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Profusion - Rewotower CD (album) cover

REWOTOWER

Profusion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.98 | 174 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was asked to review a promo copy of this album, and boy oh boy am I glad I was. Profusion plays an incredibly dynamic kind of progressive rock (per their eclectic categorization, I suppose), blending elements of metal, art rock and more than a few influences from the bombastic symph-prog of the 70s. It all adds up to an incredibly satisfying album, and certainly one that deserves a listen.

"Ghost House" kicks off the album with a catchy keyboard part that repeats a few times before a heavy guitar part kicks in. The combination of the two laid over one another creates a very intense, anxious atmosphere, and when the vocals come in they play off of this perfectly. Immediately coming in at full force, the vocal line has a great melody and near perfect delivery. The result is that the song comes off as equal parts metal and crossover art- pop, which is a surprisingly effective combination. "Ghost House" is a killer opener that sets the tone for the rest of the album very well.

The two part "Taste of Colors" comes next. Part one begins with some gorgeous vocal harmonies laid over a piano line a combination which is soon joined by a little synth melody. This leads into the introduction of another heavy guitar part, over which the synth takes a great, albeit short, solo. After this the piano returns to its place as the primary instrument in the track, and along with bass and percussion, sets up a rather dark, jazzy ambience over which some restrained but effective vocals re-enter. About this time the guitar part returns as well and the vocals kick into overdrive, belting through a very melodic (but still heavy) chorus. The track slows down a bit as part two begins, stripping down the instrumentation as well for another piano solo section. Bass and some very minimal guitar soon join in as well, setting up a spare background for some of the most intense vocals on the album, which are probably made even more effective by how much room they have to shine. As the vocal line hits its apex the guitars come crashing back in earnest, launching into a great, emotive solo before the concluding vocal section of the track.

"Treasure Island," rather unsurprisingly, has a bit of a pirate theme to it. Starting with some nautically flavored soundclips, there's a brief instrumental introduction that reminds me a bit of Dream Theater before some gravelly vocals enter with the traditional "fifteen men on a dead man's chest/yo-ho and a bottle of rum" pirate slogan that's appeared in much of the pirate themed media of the present day. There are some added lines that sound like they could be continuations of the rhyme as well, all delivered with the same pirate-like intonation. To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of this section; it seems a bit out of place and even perhaps a bit silly. However, the chorus returns to a more conventional delivery, and with a great melody, a lot of great harmonies and a fantastic assisting guitar and synth part, it's actually one of my favorite parts on the album. So overall "Treasure Island" is a bit of a mixed bag for me, but luckily the pirate-voice parts are used pretty sparingly, so I would say the song ends up being more good than not.

"So Close But Alone" again makes use of solo piano for its opening strains, and even after vocals enter it continues to have a dark, jazzy sort of atmosphere, a mood which is further enhanced by the rather bleak lyrics. After this opening section, however, the track contains a ton of variety, from an almost flamenco sounding guitar part to even a brief scatting section. A great, dynamic track with a lot of sounds that one doesn't typically hear in progressive rock.

"Tkeshi" serves as an interlude of sorts, with guitarts, strings, and field recordings of nature sounds creating a quite peaceful ambience and even developing into something resembling tribal music, with wordless chanting and some unconventional percussion sounds.

This is followed up by "Chuta Chani," and I'll give you fair warning: if you're anything like me this song will get stuck in your head. Starting with a great duet between low strings and violin, there's an almost middle-eastern folky theme developed. Pounding metal guitars are added at this point, and the folk/metal hybrid is a bit reminiscent of a less frenetic Fair to Midland. Over this is added an incredibly catchy vocal part, and several stellar solos from various instruments make appearances as well. While perhaps not as overtly proggy as "Taste of Colors," this is nonetheless a spectacular song and one that would get all kinds of radio play if there were any justice in the world.

Another two part epic comes up next. "The Tower (Part One)" begins with a rather ELP- esque piano part that serves as a little intro for the crunching guitar riffs that quickly enter. However, these quickly fade out as well to give way to an idiosyncratic guitar and vocal part that feels a lot more psychedelic that a lot of what has appeared on the album up until this point. However, the track quickly ramps up in heaviness again, and guitar, keyboards, and vocals blend together to create a grand, dramatic miasma of sound. I can hear similarities to Dream Theater again, but they're fairly subtle and it never sounds like plagiarism. Part two of the track begins on a cinematic note, with driving percussion and strings setting up a great introduction. After a while those same crunching guitar chords begin to creep into the track, but just when you think you know where the music is going there's a break in the sound and the track bursts into a grand, bombastic synth solo that transitions into a huge instrumental section, with multiple solos from both guitar and keyboards. This takes up most of the bulk of this second part of "The Tower," but the track does close by reprising its main vocal melody. Overall, "The Tower" is a sophisticated, mature sounding epic that nods to its influences without ever ripping them off.

"Turned To Gold" moves things back to softer territory, beginning with a very pretty piano and acoustic guitar duet. When the vocals come in, they're airy and carefree, and overall the track just feels incredibly spacious and open. The track really highlights how equally comfortable Profusion is with knotty, bombastic epics and softer, more melodic songs, and I think that variety is one of the things that makes this album so good. The vocals also really stand out here, with a ton of gorgeous harmonies and (unsurprisingly) amazing melodic lines.

The album comes to an end with "Dedalus Falling." Beginning with some ominous synth ambience, an epic guitar line quickly kicks in and it becomes clear that Rewotower is going to end with a bang. With guitar/vocal interplay that's almost reminiscent of power metal, "Dedalus Falling" is a superb closer that highlights everything that makes Profusion a great band: virtuosic playing, perfect compositional balance between melody and technicality, and awesome pacing. The song proper ends after about 7 minutes, there's a minute of silence, and then there's a nice little hidden track/postlude that features some very nice keyboard textures and an interesting reprise of the melody from "Ghost House," which gives the album a nice sense of closure.

Overall, this is an incredibly solid album. With the exception of some slight missteps on "Treasure Island," there isn't a bad moment here, and there are a whole lot of good ones. While it does, in my opinion, fall just a bit short of masterpiece status, this is still a great album from a band that ought to be watched very carefully. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more from these guys. Highly, highly recommended.

4.5/5, rounded down.

VanVanVan | 4/5 |

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