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Haddad - Orion CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.70 | 16 ratings

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3 stars And then HADDAD gave a step forward in terms of progressiveness - "Orion", their 3rd studio album, is really the first we can dub as progressive, and their entrance in the style was great, leaving no doubt about the way they chose to trail. Brothers Gustavo and Leandro, the "new" generation of the Haddad family are the main actors here, counting with a special guest (Marcelo Maia, guitars) and short participations from listed and non-listed buddies, including other Haddad people.

The fairly discernible presence of synth sounds throughout the album is the more noticeable deed when compared with their previous output but actually there's a flagrant sensation of some connection among the songs resulting in a kind of concept that exudates from the tracks; the atmosphere is generally sour, poignant, sorrowful, even when some passages are intended to be uplifting.

As observed previously, production is fair and the band members' musicianship is leagues above the average. As a consequence, "Orion" is a very palatable work and if one adds the already mentioned high progressive content, the result is enjoyable.

Opening and ending tracks are mini-epics dealing with the same motifs (madness, weird dreams, scatology, modern life), and carrying the same signature. Both songs, 'Prelúdio do ópio/Ópio da razão suficiente' and 'Por onde vagam os sonhos/Delirium' show a plethora of what we like most in the prog-rock scene: beautiful symphonic tunes, agreeable neo-prog interludes, some delicate folk spices, well-shaped vocals, intense flow of keyboards, nice guitar playing. Either are the best album moments.

In addition, the album contains other fair songs: 'Desobediência kármica' is soft and warm, more romantic than truly progressive but interesting. 'Orion', the title-track, could be situated between neo-prog and prog-related with some stylized tunes reminding CAMEL or late 70s GENESIS. 'Roda da História' sounds like an ambient track while 'Far from home', sung in English, goes in the opposite direction, being a pure blues-rock with Southern guitar riffs. 'Abnormal' is too short not to smell like a filler but the main theme could be better explored: the mixture of synth and tambourine is exquisite and catchy. 'Sweet, a folha seca' is the happiest track here and the weakest too. 'Palácio dos Espelhos' is simply audible and 'Farewell blues' keeps the good album balance with nice instrumentation and general climate.

This release may finally fulfill the taste of any prog-fan even the most exigent, being a good starting-point for HADDAD's progressive output, not exactly a non-essential album but indelibly good.

Atkingani | 3/5 |


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