Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Colossus Of Rhodes CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

Various Genres

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars I just love these Colussus projects (the name of the organization that puts these together). This particular one, The Colossus Of Rhodes, is quite good. On the whole, there are 3 excellent pieces, one very good, and 2 that are a bit below par. I'll start with the two I don't like as much. The worst thing about them is probably the fact that they end each CD, and the final song by Revelation is my least favorite on the album. The Sinkadus piece is not really bad at all, but I think their style does not lend itself well to extended epics. For Revelation, it's more a matter of personal taste. They are much smooth and neo sounding for me, and 29 continuous minutes of that style is just too much.

The finest epic is the first one, by Leviathan, a band I'm not at all familiar with (in fact, the only one I've heard before is Sinkadus). They manage to incorporate all the best aspects of 70's Italian prog rock, while maintaining a fairly original approach. Greenwall and Mad Crayon sound considerably more modern, but still pull off great compositions. This is very engaging music over all. Velvet Desperadoes seem like they may be a young band, as their epic follows a pretty traditional formula for epics. They sound like they are more comfortable in the Deep Purple/Led Zeppelin style of hard rock, but manage to acheive some interesting symphonic moods and structures as well.

Considering all the bands were asked to use only authentic analog equipment (barring the recording and production equipment I assume, since all the compositions have a very modern production and recording to my ears), and were told to make the epics in a 70's prog style, it is very impressive that this set (and all the Colossus releases so far) has such a high quality. Even the concept was given to the bands, meaning it wasn't their own artistic visions that spawned it, which can often lead to disasterous results. Overall though, well worth having if you like 70's style prog (none of the suites is going to win any originality awards, but they are not overly derivative of any particular bands either), but not essetial or a masterpiece.

Report this review (#52040)
Posted Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars These Colossus/Musea projects are UNDER ESTIMATED SO MUCH. Wow...Jeeze, it blows my mind that only 4 (5 with myself included) have so far rated this album.

This 2 CD [i]EPIC[/i] story of the Colossus of Rhodes is a musical journey in through your ears, and out through your soul. Each track is layered with beautiful sounds and textures, that recreate the adventures that take place around [i]The Seventh Progressive Wonder[/i]. This is simply a must have, each band has devoted as much effort into each song as they usually would for an entire album.

There are no weak tracks in my opinion, just changes of style. The main style used here is Italian Symphonic Rock, but it varies a bit. The most beautiful track on the entire album is the first one, Un Pensiero e Sempre Libero by Leviathan. But if you aren't in the mood to listen to beautiful melodies, switch to my favourite ROCKIN' track, Lords And Knights by Velvet Desperados.

This is simply a MUST HAVE, along with most of the other Colossus/Musea productions (Especially; Odyssey, The Greatest Tale, my favourite!)

If you like GOOD PROG, buy this, enjoy this, love this magnificent [b]masterpiece[/b] of Progressive Rock.

Report this review (#173102)
Posted Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is my third encounter with a Colossus release and I'm sorry to say it's not the thrilling experience it was with Odyssey-the Greatest Tale. But my love for epics is so huge that even this one couldn't spoil all the fun for me. I will describe more in detail what I think of each song.

Sinkadus starts with spacy sounds without melody. After 3 minutes vocals set in keeping the mysterious gloomy atmosphere going. It's almost a case of on and on going of dissonants until after 5 minutes a bit of structure and accessibility takes over, guitar joining in. At 6.30 the epic quiets down and a sort of triangle or xylophone does the job until guitar and vocals take over again. Still not a significant melody detectable until the flute is joining the party (8.25) accompanied by light guitar. At 10.30 the keyboards enter at last followed by mellotron. At 12.30 the music sounds like Anglagard which is not strange since both Sinkadus and Anglagard are Swedish. You could almost say: could this be Swedish folk ? The flute contributes again and makes the Anglagard feeling even stronger. Just the vocals are completely different. The epic remains gloomy throughout but pretty varied so not monotonous or boring at all. Interesting track but I still can't go overboard by it (or in other words: objectively I can appreciate it a lot but subjectively, according to my personal taste alas not). And this is due to the lack of great melody which is a significant feature of this epic. I think I will value this with 3,25 stars taking everything into consideration.

Velvet Desperados begins with a friendly piano tune relieved by cello and shortly after that the guitar. Some more instruments play combined until after 2.30 the vocals sing the recognizable theme of the epic. After 5, 6 minutes a nice short instrumental passage follows with dominant organ. After 7 minutes vocals sing the chorus again. At 8,30 guitar for the first time bringing a very fine solo. After 10 minutes the band starts playing an up tempo instrumental passage, really nice variation compared to the first 10 minutes. At 12.20 it all quiets down and the vocals enter again. This part is pretty slow and causes more variation to this liquid epic. After 16 minutes suddenly a new theme is detectable making the whole thing even more interesting. This theme will continue until the end of the epic. The vocals will probably not appeal to everyone. The best I can say about it is that they are recognizable because of uniqueness. I award this 3,75 stars.

Mad Crayon is an Italian symphonic band, not really my fav genre but I will try to be as objective as possible. After a short intro the keyboard plays a part soon followed by the vocals. This sounds nice to me this first part, melodic. After a few minutes a slower part sets in, atmospheric and mellow with very nice keys. After 9 minutes the music gets louder again and is played in higher tempo. Like most of the epics also this one is very varied (nice guitar at 12.30). Second half of the song keeps bringing variation but with a significant vocal contribution. Good vocals by the way, I'm not really fond of the Italian language (no offence) and especially when it's sung in a very loud and dominant way (like in many Italian symfobands) it often annoys me. But that's not the case with Mad Crayon. Last few minutes of this epic are more or less instrumental and finishes in a quiet and pleasant way. 4 stars for this one.

Leviathan plays the first epic and this starts with a nice quiet flute. Leviathan is according to progarchives not an Italian symphonic band but a neo progressive one. And though I believe I can distinct the one subcategory form the other, this time I can't tell why this is neo and not symphonic. They play a pretty long epic here, don't they ? Could be this is their most symphonic effort ever and I have no other material from this band, so I can't judge about them in general. Nothing wrong with this contribution by the way. Instrumental passages and vocals alternate with each other in this track, I prefer the instruments, but then again, I usually do so this doesn't have to be a disqualification of the vocals though I don't think they are great. The keyboards appeal a lot more to me and make up for a large part of the judgement. Although there is structure and melody in this track I don't think it's outstanding but it's not bad either. I think 3,5 stars is the right judgement in this case.

Greenwall. The second epic is the least in my opinion. And that's for 90% caused by the vocals. I'm not sure what Greenwall have in my mind by displaying this vocal contribution to both song and album. I think they destroy a lot of my positive feeling for it and that's a shame I feel. The start of the epic is not really dramatic at first but that changes soon after 40 seconds or so when a sort of Opera like female voice sets in (could also be a keyboard effect), then an oboe and an organ sounding both ok to me but after 5 minutes or so another kind of vocal takes the turn with a nasal sound, really annoying I feel. Could be there are fans of this kind of singing but not me for sure. The second voice accompanies but can't save the job I'm afraid. And you know what it is when you are annoyed, at least in my case that means you can't exactly appreciate the rest of the song like for instance the instrumental aspect. After 10,5 minutes Michela Botti starts to sing in a normal way, it takes away some of the negative feeling but it doesn't get really good all over sudden, just less irritating. And even if there are some good aspects in this track, you can't cut them out of the entire epic and play it anyway. If there is something in it that really disturbs you, you can do only one thing and that is skip the entire song. I'm sorry, I don't want to offend Greenwall but I cannot give anything else but some 1,5 star for this which is obviously very subjective !

Revelation has the honour to round up this piece of progressive art. Another neo progressive band, it surprises me that two neo progressive bands are challenged here to write symphonical epics, usually the territory for symphonic progbands. And Revelation has taken up the challenge in an admirable way I think if you look at the tracktime of almost half an hour. Well done Revelation ! How good is this last epic ? It fits the concept well of the other bands with alternating vocal and instrumental passages. With Revelation's contribution I believe the keyboards really stand out here. Maybe they can evolve in a symphonic band one day, could be great ! 4 stars for the longest track of the album.

So what is the overall result ? This is a tough one. If you look at 5 of the 6 epics it could lead to a rounding up to 4 stars. But there is also the downside of Greenwall to be considered. And in all honesty, if I compare this epical treat with the Odyssey-release in the same year I have to say that that one was a lot better. Ok, I rated that one with 5 stars but I also checked out the Spaghetti no.1 in the meantime and I also think that one is better than Colossus of Rhodes. And I think it's fair to give this one 3 stars (rounded down from 3.33). Still recommended for epic lovers !

Report this review (#189445)
Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Less Italian bands would have been nice

Those Collosus - Musea projects are always something which you can wait with high expectations and almost never be disappointed. Almost never because their early projects lacked something which their present projects have as a rule: diversity. Always it is their goal to put out an album that resembles the masters from the long lost progressive decade, more specifically the Italian giants, and, up until this album in particular, most bands featured in their epic projects were from Italy, what do not mean that the album would be good.

This is the living proof (more like released proof, but anyway) of that. Four out of six bands are Italian, yet this double album have a terrible continuity, because two songs (one in each disc) is terrible or has terrible parts. Those songs are The Secret Passage and A New Dawn, both by Italian bands, being the last one the worst, because The Secret Passage actually have some interesting instrumental parts, wile A New Dawn don't. However, in both cases, neither lead vocalist can sing a single tuned note (in The Secret Passage's case, the female vocalist completely RUIN the song, I mean, she is the main composer, but she should stick with what she does best: playing an instrument and composing).

Fortunately, most of the album is good, being the best song the one that opens the album, entitled Un Pensiero e Sempre Libero, from the band Leviathan. The album also is able to deliver what it was suppose to deliver: music inspired by the Italian giants, but somewhere between more than two and a half hours of progressive rock the magic slowly fades away and The Colossus of Rhodes becomes rather dull and worn-out. Because of that, 3 stars only. Thank God the latter projects are more diverse and interesting.

Report this review (#235119)
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This double cd concept album is based on the movie of the same name that was directed by Sergio Leone.The project was broken down into 12 parts with each of these six band doing two consecutive sections worth about 25 minutes in music time. So six long tracks with a cartoon in the liner notes along with all the lyrics and a photo of each band.There are four bands from Italy in GREENWALL, MAD CRAYON, LEVIATHAN and REVELATION, with VELVET DESPERADOS (Finland) and SINKADUS (Sweden) rounding out the lineup. I'd like to say straight up that SINKADUS is the reason I bought this several years ago. I was very interested in hearing something new from the band besides the two studio albums i've played to death, and I wasn't disappointed as they are by far the highlight of this recording.

LEVIATHAN gets things started and the song opens with the sound of seagulls and water as flute comes in. It kicks in before 2 minutes and vocals follow. Keys and drums standout along with those vocals. A good instrumental section begins before 6 minutes. A change before 17 1/2 minutes as synths pulse and drums beat.It's fuller 20 minutes in and a great sound follows. A good start.

GREENWALL is up next and we get male and female vocals on this one. Piano, strings and aboe help out as well. A pretty good effort but not as good as the opener. Next is SINKADUS and the surprising thing is that it really doesn't sound like them until about 12 minutes in then we get that familiar sounding soundscape that is some powerful [&*!#]. By the way the song opens with atmosphere as the guitar echoes which is very unlike them.The mellotron on this track is very much like them though and we get plenty of that.The vocals return 14 1/2 minutes in and this sounds so good ! Some beautiful guitar follows then it kicks in hard at 17 minutes.

MAD CRAYON does a great job with their track.Some heaviness here at times and I like the organ. Some ripping guitar before 13 minutes as well. The VELVET DESPERADOS' track is my least favourite. Not big on that bluesy section 12 1/2 minutes in.These guys aren't on the site here and neither are the next band REVELATION not to be confused with the band on this site with the same name but from the UK. These Italians do a very good job actually and i'd probably rate this as my second favourite track.They're GENESIS-like overall with some excellent guitar and organ work. Mellotron and flute on this one as well.

Overall nothing more than 3 stars but it sure has it's moments. SINKADUS made me proud.

Report this review (#459248)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permalink


chronological order | showing rating only


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.