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Kalevala - Finnish Progressive Rock Epic

a Studio release
VA: Colossus Projects

Release Year: 2003

Date Label Catalog # Comments

Released by Musea (FGBG 4463.AR) in 2003. A 'definitive' re-master was issued in 2008 by Musea using the same catalog number.

COLOSSUS together with MUSEA deliver this concept album and triple-CD based on the Finnish National Epic KALEVALA.
The idea of the project has been to divide the poems of the Finnish classic Kavlevala into 30 parts. Each band participating has chosen one part and will make their music inspired by it. The songs can be either instrumental or with vocals and all vocals are in the native language of the band. All keyboards used on the songs are original 70's instruments (Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog, Clavinet, Fender Rhoades etc.) or be emulated with the best technology of today and no drum machines or programming was allowed

Added To Proggnosis Database on: 9/5/2003 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 9/19/2017 11:49:00 AM by: DBSilver

CD 1

  1. The Creation - The Sowing
  2. Wainamoinen And Youkahainen - The Fate Of Aino
  3. Som Floden Flyter
  4. Trubadurens Kval
  5. Maiden Of The Bow
  6. Ilmarinen Forges The Sampo
  7. Lemminkainen's Lament
  8. The Three Battles
  9. Raking The Bones
  10. The Boat Builder - Serarching For The Lost Word

CD 2

  1. 3
  2. The Wedding
  3. Uninvited Guest
  4. Pimeästa Pohjolasta
  5. Il Suono Dei Ricordi
  6. Fiore Di Vendetta
  7. Filo Di Lama
  8. Strani Colori
  9. Malvagio Per Le Stelle
  10. Ilmarinen's Bride Of Gold

CD 3

  1. Ilmarinen's Friutless Wooing
  2. Kantele
  3. Stormen
  4. La Bataglia Per Il Sempo
  5. Uusi Kantele
  6. Kapittu 45/46
  7. Tuletta
  8. Pine
  9. Runo 49
  10. Way Is Open
  1. Haikara
  2. Overhead
  3. Simon Says
  4. Sinkadus
  5. Moongarden
  6. Il Castello Di Atlante
  7. Magenta
  8. Submarine Silence
  9. Metaphor
  10. Clearlight

CD 2

  1. Orchard
  2. Greenwall
  3. Revelation
  4. Scarlet Thread
  5. Mad Crayon
  6. Museo Rosenbach
  7. Leviathan
  8. Malibran
  9. Sofia Baccini
  10. Elegant Simplicity

CD 3

  1. Qadesh
  2. Cantina Sociale
  3. Grand Stand
  4. Germinale
  5. Aardvark
  6. Thonk
  7. Groovector
  8. Whobodies
  9. Randone & Tempore
  10. Cafeine

Reviewed by Nuno on 25 Sep 2003

The basic idea of the project Kalevala . A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic is nothing short of brilliant: to translate Finland’s National Epic Poem into almost 4 hours worth of vintage progressive rock, with overgrown emphasis on the symphonic side of it.
To do this, the brainchild label of this project (Colossus, in association with Musea) has pursued the dream and managed to gather 30 bands, each one composing and playing one track, based on the various chapters of the Poem.
Looking at the list of bands, it is not hard to imagine the anticipation of all progsters who knew about this project. With names such as Museo Rosenbach, Malibran, Simon Says, Magenta or Overhead, it is only natural to have these high expectations…

The idea also included the fact that only vintage 70’s instruments should be used by the bands, managing the sound to be really representative of the golden prog era. So being, the Mellotron, Moog, or Fender Rhodes (just to mention the most famous) returned to their shining condition, as center pieces of this style’s sound.

As in almost every project that includes a wide list of bands, it is nearly impossible to maintain a constant prime level from start to end. And so it happens in this case, where we have really fantastic tracks, well inbreeded in the true 70’s spirit, and others that are not so well accomplished. In fact, most of the bands are used to play in a more contemporary style of prog, so a few didn’t totally succeed in finding a somehow more “retro” sound. Others did, and in some cases the result was awesome.

Before visiting each of the 3 cd’s that complete this package, I must say a word about the booklet, where you can find a whole lot of information about each band and its members, the lyrics, the part of the Poem from which the band has been inspired and a resumed version of the Kalevala. It makes the booklet very complete and informative which is excellent!
Overall, the 3 cd’s present us with a lot of Epic moments (as expected), always with a deep symphonic feel and some occasional Folk intrusions. It is odd to listen to an Italian band playing reminiscences to Nordic Folk, but it is also very entertaining…

Taking the first cd, the tracks that clearly stand out are those played by Overhead (infectious rhythms and minstrel alike vocalizations), Simon Says (real 70’s sound), Sinkadus (perfectly translating the Scandinavian school of Sympho Prog), Il Castello Di Atlante (prime rate Italian sympho, in the best tradition of this rewarding school), Magenta (candid and melancholic prog) and Clearlight (Genesis with Peter Gabriel all over this track…excellent), while the others vary from satisfactory to less accomplished.

Repeating this same sort of analysis for the second cd, I would emphasize the powerful quality and jazzy intrusions of Orchard, the orchestrated beauty and folksy approach of Greenwall (though the vocals sometimes seem a bit exaggerated), the excellent combination of dark and bright sparks by legends Museo Rosenbach and the way Leviathan perfectly uses all the 70’s tricks to construct its track. I am a bit disappointed by Malibran’s contribution, being this one of my fav contemporary Italian bands.

The third cd is, IMO, the less illuminated one. In fact only from the 7th track it gets really good. Despite that, I like the strangeness and inventiveness of the first track, by Qadesh. From Groovector’s instrumental flavored prog, this album gets better, with Whobodies cool fusion experience, Randone & Tempore’s tempo changes and swirling musicality and Cafeine’s neo-classic, haunting but powerful talent.

Overall, this is an album that has music that will undoubtedly satisfy each and every 70’s symphonic prog lover, with no exception.
It has that extra issue of being played by contemporary bands using vintage instruments. This odd relation really brings something exquisite and interesting to discover.
Taking in consideration that the smallest track has 5 minutes, this compilation grants its buyer with approximately 4 hours of sheer entertaining, varied symphonic prog. What more can you ask??