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Collage - Moonshine CD (album) cover

MOONSHINE

Collage

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 321 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Crow
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album accompanied me in a difficult and lonely time of my life... And it well always have a place in my heart.

Nevertheless, it's far from being perfect. I think the production is a bit saturated. Sometimes it's hard to discern the instruments clearly because the dense mixture of guitars and keyboards and the detailed and the enlarged drums. It's part of the charm of this album, but objectively the production could have been better in my opinion. Technical and financial limitations, I guess.

The second fact that I find a bit annoying of this album are Robert Amirian's vocals. The guy sings in a very powerful and passionate way, but sometimes he is completely out of tone. He had potential and capability to make a great job in this album, but for some reason he sounds not really well here.

However, apart of these two problems Moonshine is a pure pleasure for the ears.

Heroes Cry starts the record in a very powerful and melodic way, with very dense echoed guitars from Gil and great keyboards from Krzysztof Palczewski. The drummer of the leader Szadkowski are also very competent, and a very important part of Collage's sound, because he is the main songwriter and many songs revolve around his drum kit. The Witkowski's bass is sometimes buried under the rest of the musicians, and Amirian... He just tries.

In Your Eyes is just a masterpiece of Neo-Prog music. A true classic and a song which is perfect if you want to introduce someone to this genre. Amirian sings in a very passionate and sentimental way the romantic lyrics and the songs evolves constantly offering an incessant stream of wonderful progressive melodies. Just wonderful!

Lovely Day is another lovely song based mainly in the keyboards, spoiled again by the weak vocals. And Living in the Moonlight is another Collage's classic with dreamy melodies and this time with competent vocals from Amirian, who luckily sings in a more restrained way this time. The Blues bring back the hard rock of influences of Heroes Cry, but with an even better instrumental section. After two slow tracks The Blues was a very good choice.

Wins in the Night is another long song with folk melodies, which give a very European feeling to this album. Not so good as In Your Eyes, but also marvelous. And the ending is an imaginative homage to Richard Strauss. Moonshine is a bit darker and it has the harder guitars of the album (don't worry, they are just a bit distorted) and also the best bass playing.

War is Over ends the album with a chorus which is a bit repetitive, but with another folk ending with a very beautiful accordion played by Witkowski.

Conclusion: Collage is a very passionate, dreamy and beautiful Neo-Prog album. The songwriting is really strong, the musicians are great and despite the weak vocals the music shines through the whole record. And despite the influence is there, Collage are one of the Neo-Prog bands which managed not to sound like a 80's Marillion rip-off.

With a better vocal interpretation, this would be a true prog rock masterpiece.

Best Tracks: all of them. But In Your Eyes is just outstanding and one of the best Neo-Prog songs in history.

My rating: ****

The Crow | 4/5 |

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