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


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.68 | 54 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Perhaps a bit foolishly titled "Spaghetti Epic - Six Modern Prog Bands for Six 70's Prog Suites" is a project by a Finnish prog organisation Colossus. First, I don't like the word 'spaghetti' referring to Sergio Leone's westerns (besides, why not simply "Once Upon a Time in the West", which is the film this set is solely based on?), and second, "70's prog suites" is a misleading way to put it: yes, the bands were asked to make epics in the 70's style (especially Italian Prog style), but that don't quite make them "70's prog suites", does it?

Both of the 2 discs contain three bands, each performing a 20+ minute epic. Three Italian bands, one English (La Voce Del Vento is a project name for Guy Manning and Andy Tillison), one Dutch and one Finnish. The latter (or actually the first one in the set), HAIKARA, is my favourite one here. Whereas the five other bands deal with the main characters of the mentioned film (Jill, Cheyenne, Harmonica, Morton, Frank), Haikara's object is the West itself. Their epic is emotionally powerful, beautiful and well balanced between instrumental and sung sections. Well, naturally all of the tracks aim at that, but I found some of them a bit tiring even if they start promisingly. TILION's 'Cheyenne' was my least liked track; for example vocals are bad. RANDONE's interpretation of the female character is among the best too, as well as the totally instrumental closer by TRION from Holland.

I must say I enjoyed much more the Kalevala Prog Epic, which featured in three discs a multitude of bands. This 6-track set with the more specified structural guidelines is not as good in introducing new bands to the listener. And moreover, the double disc containing nothing but 20+ minute epics is not my ideal vision of a prog work. The fact that the bands change in each track don't actually help the heavy, demanding structure of the wole set.

Anyway, for anyone wanting long epics in the classic Italian style this set is warmly recommended. Especially if the bands include ones you already appreciate. None of them (except Haikara from my Finnish point of view!) is very easy to come across. I guess I hadn't listened to four of these bands before. Worth mentioning is the lavish booklet that contains storylines of the film and also a cartoon. It all increases my possibilities to enjoy the Sergio Leone film much more when I happen to see it the next time (because frankly it has often felt way too long to pay close attention till the end).

Matti | 3/5 |


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