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Ave Rock - Ave Rock CD (album) cover

AVE ROCK

Ave Rock

 

Eclectic Prog

3.38 | 15 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars This is a rather obscure band, at least outside of their part of the world. That’s too bad though, because this and their only other album are both quite good, and well worth having if you can find them. This one was good enough to be released on CD by the Brazilian label PRW. This band is a classic example of Art Rock in the form of a progressive band that demonstrates a variety of genre sounds without any one of them being dominant.

The guitar on “Dejenme Seguir” is definitely blues-inspired, and would not have been out-of-place on any number of early 70’s ‘heavy rock’ bands like Wishbone Ash, Babe Ruth, maybe even Deep Purple – I could even be convinced there is just a touch of Carlos Santana in those chords. But with the Hammond this track leans almost into psychedelic territory, very much a Latin Pink Floyd kind of thing. The vocals are Spanish, and not particularly strong, and also very much an early 70’s sound. The more I think about it, the more this sounds like a b-side from ‘Abraxas’. A very strong tune, especially if you’re into a blues-based progressive sound (which I very much am).

In a slightly different vein, “Viva Belgica” clearly has symphonic leanings. Despite the heavy presence of bass and guitar here as well, this composition is centered on the keyboard progressions, and those are varied and among the more complex in this band’s repertoire. The guitar is complementary rather than tone-setting, except for a short interlude midway through where the guitar and bass dominate briefly. This is a relaxing and intriguing arrangement that seems to reveal a little more with each listen. Definitely the strongest track on the album, if not the best the band ever did.

“Gritos” hints at times that it might develop into a fully keyboard-driven composition, but the guitars here end up overpowering the Hammond and the result is another bluesy ‘heavy rock’ song, although this one features a stronger Hammond presence than “Dejenme Seguir”. The vocals are again unnecessary and a bit distracting.

“Absence” starts with a beautiful piano sequence, and the soft vocals and guitar make this sound like borderline folk to me. Maybe it’s just the languid tempo that gives off that impression – I dunno’. Were it not for the vocals I would say this is a rather simple style of symphonic rock, and maybe it is anyway, but the Spanish vocals and tempo tell me otherwise.

And speaking of tempo, the band picks it up on the final track “El Absurdo Y La Melodia”. The vocals sound like a Spanish version of Golden Earring or something, and the guitar and keyboards combine with the rapid vocals for more a more conventional sound than anywhere else on either Ave Rock album.

This is a highly recommended album from a band that is apparently still around in some form or another, or at least they have appeared recently in their home country, although they do not appear to record any longer. On a more proper scale I would give this 3.5 stars, but as I’ve done in the past I won’t penalize the band for the lack of precision in our rating system, so four stars it is.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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