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Colosseum - Daughter Of Time CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.67 | 153 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Colosseum's first studio album since the departure of singer and guitarist James Litherland (who went on to form the short-lived Mogul Thrash, John Wetton's first band) sounds at the same time similar and unlike its illustrious predecessor, "Valentyne Suite". As other reviewers have pointed out before me, it is a bluesier, jazzier effort, with a big, majestic sound, and much more prominent guitar parts, which make it harder-edged than the more keyboard-oriented VS. Anyway prog fans will find a lot to enjoy in "Daughter of Time", at least as far as the music is concerned. In fact, Chris Farlowe's powerful, resounding vocals do not fit with many people's expectations of what a prog singer should sound like, and for some they may even be an acquired taste. To these ears, though, his voice is simply stunning, and complements perfectly the epic sweep and overall uplifting mood of the album.

I set a great store by the opening track of an album, and "Three Score and Ten, Amen" does not disappoint, with Farlowe's commanding vocals fitting perfectly in the rich texture of Colosseum's music. Founding member Dick Heckstall-Smith's sax is augmented by Barbara Thompson (the future Mrs Hiseman, and a band member to this day), who doubles up on flute. The presence of a mini brass section boosts the band's already dramatic sound, and serves as a foil for Hiseman's textbook drumming and Dave Clem Clempson's brilliant guitar work. Clempson shines throughout the album, and the instrumental section of "Time Lament" showcases his sadly underrated skills as a six-stringer. "Take Me Back to Doomsday", my own personal favourite, is an exhilarating ride dominated by an awesome vocal performance by Farlowe and Greenslade's scintillating piano, as well as a soothing, elegant flute section provided by Thompson.

While the title-track sounds slightly too bombastic for comfort, and is in my opinion the weakest song on the album, "Theme for an Imaginary Western" is another vocal tour-de-force for Farlowe, though of a somewhat more understated nature than his trademark style. The song, originally written by bassist extraordinaire Jack Bruce for his album "Songs for a Tailor", is a wistful ballad slightly reminiscent of Procol Harum's best efforts. The intricate instrumental Bring Out Your Dead comes closest to the band's sound on "Valentyne Suite", and features sterling organ work by Dave Greenslade. The powerful, bluesy "Downhill and Shadows" allows Farlowe to shine once again, and introduces the live recording of "The Time Machine", mainly an extended solo by master drummer Jon Hiseman. Though drum solos have the reputation of being boring to all but practicing drummers, this one is eminently listenable even for musical dummies such as yours truly.

Though not perfect, and certainly not as innovative as "Valentyne Suite", "Daughter of Time" is nonetheless an excellent offering by an equally excellent band, blending jazz, blues, classic rock and progressive stylings in a single, high-quality package. Very warmly recommended to all lovers of great music.

Raff | 4/5 |


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