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Profusion - Rewotower CD (album) cover

REWOTOWER

Profusion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 186 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Thandrus
5 stars The Review is based on a promo copy.

The beginning of 2012 sees Profusion release their sophomore creation. Band was formed in 2002 and presented debut album "One Piece Puzzle" in 2006. It means band had 6 years to write and record "RewoToweR", and we can see the time has been used very efficiently, and dare I say, wisely.

The album offers us energetic music, having heavy Neo Prog / Prog Metal base and enriched with Profusion (pun intended) of various very different styles and influences. Besides rich and melodic prog, listener can find Georgian Folk, Jazz, orchestrations, Latin rhythms, and even some Soul influences (brought about by the new vocalist) throughout album. All this said, album sounds absolutely cohesive and organic; it seems that Sichinava and friends have put thought in composition and arrangements throughout more than half a decade.

The new vocalist, Luca Latini, has apparently done band good as his vocals have very wide emotional range of expression; he can sound very ethnic with his eastern-like vocal manipulations, or make his vocals soar in the best traditions of Neo Prog and at the moments even go full-on Prog Metal.

Nevertheless, the first thing that listener is likely to notice while listening is much improved sound ? gone are production drawbacks that plagued "One Piece Puzzle", that took away quite a bit of energy from that otherwise very good album. Here, there's not a trace of prior shallowness, everything being dense, tight and to the point.

And now about songs themselves. They are not really much lengthy, only 2 of them being over 6 minutes, but it's absolutely no problem here, because every song is tightly packed with many changes and ideas. Let us take a closer look at them.

Album starts with an energetic opener, "Ghost House". The song is relatively straightforward but contains many classy, crunchy riffs and enough variation to keep listener entertained for 4 minutes and a half. One can be reminded of Arena's latest album.

Then comes "Taste Of Colours", the song in two parts; which I'd call album's first highlight. The first part starts with poignant vocal melody line with piano accompaniment. Half a minute after, other instruments kick in, topped by great keyboard solo. When vocals enter again, a little miracle happens: Latini goes through myriad of different styles and approaches, starting with oriental, mellow soulful style and then getting deeper, more powerful and inspired? Such a pleasure just to listen how he sings!

As if this wasn't enough, the second part is even better ? this time there is more steady Neo Prog (think IQ) style, but here powerful vocals are followed by killer guitar solo by Thomas Laguzzi, which I can hardly resist. Song rounds off with the refrain from the first part.

"Treasure Island" is the moment where album most closely approaches Prog Metal. Some heavy riffs here, which make good contrast with melodic chorus. Drummer Vladimer Sichinava sings the "pirate" part here.

"So Close But Alone" is much softer song and can be called a ballad. Still it has a lot of variety and complexity, notably the rhythm and sudden Latin refrain. I think this kind of music falls in Latini's most comfortable zone, and he delivers some superb vocal improvisations. A short acoustic guitar solo is also of note. Everything's very original and beautifully arranged.

The next two pieces are my personal favourites - the reason is simple but very precious. These are reinterpretations of Georgian folk themes. Georgian folk has always had its progressive potential, alas, too infrequently researched and used. "Tkeshi" (meaning "In the forest" in Georgian), starts with field recording and then simple but very mystic chords played on Panduri (Georgian 3-stringed instrument) by Sichinava. After this, strings enter and announce Modified "Khorumi" rhythm. "Khorumi" is one of Georgian national dances. To get an idea of classic Khorumi rhythm, just re-listen the bridge section of Camel's "SuperTwister"; tempo there is basically just that. "Tkeshi" serves as a short intro to "Chuta Chani". "Chuta Chani" is originally Georgian folk song sung in Megrelian (a beautiful language spoken in Samegrelo, region in the western part of Georgia). Here it is given Prog Metal treatment, with ingenious arrangement, starting with string intro. Folk instrument with timbre as humble as Panduri has managed blend easily and beautifully with monstrous riffs. Verses are sung in English, but original Megrelian lyrics are kept in places, which adds the special colour to it all. Song closes with another folk theme. I've seen couple of efforts to use this melody as a solo, but this keyboard treatment is the best I've heard so far. It's really wonderful!

Album turns to its usual fare with "The Tower", which like "Taste Of Colours" is split in two parts. The first part is well arranged, the beautiful chorus being the best aspect of it. The second part is albums another highlight (Yes I know there are so many), being mostly instrumental (apart from vocals in the ending) one can see full progressive spectrum here in its free flight. Majestic string intro is followed by synthesizer solo that seriously reminds me Tony Banks' best moments (namely, intro to Firth of Fifth), then there are some technical jazz-influenced prog-metal runs (bass-man Luca Cambi really shines here) and the song logically ends with inspired vocal section? Time To Fly!

"Turned To Gold", while in the shadow of the previous masterpiece, is a good song nevertheless, and it features short but very beautiful piano parts by Gionatan Caradonna, which for a moment, bares all this Rock Progressivo Italiano majesty despite band's "English" orientation.

Album closes off with "Dedalus Falling", the longest song here, clocking up to 7 minutes after good first part, which featured tight playing with great vocals and chords progressions, the second part starts an avalanche, duel between guitar and keyboard solos. Warning, can blow your mind! Simon Hosford of Virgil Donati's On The Virg and Tommy Emmanuel Band fame makes a special guest appearance here on guitar. Then it goes back to main vocal theme, which fades off.

After minutes of silence, there's a hidden track, which has a haunting ambient nuance at the beginning, and then reverts back to the opening theme of "Ghost House", formally closing the song cycle.

Now we can proceed to final rating: which in this case is not that easy. We can safely say that we have an excellent album devoid of fillers (Thanks to careful nurturing of ideas, strict selection and quality control) and many highlights (both parts of "Taste Of Colours", "Chuta Chani", the second part of the "The Tower", "Dedalus Falling") The question remains whether it can have universal acclaim or will it stand the test of time as well. But considering the freshness of their sound brought about by various eclectic influences and many memorable melodies, I feel I may upgrade it from B+ to A- status, conserving the right of future revising, if needed.

But one thing is clear, the album is pleasure to listen throughout and it has enough potential to make it to the quite a few personal Top 20 lists of 2012's Prog releases!

Album's due out on 7th of February. Additional information can be viewed on following links:

www.profusion.it

www.facebook.com/ProfusionRock

And album be pre-ordered here:

http://www.therecordlabel.net/progressive-rock/profusion/rewotower/

Thandrus | 5/5 |

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