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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Spaghetti Epic 3 - The Great Silence CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.28 | 66 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars One of the many ambitious projects from the Finnish Colossus Society in collaboration with the outstanding progressive label Musea Records, The Colossus Project has unleashed a treasure trove of various artists concept albums that aren't afraid to exercise all the prog pomp excesses that make the genre so dynamic. THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 3 - THE GREAT SILENCE as the name implies is the third part of epic concept albums that are dedicated to the great spaghetti western craze of the 1960s. A strange thematic bedfellow with the likes of knotty symphonic prog but nevertheless Musea has cranked out at least 4 of these spaghetti western tributes and many deem this third installment as the best!

This particular tribute is dedicated to the Sergio Corbucci film THE GREAT SILENCE which was a 1968 revisionist spaghetti western film that tackled the usual plot of bounty killers and outlaw activities which were all the rage in Europe and was the continent's version of the US based westerns which were also very popular during the 1950s and 1960s. While cowboy visions and dreams are not exactly the subject matter of prog, this single album of three tracks which features Little Tragedies (Russia), Yesterdays (Romania) and N..T. (Italy) does an amazing job of crafting amazingly beautiful prog if not always highlighting the zeitgeist of a nostalgic film craze. Unlike the many double album editions of the Colossus Project, this one is a mere collection of three tracks that all average out around the 20-minute playing time. Collectively they add up to only 63 minutes which is actually quite short considering many of this compilations can feature up to 4 CDs!

First up is Маленькие трагедии (Little Tragedies) which has been a Russian staple in symphonic prog since 1994. "The Voice of Silence" tackles the expected dramatic developments set out in the symphonic prog universe with lots of time to allow ideas to flourish in its 19 1/2 minute run. This track features a wealth of melodic and compositional ideas that all play out with as much time as they require to feel fully developed before moving on. The track feels perfectly executed with all the required instrumentation demonstrating peak playing skills with special kudos to the excellent keyboard runs. Lyrics are in Russian and the tracks is the most exotic sounding of the three with lots of interesting twists and turns that keep you from guessing what will come next, of course without sacrificing the melodic flow which dominates the entire album.

The following Yesterdays delivers the two part "Suite Pauline" and allows a completely different take on symphonic prog that is a lot mellower than the musical style of Little Tragedies. Infused with a bit of jazz and a love for classic analog equipment, this band certainly does exhibit some classic Yes attributes and sounds the most like a bonafide 70s band due to its staunch dedication to the classic compositional style of the 70s including Steve Howe inspired acoustic classic guitar and Rick Wakeman-like keyboard assaults. This track clocks in at exactly 20 minutes and is brimming with creative infusions. The second fugue part is absolutely entrancing with the ultimate tribute to J.S. Bach in some of the most creative ways possible!

While the first two bands are fairly well known in symphonic prog circles, the third band N..T is not. This Italian band has never actually released an album in its own right and is one of those bands that has only appeared on the Colossus Projects but as Italians qualifies the most to actually evoke the spirit of the classic spaghetti western themes since Italy was the nation that released the most of these European classics with films like "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" ranking amongst the highest rated movies of all time. While the previous two bands were excellent in constructing phenomenal prog epics, this track takes on a darker approach and actually channels the spirit of what the subject matter is all about and at 23 1/2 minutes long, the lengthiest of the three tracks on board.

While the whole spaghetti western theme doesn't really fly in the context of symphonic prog in the end it doesn't really matter! What does matter is that this is one of the best Colossus releases i've experienced so far. This is what symphonic prog dreams are made of. Lengthy behemoths that meander in logical processions and develop beautiful multi-layered melodic constructs that crescendo in thundering instrumental virtuosity. The infusion of creativity for these bands is off the chart here and often these Colossus Projects feature bands that put their best material on these compilations. I'm woefully not too familiar with any of these bands' music so i can't compare to their regular releases but all i can say is that this is some of the best modern prog that can be heard. Everything is perfectly designed and when it's this fantastic. This is a masterpiece of symphonic prog majesty!

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |


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