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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) The Colossus Of Rhodes album cover
3.61 | 53 ratings | 6 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (77:01)
1. Un Pensiero e Sempre Libero (LEVIATHAN) (26:34)
2. The Secret Passage (GREENWALL) (27:13)
3. God Of Silence (SINKADUS) (23:14)

CD 2 (79:25)
4. Come Vento Tornero (MAD CRAYON) (25:05)
5. Lords And Knights (VELVET DESPERADOS) (24:51)
6. A New Dawn (REVELATION) (29:26)

Total Time: 156:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Leviathan (1)
- Greenwall (2)
- Sinkadus (3)
- Mad Crayon (4)
- Velvet Desperados (5)
- Revelation (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Whitehead

2xCD Musea ‎- FGBG 4525.AR (2005, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) The Colossus Of Rhodes ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progrules
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 !

Review by CCVP
3 stars Less Italian bands would have been nice

Those Collosus - Musea projects are always something which you can wait with high expectations and almost never be disappointed. Almost never because their early projects lacked something which their present projects have as a rule: diversity. Always it is their goal to put out an album that resembles the masters from the long lost progressive decade, more specifically the Italian giants, and, up until this album in particular, most bands featured in their epic projects were from Italy, what do not mean that the album would be good.

This is the living proof (more like released proof, but anyway) of that. Four out of six bands are Italian, yet this double album have a terrible continuity, because two songs (one in each disc) is terrible or has terrible parts. Those songs are The Secret Passage and A New Dawn, both by Italian bands, being the last one the worst, because The Secret Passage actually have some interesting instrumental parts, wile A New Dawn don't. However, in both cases, neither lead vocalist can sing a single tuned note (in The Secret Passage's case, the female vocalist completely RUIN the song, I mean, she is the main composer, but she should stick with what she does best: playing an instrument and composing).

Fortunately, most of the album is good, being the best song the one that opens the album, entitled Un Pensiero e Sempre Libero, from the band Leviathan. The album also is able to deliver what it was suppose to deliver: music inspired by the Italian giants, but somewhere between more than two and a half hours of progressive rock the magic slowly fades away and The Colossus of Rhodes becomes rather dull and worn-out. Because of that, 3 stars only. Thank God the latter projects are more diverse and interesting.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This double cd concept album is based on the movie of the same name that was directed by Sergio Leone.The project was broken down into 12 parts with each of these six band doing two consecutive sections worth about 25 minutes in music time. So six long tracks with a cartoon in the liner notes along with all the lyrics and a photo of each band.There are four bands from Italy in GREENWALL, MAD CRAYON, LEVIATHAN and REVELATION, with VELVET DESPERADOS (Finland) and SINKADUS (Sweden) rounding out the lineup. I'd like to say straight up that SINKADUS is the reason I bought this several years ago. I was very interested in hearing something new from the band besides the two studio albums i've played to death, and I wasn't disappointed as they are by far the highlight of this recording.

LEVIATHAN gets things started and the song opens with the sound of seagulls and water as flute comes in. It kicks in before 2 minutes and vocals follow. Keys and drums standout along with those vocals. A good instrumental section begins before 6 minutes. A change before 17 1/2 minutes as synths pulse and drums beat.It's fuller 20 minutes in and a great sound follows. A good start.

GREENWALL is up next and we get male and female vocals on this one. Piano, strings and aboe help out as well. A pretty good effort but not as good as the opener. Next is SINKADUS and the surprising thing is that it really doesn't sound like them until about 12 minutes in then we get that familiar sounding soundscape that is some powerful [&*!#]. By the way the song opens with atmosphere as the guitar echoes which is very unlike them.The mellotron on this track is very much like them though and we get plenty of that.The vocals return 14 1/2 minutes in and this sounds so good ! Some beautiful guitar follows then it kicks in hard at 17 minutes.

MAD CRAYON does a great job with their track.Some heaviness here at times and I like the organ. Some ripping guitar before 13 minutes as well. The VELVET DESPERADOS' track is my least favourite. Not big on that bluesy section 12 1/2 minutes in.These guys aren't on the site here and neither are the next band REVELATION not to be confused with the band on this site with the same name but from the UK. These Italians do a very good job actually and i'd probably rate this as my second favourite track.They're GENESIS-like overall with some excellent guitar and organ work. Mellotron and flute on this one as well.

Overall nothing more than 3 stars but it sure has it's moments. SINKADUS made me proud.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back when artists really put their all into the Musea/Colossus theme projects--and, more impressivley, the publishers could get their bands to compose, perform, and engineer 20- to 30-minute epics.

CD 1 (77:01) 1. "Un Pensiero e Sempre Libero" (LEVIATHAN) (26:34) Kudos to Musea/Colossus for getting these Italian NeoProg rockers to come out of retirement for this project. The music, quality of composition, musicianship, and sound engineering are all pretty good--except the pitchy performance of lead singer Paolo Antinori. Though Paolo was present on the band's third and last album, 1997's Volume, he was not the band's original singer (two albums created at the end of the 1980s.) As a matter of fact there are only two other musicians from the band representing on this piece--both founding members: keyboardist and flutist Andrea Amici and Andrea Moneta on bass, drums, ChapmanStick, and engineering. Despite some shortcomings, the musicians do a pretty good job of pulling together a very engaging and overall pleasing epic. As a matter of fact, the music is quite good; the overall rating might be higher if there were less singing (which, by the way, is all done in Italian). (40/50) B-

2. "The Secret Passage" (GREENWALL) (27:13) opens with some classical/New Age jazz piano soloing away as if performing an overture.lots of rather clichéd hooks and motifs (some very engaging and interesting) performed with passable engineering and then spliced together in an interesting fashion--like an Andrew Lloyd-Weber musical. Andrea Pavoni's classical/New Age piano solo over the final three minutes is, for me, the highlight. Unfortunately, the finished product is like listening to a B-level off-Broadway radio play. The vintage analog instruments are certainly present and shining but rarely creating anything exciting to the modern prog lover. The players' sometimes-pitchy accented English is sometimes horrible--especially the male. Luckily, they also spend quite a bit of time singing in Italian. Despite the fine effort from the performers, this is just not A-level prog. (46.5/55) B-

3. "God Of Silence" (SINKADUS) (23:14) Not used to hearing this Swedish band with vocals--and now I understand why they've been reluctant to use them much before. Still, this is a band of very skilled musicians who do a fair job putting this song together. Unfortunately, from this critical reviewer with my high standards, it could have been more inspired [and original], more fully-developed, and definitely more polished. (38/45) B-

CD 2 (79:25) 4. "Come Vento Tornero" (MAD CRAYON) (25:05) full marks: you can tell that this band--a seasoned quartet led by long-time prog stalwart and keyboard wizard, Alessandro Di Benedetti--literally put their hearts and soul into this very symphonic piece. The result is that it's a piece that's very hard to find fault! (47.5/50) A

5. "Lords And Knights" (VELVET DESPERADOS) (24:51) a group of talented Finnish youth who only worked together for a very short period, 2003 to 2007, releasing only one album of their own and then contributing to two of these Musea/Colossus projects: this one and 2007's Treasure Island. I really like their eclectic sound: the keyboards of Pink Floyd's Richard Wright, the rhythm section of an early Nektar or even earlier psych-rock band and a lead singer that sounds like a cross between Jim Morrison, Arthur Lee (LOVE), and Geoff Mann (TWELFTH NIGHT), but more, this band employs horns! In fact, an entire four-piece horn section! The music definitely has the feel of a band from the late 1960s, even earlier when they go into their blues-rock style (as in the most excellent section from 12:30 to 15:45--a sound and stylistic blend that I was not expecting!) Another most excellent passage can be hear from 15:45 to 18:50, this one sounding like an early, soulful BILLY JOEL. Wow! Again: I was not expecting this! The next section is led by some very Brian May-like guitar. The vocalist (and his second-track of harmony vocals) is most excellent--exceptionally effective at relating this story with theatricity, skill, and genuine feeling emotion. The song closes down with the same horn-led fanfare as the beginning. Again, the musicianship and compositional skill are top notch. I thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to repeated listens in the future. And, whatever happened to these guys? I'd really like to know! (48/50) A

6. "A New Dawn" (REVELATION) (29:26) opens with some bombastic music that is definitely prog--probably more like NeoProg--and they have a good singer in Arcadelt's Pierfrancesco Drago. A lot of the opening motif (which is six minutes in length) feels and sounds like NeoProg in the vein of STEVE HACKETT GENESIS. The next, slowed-down section is far more GENESIS Trick of the Tail-like with Hammond organ, deep sustained bass notes, thick Mellotron chords, strumming 12-string guitars, and a early-Nick Barrett-like gentle male singer to tell the tale. At 14:15 we ramp back up to a more dynamic passage--not far from being a continuation of the previous motif, just different uses for each of the instruments and, of course, full involvement of the drum kit. The instrumental passage that follows around the 18-minute mark is totally from the GENESIS playbook--almost lifted from the end sections of "Supper's Ready," but this is cut short by a solo classical guitar interlude that starts right at the 20-minute mark, which does set up a heavy Wind and Wuthering passage 45-seconds later. A nice Steve Hackett-like guitar solo ensues for the next minute before an electrified acoustic guitar takes us into a different more-IQ-like passage. Pierfrancesco rejoins, now singing in a forced-sounding voice in a higher register over the thick low end-filling bass, pounding drums, crashing cymbals and bouncing Hammond chord play. The electrified acoustic guitar is used several times to bridge between verses and then to a new motif that contains picked 12-string guitar and flute along with Pierfrancesco's return to his more comfortable vocal range. This part has a sound palette and feel more similar to that of 1980s Pendragon. Overall, a very nicely constructed, performed, and rendered piece. (53.5/60) B+

Total Time: 156:26

B+/4.5 stars; a collection of one disc of excellent prog epics (CD 2), and one disc (CD 1) of somewhat under-developed or under-inspired pieces, thus, giving the Colossus/Musea project masters yet another early win in their intrepid effort to resuscitate the veritable symphonic "epic" of the "Classic Era." Highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars These Colossus/Musea projects are UNDER ESTIMATED SO MUCH. Wow...Jeeze, it blows my mind that only 4 (5 with myself included) have so far rated this album. This 2 CD [i]EPIC[/i] story of the Colossus of Rhodes is a musical journey in through your ears, and out through your s ... (read more)

Report this review (#173102) | Posted by OzzProg | Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I just love these Colussus projects (the name of the organization that puts these together). This particular one, The Colossus Of Rhodes, is quite good. On the whole, there are 3 excellent pieces, one very good, and 2 that are a bit below par. I'll start with the two I don't like as much. ... (read more)

Report this review (#52040) | Posted by | Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink


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