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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - (The) 7 Samurai  CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.05 | 42 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I never saw the Akira Kurosawa classic movie Seven Samurai, back from 1954, but i still enjoyed VERY much the music presented here in this amazing concept album!

This great Various Artists concept album, conceived by The Finnish Progressive Music Association, known also as Colossus, and released by the French Musea Records, after the acclaimed Odyssey - The Greatest Tale (another masterpiece that was the result of this Colossus - Musea partnership), is a unique work of art that manages to bring back a lot of the 70's magic and feeling to nowadays, through the usage of vintage equipment or 70's sounding equipment and the emulation of the 70's symphonic prog composition.

In fact, one of the main ideas of the project is to reproduce the 70's Italian prog, what is only completely achieved by one of the two Italian bands, that actually lived the 70's Italian prog scene: the Consorzio Acqua Potabile, that used a lots of acoustic instruments, such as violins and flutes, that, besides not being exclusive of the Italian scene, where much more present on the said scene than in others, such as the English, French or German, for example, alongside with vintage equipment. That, however, does not takes any merit from the other bands, that were able to deliver terrific songs without fully connecting with the 70's Italian scene thing. Besides, theses pieces of music does not appear to be simple emulation of the 70's sound: they are really songs made today inspired by the 70's progressive rock but they sound unique in their own way, according to the band musical orientation and style, since two of the three bands are actually from the 70's (Consorzio and Tempano).

The story behind the album (the movie Seven Samurai) is quite interesting: Everything takes place in a countryside farmer's village that a group of 40 robbers want to plunder the harvest, in the 16th century Japan, during the Tokugawa Era, when the country endured a long a bloody civil war and the countryside was overrun by groups of bandits and robbers. To try stop the bandits from plundering their harvest, the villagers menage to hire seven samurai to defend their village. The samurai teach the farmers to fight, help them fortify the village entrances and fight alongside with the villagers to push back the bandits. With the help of the samurai, the villagers drive the robbers back, at the cost of the lives of four samurai and some villagers.

This album right here was actually my first experience with the great Colossus - Musea projects and i was not disappointed. Although it needed a lot of time to listen it as many times as necessary to digest it nicely, from day 1 i knew that i had something different from the rest on my hands; something that made me come back from time to time to this album, until i saw the light and was finally able to enjoy this very well.

Another interesting feature is that all the bands that participated on this album have already appeared on some Colossus - Musea project. Both Consorzio Acqua Potabile and Tempano appeared on Odyssey - The Greatest Tale and Taproban was on the first Spaghetti Epic.

About the songs, musicianship and other features there are some thing i would like to state:

CAP - Alla Corte Degli Eroi: the Consorzio here don't let us down, with a colorful and very competent presented to us, making a terrific epic opening track. Their brand usage of acoustic instruments gives this piece of music the most accurate approach (in my view) intended by the Colossus - Musea guys, bringing back most of that 70's Italian prog feeling.

TEMPANO - The Farmers: this track is, for me, the best in this album with a great ending (one of the most important parts of the song or album / book / whatever, since a bad ending could ruin everything or even save the crop!). Tempano here clearly outshines their comrades from Italy, presenting the most impressive piece of progressive rock music in this album. Here, the story is more guided by the music than by the lyrics, unlike CAP , being clearly distinguishable the parts of the movie when the samurai arrive at the village, train the villagers, etc, and that is because the music as a whole is very well developed during the song by the band, making the song great from start to finish. Another interesting feature of this song here is that it is the most experimental of the three, having some kind of jam in the middle of the song, like the jam in the middle of King Crimson's song Moonchild.

TAPOBRAN - The Bandits: this band right here appear to be another ELP - like band, and is quite like that: a drum / bass / keyboards power trio. However, they still manage to make great music (except the vocals, which are very sub-par when compared to the rest of their work in this album). The part of this song that really caught my attention was the second half of the song, specially when the Hammond Organ start to go crazy and when the clarinet and the soprano sax plays all the way until the end of the song, which is absolutely fantastic, reminding the ending of a movie itself.

Grade and final Thoughts:

Having this album a great concept, absolutely masterful music and terrific musicians, resulting in a marvelous album altogether, i think that it deserves th grade that all strive for: the masterpiece grade.

CCVP | 5/5 |


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