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Dante's Divine Comedy Part II - Purgatorio

a Studio release
by
VA: Colossus Projects

Release Year: 2009

Date Label Catalog # Comments
Musea (FGBG 4836)
This tracklist comes from the EMusic website.
The following is from the Musea web site: "The hero of the day is Dante ALIGHIERI, the famous medieval author from Firenze who wrote "The Divine Comedy". That's precisely this epic piece of work, without a doubt one of the greatest books of all times, that serves as the basis for this new project. And of course, it has been divided in three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. The first volume is made of thirty-four "cantos" dispatched on four discs (!), each one showing the personal interpretation of an international band, according to the rules of the genre: no drumboxes, the only instruments allowed are those of the mighty Seventies, the same as for the musical inspiration. "
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 11/5/2009 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 5/27/2011 12:33:00 AM by: Rob
    Disc 1
  1. Intro - Dreamscapes 2:20
    (Simon Says)
  2. Entre deux rives (Canto I) 7:08
    (Nemo)
  3. The Celestial Pilot (Canto II) 15:36
    (Kbridge)
  4. Canto III 5:29
    (Ozone Player)
  5. Acenso tortuoso (Canto IV) 5:39
    (Raimundo Rodulfo)
  6. X for V (Canto V) 6:30
    (Ten Midnight)
  7. Polheim 7:06
    (Soulengine)
  8. The Valley of Kings (Canto VII) 6:01
    (Willowglass)
  9. Maelstrom (Canto VIII) 6:42
    (Atlantis 001)
    Disc 2
  1. ...e dopo nulla fu piu lo stesso 5:33
    (Contrappunto Project)
  2. Oh Silly Pride 5:02
    (Sophya Baccini)
  3. The Scheme Goes On (Canto XI) 8:22
    (Nexus)
  4. Canto XII 6:39
    (Nuova Era)
  5. Impressions 9:53
    (Survival)
  6. Onde vi batte chi tutto discerne 5:51
    (Little Tragedies)
  7. Muove il vento i miei capelli (Canto XV) 8:02
    (Armalice)
  8. Strange Cloud (Canto XVI) 7:33
  9. The Stream of Hope (Canto XVII) 5:07
    (Tommy Eriksson)
    Disc 3
  1. Luna (Canto XVIII) 7:58
    (Entrance)
  2. Avarice Atoned (Canto XIX) 7:04
    (Maxwell's Demon)
  3. The Verse Continues (Canto XX) 5:47
    (Rak)
  4. Canto XXI 8:33
    (Colossus Project)
  5. Honey and Locusts 7:15
    (Matthis Herder)
  6. Is it this the Price for the redemption ? (Canto XXIII) 6:14
    (Mad Crayon)
  7. A varasz fa alatt (Canto XXIV) 5:55
    (Tabula Smaragdina)
  8. Purgatorio (Canto XXV) 9:04
    (Blank Manuscript)
  9. Som de la Scalina (Canto XXVI) 7:02
    (Lady Lake)
    Disc 4
  1. Tee autuuteen (Canto XXVII) 7:36
    (Groovector)
  2. Matelda's Song (Canto XXVIII) 5:23
    (Mist Season)
  3. By the Bank of the River (Canto XXIX) 5:40
    (Flamborough Head)
  4. Feluton 6:03
    (Yesterdays)
  5. Canto XXXI 6:47
    (B612)
  6. Juicio Final (Canto XXXII) 8:30
    (Equilibrio Vital)
  7. Purgatorio (Canto XXXIII) 7:03
    (Jinetes Negros)
  8. Outro 3:21
    (Simon Says)
  9. Purgatorio (Bonus Track) 3:25
    (Pasini and Ragozza)
Armalice
Atlantis 001
B612
Blank Manuscript
Colossus Project
Contrappunto Project
Entrance
Equilibrio Vital
Flamborough Head
Groovector
Jinetes Negros
Kbridge
Lady Lake
Little Tragedies
Mad Crayon
Matthijs Herder
Maxwell's Demon
Mist Season
Nemo
Nexus
Nuova Era
Ozone Player
Pasini and Ragozza
Raimundo Rodulfo
Rak
Simon Says
Sophya Baccini
Soulengine
Survival
Tabula Smaragdina
Ten Midnight
Tommy Eriksson
Willowglass
Yesterdays

Reviewed by Nuno on 03 Feb 2010


Musea/Collossus have been a great collaboration and have really been doing something spectacular for progressive music these last years. The collaboration has been releasing project after project of conceptual albums featuring both known and unknown bands in contemporary prog rock. The idea is to pick a few bands, provide them with vintage instruments fluently used in the 70’s progressive scene, pick a theme (movie, book – always a masterpiece in the genre), distribute a chapter to the band and let the band interpret the concept and present a track that is added to the album.

With Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”, this collaboration has found the ground for their greatest and more challenging release so far: 3 quadruple albums portraying the “Inferno”, “Purgatorio” and “Paradiso”. For this 12 cd monstruous task, they’ve again selected a mixture of already known and almost completely unknown or new set of bands to deliver the goods.


Purgatorio is the second chapter of the trilogy, and, once again, is (expectebly) a bit unbalanced. Not only because of the quality of the bands involved, but also because each band has its own approach and so the album naturally gains in wideness and variety but also loses some focus and consistency.

Truth be told, this kind of releases is always a major opportunity for less known bands to show their potentialities and get noticed, and it is also a fact that such a collection of sorts can easily satisfy the prog collector, especially the 70’s prog lover, as it assorts and presents musical approaches in a distinctive vintage moindset and musicality…so this album can only, yet again, be highly recommended to those die-hard prog fans that keep their innuendo upon the 70’s techniques and instrumentations.

The first cd starts with a small, nice, introduction by Simon Says, after which the French band Nemo really opens the hostilities, with a good interpretation of vintage prog done by a very much contemporary sounding band.

 KBridge is the first real surprise of this album. Their music seems to have come out of from early Genesis vault. The similarities in style and approach are so obvious that you just have to forget about collage and enjoy the track as it had really been recorded in the 70’s. This is also the longest track in this first cd.

Ozone Player follows with an instrumental track that recreates the fascination for medieval music and its incorporation in keyboard driven prog. Very vintage, very entertaining.

 Raimundo Rodulfo adds the jazzy/fusion touch that was missing up to this point and his ability to mix that mindset with a sympho prog attitude. He shows how eclectic and dynamic his musically normally is. A good way to discover this artist.

Ten Midnight brings us a mix between the current interpretations of old Italian sympho school, with a slight pop touch after a dark/Goblin start and a typical Italian keyboard solo by the end.

SoulEngine is another unknown band that keeps the progression tone and aesthetic. Again, the vintage keyboards are terribly noticeable, though the band interludes a sort of Triumvirat reminiscent keyboard playing with a more King Crimson guitar riffing.

 Willowglass brings a more quiet and introspective approach, keeping things on a more laid back, eerie atmosphere that turns a bit more epic by the middle of the track.

 Atlantis101 closes the first cd with a darker, somehow heavier and more emotional tone.

The second cd  starts with a Contrappunto Project proposal. The neo-classic basis is punctuated by slight dissonances. The track is an all instrumental one, played in the piano, and provides an all new experience in this cd set.

 Sophya Baccini kinds of continues the darker, experimental tone of the previous track, adding strangeness to the album by means of a Tori Amos/Devil Doll/Kate Bush impossible conjuration. Strange but effective, making me very curious about her work.

 Nexus takes the collection back to the purest symphonic prog path, something that have always characterized their music. Yet, it is one of the weakest tracks so far.

 Nuova Era’s track follows the symphonic path of the previous, but in a more mature and enjoyable way.

Survival presents a dark/haunting musicality that shifts moods and velocity. Again very keyboard driven.

Russian Little Tragedies do what they can do so well: exciting and bombastic symphonic prog with a classical touch and an excellent interplay. I simply love this band.

Armalite then starts in a very 80’s neo-prog fashion which quickly turns into a typical Italian emotional approach. The vocals are not excellent, but the band shows good promise.

 Phideaux is one of the best contemporary proggers, imo. Despite the use of vintage instruments, he still can show his very typical and unique style of modern symphonic prog in which the instruments draw different melodies in different layers and the music oddly seems to constantly change patterns in a sole tapestry.

Tommy Eriksson closes the second album with an instrumental track that does not seem to bring that much added value to the album.

The third album starts with Entrance (justice to the bands name…) , their approach is very south-American hard prog with complex arrangements and a pseudo-prog metal vocalization. Nice for a change.

Maxwell’s Demon prefer to keep things on a darker ambiance and bizarre atonal complexity. Sounding like a non-metal Behold…the Arctopus until they get pastoral… Well it was about time for some sort of weirdness that tangents the avant-garde, wasn’t it?

Rak has adopted a more aggressive and contemporary sounding. Somewhat between the alternative, the psychedelic, the hard and the neo-prog. It is another track that stands out because it dares to bring something really new to this collection.

 Colossus Project keeps it in the path of the contemporary interpretations of classic styles, with a strong foot in the early 70’s psychedelic hard prog and another foot in the later 90’s American neo-prog. Would they have a third foot and I would have consider it in the early 00’s Swedish sympho. It is a very varied song indeed.

Matthijs Herder (yet another completely new band for me) is much more influenced by the early Scandinavian prog, with some hints of anglo-saxon vintage, just to provide some spicy flavor in the start. The band then moves on to a very eerie and atmospheric (I would say ghostly) sound. Smooth, soft and contemplative.

Mad Crayon represents the more neo-prog side of things, though here they really add something more progressive and, at the same time, regressive to their proposal.

Tabula Smaragdina plays a very Scandinavian kind of progressive which brings White Willow, Tabula Rasa and Made in Sweden to mind.

 Blank Manuskript has some good ideas, mixing some Canterbury with early melodic psychedelic. It is hard to get used to the vocals, but once you get there, you’ll understand and like the concept.

To finalize the third cd, Lady Lake does what they do best: pure vintage symphonic progressive rock, very Netherlander with Gentle Giant hints, very thoughtful.

The 4th cd opens up in the best way, with one of the most underrated bands around: Groovector. Their sound is original and focused, here in a slow, introspective tone. This is a band I really like!

 Mist Season keeps things on the same track, in a smooth and calm manner, touching the new-age with a very very subtle acid-jazz thrown up in the mix here and there.

Flamborough Head presents a nice, melodic track, in the vein of contemplative instrumental prog. The track slowly progresses and reaches a climax near the end.

This ends up being the more balanced cd of the 4, a conclusion easily reached when getting to Hungarian Yesterdays. The calmer and more melodic aesthetics of progressive rock are well represented in this track, though the band also ends up adding some keyboard psychotic parts interlude by great guitars.

B612 differs not from the previous selections. In fact, this track would pretty much fit in any album featuring the previous Mist Season and Yesterdays tracks. Yet, it is probably the weakest track in this 4th cd.

Equilibrio Vital brings back the epic feel. When it starts, the track could be a soundtrack to a movie featuring a medieval knight riding its horse through green fields. Then it turns strange and almost frightening, as if that knight would enter a dark and mysterious forest, simply to return to brighter images again. This is the pinnacle of the 4th album, pure epic south-american symphonic prog.
                   

Jinetes Negros follow the previous path, again revisiting darker landscapes but providing them an epic feel. The guitar riffing is heavier and when the singing starts, it brings the listener closer to hard rock imagery with prog keys and operatic choruses. Another great song here!

Simon Says is given another chance here, just to close the album in the same manner it was opened…4 long cds ago.

This set has a bonus track, provided by Pasini and Ragozza, but it really does not bring any added value, in my opinion.

Again, this is a collector’s item that perfectly represents an excellent concept that must be praised and cherished. Very representative of some of the many approaches on progressive music, with emphasis on the re-creation of the earlier steps and aesthetics of this genre, as seen by contemporary bands that tribute and feel inspired by that era.

Now, after having Kalevala and Dante’s work interpreted, can I somehow suggest Musea/Colossus to study the fabulous Portuguese epic poem “Os Lusíadas”, written in the 16th century by one of our foremost poets (Luis de Camões)? I truly believe it absolutely fits the idea of this project and would be a great experience for all. Can I help?