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Collage - Over and Out CD (album) cover





4.13 | 147 ratings

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Heart of the Matter
4 stars Having accepted the kind invitation to review this album posted in the PA forums, I have to say that I'm under the impression of being in the presence of a piece of work of no lesser scope and impact than Collage's celebrated magnum opus, their third studio release Moonshine. All the virtues shown in that occassion (baroque keyboards-guitar interplay, great melodies, vast scale composition) are still shining here today, and perhaps the result is even more accomplished now, since Over And Out reaches greater consistency, paired with a flawless sense of overall flow.

The only drawback that I find here concerns to originality: the Marillion template is still noticeable under the music, like the bone structure under flesh and skin. This perception is accentuated by the Fish-like tone adopted by the (otherwise excellent) vocalist. But I think the greatness of this album cannot be stopped by that simple evidence of influence. The real meat of each track begins after the presentation of the motivic material, with the construction of infallible climaxes, which are led by an interplay stamped with a strong sense of identity. The true Collage sound, I think, awakes with the sound of the synths sweeping across tonal areas in those continuous displacements from consonance to disonance and back, that go so well with the dark and almost tragical pathos of the band. Besides, you have that perfect blend with the electric guitar, and, of course, the inexhaustible energy of the drummer building close together momentum and musicianship up to prodigious heights.

So, there you have: a strong epic in the opening track, a neo-prog gem in the second, a melodic invitation in the third, a mid-size epic in the fourth, and finally the great prog closer with a cherry on top, courtesy of the guesting guitarist, no other than Mr. Steve Rothery.

Excellent all the way.

Heart of the Matter | 4/5 |


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