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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.85 | 50 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars The Colossus Projects began their ambitious projects in 2001 to promote the outstanding accomplishments of Finnish progressive rock (which there have been many) and then the whole thing kinda took on a life of its own as the collaboration with Musea Records created a synergistic effect that guaranteed an exposure to a worldwide network of tuned in prog aficionados salivating for something both creative, traditional and, of course, entertaining! After a diverse eclectic palette paving the way for even more sophisticated projects, in 2011 Musea Records released "Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part I" which isn't remotely Finnish but rather a collection of Italian tales excavated from the 14th century. The word DECAMERON is a neologism of the Greek words deca (ten) and mera (days) and THE DECAMERON which is subtitled Prince Galehaut is a collection of novellas written by the author Giovanni Baccaccio (1313-1375) and is structured as a frame story that contains 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men who were sheltered in a secluded villa outside of Firenze (Florence), Italy in order to escape the black death plague that was rampant at the time. Well, three years after the first installment of this series came DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART II which continued the themes in musical form with some artists making a reprise and yet others entering the Musea equation for the very first time. Two years later, the label once again released a third installment in the series and in 2016 the various artist release DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART III was born.

Once again PART III is a monster of a release with 4 CDs stuffed full of lengthy symphonic leaning progressive rock tracks in thematic unison. Once again as well the packaging is exquisitely beautiful with period artwork gracing the cover and discs alike accompanied by a generous booklet with liner notes continuing the artistic flair as well as band photos and lyrics to those tracks that have them. While the Musea Colossus Projects tend to have the same artists on every most of their releases, PART III contains many new cast members but a few such as Nexus, Jinetes Negros and Rebel Wheel are back for another round. While these compilations are fairly global in nature, this one seems to have an extraordinarily heavy emphasis on Italian bands (12), USAmerican (7) with Argentina coming in at a distant third with only (3). While the music on these behemoths are always thematically connected, on PART III there is also a lot of continuity musically speaking which is one of the reasons i'm finding it less compelling than the other two installments of the DECAMERON series and unfortunately one of my least favorites of the entire Colossus Project that i've encountered.

Right from the first track, PART III sounds very different than its counterparts. It begins with an almost showtune sort of track titled "HeeBeeGeeBee" by UK artist Robert Webb. For the first listen, i had to actually check my CD to make sure that someone didn't slip a Broadway musical release into the jewel case by mistake. Nope, this was the right one alright. It just so happens that the entire 4.5 hours of playing time consists of such gleeful merry musical meanderings that could easily fit in the world of theatric drama and such. What's also noticeably different about PART III is that there seems to be a deliberate attempt to simplify the progressive elements with a lot more crossover potential than previously heard. There are more direct and bombastic ear wormy hooks reminiscent of classic Supertramp keyboard runs as well as more simplified guitar parts that often result in simply staccato chords. Garage prog anyone? Yeah, the material is considerably weaker on this one and i have to admit that not one single track jumps out and blows me away as these compilations usually do. I've been wondering if perhaps the different lineup of artists may be to blame but even the artist i'm familiar with don't crank out their usual quality material bursting with passionate delivery.

This one was fairly disappointing i have to say with the first two discs leaving me fairly cold. It does pick up a bit on Disc 3. The Rebel Wheel kick off with a strong track followed by some creativity of Taproban, S.A.L.U.E.N.A and Blank Manuscript which offer some of my favorite tracks of the comp but there are also silly tracks by Castle Canyon and Ozone Player that trade off spoken narrative with operatic vocals. There also seems to be a general lack of vivaciousness most of the tracks are fairly prog-by-the-numbers with lots of nods to 70s Pink Floyd not to mention that the vocals are mostly flat and unsuitable for the music. Not all is a waste of time. There are plenty of moments on this one that are indeed satisfying but nothing that exceeds the satisfaction of the first two DECAMERON editions. The whole affair seems rather sleepy and lazy and only fueling on half octane potential. Several listens later and not only has this not grown on me but actually has become quite irritating for the most part. It's not that the good parts are bad, it's just that most of the album cruises along on automatic pilot and nothing really jumps out and surprises. This may be an omen that the DECAMERON idea has been milked of all its possibilities and time to move on to other ideas. Three editions with bloated quadruple discs is quite the momental task. They succeeded quite well on the first two but the staleness has set in, at least for me. Worth the listen but probably not one i will revisit until several years pass by and i forgot what it sounds like.

In case you're wondering here is the whole list of Colossus Projects released so far:

Tuonen Tytar: A Tribute To Finnish Progressive (2000)

Kalevala - Finnish Progressive Rock Epic (2003)

The Spaghetti Epic - Six Modern Prog Bands For Six Seventies Prog Suites (2004)

Odyssey - The Greatest Tale (2005)

The Colossus of Rhodes (2006)

The 7 Samurai - The Ultimate Epic (2006)

The Spaghetti Epic 2 - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (2007)

Treasure Island (2007)

Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer (2008)

The Empire and The Rebellion (2008)

Dante's Divine Comedy Part I - Dante's Inferno (2009)

Dante's Divine Comedy Part II ? Purgatorio (2009)

Rökstenen - a Tribute to Swedish Progressive Rock of the 70's (2009)

The Spaghetti Epic 3 - The Great Silence (2009)

Tuonen Tytar-A Tribute To Finnish Progressive Rock Of The Seventies - Volume Two (2009)

Iliad: A Grand Piano Extravaganza (2010)

The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe: A SyNphonic Collection (2010)

Decameron - Ten days in 100 novellas - Part I (2011)

The Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft: A SyNphonic Collection (2012)

Decameron - Ten Days In 100 Novellas - Part II (2014)


siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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