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VARIOUS GENRES

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Various Genres definition

Albums or CD's where more than one artist is featured either as a SAMPLER or a TRIBUTE to a particular band. Examples: - Peter and The Wolf - Prog Fairytale - 1975 / The Reading Room - 2000 / Leonardo - The Absolute Man - 2001 / Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever - 2003 / Un Voyage En Progressif Volume 1 to 8 / Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic.

Various Genres Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Various Genres | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.21 | 178 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.25 | 87 ratings
ODYSSEY - THE GREATEST TALE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.33 | 49 ratings
LA BIBLIA
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.22 | 82 ratings
INFERNO THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.15 | 77 ratings
DECAMERON: TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART 1)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.21 | 48 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 3
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.20 | 48 ratings
REWIRING GENESIS: A TRIBUTE TO THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.12 | 63 ratings
THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.29 | 28 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 1 - 13)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.78 | 11 ratings
LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.05 | 83 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUND TRACK ALBUM)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.10 | 49 ratings
PURGATORIO THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 2
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.27 | 22 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 14 - 26)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.05 | 49 ratings
DECAMERON. TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART II
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.04 | 43 ratings
(THE) 7 SAMURAI
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.07 | 28 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 27 - 39)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.07 | 27 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 40 - 52)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.14 | 20 ratings
RETURN TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON - A TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.95 | 35 ratings
GIALLO! ONE SUITE FOR THE MURDERER
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 27 ratings
MARSCAPE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

Latest Various Genres Music Reviews


 Duende Electrico by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Duende Electrico
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars In fact this comprehensive 2-CD (including an informative 16-page booklet) is a captivating journey to the often overlooked but very interesting world of Spanish progressive rock, with the focus on Rock Andaluz, the unique blend of progressive rock and ethnic Andalusian flamenco. The variety is incredible, from Sixties rock inspired Smash and legendary flamenco-symphonic rock band Triana to Nuevo Flamenco bands like Ketama and Manteca. But also a few highly adventurous musical projects, like Lole Y Manuel, so creative and emotional Rock Andaluz!

CD1:

1. El garrotin / Smash : Late Sixties UK rock meets Spanish flamenco featuring powerful Spanish vocals, flamenco rhythm guitar and raw, distorted electric guitar.

2. La flamenca electrica / Iceberg : Outstanding swinging jazzrock with lush vintage keyboards (clavinet, Moog, Fender piano, string synthesizer) and awesome interplay, top notch Rock Andaluz.

3. Quiero contarte / Triana : A mid-tempo with flamenco rhythm guitar, wonderful flamenco inspired vocals and moving electric guitar, blended with delicate Fender electric piano.

4. Castrelos / Secta Sonica : Impressive swinging jazzrock with electric piano and conga percussion.

5. San Jose' de Arimatea / Veneno : Three flamenco guitars sounding as a fusion between jazz and flamenco, topped with excellent vocals.

6. Tarantos / Iman : Awesome blend of a flamenco rhythm and jazzrock with lush vintage keyboards, flamenco rhythm guitar and Santana-like sensitive guitar, one of the highlights on this compilation!

7. Tarantos (para Jimi Hendrix) / Gualberto : An exciting musical encounter between classical (beautiful violin play), rock (raw and fiery electric guitar) and flamenco (rhythm and palmas).

8. Al Andalus / Miguel Rios : A compelling example how Arabian music influenced flamenco featuring Morish sounding violins, propulsive ethnic percussion and expressive vocals (the climate reminds me of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin).

9. Baila gitana / Guadalquivir : Swinging jazzrock with a flamenco atmosphere and soli on saxophone and electric guitar.

10. Todo es de color / Lole y Manuel : One of the Rock Andaluz gems on this compilation with wonderful passionate female vocals and flamenco guitar (by Manuel Molina from legendary Smash), topped with majestic Mellotron drops, goose bumps!

11. Aqu' y ahora / Goma : A dynamic rhythm-section with fiery electric guitar and saxophone, the King Crimson avant-garde hints are obvious.

12. Aires de la Alameda / Alameda : A great example of the unique Rock Andaluz with flamenco guitar, sparkling piano, soaring strings and wonderful, a bit melancholical vocals, for me the Spanish answer to Italian progrock legend Francesco Di Giacomo.

13. Hablo de una tierra / Granada con Manolo Sanlucar : The first part delivers majestic Mellotron violins, first blended with flute and then with flamenco guitar, flamenco meets The Moody Blues and Camel! The final part sounds like a tribute to Paco De Lucia, the guitar work is in the vein of his worldwide known composition Entre Dos Aguas, very exciting Rock Andaluz!

Disc 2:

1. Paseando por la mezquita / Medina Azahara : A live version from the 'Rock Andaluz anthem' featuring a propulsive rock guitar riff, a tight beat and cheerful synthesizer flights, topped by strong, flamenco inspired vocals and varied guitar play (from moving to metal), wow!

2. Rock del cayetano / Pata Negra : Two acoustic guitarists who blend flamenco and rock, topped with strong vocals, what an exciting blend of skills and emotion.

3. Tu mirada / Cai : A swinging rhythm with beautiful vocals, sparkling synthesizer runs and a sensitive electric guitar solo.

4. Sole' del tio raimundo / Arrajatabla : Nuevo Flamenco with the Rock Andaluz guitar veterans Raimundo Amador and Luis Cobo Manglis delivering a pleasant blend of rock and flamenco, topped with emotional flamenco inspired vocals.

5. 'Ay, morena! / La Barbera del Sur : Nuevo Flamenco with a modern sounding blend of flamenco and rock, the colouring is very tasteful featuring violin, percussion and saxophone.

6. Me estoy quitando / Tabletom : Eighties Spanish prog band returns to the scene in the Nineties with a swinging blend of jazz, rock and funk, expressive vocals and powerful saxophone.

7. La pipa de Kif / Ketama : Nuevo Flamenco with a fresh blend of flamenco, rock, funk and fusion, topped with strong vocals and an exciting break with propulsive Afro-Caribbean percussion.

8. Quitate la bata / Kiko Veneno : A slow rhythm with a tight beat, supported by powerful vocals and rock guitar (including subtle fiery runs).

9. Ay que gustito pa mis orejas / Raimundo Amador : Another presence of this prolific and creative veteran, now with a surprising reggae climate and lots of brass.

10. Tarifa / Manteca : Nuevo Flamenco with a swinging rhythm and varied instrumentation (piano, saxophone, trumpet) and strong vocals.

11. Echale, echale /Martires del Compas : Another swinging rhythm on this compilation, with a strong flamenco atmophere featuring sparkling flamenco guitar, along cajon and palmas, the percussion is exciting.

12. Despertar (rondea) / Diego de Moron : The longest track on this compilation (almost 8 minutes), we can enjoy an unique blend of flamenco guitar and the sound of vintage keyboards, especially the string synthesizer, what a captivating musical encounter between flamenco and symphonic rock!

Highly recommended to those who want to explore the captivating world of the Spanish prog and Rock Andaluz. Another good 2-CD compilation is Hijos Del Agobio Y Del Dolor (including a docu DVD).

 Dubber Side Of The Moon by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Dubber Side Of The Moon
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

— First review of this album —
3 stars "Space reggae version of Dark Side Of The Moon"

As a huge fan of Seventies Pink Floyd I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon this extraordinary reggae version of the most legendary progressive rock album, Dark Side Of The Moon. The musicians are the ''house band' of the Easy Star Records label. After the original 2003 release entitled Dub Side Of The Moon this band was frequently asked to perform the album on stage. Eventually this led to a Dub Side Of The Moon worldtour, meanwhile the sales went over 300.000 copies. Due the this success, the live experiences of the musicians and the evolution of the songs during the years, the label decided to re-release the album in 2010, now named Dubber Side Of The Moon.

It looks like a weird idea to do a reggae version of a progressive rock album, but DSOTM is not the usual prog virtuosity and complexity like Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson and ELP. In fact Pink Floyd is on DSOTM more close to blues than classical music, with their melodic, accessible and atmospheric prog. And these elements are starting points for the Easy Star All Stars band on Dubber Of The Moon. Mostly without the legendary guitar - and keyboard sound of Gilmour and Wright, but with pleasant catchy rhythms, the distinctive reggae vocals and the inventive use of modern electronics and exotic percussion. DSOTM is 'a wet dream for hifi snobs', well, Dubber Of The Moon is also an exciting experience on that point. Sometimes I had to think of Ozric Tentacles.

My highlights.

Speak To Me/Breathe : captivating blend of Seventies Pink Floyd and modern electronics.

The Great Gig In The Sky : deep echo and excellent vocals by Kirsty Rock.

Money: great groovy bass and echo vocals.

And Any Colour You Like : sensational use of synthesizers and electronics.

Pretty disappointing is the rendition of On The Run, too much relaxed reaggae, too far away from original ominous atmoshpere, created by the VCS 3 synthesizer sound.

The four bonus tracks are nice, no more or less.

Step It Pon The Rastaman Scene: lots of reggae and electronics, along clarinet by Katie Gabriel

Money : fat bass and echo vocals.

Time: nice instrumental version.

On The Run : fat synthesizer runs and surprising work on the Fender Rhodes electric piano.

If you are a PF fan and up to a very special musical adventure, this is an album to discover. And in fact this music is more progressive than tons of prog albums from the last 3 decades.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Bohemian Symphony by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Bohemian Symphony
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

— First review of this album —
3 stars Queen was a highly acclaimed band in Japan, with even The Beatles-like scenes on airports and around hotels. So it ain't no surprise that after Freddy Mercury his tragical death (on November 24th, 1991) the two known Japanese progrock musicians Terutsugu Hirayama (Novela, Scheherazade, Teru's Symphonia) and Toshio Egawa (Earthshaker, Novela, Gerard, Scheherazade) founded a band in order to pay tribute to the legendary Queen singer. They named the band the Bohemian Symphony Project and the album Bohemian Symphony.

As a huge fan of the Japanese progrock since the early Nineties and a huge fan of Queen since the early Seventies I had expected an album that was loaded with sumptuous music. Simply because many known Japanese progrock bands (like Gerard, Vienna, Social Tension, Deja Vu, Novela and Ars Nova) deliver bombastic progrock and Queen is (in)famous for its bombastic and theatrical outbursts in many compositions. But no, in contrary, most of the renditions of the Queens songs on Bohemian Symphony contain a subdued classical sound, I could hardly recognize songs like Radio Gaga, Bicycle Race and We AreThe Champions (it lacks power). In general the songs on this CD sound very beautiful and pure but I miss the fiery Brian May guitar work and the expressive, often theatrical Freddie Mercury vocals.

The best tracks are the more powerful or expressive renditions like Love Of My Life (wonderful, very moving electric guitar play), You Take My Breath Away (lush strings and piano work) and You're My Best Friend (great interplay between classical guitar and violins).

My highlights are Somebody To Love (the violin replaces the vocals very impressive and we can enjoy a strong guitar solo), the legendary Bohemian Rhapsody (great classical orchestrations) and Save Me (exciting bombastic atmosphere).

So on one hand I am a bit disappointed because in many songs I miss the typcial Queen elements. On the other hand, Japanese progrock feature many bands with classical undertones (Mugen, Outer Limits, Bellaphon, Ieraishan, Fromage, Midas), because many Japanese progrock musicians are classically trained. From that point of view this is a wonderful and honest tribute to Freddy Mercury.

My rating: 3,5 star

 Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 48 ratings

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Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The Colossus Projects began their ambitious projects in 2001 to promote the outstanding accomplishments of Finnish progressive rock (which there have been many) and then the whole thing kinda took on a life of its own as the collaboration with Musea Records created a synergistic effect that guaranteed an exposure to a worldwide network of tuned in prog aficionados salivating for something both creative, traditional and, of course, entertaining! After a diverse eclectic palette paving the way for even more sophisticated projects, in 2011 Musea Records released "Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part I" which isn't remotely Finnish but rather a collection of Italian tales excavated from the 14th century. The word DECAMERON is a neologism of the Greek words deca (ten) and mera (days) and THE DECAMERON which is subtitled Prince Galehaut is a collection of novellas written by the author Giovanni Baccaccio (1313-1375) and is structured as a frame story that contains 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men who were sheltered in a secluded villa outside of Firenze (Florence), Italy in order to escape the black death plague that was rampant at the time. Well, three years after the first installment of this series came DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART II which continued the themes in musical form with some artists making a reprise and yet others entering the Musea equation for the very first time. Two years later, the label once again released a third installment in the series and in 2016 the various artist release DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART III was born.

Once again PART III is a monster of a release with 4 CDs stuffed full of lengthy symphonic leaning progressive rock tracks in thematic unison. Once again as well the packaging is exquisitely beautiful with period artwork gracing the cover and discs alike accompanied by a generous booklet with liner notes continuing the artistic flair as well as band photos and lyrics to those tracks that have them. While the Musea Colossus Projects tend to have the same artists on every most of their releases, PART III contains many new cast members but a few such as Nexus, Jinetes Negros and Rebel Wheel are back for another round. While these compilations are fairly global in nature, this one seems to have an extraordinarily heavy emphasis on Italian bands (12), USAmerican (7) with Argentina coming in at a distant third with only (3). While the music on these behemoths are always thematically connected, on PART III there is also a lot of continuity musically speaking which is one of the reasons i'm finding it less compelling than the other two installments of the DECAMERON series and unfortunately one of my least favorites of the entire Colossus Project that i've encountered.

Right from the first track, PART III sounds very different than its counterparts. It begins with an almost showtune sort of track titled "HeeBeeGeeBee" by UK artist Robert Webb. For the first listen, i had to actually check my CD to make sure that someone didn't slip a Broadway musical release into the jewel case by mistake. Nope, this was the right one alright. It just so happens that the entire 4.5 hours of playing time consists of such gleeful merry musical meanderings that could easily fit in the world of theatric drama and such. What's also noticeably different about PART III is that there seems to be a deliberate attempt to simplify the progressive elements with a lot more crossover potential than previously heard. There are more direct and bombastic ear wormy hooks reminiscent of classic Supertramp keyboard runs as well as more simplified guitar parts that often result in simply staccato chords. Garage prog anyone? Yeah, the material is considerably weaker on this one and i have to admit that not one single track jumps out and blows me away as these compilations usually do. I've been wondering if perhaps the different lineup of artists may be to blame but even the artist i'm familiar with don't crank out their usual quality material bursting with passionate delivery.

This one was fairly disappointing i have to say with the first two discs leaving me fairly cold. It does pick up a bit on Disc 3. The Rebel Wheel kick off with a strong track followed by some creativity of Taproban, S.A.L.U.E.N.A and Blank Manuscript which offer some of my favorite tracks of the comp but there are also silly tracks by Castle Canyon and Ozone Player that trade off spoken narrative with operatic vocals. There also seems to be a general lack of vivaciousness most of the tracks are fairly prog-by-the-numbers with lots of nods to 70s Pink Floyd not to mention that the vocals are mostly flat and unsuitable for the music. Not all is a waste of time. There are plenty of moments on this one that are indeed satisfying but nothing that exceeds the satisfaction of the first two DECAMERON editions. The whole affair seems rather sleepy and lazy and only fueling on half octane potential. Several listens later and not only has this not grown on me but actually has become quite irritating for the most part. It's not that the good parts are bad, it's just that most of the album cruises along on automatic pilot and nothing really jumps out and surprises. This may be an omen that the DECAMERON idea has been milked of all its possibilities and time to move on to other ideas. Three editions with bloated quadruple discs is quite the momental task. They succeeded quite well on the first two but the staleness has set in, at least for me. Worth the listen but probably not one i will revisit until several years pass by and i forgot what it sounds like.

In case you're wondering here is the whole list of Colossus Projects 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)

The Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft: A SyNphonic Collection (2012)

Decameron - Ten Days In 100 Novellas - Part II (2014)

DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART III (2016)

 Excalibur IV - The Dark Age of the Dragon by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Excalibur IV - The Dark Age of the Dragon
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars I have rated the middle part of the Excalibur trilogy with three stars. I think this one's notably better, but since it's still not exactly pure progressive rock or "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection" , I'll round my 3˝ stars downwards. We're dealing with a new chapter in the ambitious Celtic saga, or "rock opera" as some call it, that the Breton-Celtic musician Alan Simon has created over the years. His manager had suggested a new tour in 2015 and Simon felt it would feel right only with new material. He worked more than a year on this project and feels very pleased at the results. The preceding parts were released in 1999, 2007 and 2012 respectively. If you're unfamiliar with them, that's no problem at all in getting to know this album, which one can simply take as an individual, loosely conceptual collection of songs with various vocalists and various moods. The partly orchestrated music could be labeled as Crossover Prog or Celtic rock.

If you look at the song list on the CD's back cover, especially the words "from JETHRO TULL" and "from SUPERTRAMP" appear ridiculously often, just because Martin Barre, Jesse Siebenberg or John Halliwell happen to play on most tracks. There could have been a wiser way to mark the performers, but that's not a big deal. Otherwise the well-known guests on this album are vocalists - or singing players such as Alan Stivell and the mentioned Siebenberg. Michael Sadler (SAGA) and Moya Brennan (CLANNAD) sing two songs each, Bernie Shaw (URIAH HEEP) and Sonja Kristina (CURVED AIR) one song each. Roberto Tiranti is another heavy- style vocalist (on two tracks), while Siobhan Owen (on 'The Last Lament of a Fairy' and achingly delicate 'There Is someone') brings more of the ethereal Celtic romanticism with her beautiful voice and Celtic harp.

The only purely instrumental track is the energetic 'The Fifth Season' starring Martin Barre's electric guitar, and, to a smaller degree, John Halliwell's saxophone. The final 19th track 'Dun Angus II' is among the most pompous ones, featuring the operatic soprano of Maite Itoiz (from Elfenthal, which neither I nor ProgArchives know). It is indeed the exhausting grandiosity, or the fearful possibility of the music to feel exactly like a rock opera, that is the biggest thread to concept albums like this. But in the end this really is primarily a well produced and executed set of songs, some of them rather average and some very enjoyable. Hardly this will approach my list of prog favourites from 2017, but a pretty positive surprise this was anyway.

 The Empire And The Rebellion by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.60 | 19 ratings

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The Empire And The Rebellion
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Colossus Project was an Italian musical project featuring four members and a wide range of guest musicians, including known names Keiko Kumagai (Ars Nova) and Fred Schendel (Glass Hammer) and fellow Italians Cristiano Roversi (Moongarden, Submarine Silence and The Watch) and Joe La Viola (Malaavia). The concept-story is based upon Georg Lucas popular Star Wars Episode IV as a tribute, you can read about that in the huge booklet also including words about the foundation of this project, the musicians, the instruments (mainly 'vintage') and the lyrics, embellished with tasteful pictures of all members.

The music sounds very varied, along pure progrock we can also enjoy a pleasant blend of several styles with lush vintage keyboards (especially the Mellotron, Hammond organ and Minimoog synthesizer): bluesy with tasteful work on organ, guitar, saxophone along Minimoog runs and a swinging Hammond solo in The Millennium Falcon - folky with soaring female vocals, flute and Celtic harp in the mellow My Tears For Alderaan - classical in the beautiful instrumental May The Force Be With You - jazzy with powerful saxophone in the short and funny The Millenium Quartet - melodic rock in the propulsive Meeting The Force (strong break with swirling Hammond solo by Fred Schendel) - dreamy with steel-guitar and Fender Rhodes electric piano, flute, acoustic rhythm-guitar and warm vocals in Two Suns - and a kind of 'symphonic rock ballad' in When I Was A Jedi (featuring the distinctive harpsichord sound, Hammond, Moog and dramamtic vocals).

My progrock highlights are the instrumental first composition Astral Prelude (wonderful vintage keyboards and a groovy bass solo, including the 'slap' technique), the alternating The Dark Lord Of The Sith (from intro with fado guitar and a final part with acoustic guitar to bombastic keyboard and Fripperian guitarwork) and especially the epic The Rebellion Suite (3 parts, around the 20 minutes), from beautiful flute ? and violin-Mellotron and howling guitar like Steve Hackett (glissando and 'hammering down') to a swinging bass solo and a compelling grand finale with excellent interplay between Grand piano, Mellotron and emotional vocals, goose bumps!

If you are up to tasteful and varied music that is layered with Moogs, Hammonds and Mellotrons, contains a wide range of instruments and has an important role for the vocals (only 3 songs are instrumental), you will be pleased with Colossus Project.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.95 | 35 ratings

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Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars This was another interesting release by Colossus and Musea, the socalled Finnish-French Connection. It's entitled Giallo! and based upon the famous movie Deep Red (1975) by Dario Argento. This CD contains five compositions by Italians artists/bands: the short intro and outro are performed by Alfio Costa on keyboards, he also joined the first epic composition from the musial project Dark Session, the other two epics (all more than 20 minutes) are played by the known formation Leviathan, and Floating State.

1. Alfio Costa - Frammento Rosso (Intro) (0.58) : The CD begins with a warm Grand piano sound, then pleasantly blended with the Minimoog synthesizer. A kind of musical warm bath of 60 seconds, very pleasant.

2. Dark Session - Visions of Helga (26.11) : The musical project Dark Session is an offshoot of the ELP-inspired band Tilion and features multi-instrumentalist Flavio Costa who has invited guest musicians Alfio Costa (vintage keyboards) and Hamadi Trabels ('dark speaking voices'). The name of the band points at the often dark atmospheres with a remarkable frequent use of the unsurpassed Mellotron from the very first moment: a majestic violin-section sound, followed by flute-Mellotron and blended with the distinctive harpsichord sound and sensitive electric guitar runs in a spacey, a bit ominous climate. Then Dark Session creates a great tension between the mellow parts (with soaring and melancholical Mellotron, fragile guitar and twanging acoustic guitar) and the more powerful and bombastic interludes (with propulsive guitar riffs, howling and fiery guitar, a powerful and dynamic rhythm-section and fiery wah-wah guitar), often King Crimson's dark and violent album Red comes to my mind but with the fat sound of the Minimoog flights! Dark Session their music also reminds me of Japanese King Crimson- clone Bi Kyo Ran because of the biting Fripperian guitar sound and the powerful rhythm-section. Anyway, despite these obvious references, I was carried away to Progheaven during this Mellotron drenched composition!

3. Leviathan - Vecchi Giochi (21.03 - four parts) : Nowadays Leviathan is a trio that has invited a male and female singer on this song. Again we can enjoy 24-carat symphonic rock and vintage keyboards like the Minimoog, Hammond and Mellotron. It starts with beautiful Grand piano, classical orchestrations and inspired Italian vocals, the the music alternates between dreamy, compelling, mid-tempo rhythms and bombastic featuring sparkling piano and fluent Hammond runs. Due to the heavy Moog Taurus bass pedal sound and the Hackett-like guitar, Leviathan evokes Wind & Wuthering-era Genesis, what a wonderful music! The final part is great delivering a slow rhythm with bass pedals, synthesizer flights and choir-Mellotron, topped with passionate Italian vocals, goose bumps!

4. Floating State - Suite Dall'inconscia dell'Assassino (25.06) : Without any doubt this six-piece formation makes the most adventurous and varied progrock on Giallo!, less traditional and more experimental with avant-garde and jazz elements. The basic in this composition is a swinging rhythm with a lush instrumentation (from classical guitar, flute and saxophones to vibraphone, a wide range of vintage keyboards and even the distinctive Theremin) and lots of intersting changing climates, at some moments pretty experimental like a part with Hammond and piano. The interplay is strong and I was pleased with parts featuring choir-Mellotron, vibraphone and warm vocals.

5. Alfio Costa - Mirrors (outro) (1.34) : The final track begins with ominous sounding Grand piano, then gradually turns into dreamy, simply wonderful!

 The Spaghetti Epic 3 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.21 | 48 ratings

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The Spaghetti Epic 3
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars The Musea/Colossus collaboration presents on this progrock project (from 2008) three progrock bands, each with an epic composition.

First Little Tragedies from Russia with a track entitled The Voice Of Silence (19.30). The music deliver lots of spectacular bombastic parts with dazzling synthesizer runs and ELP inspired Hammond work. We can also enjoy exciting interplay between flowing guitar/keyboards and powerful saxophone/organ, fuelled by a propulsive rhythm-section. Very subtle is the blend of flamenco rhythm guitar in some parts, it gives a special flavor to the music.

Then Yesterdays from Hungary with the song Suite Pauline (20.00), in comparison with their contribution to the 4-CD CD box Dante's Inferno, the emphasis is less on folk and more on Seventies keyboard oriented symphonic rock. It contains many changing climates and interesting musical ideas with wonderful work on vintage keyboards, often in duel with other instruments: choir-Mellotron and electric guitar, reed organ and Glockenspiel, trumpet/violin- Mellotron and classical guitar with flute. I also enjoyed a part with the impressive church-organ sound and an interlude featuring an exciting duel between drums and choir- and violin-Mellotron, joined by Fripperian guitarwork, goose bumps!

Finally the Italian formation N.O.T. with the song Epilogo (23.28): it sounds very alternating and dynamic with many bombastic climates featuring powerful Hammond work, flashy synthesizer runs, howling electric guitar, pleasant Mellotron waves, often very compelling. The music reminds me of early King Crimson and Outer Limits, especially in the final part with sumptuous violin-Mellotron waves, propulsive electric guitar play and powerful drums.

Another interesting album from Musea and Colossus, especially the vintage keyboard aficionados will be delighted!

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Inferno The Divine Comedy - part 1 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.22 | 82 ratings

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Inferno The Divine Comedy - part 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars What a delight are these progrock projects by Finnish progrock magazine Colossus and French progrock label Musea. First it's a boost for lesser known and unknown new progressive rocks bands. And second it's an unique chance for progheads to check out these bands. So a big hand for Colossus and Musea,

The box set Dante's Inferno - The Divine Comedy - Part 1 delivers 34 (!) progrock bands from all over the world on 4 CD's and a 80 page booklet with information about the line-ups, the vintage instruments and websites, embellished with lots of pictures and paintings.

CD-1 : What a pleasure this CD starts with Nuova Era, in my opinion their instrumental contribution is the best this acclaimed Nineties rooted Italian formation ever made: a melodic and dynamic sound between ELP and Ars Nova featuring wonderful keyboard work (Hammond, church-organ, synthesizers and Mellotron) and in the final part powerful saxophone play. By the way, it was a prelude for more beautiful things to come (in 2010 and 2016).

I am also delighted about Little Tragedies (ultra-bombastic progrock with flashy guitar and keyboards and an energetic rhythm-section), Lady Lake (varied sound between Focus and Camel with beautiful Mellotron and Hammond waves and exciting electric violin play), Nemo (from compelling to bombastic outbursts, topped by strong theatrical vocals and tasteful work on Hammond, Mellotron and wah-wah guitar), Nexus (a bit more dubdued with an important role for the emotional vocals and synthesizer flights) and Flamborough Head with Trion (very melodic and varied with wonderful keyboard colouring along tasteful work on guitar and flute). The other bands are also worth listening: pleasant progfolk with warm female vocals, flute, acoustic guitar and halfway a surprising Korg synthesizer solo by Yesterdays, an unique, bit experimental sound with opera-like duo vocals by Greenwall, a strong build-up with emotional vocals and powerful Hammond and electric guitar by Atlantis 1001 and Colossus Project featuring an obvious Seventies sound with lots of Hammond waves and sparkling Minimoog runs.

CD-2 : A blend of known and unknown bands with strong appearances by Count (bombastic neo-symphonic sound with good duo-guitarwork (including a long moving solo), Willowglass (wonderful, from mellow with soaring Hammond, flute and warm 12-string guitar to bombastic with mighty Hammond and Mellotron), Wicked Minds (sensational Uriah Heep inspired sound with lots of breaks delivering swirling Hammond, fiery and biting wah-wah electric guitar and a Minimoog-Hammond duel), Ars Nova (great musical ideas and exciting, bombastic work on keyboards and heavy guitarplay by 3 guitarplayers) and Matthijs Herder (from Holland): between dreamy and compelling with a beautiful Mellotron sound and sensitive electric guitar that reminds me of fellow Dutchman Jan Akkerman. The other tracks are all on a decent level: a sound between The Flower Kings and Gentle Giant with the distinctive clavinet and strong solo on synthesizer and guitar by Brighteye Brison, an experimental sound with a wide range of instruments, including bombastic choir-Mellotron in the end by Garamond, pleasant symphonic rock with violin, piano, church organ, guitar and synthesizers by Il Castello Di Atlante and finally varied progfolk (between dreamy with flute, acoustic guitar and warm vocals and bombastic with Hammond, howling electric guitar and a synthesizer solo) by Groovector.

CD-3 : This disc delivers a lot of variety and a wide range of atmospheres: heavy and bombastic with blistering guitar, spectacular synthesizer flights and emotional Spanish vocals by Entrance, experimental with a flamenco guitar intro and a wide range of instruments by Advent, a sparkling solo on the Grand piano by the Contrappunto Project, between mellow with flute/mandoline and sumptuous with Moog/choir-Mellotron by CAP and ELP-inspired by Ozone Player. My favorite moments are the tracks by Sinkadus (compelling, typical Skandinavian climate with bombastic Hammond and Mellotron, a wonderful part with volume pedal guitar and flute Mellotron and a conclusion featuring howling guitar with lush Hammond and Mellotron), Nota Bene (jazzy undertone because of the Fender Rhodes electric piano and guitar sound and an exciting break delivering swinging piano and moving guitar) and Viima (wonderful duo-keyboards and sensitive electric guitar).

CD-4 : After more than 3 hours listening to this huge box set, I was very curious or this final disc would succeed to keep my attention. Well, it did! The first two bands were unknown but very promising formations from Italy: Armalite alternates between Seventies Genesis and early Marillion with warm native vocals, a lush keyboard sound (lots of Trons) and fiery electric guitar and Corte Aulica delivers a dynamic, alternating and melodic sound with sensitive electric guitar and exciting Minimoog work. Then multi-instrumentalist Raimundo Rudolfo (plus guest musicians), I love his blend of classical (violin, cello, guitar) and bombastic symphonic rock (Mellotron, church-organ, Minimoog and powerful electric guitar), embellished with pleasant Spanish vocals. Next is an interesting duo: keyboardplayer De Rossi (using an array of vintage keyboards) and former Rustichelli/Bordini and PFM member drummer Carlo Bordini, we can enjoy inventive keyboard-driven prog, from swinging clavinet to a great final part with the choir-section of a Memotron and a fat Minimoog sound, goose bumps! Tempano their music is a kind of avant-garde sound collage, very atmospheric with propulsive drum beats and lots of instruments. Nathan Mahl presents a very strongly build-up contribution, from dreamy with tender piano and a slow rhtyhm with Camel-inspired guitar and Mellotron to a bombastic part with Hammond organ and fiery guitar. Finally the acclaimed Swedish band Simon Says, for me their composition turns out to be one of the highlights on this 4-CD box: lots of shifting moods (from tender piano with warm vocals to intense bombastic eruptions with Mellotron and bass pedals), captivating musical ideas (with the vocoder and a sitar), exciting breaks and solos (flashy synthesizer with pitchbend) and a mindblowing final part with a strongly build-up guitar solo and sparkling piano, again goose bumps!

My conclusion: a very pleasant and loaded Pandora's progrock box of surprises (part one)!

 Purgatorio The Divine Comedy - part 2 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.10 | 49 ratings

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Purgatorio The Divine Comedy - part 2
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars Here's the second part of the Dante story The Divine Comedy entitled Dante's Purgatorio, this is the place (in fact a mountain) where the souls of those who have died repenting of their sins are 'purified' in order to be allowed to access Paradise. In the huge booklet (80 pages) you can read the story in 36 'Canto's', embellished with wonderful paintings. The second part of the booklet contains information about the 35 bands and compositions, the (mainly 'vintage') instrumentation and many websites. Listening to this 4-CD I am pleasantly surprised about the quality of the 36 tracks, since the late Sixties there is still so much quality and dedication in progressive rock!

CD 1 starts with the highly acclaimed Swedish band Simon Says, on this track only featuring keyboard player Stefan Renstrom, he delivers a first part with beautiful Grand piano and flute-Mellotron, then a kind of 'sound collage' in the second part, pretty experimental and not really similar to his work in Simon Says. Then Nemo, I watched this French band on the annual Progfarm Festival in Holland in late 2008, high expectations but their contribution evokes mixed feelings: exciting guitar with sitar sound and keyboards with Fender electric piano sound, in the end great part with rock guitar and psychedelic organ but the 'lalala' vocals doesn't please me at all. Next my highlight on this CD, Italian formation KBridge with a 15 minutes epic. We can enjoy lots of flowing shifting moods, a breathtaking sound of the Minimoog synthesizer, Hammond organ and Mellotron and very moving electric guitar. Only the English vocals sound a bit mediocre but not disturbing, next time Italian vocals please! The other bands are Ozone Player from Finland (alternating with majestic choir-Mellotron and a flashy Minimoog solo in the end), Raimundo Rodulfo from the USA (impressive guitar work with hints of Steve Howe, concluded with a sensational Minimoog solo), Ten Midnight from Italy (strong build up, from dreamy to bombastic with propulsive guitar riffs and Emersonian Moog flights and wonderful choir-Mellotron), Soulengine from Italy (a kind of 'Rush meets neo-prog' with strong work on keyboards and guitar, it sounds very powerful and exciting), Willowglass (this time not a duo but only prime mover Andrew Marshall) from the UK (very beautiful blend of 12-string acoustic guitar and vintage keyboards, halfway culminating into a bombastic part with sensitive electric guitar runs and splendid Mellotron waves) and finally Atlantis1001, again a band from Italy, another highlight on this CD: a very compelling and powerful sound with strong English vocals, I love the contrast between the Grand piano and the sumptuous vintage keyboards and heavy guitar sound and you can enjoy sensational breaks and solos on guitar, wow!

CD 2 opens with a virtuosic solo piece on the Grand piano by Andrea Cavallo of the Contrappunto Project (Italy). Then again from Italy lady Sophy Baccini, she delivers an unique blend of wonderful vintage keyboards (lots of fat modular Moog sounds along Hammond, piano and strings) and good, pretty theatrical vocals, to me it sounds intricate although the vocals are a bit too extravagant for me. Next is Argentine top notch formation Nexus with the usual bombastic Hammond and synthesizer layers and strong guitar (fiery solo and delicate slide guitar) but this time the vocals are in Gibberish, it sounds a bit weird but thumbs up for this daring experiment. The following artists are the 'veterans' of acclaimed Italian band Nuova Era with a varied track that is loaded with excellent vintage keyboards, Moog Taurus bass pedals, the final part is mindblowing featuring a compelling, a bit psychedelic atmosphere with a raw guitar solo, goose bumps! The other bands are Survival from Holland (church- organ intro, then a tight rhythm section with lots of Hammond and Emersonian ' Works era - synthesizer flights), Little Tragedies from Russia (ultra bombastic with splendid interplay between heavy guitar and dazzling keyboards, supported by a very powerful rhythm-section), Marmalite from Italy (very pleasant and melodic neo-prog with strong Italian vocals, lots of musical ideas and wonderful work on guitar and keyboards, especially the unsurpassed Mellotron), Phideaux from the USA (very warm and compelling composition with wah-wah guitar and subtle contributions of the Hammond, Moog and Mellotron) and finally Tommy Eriksson from Finland with a sound that alternates between symphonic rock (Genesis and Camel) and neo-prog (early Marillion and IQ), the instrumentation is varied and beautiful, from fiery electric guitar and majestic choir-Mellotron to soaring flute and powerful Hammond organ waves, in the end a strong synthesizer solo.

On CD 3 the first band is Chilean Heavy Prog formation Entrance, we can enjoy a swinging rhythm with powerful Spanish vocals, spectacular synthesizer work and harder-edged guitar. Then the USA band Maxwell's Demon (with a varied and adventurous track, from a spacey intro and twanging acoustic guitar to lush choir-Mellotron and Hammond organ) and RAK from Switzerland (omnipresent Hammond organ sound along moving guitar, beautiful Grand piano and a choir). Next one of the highlights on this CD, Colossus Project from Italy: first mellow with warm vocals and soaring flute- Mellotron, then bombastic with strong Damian Wilson-like vocals and mighty Mellotron eruptions, followed by a splendid break with powerful guitar and Hammond and in the end dreamy with acoustic guitar, pleasant vocals and Mellotron, wow! The other bands are Matthijs Herder from Holland (delicate interplay between guitar, keyboards and rhythm- section with the focus on the Mellotron, including the choir -, violin ' and flute section, awesome!), Mad Crayon from Italy (warm sound with native vocals, violin and a classical ' and electric guitar duet), Tabula Smaragdina from Hungary/Romania (excellent and dynamic song with strong work on guitar and keyboards and in the end a wah wah guitar and choir-Mellotron duet, how exciting), Blank Manuskript from Austria (fluent rhythm, wide range of instruments and lots of variety) and finally from Holland the trio Lady Lake with their very pleasant and melodic interplay between guitar, keyboards and rhythm-section evoking Camel (guitar) and Focus (Hammond) and in the end beautiful Mellotron waves.

CD 4 starts with two bands from Finland, both in mellow climates: first Groovector (very atmospheric with native vocals) and then Mist Seaon (soaring female vocals, a jazzy Fender piano solo and in the end a sensitive electric guitar solo). The next band is Flamborough Head from Holland: a strong build-up from dreamy with flute and piano to a slow rhythm with moving guitar and Mellotron and finally a bombastic climate featuring a fine synthesizer solo and a powerful solo on the electric guitar, a big hand for these fellow Dutchmen. The other bands are Yesterdays from Hungary/Romania (a tight beat with native vocals, sensational keyboard work and strong guitar play that range from Howe inspired to Fripperian), B612 from Venezuela (from a warm classical guitar intro to fiery guitar leads, embellished with duo Spanish vocals), my highlight Equilibrio Vital from Venezuela (choir-Mellotron drenched, guitar with an Andean undertone, a part with native dialect and strong Hammond and electric guitar solos), Jinetes Negros from Argentina (exciting Heavy Prog with classical orchestrations, heavy work on guitar, powerful Spanish vocals and a swirling Hammond solo), a second appearance by Simon Says from Sweden (dreamy with majestic choir-Mellotron and Wakeman-like synthesizer flights and finally Pasini & Ragozza from again Italy, their track sounds a bit experimental in the beginning, halfway a slow rhythm with a very Classic Italian Prog climate.

My conclusion: a very pleasant and loaded Pandora's progrock box of surprises (part two)!

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