Album: The Quest

Genre: Neoclassical Instrumental Progmetal

Release Date: May 12th, 2023

Country: Switzerland

Label: Limb Music


There are some keywords that will quickly spark my interest, and a description like “instrumental neo-classical guitar art” clearly belongs to them. If furthermore the line-up turns out to include some of my favorite musicians, there’s no holding back of course. In this case, we have Swiss guitar wizard Roger Staffelbach (Artension, Artlantica, Angel Of Eden) presenting his first solo album, which is called “The Quest” and was released on May 12th via Limb Music. His partners in crime are none others than drummer John Macaluso (Michael Romeo, Ark, TNT, Y. Malmsteen…), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Artension, Sadus…), and Ariel Perchuk on keyboards (Kenziner, Liliumdust).

Music-wise, they keep exactly to the earlier mentioned description. A short Overture opens "The Quest" for us, before the title track hits in, melodically stirring and virtuously played, yet with a good heaviness. Next up is “Summer Moods”, which has the bright, dreamy feel of a lovely June evening, and comes along with a beautiful lightheartedness. 

The mighty “Road to Sarvar” riff gives me strong Michael Romeo vibes, and together with the marvelous solos became one of my favorites. Other highlights would be “Sea of Mirrors” with its mesmerizing harpischord and bass runs, and the wonderful “Hymn of Peace” - All of them catch me because of the great dynamic in the song-writing and the amazing playing of all four musicians. 

Besides eight original compositions, “The Quest” also offers interpretations of Antonio Vivaldi's "Summer Presto" and the Aria from Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, that sound amazing in this context, but turn a bit into fillers after repeatedly album spins.

With the technically sophisticated yet soulful performances in combination with amazing, vivid compositions, "The Quest" clicks all boxes for me. While this is clearly a guitar focused record, the other instruments support the overall sound in a great way, but also getting their awesome moments into the spot-light. To sum it up, Roger Staffelbach’s first solo album is a wonderful listen if you’re into neoclassical, instrumental prog, and highly recommended to dive in :-)

Written by Katha


Roger Staffelbach – Guitars

Ariel Perchuk – Keyboards

Steve DiGiorgio – Bass

John Macaluso – Drums


1. Overture 2023 

2. The Quest 

3. Summer Moods 

4. Sea of Mirrors 

5. Air on the G String 

6. Road to Sarvar 

7. Summer Presto 

8. Thinking of You 

9. Enemy Within 

10. Hymn of Peace