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Profusion - Rewotower CD (album) cover

REWOTOWER

Profusion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 167 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Profusion create an album with a myriad of diverse styles mixed into a bubbling cauldron of prog metal meets jazz fusion, Latino acoustics and beyond.

Profusion are an Italian quintet that refuse to remain in a box but explore other musical territory blowing the doors off boundaries that are usually inherent with prog metal. They are not afraid to explore new ideas, and seem to be focussed on blending genres, rather than to stay with the familiar. The album "RewoToweR" is a concept album that relies heavily on personal interpretation but overall is an allegory to climbing to greater heights in life. Within the spectrum of conceptual ideas are some poignant lyrics concentric on the steps that guide the listener into a tower and then the ascent becomes a descent as the album becomes full circle. As the album progresses there is a plan revealed that guides you to the top. The musical scape changes with each step and is bookended in the same way the title can be read backwards or forwards. There are some deep conceptual ideas enmeshed in the album, and the music is like a maze or a puzzle that has a plethora of solutions; similar to a fractal mirror.

'Ghost House' is the first step to the tower, and within are ensnared intricate metal rhythms, and outstanding vocals that are very melodic. The melody in fact is bookended at the end of thhe album so this is like a never ending cycle, perhaps akin to walking on Escher's illusionary never ending spiral staircase that can either go up or down. Interwoven in the mix are Thomas Laguzzi's spiralling twin guitar harmonics, cymbal splashes and then a blistering riff crashes in. Luca Latini's vocals remind me of Klaus from Scorpions at times, very high and full of descant. There are polyrhythmic notes, similar to Soft Machine. Gionatan Caradonna's staccato jabs of keyboards build an intensity, and especially Luca Cambi's pulsing basslines and Vladimer Sichinava's drumming metrical patterns that form anti-rhythmical shapes.

'Taste Of Colours - Part 1' is a genuine oddity that could be described as Jazz Metal. Latini's jazz singing is excellent, and the song is eclipsed by challenging rhythms. It segues to 'Taste Of Colours - Part 2' seamlessly, with a distorted guitar crunch. The song is augmented by some incredible singing, such as Latini holding a note "within my eyes" for a sustained time. The lead break soars beautifully over the layers of distortion, and it is balanced by keyboard ambiance; one of the best lead breaks on the album.

As we climb the tower the music becomes increasingly more bizarre, and 'Treasure Island' is out of the box. It begins with atmospheric waves crashing, creaking oars, wailing sailors, and whimsical pirate vocals. Layered over this is a synth and guitar melody with off kilter tempo changes. The pirate singing may be a bit over the top but this is a one off and gets its point across. The rasping "come with me yaha follow me" is pirate parody and the chorus saves it from complete farce, with a sing along melody. The music is all over the place and even sits on some trippy techno. The whispered "yoho and a bottle of rum" is clichéd, but this is prog at its boldest. The pirate sea voyage could be an allegory for searching for meaning in the sea of turmoil.

'So Close But Alone'is a sweet heartfelt ballad, with scintillating piano, gentle vocals from the soul, and a steady measured tempo. It builds with a jazz fusion feel, then gets into an extreme Bossa Nova and jazz scatting style. This is really a surprise after al the prog metal previous, but it verges into some cool soulful scat and jazz fusion piano and percussion meters. Finally it settles into a Spanish tango with acoustic vibrations. There is some beautiful playing here, and the mixture of genres is one of the most endearing things about the album as it encompasses so many emotions and moods. This even has a lounge music feel at the end, with a very relaxed jazz exploration, and scat ad libbing.

'Tkeshi' opens with crickets chirping and owls hooting in the stillness of a nocturnal forest. There are footsteps trudging and some crackling fire is heard, followed by acoustic guitar. This is very moody and feels as odd as some of the stripped back music of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Some African tribal chants begin, the primitive stick clashing is part of the primal mood, and the violins come in with a serrated and dissonant edge. A metal guitar repeats the fractured melody and then vocals emulate the melody. We are into the next track here.

'Chuta Chani' has a terrific metal riff that locks in, the singing is clear again and there is some dynamic organ later augmented by a synth solo, striking after the primal atmospheres previous. Caradonna is a revelation on keyboards, his work is exceptional here, and it has a grinding distorted guitar riffing beneath keeping things heavy. This is one of the proggiest tracks with all of the tight virtuoso playing and lengthy instrumental breaks. This is the Jordan Rudess moment, and then it moves back to the melody and singing. Once again an oddity on the album but one of the best tracks for all the reasons stated.

'The Tower - Part 1' begins with Dream Theater/Threshold riffs maintaining the complex time sig. The singing is easy on the ears coloured by shades of layered harmonies with the most infectious melody. The off kilter time sig is ambitious, and the music is dynamic, with both part 1 and 2 being a suite of songs that run together as a concept, presented in huge blasts of metal juxtaposed with ambient swathes of symphonic keyboards. There is certainly a heavy texture with chugging distorted guitars but the everpresent keyboards underneath are reminiscent of Riverside's style, along with the pristine vocals.

'The Tower - Part 2' has the same melody as previous part but is augmented by violins and a heavier percussion. The music gallops along and features another incredible extended keyboard solo. The lead guitar takes over with some fret melting arpeggios and high sustained string bends. Caradonna's keys trade places again and pulls off some awesome speed fingering, then more lead guitar finesse from Laguzzi; an excellent trade off between instruments in this section similar to Rudess and Petrucci of Dream Theater. When the vocals return with the measured melody of part one, it brings us back to the "dreams" motif and after we hear the final lyric "time to fly" it is evident this has been an incredible journey; a masterful track.

'Turned to Gold' begins with acoustics that gently play and the jazzier vocal style dominates. I like Latini when he is in this jazz mood and it works as such a diversion keeping this interesting. The experimentation of mixing genres is one of the most compelling things I have heard in a long time. When a band can produce songs on an album that do not all sound the same with the same rhythms and styles it can be a strangely absorbing experience. It really keeps the listener on their toes, and on the third listen of the album I found myself preparing for the odd jazz diversions and differing styles; such a pleasurable listening journey, differentiating the album from the plethora of prog metal albums being churned out that all sound the same. I think the album will delight listeners for these reasons but also is adventurous in that it may throw some of the more intense metalheads for a curveball.

'Dedalus Falling' is the final step up to the top and returns to metal elegance, the metronomic riff that opened the album returns. The lead guitar howls in ecstasy and some dazzling fret work follows. The gentle vocals enter, still with a lounge jazz feel. The chorus is infectious and memorable with some great lyrics bout "the tower leading to the sky". An instrumental break allows for more synth and fierce axe work from Laguzzi. This track fades out but has a ghost track that fades up after a cold silence, as if we are now on our way beack down the spiral staircase. The same melody as opened continues the cycle bringing this full circle, like moving around a tower in a lost state spiraling round and round, never ending.

Profusion have created some extraordinary songs on "RewoToweR", that has a myriad of diverse styles mixed into a bubbling cauldron of prog metal meets jazz fusion, Latino acoustics and beyond. I was not prepared for such a mixture of styles so it took me by surprise. Too often albums form a particular genre sit safely on one idea, especially metal where every song cranks out a blistering lead break or a power chord structure staying on one repetitive riff. Profusion have contrarily opted to explore a range of styles to bring across the concept of climbing up tower steps. It works because they never overdo any particular style but give each track just the right amount of musical flair. There is metal here as one would expect but it is not overpowering; there is a fair amount of beauty too with some relaxing passages of ambiance, and there is also some explosive lead guitar soloing and keyboard dexterity. The album encompasses all that I love about prog, and it is a perfect example of how to do it the right way without being overly excessive on any one idea; a marriage of melodic metal guitar riffing and symphonic keyboard washes wrapped in the gantry of an extraordinary conceptual framework.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |

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