man tribute to Roman-born singer-songwriter
and showman Renato Zero).
The lyrics, written in the Roman vernacular, are a nostalgic
paean to 'vanished Rome'; the combination of
Mastantuono's lilting mandolin and Sardella's tinkling piano
lends an endearingly folksy quality to the tune.
The rest of the suite is more along vintage symphonic
prog lines, with clean-sounding guitar and broad keyboard
sweeps in classic Genesis mould, and excellent vocals
by Milton Damia.
The vocalist shows more of his considerable range and
expertise in the atmospheric, sax-infused, blues-tinged
ballad "Vento dell'Est".
The somewhat darker, spacey instrumental "Roma dei Misteri"
opens with faint mandolin strains, then turns into a pulsing
synth riff lifted out of Rush's "Subdivisions"; while the
short "Imperium", featuring Marillion's IAN MOSLEY on drums,
is a heavier, synth- and guitar-driven piece with a solemn
On the other hand, the neo-prog influence is quite evident
in the romantic, keyboard-led mid-tempos
"Testimone la Luna" and "Questo Folle Girotondo".
As a whole, "Lady Roma" is a classy package, further
enhanced by Milton Damia's stunning vocal performance.