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REWOTOWER

Profusion

Eclectic Prog


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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/

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Send comments to Thandrus (BETA) | Report this review (#607324)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
nuc
5 stars Listening to this album I found myself surprised in noticing how a unknown italian band, with no huge production support, has been able to produce such a good and talented work. Their first album "One Piece Puzzle", even if rich of good ideas, was a little lenghty and it's evident a no well planned organization. "Rewotower" shows a more mature and fluid sound.

Remarkable is the new singer, Luca Latini, that enriches the songs with his breathy voice and soul vocalizations. Tracks that catch most my attention are "So close but alone" a good mix between tango, jazz and latin music, and the intriguing "Taste of colours 1 and 2" that reveals band's metal-neoprog best adding an interesting jazz harmony and rhythm changes. Other good tracks are the metal-folk "Chuta chani", "Dedalus falling" as a bridge between 70's italian prog and 90's prog-metal, "Tower 1 and 2" appears to be a sorta mini suite rock progressive-fusion."Rewotower" seems not to have many "b side" tracks (even in the most common ballad "Turned to gold" there's a good timing and arrangement).

For sure this is not an album for all. I wouldn't recommend it to any purist, it's not enough metal for metal lovers, it's not enough progressive for 70's prog lovers and so on. Btw in order to encourage this band to follow their path and their own language my rate is 5 stars wishing them next album would be better then this.

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Send comments to nuc (BETA) | Report this review (#628973)
Posted Thursday, February 09, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars After seeing this album reach such accolades, I just had to hear it. ProgRock records have always been a bit of a mixed bag in my eyes and I was simply curious if they'd upped their game with the new revamp to "therecordlabel".

When thinking of the greats of Ecletic Prog such as Crimson and VDGG, I simply have no connection with this sound on Rewotower. I find the music to be lacking memorability or real dimension pushing which has been come to be known from perhaps the most hard hitting corner of prog genres.

I cannot help but have my ears turn to the occasionally poorly intonated guitars, the frustrating accent of the singer, the unimaginative approach to harmony (I refer to the chords, there are actually some nice vocal harmonies). I actually find the music to be bland neo prog.

3 stars.

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Send comments to ProgolateCookie (BETA) | Report this review (#649902)
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to VanVanVan (BETA) | Report this review (#655702)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars When you hear an album for the first time and you have certain that this CD will be a candidate to one of the albums of the year the vibrations are more than good and also if you keep listening every day, becoming almost an addiction, not only is vibration issue is a matter that PROFUSION have created a magnificent and sublime work.

Honestly it was a completely unknown band for me, despite this "RewoTower" is their second LP (the first was called "One Piece Puzzle" and was released six years ago) and as I mentioned above, from the time the I have found it I can't stop to hear his new album everyday. The band moves to be in one's element between the Heavy and Progressive Rock, but also absorbing influences of jazz, Latin rhythms and folk music from the Caucasus. The distinguished melodies are also a hallmark specially by the excellent work performed by keyboardist Gionatan Caradonna.

The first of the songs that will sound for our ears is the overwhelming Ghost House, where the keyboards clearly seventies not only will welcome it with us for almost the whole song. Another thing that will catch your attention is the remarkable melodic vocals by Luca Latini, who from the first word that brings on the CD will leave us ecstatic, full of excitement and supreme listening enjoyment. If to this we add a super drum beats wrought by the hands of Vladimer Sichinava the conclusion is simple ... Habemus Magnum Opus.

The following two songs are united by the same title, Taste Of Colours, since we are talking about two different parts of a whole. The first one begins in a whisper and later on a super progressive keyboard what is worthy of attention and praise. The singer's voice wrapped up in a classic and exultant piano and seconds later one of the best choruses of the entire album. The singer really stands out and reaches quality levels close to perfection. Again, the piano will inform us that we are in the second of the parts and now the light that shines in the darkness is the guitar solo from Thomas Laguzzi and again that magical, fascinating and crystalline chorus.

Treasure Island has all the aura of mystery that the title implies. With pirates and sea sounds in the beginning, the machine gradually begins to make the perfect gear again and vocalist gives us a new face, more aggressive at times, but will catch us again with his mystical and attractive tone in a new and extraordinary chorus. Before the song continue, we'll found an exquisite part where the singer is close to pop (particularly reminds me the band Simple Minds) and later on the song return to the syncopated and progressive intrinsic rhythms.

The time to relax and daydream comes from Close But So Alone that will be the only and delicate sweet ballad that we find on the CD. In the middle of the song will find some Latin rhythms and even jazzy, thanks to the enormous versatility of singer makes the song really becomes exciting.

On the half of the CD comes one of my favorite moments. Tkeshi has only two minutes but the combined nature sounds, acoustic instruments, violins, percussion and a chorus with a ritualistic tone serving as introduction to Chuta Chani (ჭუტა ჭანი) which is the first single from the album and Italian band has recorded a video. The song is the recreation of a lullaby from the folklore of the young Republic of Georgia (former USSR) retaining some phrases in the original Georgian language (language with centuries of existence and validity). Although the Caucasian Folk will reign in the sound will be found the progressive condiments and they will form an excellent result and turn into my favourite song in this "RewoTower". We hear violins, cellos and all members of the band doing a great chorus but no doubts, the better part is the refined and elegant keyboard solo.

The band will continue with two new songs that will share name again. The two parts of The Tower are quite different from each other. The first starts with a delicate piano and, subject to a progressive step, it will become close to Funk. Again the vocals will do the delight of our ears, and especially the guitar-player and the bassist Luca Cambi back to the seventies to rescue all that Funky spirit. The violins this time we will say that the second half has begun and in a magnificent and exuberant way, the drums will accompany making a pompous and theatrical sound. Again the progressive keyboards dominate our senses and with an unsurpassed guitar will be the main actors in this opus that is almost instrumental except for the last sixty seconds.

Turned To Gold is a half-way song, with early ballad, which appear again some funky overtones from the guitar-and post-classical sounds from the piano to die with the sweet voice of lead singer and so to the last and majestic song. Falling Dedalus exceeds eleven minutes and it will find each and every one of the spices and taste throughout the CD.The song tells the fateful life of Daedalus (according to Greek mythology). We see how in the beginning Simon Hosford gives us an excellent solo from their six strings. The song will alternate culmines points and some quieter (rhythmically speaking) and mainly provided by the great vocalist Luca Latini.

Averaging the four minutes, the progressive sound will take over the completely field , first some more rock (reminding a bit Forniera Marconi Premiata one of the pioneers of Italian Progressive Rock) but after all the keys and the guitar will harden slightly by little sound. After about depth seven minutes we'll perceive sixty seconds of silence but the music back again. In the hidden track, with three minutes of life, we find in the beginning sounds infinitely mystical and progressive, almost new age, but the drums entrance the band we will recreate one of the best passages in the entire CD, the chorus of Ghost House. The album ends at the same way it begins like the ouroboros.

I never tire of saying it? I think it's an excellent album, full of virtuosity, imaginative and super quality and should not go long for fans of Rock / Heavy Progressive. Visit the website of the band buy their two albums as well be contributing to that in a while we have another wonder one CD who will be the successor of this magnificent RewoTower.

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Send comments to Man0waR (BETA) | Report this review (#660539)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars I went to know the existence of this band and this album from the "reviews discussions thread" forum on PA. I didn't know anything of the band and the polemic about this album made me curious so without knowing what I had to expect from it, I got in touch with the band which provided me a link to download the album.

The first impression is that this contamination between "Prog" and "Fusion" which gives the name to the band is not to dissimilar from the music of From.Uz. The difference is that Profusion are more song-oriented and melodic. With clean high pitched vocals and heavy guitars they can sometimes remind to some 80s longhair metal bands. (I include Hackett and Howe's GTR project in the list), but also some neo-prog or symphonic influences as it's normal when one is considered "eclectic".

The album is highly enjoyable and contains some very captivating melodies in particular "Chuta Chani" remains fixed in the listener's mind for hours after the listen, also thanks to the excellent production of the whole album.

Let's now go track by track:

"Ghost House" is what makes me think to From.Uz for the instrumental parts. It's a rock song with odd signature. The choirs and the melody have some of the 80s YES, those of Trevor Rabin, specially in the choirs and the rhythm. The vocalist is not as high pitched as Max Bacon, but his voice is not dissimilar.

"Taste Of Colours (Part One)" has a melodic start with piano and choir then it grows rocky but again with odd signatures. Another band which comes to my mind is Phideaux. Specially in the start of "Taste Of Colours (Part Two)". This song features an excellent clean guitar and the only thing that I always dislike is the fading out final.

"Treasure Island" is a temporary excursion in a different realm. The vocals are not always clean and the song is close to the prog metal of bands like Riverside or Pain Of Salvation but with some jazzy taste in the instrumental interlude.

They go melodic again with "So Close But Alone" which has some jazzy passages including a change of tonality after the intro but a mood between neo-prog and newage. Few passages and lyrics and the newage mood is replaced by a bossa-nova part that will work as chorus. Excellent vocals and choir.

"Tkeshi" starts with noises, cello and an acoustic instrument similar to a classical guitar but with a higher pitch. Then percussions and a tribal choir.

Violins and percussion make a crescendo in RPI style which explodes into metal thanks to a distorted guitar. Quicly the metal is transformed back into wood by the classical guitar. It's the best album's track: "Chuta Chani". The alternance of metal guitar with melodic choirs and a very captivating chorus is hypnotic. The chorus is a wire in the brain. Try to forget it if you can. A reference for this song is Tuatha de Danann.

"The Tower Part 1" Starts with metal guitar but after the intro is melodic fusion in Jamiroquai style...well, a bit more prog than Jamiroquai...Part 2 is more in line with the rest of the album. A very good jazz-metal instrumental on which all the instruments do their best. If you like bands like From.Uz this is your pot.

"Turned To Gold" has a pop-Canterbury flavor. Melodic with jazzy passages has a sound too clean to be compared to Caravan or Camel but that's the first thought that this song has given to me. With some relistens I find it close as genre with Colin Bass solo works. Another excellent song.

"Dedalus Falling" has a guitar that reminds to a heavy version of Bryan Josh with hints of Rothery. It's a good closer on the pop side of the album. A song that you can imagine sung by Steve Hogarth. After the first 4 minutes there's an instrumental interlude with a strange signature from which the song that's also the longest track of the album take the sembiances of a suite before returning to the chorus not as hypnotic as "Chuta Chani".

Silence...a ghost track is coming....

Ghost tracks are somehing that I have never understood. The reason of being ghosts I mean.However it's not bad. Slow and melodic it's the real album closer...of course it's nothing but the reprise of the first track: "Ghost House" as ghost track. Nice joke.

It's a very good album and a surprise. Easy enough to be suitable for all the tastes, it's very well played and arranged and has also a very good production.

Calling it "essential" is probably too much, but it is more than good and I don't have problems in raising up the rating to 4 stars.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#688698)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian band PROFUSION can trace their roots back to the start of this millennium, originally using Mardi Gras Experience as their moniker but abandoning that name in favor of Profusion in 2002. Since then two full length productions have been released by the band, of which "RewoTower" from 2012 is their most recent.

Spirited, energetic music is at the core of what Profusion supplies on their sophomore effort "RewoTower", music bordering rather than combining the music of acts like Sylvan and Porcupine Tree, but with brief detours into both folk and fusion tinged waters. Fans of the aforementioned acts as well as progressive metal fans who don't mind the occasional rock flavors in their metal diet should find this disc to be worth checking out. A good quality excursion where the compressed production most likely will be the most contested feature.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#740168)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The music of the Italian band Profusion can be characterized as melodic heavy prog rock with light vocals, featured by frequent use of odd time signatures, mostly 5/4 and 7/4, catchy choruses and a wide range of influences from different musical styles. Rewotower is their second album, being the first release in six years.

The album starts in an up-tempo 7/4 with "Ghost House", a catchy and accessible track that gives a quick impression of what this album is about.

"Taste of Colours" is a track with both light and heavy passages, divided in two parts. The first part has many time signature changes, the second part features a guitar solo backed up by keyboards.

The vocals in the first half of "Treasure Island" may be way over the top and sound almost annoying at first hearing, yet the song is saved from mediocrity by the keyboards and strong composition.

"So Close But Alone" is a mellow, jazzy track with a bit of Brazilian influence and some scatting. I use to be quite indifferent towards this style, but it is well places at this point of the album.

Hereafter follow the twin peaks of the album, the songs I am really enthousiastic about: "Tkeshi/Chuta Chani" and "The Tower". "Tkeshi" starts with what I guess is a traditional Georgian instrument, backed up by strings. The song ends with some sort of tribal chanting. It does not even hit the two-minute mark, but that is just long enough to give us back the right definition of "songs from the wood" after thirty-five years. "Chuta Chani" is a real killer track, based on a Georgian folk song (drummer Vladimer Sichinava is of Georgian origin). It combines progressive metal with folk. Part of the lyrics are sung in Megrelian, a Kartvelian language.

"The Tower" is split in two parts. The first part is dominated by Luca Latini's vocals, starting jazzy and with a memorable chorus. The second part is another great track, featured by Gionatan Caradonna's keyboards. It starts in a symphonic way, but becomes really jazzy after 1.5 minutes.

"Turned to Gold" is another mellow track. The last track, "Daedalus Falling", has an interesting instrumental interlude. It fades away just before 7 minutes. After a silence of about 1:10, there follows an encore with keyboards and a short reprise of "Ghost House".

After listening this album I can say that it is a very good one. Not for just a limited group of listeners; anyone may find something to his liking and give this album a try. The strong compositions and the overall good musicianship make Rewotower deserve a four star rating.

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Send comments to someone_else (BETA) | Report this review (#743779)
Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 6 long years for the band to come with a second offer, but they released it this year named Rewotower. With a slightly diffrent line up and with more bombastic moments this album is again a winner. The melodic side of prog metal is what they offer here, the band relies more on song orientated king of music even has some very intresting and complex chops here. Some again jazzy interludes between the melodic passages gives to this album a real enjoyble feel in the end. Great new vocalist, remind me sometimes of ACT music and Angra fame first era with Matos on bord, very nice and sincere vocal parts, specialy on pieces like Ghost house and Chuta Chani. Bombastic prog metal is what is here, but without sounding to metal, more towards the eclectic side of it, with plenty of memorable passages where the guitar and keybords make the law. Some stellar musicianship on Treasure Island where the prog/fusion metal is at the highest calibre like the bands name Prog meets Fusion is all about here. very nice album, very fat solid sound, and is very nice that they come back with a great second release and not falling in the category of the bands with one album released and then gone into oblivion. 4stars again, one of the top albums from this year and why nor in last years aswell.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#747153)
Posted Tuesday, May 01, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars NOT A PROG-METAL BAND !

With it's complex and unusual integration of a myriad of musical styles, exceptional musicianship and immaculate production, RewoToweR ( a palindrome of Tower ) by Italian band Profusion positively took me unawares. Fresh and exciting from the explosive opener, Ghost House, a straight hard rock composition that could have been penned by the Scorpions to the concluding fusioned out leviathan Dedalus Falling, RewoTower is like being confronted by an overflowing Swedish smorgasbord with latino, Lazish and classical components interacting around a solid metalisque foundation. Each individual composition, none of which runs much more than 5-6 minutes constantly fluctuates within it's own framework and never remains within any specific musical structure, audaciously crossing over into different musical domains without warning.

The two " proggiest " compositions Taste Of Colours and The Tower are presented in two parts with influences from a wide variety of sources hiding within. Let's see....Rothery era Marillion, IQ, Tool, Sieges Even post Gabriel Genesis to name a few but with a flamboyance that is uniquely Profusion's own. There's an unmistakable fusion mentality here that is not unlike the approach taken by groups such as planet X and Liquid Tension Experiment but somewhat watered down. The difference here being the inclusion of the passionate, flowing vocal power of frontman Luca Latini that make the compositions more song-like. If this guy looks like he sounds I can picture him jumping all over the stage like some sort of primordial creature during his vocal deliveries!. Gionatan Caradonna's layered keyboard orchestrations also play a huge part not only on these pieces but throughout the whole work. So nothing sounds like a relentless fusion freakout..The Tower Part II includes an extensive instrumental section that's introduced by a string section where both Caradonna's keyboards and the ( very Holdsworthian ) guitars of Thomas Laguzzi have center stage but are bookended with a vocal refrain which effectively consolidates the piece and doesn't leave the listener with an instrumental freakout hangover. Dedalus Falling is quite similar with some cool Joe Satriani-like guitar shredding from what sounds like a guest guitarist.

There are two ballads featured on this musical frankenstein, Turn To Gold, which sort of goes into AOR territory and So Close But So Alone. The latter showcases vocalist Latini's versatility. Beginning with a forlorn piano melody and Latini singing a an overdubbed harmony with himself it gradually morphs into a mini-latino rave-up replete with scat singing and Spanish guitar but then returning to the sombre opening theme.It is the only track that forgoes the heavier guitar and keys and the moody transformations offer a poignant contrast. A clever piece of music. So Close But So Alone is preceded by the most bizarre track onn the album entitled Treasure Island that employs imagery from the golden era of corsairs and pirates with angry synths and heavy guitar riffing interspersed with Latini's smooth vocals.

The first song I heard from this remarkable band was the catchy ethno drenched Chuta Chani which no doubt reflects drummer Vladmer Sichinava's Georgian heritage. It was actually through the superbly produced video I caught on Youtube that I was introduced to the band which has to be one of the best music vids I have seen in a long time. I'm not too crazy about music vids in the first place but this one was tastefully done with some erotic women. The song itself, I found out after a bit of research, is based on a piece of traditional Georgian music that was also made popular by Georgian pop star Lela Tsurtsumia who did a straight version in it's original Mangrelian language and is nothing like the progmetalled out version we hear on RewoTower that hits the listener like a ton of bricks after a spooky chamber music-like cello & violin intro. It's foreshadowed by a short sureal vignette entitled Tkeshi ( walk in the forest ) that features an age old Georgian 3 stringed instrument called a Panduri that also shows up playing the main Chuta Chani melody which is kind of haunting despite the piece being very rythmical and animated the tight rythms of Sichinava and bassman Luca Cambi being very much in evidence. It's easy to get this one stuck in your head.

Being a vestige of the seventies prog / art rock effusions it is not often that a 21st century band will grab my attention straight away and I usually approach them with extreme predjudice and cynicism. In the case of Profusion's RewoTower ( I had never heard of the album or the band until last week ) I was sold after just one listen. If these guys don't make it I 'll move to another planet. Brilliant execution,superb production and masterful musicianship gets this baby an easy 4½ gold stars. Accolades.

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Send comments to Vibrationbaby (BETA) | Report this review (#750321)
Posted Monday, May 07, 2012 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars I hope this, the second album from Profusion, will bring the band the success it deserves.

The music is a blend of powerful prog, with hints of pop sensabilities, all done with superb musicianship from all in the group. The best comparison I can make is that there is a similarity to my ears with the music of Karmakanik. On a base of classic symphonic prog, Profusion blends in a fair amount of metal riffs, but also adds in the diversity of groups such as Queen and 10CC in their sound.

Precision seems to be a key to their sound. A tight rhythm section of drummer Vladimer Sichinava and bassist Luca Cambi never let up, while guitarist Thomas Laguzzi and keyboardist Gionatan Caradonna creat interesting tones and splendid solos. Vocalist Luca Latini has a very clear tone, reminding me at times of early Steve Walsh of Kansas, but mostly of Kasim Sultan of Utopia.

We are a only third of the way through the year, but there is a strong possibility that this will be near the top of my list for favorites of 2012.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#750987)
Posted Tuesday, May 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This second albun from the Italian band PROFUSION "Rewotower" is very different in relationship to their previous albun "One Piece Puzzle". While in "One Piece..." the sound is more "framed" in the eclectic prog style, this second ( in my point of view ) reveal a more heavy prog approach, although the high instrumental quality are fully preserved. I don't consider this one better than the other ,because I think to "One Piece Puzzle" shows more creativity in the interlacement of the several passages and in this one de sequences of themes inside the tracks are minus subtle. nevertheless I can detach the v track 1 "Ghost House" with a keyboard introduction which open the path for a vigorous and very heavy guitar theme, the track 10 "Turned To Gold" whit a almost bucolic acoustic overture ( a theme which demonstrate the band's skill im mix heavy and soft "soundscapes" ). In spite for my rate be only 3 stars (in really 3,5 stars !!!), I affirm " The disk deserves one place in my collection !!!"

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#751859)
Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Though the Italian progressive rock scene is often associated with the lush, symphonic soundscapes of seminal acts like Premiata Forneria Marconi, Le Orme, or Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, there is actually much more to this vibrant scene than a casual listener may initially notice. Enter Profusion, a progressive rock quintet hailing from Italy that sports a modern, fresh, and eclectic sound. Taking elements of metal, fusion, classic progressive rock, and pop, Profusion thoroughly mixes them all together to form a style that is quite original and unique when compared to a lot of modern prog groups. Their second album, Rewotower, is a real winner across the board, and an easy recommendation to all fans of forward-thinking progressive rock.

Profusion's sound is quite melodic and easily accessible, but also complex and challenging enough to scratch my demanding 'prog itch'. Very much like Spock's Beard, Profusion manages to fuse catchy pop hooks with clever arrangements and brilliant songwriting - although finding this balance between accessibility and complexity without tipping too far in either direction is challenging, Profusion demonstrates that they are capable of doing exactly that on Rewotower. The melodic hooks will grab you right off the bat, and the strong compositions will keep you coming back for many more listens in the future. Rewotower's original approach doesn't go unnoticed by this reviewer either, and the band's firm grasp on tasteful eclecticism is quite impressive. Profusion strikes a nice balance between being eclectic and sounding incoherent, and this balance gives them a unique identity in the modern prog world. The frequent jazz flavorings, Dream Theater-influenced instrumental runs, symphonic arrangements, and pop sensibilities keep things fresh and interesting throughout all of Rewotower's 55 minute duration.

Rewotower is the sort of album that should appeal to any listener across the progressive rock spectrum; the musicianship is phenomenal, the production is flawless, and the mature songwriting instantly reveals that Profusion is a group of gifted composers. I'll definitely recommend this one to fans of Spock's Beard, IQ, Pain of Salvation, Yes, and Echolyn - Profusion is a band too good to miss!

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#754124)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Site and Forum Admin
3 stars I've noticed there tends to be two kinds of Eclectic prog bands. In one category bands incorporate a vast multitude of influences into one distinct sound, such as groups like Van der Graaf Generator or Gentile Giant. The other kind of group are those who take a huge variety of influences and then incorporate them individually in different parts of their music, such as King Crimson, Beardfish, and this young Italian act Profusion. While in reality Profusion has been around for 10 years, their second album "Rewotower" is only their second, which comes after their six-year studio silence from 2006's "One Piece Puzzle." And indeed "Rewotower" contains that multifarious mix of musical influences, ranging from a very Gentle Giant-esque quirk prog sentiment to a near-Dream Theaterian progressive metal quality.

Across the 12 tracks of the album, like I've said, Profusion truly displays the breadth of their musical prowess. There's no secret that the quintet is incredibly skilled at each of their instruments, and none of them are afraid to show it across the album. Each track is a treat of proggy delicacies of guitar and keyboard solo trading, multi-part vocal harmonies, complex times and polyrhythmic drum parts and so much more. Obviously the guys have done their music theory homework, and they quite effortlessly can put all the skill that they have not only on their instruments but also in their pens into effect.

However, I felt like there was a certain aspect of the album that was missing. I considered branding the title of the album "Retrotower," poking fun at its obvious retro-prog (oxymoronic, I know) influences, but I realized that that's not really what it was. These guys have a huge modern prog influence, which also seemed to make them have that vicarious retro feel while at the same time keeping the clean, modern and accessible sound to them. In a way, there was so much Moon Safari and Neal Morse and all that great stuff in there that the music almost started to feel retro in weird, twisted way.

While the music is obviously ripe with the modern stuff, the one thing that really got to me through the entire album, and truly it was the only thing that got to me, was how dry the music seemed to get after 50-something minutes of energetic and complex prog music. While the compositions are fantastic and the musicianship is just supreme, after so many style shifts and influence "shout outs," it all seems to blend into a single blur of prog music.

Overall however, I really only have good things to say about the album. While the guys could work on a bit of a more signature sound, the album is incredibly well produced, put together, composed, played, and just about everything that can be done "well" on an album. The huge variety of styles put into the album added a nice dynamic, and the guys successfully pulled every style off, which, in many cases with other bands who try the same thing, doesn't go very well. In the end "Rewotower" was an enjoyable experience, and Profusion are a group I'd certainly like to visit again. 3+ stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#758798)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rewotower is a great album and a revelation for 2012. The incorporation of so many diverse and disparate musical styles come together quite well at the hands of these seasoned musicians. There's always the chance when you pull from such diverse sources that the compositions can sound disjointed, but here Profusion make it seem easy and fun. Chuta Chani is great. I like such mixes?it's a folk + prog rock mix! Traditional (One of the bandmates is from Georgia, former USSR Republic) music and Prog Rock mixtures are definitely original!

The general upbeat nature of the music makes it a pleasure to come back to over and over again. Great stuff ? fans of proggy styled Art Rock should definitely take note of this band. Hope to see them in some big live situations! On ProgPower! Why not? Profusion are fresh, original and prominent!

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Send comments to mariusduka (BETA) | Report this review (#760924)
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars If you're even merely disappointed by all the recent new releases from some of you favorite acts from the glorious '70s and the more commercially inclined '80s then I'd recommend you to get off your nostalgia train and try out some of the fresh new acts that are starting to make headlines in the prog community. Profusion is certainly one of those bands that any prog fan can and should be excited about since they definitely work their eclectic label for all its worth on their 2012 release Rewotower!

I was pleasantly intrigued with this Italian act's sophomore release after listening to it's opening track Ghost House which pretty much sums up the entire eclectic sound spectrum into it's mere 4 minute running time. If I'd have to make a comparison then it would probably to my all time favorite Eclectic Prog band A.C.T which shares the same borderline metal approach to their music. Profusion is far from a one trick pony since the rest of the album features a very broad spectrum of sounds and experiences that can be attributed to many different musical influences. For example we have a track like The Tower, Part 1 which starts by sounding very much like something that could have been released by Sky Architect but then you have that chorus line that almost sounds like it has been lifted from some famous Rush anthem. I'm not saying the vocalist Luca Latini actually comes any close to the high pitch style of Geddy Lee but the overall melody of the composition during the chorus really rings a bell whenever I hear it.

The album is far from a linear ride and we do get to experience some highs and lows along the way. Treasure Island is certainly my personal least favorite moment since I just don't see the point of this re-imagining of the great Robert Louis Stevenson novel and the lyrics really make it even more cheesy. Luckily, So Close But Alone gets me right back in the pleasant frame of mind with its Latin rhythms and overall exotic sounds. The two minute instrumental interlude Tkeshi is another pretty dull moment for me since the track literally goes nowhere. Some might argue that it's a prelude to the album's first single Chuta Chani, but that track actually has a prelude of its own so that idea just doesn't make much sense to me. Chuta Chani is a surprisingly enjoyable single that only falls slightly due to it being a bit too long for it's own good.

After the two parts of The Tower we get a ballad called Turned To Gold, which reminds me a lot of the Haken ballad Deathless but with a more exotic rhythmic approach to it which makes it a very pleasant experience. Dedalus Falling is where we finally return to the crazy eclectic style that was featured on the album's opening track Ghost House and is another big highlight for me. Those who expect this track to be an eleven minute prog epic will be slightly disappointed since the track actually fades out after the seventh minute only to return back to Ghost House right at the last minute of its running time. What we do in fact get are very memorable seven minutes of great prog music which do manage to tie the bag on Rewotower pretty well.

In conclusion, I've been spinning this album quite a bit over the last week and the experience has so far continued to grow on me. There are still quite a few notes and instrumental passages left for me to discover on Rewotower but I'm certain that I've gotten the basics of the albums which is why this review comes so early into my experience of Profusion and their sophomore release. If there is anything that I've very certain of then it's the fact that Rewotower is an excellent piece of modern progressive rock that shows that the music of the '70s is still very much alive and kicking!

***** star songs: Ghost House (4:13) Dedalus Falling (11:29)

**** star songs: Taste Of Colours, Part 1 (3:48) Taste Of Colours, Part 2 (3:05) So Close But Alone (4:46) Chuta Chani (6:13) The Tower, Part 1 (4:39) The Tower, Part 2 (5:30) Turned To Gold (4:22)

*** star songs: Treasure Island (5:04) Tkeshi (2:00)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#782436)
Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
4 stars ''One Piece Puzzle'' was followed both by huge line-up changes and intense live activity by Profusion.Keyboardist Gionatan Caradonna, drummer Vladimer Sichinava and bassist Luca Cambi were the only stable members and by the turn of the decade guitarist Thomas Laguzzi had already joined the band, followed a couple of years later by singer Luca Latini.The band signed a contract with ProgRock Records and at the dawn of 2012 the second release ''Rewotower'' was reality.

This sophomore Profusion effort is trully excellent and in fact the music in the album is the closest thing I've heard to the artistic Rock/Metal approach of A.C.T. from Sweden.New singer Luca Latini adds a clear and catchy voice next to the frenetic, powerful and energetic musicianship of the instrumentalists, making Profusion one of the most interesting entries in the modern Progressive Rock scene.The tracks of the album are accesible, easy-listening and groovy but at the same time the arrangements are demanding, full of rich sounds and virtuosic passages.Drawing influences from the DREAM THEATER style of Progressive Metal, the technique of Fusion musicians/bands like DERIK SHERINIAN and PLANET X and the lyrical expression of QUEEN, Profusion propose an amalgam full of irritating melodies, intricate solos, superb vocal arrangements and memorable choruses.The great balance between the complicated instrumental interplays and the beautiful vocal sections is a listening to remember and a great guide for all young bands, which want to come up with something both accesible and progressive.

Definitely ''Rewotower'' ranks among the best releases of 2012.An album that respects the feelings of anger and happiness, the words accesible and complex and the styles of Rock and Metal.Stunning stuff, highly recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#784603)
Posted Sunday, July 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars This Italian group originally started life as a trio called Mardi Gras Experience, but they changed to Profusion, a combination of 'Progressive' and 'Fusion', in 2002 and at that time also expanded into a five-piece. This is the follow-up to 'One Piece Puzzle', which was released in 2006, and there have been a few line-up changes since then which may have impacted the time it has taken to deliver the follow-up. I can only hope that it isn't another six years until we hear the next one as this is quite an achievement. 'Rewotower' moves through loads of styles and emotions, combining neo-prog and metal with heavy AOR and art-rock in a way that is instantly accessible and appealing.

This album may short through different styles, but Luca Latini's clear and powerful vocals are always to the fore and this is never short on melody. In fact, there are so many hooks that some will argue (with some justification) that this isn't prog at all, but a melodic metal hybrid. Every person who listens to this will pick up on one influence or another as there is just so much going on; for me it is Porcupine Tree mixing with Dream Theater and possibly Sylvan, but the way that this is melded together is a delight and does it really matter who may have impacted their sound? The short version is this: if you enjoy music that is full of melody, extremely well played by guys who aren't adverse to complexity and note density who like stretching perceived boundaries, then this is something you simply must have. Four solid stars in anyone's book.

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#815727)
Posted Wednesday, September 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I was asked to review this album. It was an impressive experience since I expected a Dream Theater clone but I found a wonderful band with a lot of sources of inspiration. What attract me the must was their use of latin styles such like "salsa" or another more "danceable" bits inside a straight Prog Metal sound. The result is a great travel through strength and inspiration.

I let the music hits me here and there through many many weeks, and now I'm convinced it's a great album, especially for Prog Metal fans, but also for those who think that this particular sub-genre is no original any more. Here's an example of great music recorded by some really wonderful and "unknown" Italian musicians. The balance of energy, melody and freedom is what you find in this particular album and I think most prog fans should give it a try.

Well, I think that after several spins in these past months there's not much else to say about it. I do encourage anyone to try this wonderful band. There's quality and good notion of soul and sense in this prog metal band. But, in the other hand, I think there's nothing else to be a stand-alone album.

It's a strong 4 stars album for sure. Now I will keep on check the track of this particular band. Give it a try, you don't have anything to lose and a lot more to win.

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#851163)
Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#854067)
Posted Friday, November 09, 2012 | Review Permalink
aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Popular eclecticism or eclectic popularity?

This phrase captures in a nutshell Profusion's second release, six years after their very interesting debut. In the meantime they found, or rather further developed, this extra "popular" touch that has made their sound more accessible, maintaining their eclectic nature.

Rewotower is an amalgam of several aspects of progressive rock music, and "popular" eclectic prog, even if it sounds as an oxymoron, can broadly describe their approach. In here you can find progressive metal and heavy prog mixing freely with art rock, neo, latin and modern "happy" eclectic prog. The main references that come to mind, although I have not delved into any of these, are A.C.T., Beardfish and The Tangent.

The first thing that strikes you listening to this album is the dynamic vocals from the opener and the up-tempo positive feeling, boosted by the strong melodies and the heavy-edge riff/ neo prog keyboard combination. This pattern is followed in half of the tracks - Ghost House, Treasure Island, Chuta Chani, Tower (pt. 2) and Dedalus Falling - while the remainder flows in more melodic, slower-tempo rhythms. From the heavier side, sounds from Rush, Tiles and the more recent Haken, without excluding the influence from progressive metal, have impacted on the riffs of Profusion. The two styles interchange constantly providing this nice up-and-down variation.

Influences from Mediterranean, latin (The Mars Volta anyone?) and oriental music make their appearance half-way through the album and form the major part of So Close but Alone, Tkeshi and Chuta Chani (the latter clearly being one of the album's highlights). Great choice to put Dedalus Falling, which is probably the most memorable tune, as a closer to this excellent album, although its 11 minutes are interrupted by a 2-3 minute silent break.

Rewotower is definitely one of the best albums of 2012 and could spin a few times without me noticing, as it is extremely pleasant to listen to. The nice balance of catchy riffs-refrains/short tracks and challenging music is potentially the most valuable asset of this album. Progressive music can certainly become more popular through such releases; which is something that a few might find annoying...

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#904352)
Posted Friday, February 01, 2013 | Review Permalink

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