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(47:41, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Snooze 5:44 2. Free Fall 6:00 3. Forgetful Hero 5:17 4. Wrinkled Maiden 2:29 5. Nomen 6:14 6. Infinite 3:59 7. Masquerade 4:38 8. Veteran 4:30 9. Vanity Fair 4:13 10. Forbidden 4:37 LINEUP: Gionatan Caradonna – keyboards Vladimer Sichinava – drums Thomas Laguzzi – guitars Luca Cambi – basses Luca Latini – vocals With: Mamuka Ghaghanidze – vocals Anita Rachvelishvili – vocals Zurab J Gagnidze – vocals Jakub Mietla – accordion Marco Bacci – trumpet Massimo Testi – trombone Tobia Bondesan – saxophone
Prolusion. The Italy-based band PROFUSION consists of Italian and Georgian musicians. It started out back in 2001, originally called Mardi Gras Experience, but opting to change to Profusion from 2002 and onward. "Phersu" is their third studio album to date, and was released through Progressive Promotion Records in the fall of 2015.
Analysis. I understand that the choice of name for this band was a rather deliberate one: a blend of the words progressive and fusion. Not that the music they have chosen to explore is one that will feel extremely familiar to those with a passionate taste for music otherwise described as fusion, be it in jazz or jazz rock circles, but the rather eclectic approach the band has to their music is one that contains elements thereof. Not to the extent of being firmly in the interest scope of jazz or jazz rock aficionados, but a certain interest in this type of music will most certainly be helpful when exploring this album, nevertheless. This band is fond of mixing things up a bit, and also fond of venturing into unpredictable territories. A brief affair like Wrinkled Maiden documents quite clearly that it is, indeed, possible to create music that is undeniable progressive rock, lasting less than two and a half minutes, and that the progressive as well as the rock aspect of the composition is one you wouldn't predict from the first half or so of its playing time. The folk-tinged, exotic tonalities and harmonies, used expertly in the opening half of Nomen, are another intriguing aspect showcasing the scope and width of the band, especially as the song then moves away from those landscapes as it develops. There's a bit more than quirky and unexpected developments at play here however, and a bit more than progressive rock as well when it comes to that. Profusion will often toss in some progressive metal-oriented escapades into their compositions for instance, at times bordering the majestic sounds of Dream Theater circa 1992-‘94, and on opening track Snooze we're treated to an electro-rock interlude as well. But melancholic piano and strings arrangements are just as much a strength of the band, even if not explored as in depth or as thoroughly, and there's just about always room for a jazz-tinged piano motif or a deep, fluently moving bass-line of the kind that couldn't have been developed without jazz having developed as a genre for inspiration. These jazz rock and jazz fusion touches are rarely dominant however, but are more of a subtle, underlying presence. A detail you'll notice when you decide to focus to try to find them, rather than aspects that are up-front or otherwise a dominating aspect of the proceedings. Powerful, clear and perfectly controlled lead vocals are the icing on the cake in this case, and when the band decides to conclude this CD with a piano ballad that draws in details from both jazz and classical music, it showcases a band that most certainly knows their music history and has the skill and talent to make use of multiple legacies and genre details.
Conclusion. Eclectic, sophisticated music with half a foot or thereabouts inside the progressive metal spectrum and otherwise with a firm foundation in innovative progressive rock is what Profucion provides us on their third studio production "Phersu", lightly flavored with some subtle jazz and fusion touches and with occasional forays into landscapes drawing in inspiration from world music and folk music to boot. A well made, high-quality CD, well worth giving a spin for those with an interest in accessible yet at times also somewhat challenging and well made contemporary progressive rock of the eclectic kind.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: June 15, 2016
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