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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite CD (album) cover

VALENTYNE SUITE

Colosseum

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.20 | 249 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Valentyne Suite" is Colosseum's second album, which in some ways shows an improvement on their impressive debut. Basically, Colosseum remains as what it is, a blues-rock band with a notable penchant for jazz oriented jamming and an occasional taste for proto-prog twists: the band's most sophisticated facet is brilliantly developed in the namesake tour-de-force, a three part namesake suite that occupied the whole B- side of the vinyl edition. 'Valentyne Suite' is a real magical mystery tour on a blues/jazz bus through psychedelic fields and early progressive valleys, full of top notch musicianship, electrifying energy, varied musical motifs, red hot jamming. never chaotic, since all five musicians manage to create solid interplays all along the way. The artistic relevance of this piece for the germination of prog rock can easily be accurately regarded as equal to that of the Nice's 'Ars Longa, Vita Brevis', Pink Floyd's 'Interstellar Overdrive', and King Crimson's '21st Century Schizoid Man'. However, as much as the suite is the absolute highlight to this album, we must not overlook the remaining repertoire. Since Colosseum is mostly and mainly a blues-rock act, it is no wonder that the first three tracks are well rooted in this musical soil: the jazz stuff is most of the time provided by Hiseman's intensive drumming and Heckstall-Smith's explosive soloing, but it's fair to say that the quintet works properly as an ensemble. Track 4 pretty much anticipates the genius soon to be expanded in the aforementioned suite: 'The Machine Demands Another Sacrifice' kicks off as an energetic R'n'B-based piece before the coda shifts into a 7/8 tempo, built upon wild overdubbed percussions and stormy Hammond layers. The abrupt ending is quite effective, but I wish the closing jam had been a bit longer. Overall conclusion: an excellent opus that deserves a place in any good prog rock collection, and any good rock collection in general.

(I respectfully dedicate this review to the memory of Dick Heckstall-Smith)

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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