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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Colossus Of Rhodes CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.58 | 48 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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 !

progrules | 3/5 |


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