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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft - A SyNphonic Collection CD (album) cover


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siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION is one of those various artists releases that I decided to pick simply because of a couple artists involved despite not knowing many of the others involved in the project. Those artists were Daal and Nexus. Two eclectic symphonic bands that have kept my attention time and time again. As expected the two tracks by them are outstanding and worth the price of admission alone, however what was most unexpected is that I find every track on this sprawling triple disc album to be worth having, albeit some are far superior to others. The majority are really very good and I am quite happy to have purchased this release despite my usual dislike for such projects where more often than not it is only a few select tracks that warrant heightened enthusiasm and mental orgasmic activity.

I was also surprised to learn that this is actually the 19th release of a lofty ongoing collaboration between The Finnish Progressive Music Association and Musea Records. The idea is to pick a concept and ask various bands to write a track within the parameters of its subject matter. Although I have not yet savored the fruits of the other installments in the grandiose project, I have to admit that if they are anywhere close to being as enjoyable as this release then sign me up for MOOORE!!! Despite the unfounded fears that the thematic unification would be a total train wreck of clashing sounds and ideas, the total opposite rings true with THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was, of course, the author who haunted pulp magazines and lived a most eccentric life before he died in poverty due to the fact he never made it big during his lifetime but had great success posthumously. He was obsessed in his stories with forbidden and occult knowledge. The characters in his stories were seekers of dark and esoteric wisdom often meeting their own demise by going just a tad too far in their quest. The music on this release perfectly represents these themes and I am utterly amazed at how well it holds together despite the twenty bands existing in seemingly different corners of the symphonic prog realm.

The album just bursts into your consciousness with the first attention grabbing track by The Samurai Of Prog and continues throughout the entire 02:58:25 duration. This was love at first listen with a few tracks seeming a little lackluster but only in comparison to the better ones. I have never been a huge Glass Hammer fan and I have to admit it's one of my lesser faves here but like I said, there is no bad track here. Only outstanding and very good. Most tracks are instrumental and the few that aren't incite LOVECRAFT's poetry and literary themes. I am happy to say that my favorite band on here Daal is the one who carries the weight of his most popular tale "The Call Of Cthulu" where they deliver their appropriate creepy symphonic take on it. There is no need to go through this track by track and I would bore you to tears if I did. All I can say is that this is one massively brilliant behemoth of well-LOVECRAFT-ed symphonic prog going on here.

Of the bands I know well including The Samari Of Prog, Glass Hammer, Jinetes Negros, Daal, Nexus and Simon Says, I have to say that they deliver their best here and all the other bands I have not yet encountered give me a gleeful introduction to their particular sounds that warrant further exploration. The musicianship on here is outstanding and the tracks really spice it up so as to keep the theme unified over the need for self-expression yet every track is clearly by a different musical entity. GREAT stuff on this one.

In case you're wondering here is the whole list of Colossus Project released so far:

Tuonen Tytar: A Tribute To Finnish Progressive (2000)

Kalevala - Finnish Progressive Rock Epic (2003)

The Spaghetti Epic - Six Modern Prog Bands For Six Seventies Prog Suites (2004)

Odyssey - The Greatest Tale (2005)

The Colossus of Rhodes (2006)

The 7 Samurai - The Ultimate Epic (2006)

The Spaghetti Epic 2 - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (2007)

Treasure Island (2007)

Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer (2008)

The Empire and The Rebellion (2008)

Dante's Divine Comedy Part I - Dante's Inferno (2009)

Dante's Divine Comedy Part II - Purgatorio (2009)

Rökstenen - a Tribute to Swedish Progressive Rock of the 70's (2009)

The Spaghetti Epic 3 - The Great Silence (2009)

Tuonen Tytar-A Tribute To Finnish Progressive Rock Of The Seventies - Volume Two (2009)

Iliad: A Grand Piano Extravaganza (2010)

The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe: A SyNphonic Collection (2010)

Decameron-Ten Days In 100 Novellas - Part I (2011)


Decameron - Ten days in 100 novellas - Part II (2014)

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Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2014 | Review Permalink

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