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Sotos - Platypus  CD (album) cover





3.85 | 37 ratings

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3 stars Sotos is a French ensemble that published two albums. On the rock side they hold drums, bass and electric guitar. On the classical / acoustic side, there are violin and cello. No special sounds or effects here, it sounds very strait forward, but the few effects that does appear here and there, adds a lot to the final result. So this is a chamber rock by definition.

As they claim, among their influences is the neo classicism (Such as "The Soldier's Tale" by Stravinsky). For my taste and experience, such influences could end up with an over 'dry' result. But Sotos manage very well to be more 'wet', full of life, dynamic and energetic.

Very well musicianship here by all members, especially by drummer Michael Hazera. His drumming is furious without being bombastic, fresh and dynamic. He has got excellent timing and great ideas.

There are two compositions in this album, "Maelstrom" and "Wu". Due to credits, written by Bruno Camiade (bassist) and Yan Hazera (guitarist, Michael's brother) respectively, but both sounds like a band effort more than a one person composition.

"Maelstrom" is divided to seven parts, each part flaws naturally into the next one. Parts 1-4 are short, dynamic and energetic pieces. In each part occasionally there is one main repetitive theme, and above it there are some improvisations, interplays, melodies that come and go, and other surprises, that makes it flow very well.

The following three parts are moodier, more sophisticated. Part 5 offers an interesting adaptation to the Dies Irae, a famous church motif that used in many classical compositions, such as the Fantastic Symphony by Berlioz, part five. However this adaptation is a little bit long and continues for my taste.

Part 6 include nice reprise to the part one theme, up to the surprising, unexpected finale. Maelstrom could be finished at this point, but then comes the 7th part, a coda, sad, beautiful melody played by violin and xylophone, with silent guitar background. Good and rewarding composition.

"Wu" - Well, that's another story. Here the main goal is to create a vague atmosphere and sound spaces. I must admit that occasionally this is not my regular taste. Plus it's long, almost 30 minuets. Near the end it becomes more interesting and coherent. I suppose that RIO/Post rock fans will find an interest here.

Good and rewarding album, especially due to "Maelstrom".

My rating to this effort - 3.5 stars.

ShW1 | 3/5 |


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