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Profusion - Phersu CD (album) cover

PHERSU

Profusion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.85 | 42 ratings

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someone_else
4 stars Three years and a half after the excellent RewoToweR, Profusion returns with a new album, Phersu. A phersu is a male figure, depicted in painted Etruscan tombs that appears at first sometime during the 6th century BC. The phersu wears a long beard, a conical cap, a short tunic and a mask. The word means "mask" or "actor", became "persona" in Latin and went viral in many European languages. He plays a role in funerary games.

Like on RewoToweR, the music is an eclectic blend of styles on a foundation of melodic progressive metal with complex rhythm patterns and catchy melodies. The line-up of the band has not changed, which is a good thing. These musicians have a high level of instrumental skill and the clear and rather high-pitched vocals of Luca Latini are always a pleasure to listen to. The album kicks in nicely with "Snooze", a powerful song with a catchy chorus. "Freefall" starts in a similar way but moves into more complex territories. It has some lines from a verse by Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze. Metaphor or meteor?

"Forgetful Hero" starts with gentle piano and a short powerful part before the vocals enter with a very folky melody. Hereafter it becomes heavier with alternating 5/8 and 6/8 time signatures.

In "Wrinkled Maiden" the first guest musician enters: Anita Rachvelishvili, a distinguished Georgian mezzo-soprano who has performed in many venues all over the globe, slipped out of the opera house to take a short break from the plight of the Bizets and Borodins of that world and handle the vocals in this short song. "Wrinkled Maiden" is recorded to support AIMA, an Italian organization which supports Alzheimer's Disease patients and their families.

"Nomen" is the killer track of this album. This song represents the essence of Profusion in six minutes - a superb showcase of eclecticism. Here we have two more guests: Mamuka Ghaghanidze from the Georgian fusion band The Shin on percussion and vocals and the Polish accordion virtuoso Jakub Mietła. This song is somewhat reminiscent of "Tkeshi/Chuta Chani": the first half is a strong piece of Kartvelo-prog. Halfway the song the vocal part is taken over by Luca Latini and there are some lighter and jazzier passages alternated with pounding metal riffs. The accordion adds a strong folky character to this song.

"Infinity" is one of the resting points on this album. This song is featured by the sound of a harp, though I think it's not a harp, but probably keys. And why not? If in one of the YouTube vids that accompanied this release, at some point the vocals of La Rachvelishvili have a striking resemblance to the sound of a theremin, this should be easily possible.

"Masquerade", "Veteran" and "Vanity Fair" are three songs with a length between four and five minutes and catchy melodies that tend to get stuck in your head. Yet they have alternating rhythm patterns. The album ends gently with with "Forbidden" in which the vocals are only accompanied by a piano.

Phersu may have flown somewhat under the radar so far, but it deserves more attention. It may not have the sparkling and instantly conquering charm of RewoToweR, but it sounds more mature and it is definitely a worthy successor. Not to be left for excavation by later generations.

someone_else | 4/5 |

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