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Profusion: RewoToweR

On its second LP, RewoToweR, Italian newcomers Profusion display their cleverness right off the bat by using a palindrome for a title. Fortunately, the music contained within is also quite noteworthy. While some of the usual progressive metal conventions are present, the group incorporates enough experimentation and conceptual continuity to make the record slightly more exceptional than most.

Formed about a decade ago, the quintet derived its name by combining "progressive" and "fusion." They describe RewoToweR as a journey that parallels Babel, saying, "there are many languages that lead the climbing: rock, metal, fusion, pop, [and] acoustic-tango." While the influence of some standard heavyweights, such as Dream Theater and Symphony X, are present, Profusion also begs comparison to the rhythmic and melodic strengths of Tool and Fates Warning, as well a healthy dose of classical instrumentation. Clearly, their sound is multifaceted.

"Ghost House" opens the record with a catchy riffs, addictive syncopation, and aggressive vocals. With both ferocity and fragility, singer Luca Latini definitely has a distinctive presence. The two-part "Taste of Colours" mixes balladry and heaviness expertly; specifically, the piano arrangements are superb. "So Close But Alone" introduces a bit of Middle Eastern flair, and the union of "Tkeshi" and "Chuta Chani" increases it substantially, making for arguably the best segue and most ambitious sections of RewoToweR. In fact, it's probably what a less extreme Orphaned Land would sound like.

With intense guitar work and shifting rhythms, the album's other two-part piece, "The Tower," is much more complex and quick than its counterpart. The record concludes with a technical showpiece, "Dedalus Falling," which blends virtuosic jamming and affective songwriting. Best of all, after several minutes of silence, "Ghost House" gets reprised briefly, allowing RewoToweR to come full circle. It's fantastic.

RewoTower doesn't really revolutionize or challenge conventions, but it's still more catchy, dynamic, and nuanced than many contemporary prog metal albums. Every track intrigues on several levels, and there's a sense of dedication and artistic prosperity throughout. Rather than rest comfortably within a safe formula, Profusion pile unique ideas onto familiar grounding, making the record stand out and undoubtedly appeal to genre fans.

1 - Ghost House
2 - Taste Of Colours - Part 1
3 - Taste Of Colours - Part 2
4 - Treasure Island
5 - So Close But Alone
6 - Tkeshi
7 - Chuta Chani
8 - The Tower - Part 1
9 - The Tower - Part 2
10 - Turned to Gold
11 - Dedalus Falling

Added: July 14th 2012
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3555
Language: english

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Profusion: RewoToweR
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-07-14 07:15:33
My Score:

With the huge amount of progressive metal releases that still roll out week after week, I'm at the stage where I'm pretty sure that there are more people making this style of music than there is actually buying it. Therefore the pressure is on for bands to come up with ideas that ensure their own forays into this genre sound at least a little individual. To their credit, this is something that Profusion keep a keen eye on their second album RewoTower, with unusual elements creeping into their sound, although when they concentrate on more standard prog-metal fare, to suggest that much of the Italian act's approach leans heavily on the usual Dream Theater references would be a massive understatement. That said, the four musicians involved in Profusion are skilled, creating sumptuous keyboard and guitar battles, while the bass teams up with ever busy and technical drumming to form muscular, if intricate surges. Vocally Luca Latini reminds of James LaBrie (is there a contract somewhere that prog metal vocalists have to sign stating they must at least use some of JL's vocal intonations on their albums??), although to be fair he is often singing against guitar lines and melodies that almost demand to be sung in this way. Elements of "Ghost House", "Taste Of Colours " (both part I & II) and especially "Dedalus Falling" hammer out fire breathing riffs, manic time changes and wonderful guitar-keyboard sparring, while the vocals swoop and soar. While all the time there's a nagging suspicion that you've heard a lot of this many times before, there's no denying that Profusion do it very well indeed.

So with about half of the album falling neatly into the box marked superbly played, but safe prog metal, the rest of RewoTower opts to veer off into more unusual territory. When it works, as it does on the oddly bagpipe like keyboard led "Chuta Chani", where the quirky time signature gallops along amid chants and bouncing guitars, the effect is splendidly uplifting. When it doesn't quite come off, as with the lounge lizard meets skat vocals of "So Close But Alone", there's a whiff of trying something different for the sake of being different (not a bad sentiment to try and bring to fruition to be fair). "Treasure Island" marries a grittier sound to warping keyboards, via some cheesy "bottle of rum" pirate lyrics, bringing 'Awake' era DT to mind. Although "Turned To Gold" does an excellent job of partnering the more prog aspects to the fusion hinted at in the band's name with interesting results.

RewoTower does a decent job of presenting well trodden paths, cleaned up to offer new and interesting journeys. All the time providing enough to keep prog metal purists happy, while still veering from the straight and narrow often enough to entice the more adventurous prog enthusiast to some along for the ride.

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