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Various Artists (Tributes) - The River of Constant Change; A Tribute to Genesis CD (album) cover

THE RIVER OF CONSTANT CHANGE; A TRIBUTE TO GENESIS

Various Artists (Tributes)

 

Various Genres

3.85 | 17 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars As I said on another review, Tribute albums are usually the excuse for semi retired musicians to gain a couple of bucks when their composer days have passed, but there are some that are worth buying because the song list is interesting and the artist not only copies the song but adds something of their own talent to the already good track.

The River of Constant Change is an outstanding Tribute album to Genesis, because it was an ambitious project of 27 songs from the band's different eras, that go from the debut album to the three men formation, and most important, it's recorded by 27 almost unknown bands (Except Moongarden, Galahad, Finisterre and the well known German tribute band Seconds Out), most of them from Italy, a country that received Genesis when the rest of the world didn't wanted to know about them, since then there's always been very strong relation with Genesis and Peter Gabriel.

If you want to listen guys trying to sound like Peter or almost cloning the excellent tracks, avoid it, most of the bands in this album add something of their own personality creating refreshing versions of the old classics.

Of course there are some songs that are practically identical, but even here the personality of the bands is so different to Genesis that doesn't sound as a lame copy.

Being that this album has been recorded by different bands re creating different eras from Genesis, there's no way to find a prevalent atmosphere, so even if it's not the best choice I must review the album almost song by song, choosing the ones that have impressed me more in a positive or negative way.

Dusk, interpreted by the Italian band Algebra starts with an opening that reminds me of Assassin by Marillion, but soon turns into a softer and slower version of Dusk, with a correct vocal interpretation, probably the most notorious difference is that they replace Peter's flute for Saxophone and violin, that adds a jazzy atmosphere in the instrumental part.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners is one of my favorite Genesis tracks and this version is very respectful of the original, even the voice of Decode's vocalist sounds very similar to Peter's, this is one of the few songs that could be considered a clone of the original except because it's recorded at lower speed and the choices of the keyboardist are slightly different.

Living Forever is a song with which I was not familiar with, and after listening the excellent and 100% progressive version by Moongarden wondered why it wasn't included in an early album, but then checking it in the net found it was a song from We Can't Dance!!!! Why couldn't Genesis sound like this instead of poppy and boring. An excellent version of a bad song with incredible keyboards and dramatic changes.

Art & Illusion plays an excellent and innovative version of Lilywhite Lilith, more oriented towards heavy rock, with a good guitar work and a psychedelic atmosphere provided by the keyboards, very good version.

Ravine is performed by the Italian band T.M.A. who totally change the song creating their own and absolutely different atmosphere, hard to recognize but a real tribute to this song from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, by moments spacey and in others jazzy, excellent version.

The Knife was chosen by Germinale, excellent instrumentation and arrangements but the vocals and the changed lyrics really kill the song, one guy starts calling Suzy Creamcheese in reference to Frank Zappa, then I don't know why in hell they mention Roger Waters, really terrible and out of place.

This first Cd ends with a very imaginative and extremely beautiful version of The Lamia by The Ancient Veil, good closer for the first CD because of a very imaginative arrangement.

The second CD starts with Horizons by Max Michieletto from the Italian band Asgard, with a simpler but efficient version of Horizons, not as bright as Hackett's, but good enough, this song is followed by a very original and hard rock oriented version of Looking for Someone by Romano Grazziani and a weak cover of The Light Dies Down on Broadway by the Spanish band Dracma.

The instrumental version of Entangled by Submarine Silence from Italy is another extremely beautiful song, mostly because of the addition of violin that gives a more nostalgic sound, because of the lack of vocals may sound too long, but I really liked it.

There's not much to talk about the German band Seconds Out and their version of Watcher of the Skies because they are a tribute band, so the version is almost identical to the original, maybe gains some interest being recorded live. This song is followed by the Italian duet Mysia and their original version of Hairless Heart, one of the highest points of the album.

Evolution is the British one man band of Ken Senior who sings and plays all the instruments in the incredible White Mountain, very respectful to the original but I find it too slow, good but not as the one from Trespass.

The Canadian guys from Irrgarten perform a very decent cover of In the Rapids, strange selection specially without the complement of Riding the Scree, not of my favorite tracks.

The British keyboardist Paul Ward does an excellent cover of Wot Gorilla? As solid as the original with the addition of some extracts from Eleventh Earl of Mar, incredible version, with out doubts one of the highest points in the album.

Afterglow is performed by the Swedish band Unicorn who give us another beautiful cover, the vocals by Dan Swano are much better than the ones by Phil Collins and the arrangement is clearly more atmospheric than the original, with an excellent piano by Peter Edwinzon.

The second CD is closed by the British band Galahad, probably the better known from all the ones who participate in this ambitious project, and they don't fail, their version of The Chamber of 32 Doors is outstanding, not as dramatic as the one by Peter Gabriel but Stuart Nicholson's peculiar vocal range is very adequate, a good closer even when very similar to the original.

There are songs that I omitted to review like Dancing with the Moonlit Knight because nobody except Peter Gabriel should ever try to sing it and No Son of Mine because I believe nobody should ever play this terrible track.

How to rate this album is a real problem because we're talking about 27 different bands with different sounds and of course different quality of performances, but over all I believe it's an excellent tribute album.

Now the question comes, Is it essential? At least for any Genesis fan it is and could be a new perspective for those progheads that don't consider Genesis as their favorite band, so I'll rate it with 4 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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