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Cairo - Cairo CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 106 ratings

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4 stars An Excellent Album that's been underrated so far . Try some more spins! It'll grow significantly .

Many have said that CAIRO is heavily influenced by ELP. In a way, this statement is true. But, musically, CAIRO music is influenced heavily by Genesis, Yes, Saga, Marillion and Steve Hackett music. At musician level, the band's keyboardist Mark Robertson has been heavily influenced by Keith Emerson in style. This is where most people claim the ELP influence. Yes, there are some segments that sound ELP vein but it's not that much as compared to Genesis or Marillion influence. The last track may deserve a similarity with ELP music but it's not really - because Cairo music is filled with stunning guitar work; not only keyboard / organ.

The album opens with an overture that comprises an instrumental piece "Conception" for approximately 2 minutes duration. Musically, it's in the vein of Genesis "Wind and Wuthering" album. The lead guitar forms the melody structure of this overture accompanied with a multi-layer keyboard sound. It's an excellent opening and sets an overall tone of the album.

"Season of the Heart" opens with a rhythm section in the vein of Saga with more textures on keyboard sound. When voice line enters the music, its vocal quality reminds me exactly to the lead singer of Mike Rutherford's firs solo album "Small creep's Day" - Noel McCalla or GTR vocalist Max Bacon. It's the vocal quality similar to GTR's "When The Hearts Rule The Mind". Musically, this song has a very strong influence of classical music and the 70s prog rock. Guitar solo by Alec Fuhrman is truly stunning, backed up with an excellent keyboard work. This song has a good song writing and excellent arrangement. Here we have a precious and intimate tune.

When the CD reaches track 3 "Silent Winter" - something struck into my mind. Some chords played by the keyboard remind me to the arrangement performed by other artist. It took me a long time until I found what I mean with this. Yeah . I gotcha! You know what? The chords you hear at approx min [0:45] produced by keyboard - and it's repeated in some segments throughout the song is exactly the same with track 2 of Abbfinoosty "The Storm" called "Interstellar". (Refer to my review of this album in this site). You will definitely agree with what I've found here because the chords are exactly the same. Plagiarism? I don't know. But, who copied who? Well, looking at release date, this debut album of CAIRO was released 2 years before Abbfinoosty. Overall, "Silent Winter" is an excellent track with tight composition and melodic.

"Between The Lines" starts off with an ELP like keyboard sound at the opening part but when the voice line enters the music, the keyboard turns into another style different with what Emerson used to play. Electric guitar plays an important role in providing the textures of this song combined with excellent Emerson like keyboard work. I think, in this track the two instruments: guitar and keyboard play very dominant role in forming the music and all of them are performed in relatively fast tempo. It's truly rocking man! I don't understand if people who claim themselves as proggers do not love this wondefully crafted song.

"World Divided" begins with a bluesy nuance guitar style augmented with piano sound to accompany voice line laid over a nice melody. This song turns symphonic in nature especially during breaks between singing passage. Bret Douglas demonstrates his vocal quality backed with electric guitar fills and melody. The interlude part, i.e. in the middle of the track, guitar and keyboard are given much more alternate roles. The music gradually moves toward an increasing tempo and maintaining the symphonic nature. The composition is really top notch.

The concluding track "Ruins At Avalon's Gate" is an epic that takes 22 minutes to complete. It consumes one side of LP format - like those of Triumvirat's "Illusion on Double Dimple" album. Composition-wise, I fully agree that this track is heavily influenced by ELP especially on the way keyboard is played. Mark does a wonderful job here. Some people may say that this is an ELP rip-off, but for me I really enjoy it very much because there is no such thing similar, melody-wise, with ELP. So, I don's see any issue of plagiarism. Yes, their music is derivative - so what? The keyboard work is truly stunning. Structurally, this song reminds me to ELP's "Fanfare for the Common Man" but melodically is different kind of song. The ending part of this epic is truly a Genesis- like music, there is no ELP element here ...

Recommended! Cairo's music has a very tight composition - excellent songwriting and arrangements; excellent musicianship especially keyboard and guitar and flawless delivery. This album is really enjoyable prog album that has been "underrated". This must be corrected. We should not judge the band based on couple spins only - it should be spun minimum of 8 times to get the true meaning of their wonderful music. Forget about the rip-off things. Put in your mind that there has never been a band called ELP. Then you will definitely enjoy their music. I assure you that there is no cloning in terms of melody from previous bands. Keep on proggin'!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

Gatot | 4/5 |


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