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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Inferno - The Divine Comedy, Part 1 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.20 | 94 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This monster of an album has taken quite a while to absorb, and even now I'm not sure I could recall the sound of each track. Once again, however, Colossus has managed to put out a fine concept album, this time reverting to the Kalevala format (more or less) using 34 different bands who each composed and recorded a piece of roughly 7 minutes duration, spread across 4 CD's. The concept is a great one for prog rock, being Dante's Inferno, the first part of his Divine Comedy (and the other two parts will also be given this same treatment, with part 2 already released as I write this). As on previous albums, the actual song lengths vary, from around 5 minutes to around 10 minutes in length in the case of this one. This has the largest booklet yet, with lots of detail about the project concept and bands recording details with full lyrics (for the songs that have them).

Much like Kalevala, there are some great pieces on here, and there are some not so great pieces on here. The first CD has several good one, with Nuova Era returning to the prog scene with a fine ELP-like trio format piece that kicks off the album in style. Yesterdays impresses with fine symphonic playing, while Little Tragedies brings us back to ELP territory with an impressive instrumental display that features very heavy guitar as well. The quality continues on the first CD, with only the Nemo piece seeming a bit disappointing to me (though I generally love the band).

The second CD retains fairly high quality, with Bright Eye Brison and Il Castello di Allante having the best compositions on the disc. Though Matthijs Herder and Willowglass present some beautiful early Genesis style symphonic instrumentals as well.

The third CD sees the quality start to dip a bit, with looser performances from a couple bands. Notabene's piece, while fairly enjoyable, doesn't come close to their studio output and seems mostly improvised, while the final two pieces are sparse and not that interesting (the final being just solo piano). Though I do enjoy Sinkadus' contribution, even more so CAP and Entrance.

The forth CD is much like the third, leaving a bit to be desired in a few pieces, like Tempano's largely improvised piece and Armalite's uninteresting contribution. However, Raimondo Rodulfo contributes an exciting RPI number, Nathan Mahl a lovely instrumental piece, and Simon Says concludes the set with a fine symphonic number in their usual style, that concludes with a lovely vocal melody accompanied with simple acoustic guitar.

On the whole, a difficult album to listen to all in one go, something which I have not managed to do (I simply don't have the time!). All in all though, I would say this is far more consistent than Kalevala was, and the sound production is of a much higher standard overall than that album. If you can afford it, and like the other Colossus releases, this is well worth picking up. I give it a 3.5 star rating overall, because it's a good addition to any prog rock collection and a good way to hear a variety of bands for not a lot of money relatively speaking. I'll round up to 4 stars for the archives.

infandous | 4/5 |


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