[Review] Colosseum – Restoration

Colosseum is synonymous with the history of Progressive Rock in its Jazz version, a seminal band for the genre in which some of the best artists ever played. On April 29, 2022 the new studio album “Restoration” was released via Repertoire Records and containing 10 tracks. The new lineup includes historical members and newcomers, without losing the quality and technique that have always distinguished the sound of the band. The opening track “First in Line” is characterized by a warm and expressive vocal with inserts from the backers and a solid and energetic sound. After a more linear first part where the verses develop, in the central part the guitar offers an interesting solo insert in the instrumental section. The organ also takes a good solo space in the second part of the piece, followed by the sax. A track that starts with a simple structure in the sung part and then becomes more elaborate with the passing of the minutes, enhancing the band’s technique. Massive guitar riffs open “Hesitation” on which a background of organ and sax melodies is inserted, on a solid and linear rhythmic session. I’ve always been a lover of Chris Farlowe’s voice, who here confirms he’s in great shape with an intense rehearsal. This song combines the Blues traits of the beginnings with modern sounds and the personal touch of the band, skilled in creating refined textures and intertwining between the instruments of absolute level. “Need Somebody” has a markedly Blues Rock imprint in both the sound and the vocals, with a slower rhythm session creating a more American atmosphere. The organ solo in the central part is good, with retro sounds, followed by the guitar and then the sax, and then the vocal returns and closes. The longest track of the album “Tonight” which exceeds 6 minutes, is another slow but very intense song, characterized by a crescendo that in the second part leads to an instrumental section with good solos. “A Cowboy’s Song” is a track that incorporates elements from various genres including Hard Rock in its most melodic version in the first part and a more elaborate central. interesting is the piano insert in the central instrumental section, in the second part the cantato returns for the last stanzas and chiduere. A load-bearing bass line and sax open “Innocence” with a warm vocal and Blues and Rock overtones that blend with very intense textures. With the right alternation of vocal and instrumental parts, the track flows pleasantly with good instrumental textures and engaging vocals. Showing a smoother side of the band’s sound “If Only Dreams Were Like This” blends Jazzy and Fusion traits, showcasing all the band’s playing technique. In the central part they accelerate with a tight rhythmic session and markedly Fusion plots, enriched by tempo changes. In the second part they return to the softer opening sounds and then close this excellent instrumental piece. “I’ll Show You Mine” begins with rock-hard guitar riffs blending into the organ, a solid rhythm session and a more Rock sound with a Progressive touch in the vocals. A good piece that incorporates various elements including Bluesy passages, valuable soloist inserts such as organ in the central part and guitar in the final. The most classic sounds of Blues Rock characterize “Home by Dawn” with the organ and the sax in evidence both in the melodies and in the solo parts. The vocal is dynamic and between intense instrumental sections and sung parts, the track flows pleasantly. The album ends with “Story of the Blues” an energetic track with a tight rhythm, with a good mix between guitar and organ, with fine sax inserts. The vocal is very warm and interprets the track at its best, which develops with a good guitar solo in the second part. A band that, as mentioned, has made the history of Rock music, the musicians involved are of the highest level and are in great shape. The album incorporates greater Blues Rock influences than in the past, with intense instrumental and vocal parts that are always very warm and expressive. An album that shows the evolution of the band’s sound, breaking away from the more Progressive sounds and exploring other genres and styles with the same technique and quality. A good album, to be listened to without expecting the sounds of the 70s, but without making comparisons or comparisons you can find interesting ideas and very intense passages.

Echo & The Bunnymen Re-releases...

Tracklist

01. First in Line (5:32)
02. Hesitation (5:25)
03. Need Somebody (5:24)
04. Tonight (6:56)
05. A Cowboy’s Song (4:28)
06. Innocence (4:56)
07. If Only Dreams Were Like This (5:48)
08. I’ll Show You Mine (4:56)
09. Home by Dawn (5:41)
10. Story of the Blues (3:24)

Lineup

Chris Farlowe / Vocals
Clem Clempson / Guitars
Mark Clarke / Bass
Kim Nishikawara / Saxophone
Nick Steed / Keyboards
Malcom Mortimore / Drums

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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