Released in May 2005, The Spaghetti Epic, Vol. 2 is intended -- and successful -- as a second round of the first volume. Three bands already featured on The Spaghetti Epic have been asked to write and perform a long suite (over 20 minutes) of Italian-styled progressive rock, using for inspiration a classic Sergio Leone spaghetti western. The original Spaghetti Epic released in 2005 featured six bands over two CDs tackling Once Upon a Time in the West. This time around, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly gets a three-band, single-disc treatment. It seems that the projects were meant to be released closer together, but the untimely death of Haikara leader Vesa Lattunen set the second volume back, until Randone were able to step in, and compose and record their own suite. The novelty effect may be wearing off by now, but The Spaghetti Epic, Vol. 2 is musically successful, at least as much as its older brother. Randone's "The Good" opens with Ennio Morricone's unforgettable theme, before launching into a roller-coaster depiction of Clint Eastwood's character, with a lot of vintage Italian prog rock feel. Again, here is a band turning in one of its best-ever songs for a Colossus-Musea thematic project. Putting "The Bad" into music befell to "La Voce del Vento" (aka the Tangent's Andy Tillison and Guy Manning masquerading as Italian musicians -- they are billed as "Andreas Tillisoni" and "Guy De M'Anningi"). A bit lighter in tempo, arrangements and lyrical content than the other pieces, their epic song provides a breather of sorts, and some very nice organ playing. Their take on Italian prog rock occasionally verges on the pastiche (especially in the first chorus, a bit too Banco-like for comfort). Tilion close the proceedings with "The Ugly," a raucous piece full of yearning themes, clever dissonances and over-the-top tension. The suite is clearly a case of love-it-or-hate-it, but it undoubtedly succeeds in portraying Eli Wallach's despicable character. Tilion's piece requires several listens before it unveils its beauties, but, in the long run, it may be the most endearing one on this set. Highly recommended, again.
AllMusic Review by François Couture