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Rodrigo San Martin - Eyes CD (album) cover


Rodrigo San Martin


Crossover Prog

3.97 | 24 ratings

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Judas Unrepentant
4 stars For his third installment Rodrigo starts experimenting with shorter tracks to great results.

Eyes, when you download it from his website instead of Bandcamp, comes divided into two folders that represent two sides of a vinyl. It's up to you to decide which side is the first (I'll reviews with the side with the short pieces first and the side long piece for the end)

This time Rodrigo San Martín decided to surround himself with full band (unlike his first two albums) and the result is that the music souds much more lively, specially to Sergio López and Ludmila Clemente (bass and drums, respectively). Jelena Perisic and Craig Kerley come back to sing on this one, which is a big plus, and we have two new guests as well: Fernando Refay on keyboards and Tamara Szych on vocals.

(Eyes) Wide Shut:

01 The Mask: The album starts with a song filled with ideas. A pretty waltz sung by Perisic continues to a very good piano solo that kind of reminds me to Emerson's in Take a Pebble (great work by Fernando Refay!), after that we find ourselves in heavy prog territories with interesting solos from San Martín and Refay (this time on synth) and great drumming. The track is wrapped by a buildup ending not unlike the one on The Musical Box.

02 Destroy the Signal (or Anti Bieber Anthem, as it's named on youtube): this one's a Blackest Eyes ripoff (at least in the structure and overall sound), but nevertheless a very interesting short song that features the very powerful vocals of Mr. Craig Kerley (Not Otherwise Specified, a band you should defietly check out). It eludes me how he doesn't sing more on the album since his power would brighten many moments!

03 Amanecer: a great groove by López and Clemente start this song. I find it very hard to categorize it: on one hand it's definetly more pop oriented that San Martín has done to this point but it's definetly a prog number witha lot of ideas thrown in. So let's just call it interesting Prog-pop. Tamara Szych appears on vocals for the first time, singing a (not so cheesy) love song in spanish. Unexpected but very good, one of the highest points in Rodrigo's discography.

04 Interludio: a short and creepy intro to the next track. Very good clean guitar solo over an eerie acoustic riff (followed by a mellotron, to continue the feeling)

05 Ahora: others reviewers have pointed that this one sounds like the 70's but it reminds me (once more) of Porcupine Tree. Acoustic vocal section in between heavy prog riffing and cool ery atmospheric intro that screams early Porcupine Tree (who, to be fair, early 70's Pink Floyd) lead us to a very beautiful vocal part backed with piano that slowly builds to a more rockier section. Fernando Refay's synth appears again with a killer solo that brings Jordan Ruddes to mind. The eerieness from Interlude comes again in the form of a xylophone riff that is constantly interruped by a heavy metal band (actually quite similar to Two Children are Born now I think about it) and this leads to a very good guitar solo. After the guitar solo we are left once more in Floyd territory with a great bass solo by López and interesting vocal harmonies by Jelena. Now Rodrigo San Martín does his best to imitate Dave Gilmour on guitar and suceeds, which leads us to a heavy vocal section that would've benefited from having Craig Kerley sing it instead of Jelena Perisic. There is a very good creepy synth solo over a riff that comes directly from King Crimson's Red and we have a cool instrumental section featuring great bass and drum work by Sergio López and Ludmila Clemente. To recapitulate we have a reprise of the verse in Ahora that leads to my favorite part of the album: a lovely orchestal buildup that , when it explodes, brings us Rodrigo San Martín's greatest guitar moment. solos. Tamara Szych sings again but this time in spanish and has a lovely moment towards the middle of the track that sounds like sirens trying to make your ship sink. There's great moments for every musician on this song and it's a great way of closing the side of the digital vinyl.

(Eyes) Wide Open:

06 (or 01) Con Los Ojos Abiertos: this is Rodrigo San Martín's best long piece (well, not if you count A Lullaby For Mankind as a one track album, which I think is what was intended). I won't take narrate to you what happens here, I will just tell you that everything we love from Rodrigo's music is on fine display on this one: great compositions, lovely melodies (sung by Perisic), fantastic musicianship and an interesting concept to tie it all up.

Judas Unrepentant | 4/5 |


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