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Agnus - Pinturas y Expresiones  CD (album) cover

PINTURAS Y EXPRESIONES

Agnus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 25 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Agnus was a large Argentinian association that emerged from an art-rock band founded by guitarists Luis Sáez in 1974. By the time their only album "Pinturas y Expresiones" was recorded and released, the band comprised no less than 10 members, among them, two guitarists, one flautist and four female vocalists. With their meticulous instrumentation and the occasional addition of violin by a guest, it is clear that the band was ostensibly interested in working on the potential tapestries of symphonic prig rock. All in all, it is fair to note that the band's intentions are not translated into pompous, overcharged sonorities; Agnus manages to develop a well- balanced constrain throughout the musical ideas' developments, and that's certainly a crucial merit of their statement. The keyboard input is never invasive, mostly displaying layers and harmonies in order to provide a basis for the tracks' overall atmospheres. the band's sound is more stylish than pompous, with lots of room for pastoral moods and only some spaces for a few (not too) dramatic passages. Points of reference to describe their line of work can be: Apoteosi, Celeste, "Storia di un Minuto"-era PFM, "Mágicos Juegos del Tiempo"-era M.I.A., and for most of the sections dominated by the dual electrics guitars, Almendra amd Invisible. I will review the repertoire as the LP's original tracklist, not the one that has been arranged for this CD edition (which, by the way, does not kill the music's general spirit). The namesake track was originally a much longer suite than the one that ended recorded here. It gets started with an articulated jam, in which the guitars display ethereal leads and harmonies. It won't be too long before the flute gets in and enriches the sonic landscape. At times, the rockier sections sum up to an unimstakable intensity, ultimately creating intersting alternations with acoustic passages during the suite's last section. 'Historia de un rey' is the album's shortest track, featuring the guest violin in delicate dialogues with the flute: the song's playful mood is patently inspired by a mixture of Celtic and Renaissance stuff. 'Siglo XXI' is arguably the most accomplished composition in the album. It starts with a cosmic ambience (somewhat reminiscent of Pink Floyd's 'Echoes'), hence exploring the band's most mysterious facet. The flute and chanting join in along the refined nooks and delicate crannies that go appearing along the way. This marriage of symphonic and pastoral makes the best of Agnus, indeed. Unlike the title track, 'Siglo XXI' doesn't let a motif stay around too long, so the sense of colorfulness feels tighter in comparison. I personally wish that the closing climax had been a bit longer, but all in all, everything seems to be perfect in this epic song. The third and last epic song, 'Nace el Día', closes down the album in a similar note to that bore by 'Siglo XXI', albeit with a major presence of the rocking side - meaning, more room for a few guitar solos. IMHO, its inner structure doesn't comprise a robust feel as in tracks 1 and 3, which makes the drum solo appear a bit forced. But, on the other hand, this song has the merit of letting Agnus exhibit their most extroverted side, always keeping things constrained so the repertoire can keep its cohesion. Also, the lyrics powerfully deliver a tale of prosecution and punishment, the best lyrics in the album. I am not the first one praising this album in the Internet, and definitely it deserves its good fame. While not being as deliciously extravagant as Bubu, nor as elegantly colorful as M.I.A., nor as powerfully energetic as Crucis (just to name a few of their most celebrated compatriots), "Pinturas y Expresiones" would make a rally very good addition to any prog collection. 3.5 stars for Agnus' one-shoot album.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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