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Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas Part 1

Decameron is the latest collaboration between Musea Records and the Colossus Projects (The Finnish Progressive Music Association), a project dedicated to promoting Finnish music throughout the world. This massive four CD box set was put together by Marco Bernard and is based on the 100 tales written by Giovanni Boccaccio between 1350 and 1353. Those were important works and influenced many writers including Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales.

Reviewing Ten Days has been somewhat of a daunting task as there is so much music to absorb. There are no less than thirty-three performers here (they cover the first thirty-three tales of Boccaccio's Decameron) so you can see how this project was such a huge undertaking. What is even better is the consistently high quality, so you can be rest assured of hearing something you like, especially if you appreciate classic '70s progressive rock. There are many songs that took be back to that era so if you dig a little bit of retro with your prog you really need to hear these albums.

Because the four discs are loaded with highlights I will only mention a few. On the first disc two tracks really stand out; Lady Lake's "Wisdom" and "The Inquisitor's Jig" by the American band Resistor. The former features a nice blend between mellow and heavy with big organ swells, melodic lead guitar and heavier riffs while the latter has a bit of a Jethro Tull feel, mixing folk with classic prog.

The second disc is also very strong. Andrew Roussak's "Alberto of Bologna" combines prog folk with some heavier styles with the backing vocals reminding me of Queen whereas "Lauretta's Tale" by the Brazillian band Index is a melodic instrumental featuring soaring lead guitar and vintage keys galore.

Moving on to disc three two of my favourite tracks include the Rhys Marsh composition "In Deceit They Play" and "Fast Forward" from the Holland band Trion. The former is stamped by Marsh's unique vocals and a great melody featuring lush harmonium and Mellotron while the latter is more upbeat, very melodic and has an Ayreonesque vibe at times.

One of the best songs on disc four has to be "Snuff" from a new project called Mogon featuring the considerable talents of Phideaux Xavier (electric guitar, vocals, bass), Johnny Unicorn (keyboards) and Molly Rutan (drums). This is atmospheric progressive/art rock at its finest with some of the dreamier sections recalling Pink Floyd. At over ten minutes long the music is allowed to build adding symphonic touches and even some trumpet/French horn work by Probyn Gregory giving it a jazzy flair.

The package also comes with a detailed multi page booklet which includes an explanation of the concept, song lyrics, band photographs, excellent artwork and a full instrument list for all the musicians involved. There is no doubting the work that went into this project.

Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part 1 is a tremendous work and should offer a little something for anyone at all interested in progressive music. Highly recommended!

Track Listing:
1. La Coscienza Di Zeno Il paradiso degli altri (9:52)
2. Nexus The Evil Priests (7:20)
3. Lady Lake Wisdom (10:42)
4. Tommy Eriksson Abbotic Cure (7:12)
5. La Theorie Des Cordes Le Repas des Gelinottes ou Anecdotes sur un Roi
France (6:23)
6. Resistor The Inquisitor's Jig (8:34)
7. Faveravola Cangrande e Bergamino (8:05)
1. Index Lauretta's Tale (10:38)
2. Safar Elissa (5:27)
3. Andrew Roussak Project Alberto of Bologna (5:47)
4. Pennelli Di Vermeer La novella di Martellino (3:37)
5. Jinetes Negros Templanza (5:01)
6. Posto Blocco 19 Scandendo il Tempo (6:51)
7. Serdimontana Campaign (5:06)
8. Fufluns Andreuccio da Perugia (7:34)
9. Senogul Sixth Tale (6:31)
10. Kate Alathiella (6:25)
1. Roz Vitalis Eighth Tale (8:08)
2. Rhys Marsh In Deceit They Play (4:33)
3. Inner Drive Second Day Tenth Tale (4:29)
4. Trion Fast Forward (4:48)
5. Attilio Perrone - Peste (8:18)
6. Attilio Perrone - Amami (4:19)
7. Contrarian The Alchemist (6:07)
8. The Samurai Of Prog The Promise (8:09) 9. Jukka Kulju Decameron Day 3 Tale 6 (6:37)
1. Ars Ephemera Decameron 3:7 (11:57)
2. Mogon Snuff (10:51)
3. Ciccada She Went For Love (7:41)
4. Ozone Player Putting the Devil in Hell (6:36)
5. Castle Canyon The Poison Heart (9:46)
6. La C.O.S.A. Orizzonte perduto (6:26)
7. Cary Clouser After All (3:39)
Bonus Tracks
8. Daal Witches (6:49)
9. Marco Lo Muscio White Prelude (homage to Boccaccio) (4:25)

Added: April 29th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 2466
Language: english

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