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Tarkus - Ao Vivo Em Niterói CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 15 ratings

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4 stars When I first heard of TARKUS, I thought they were merely an ELP tribute or clone band and didn't care too much about them. Later advised by some fellow PA buddies I realized my mistake and started to keep them in trail which led me to this live album, "Ao Vivo Em Niterói", and hey, I stayed truly surprised and even touched by this release, especially if one takes in account that I'm not too much into live albums and also that, in general, female vocals do not ignite my soul when the subject is prog-rock (although I love female vocals for several other music styles, like pop-rock, bossa nova, rhythm & blues, etc).

My first word goes then to Maristella Bessa, the singer. Her sweet timbre remembers a few the much admired Jane Duboc (ex-BACAMARTE) while her steady voice extension is quite close that of Zélia Duncan (who recently worked with MUTANTES). She has still much to learn and improve but I do believe she's already in the correct way. Her participation here contributed hugely to make this live album very pleasant and audible.

My second word goes to the general production which was able to issue a flawless album, practically exempt of the common faults observed wearisomely in the majority of the live albums, no matter the country they were produced and released. All this embellished by one of the most gorgeous art covers I've the opportunity to see recently.

My third word goes to the band - what a cluster of skilled musicians. They are really first-class mates and even knowing they had re-grouped short before this live act, they play like a geared team, soaring high their tunes, chords and signatures. Alright, they have their ELP moments but I guess they are much more in the vein of classic GENESIS, YES, CAMEL, RENAISSANCE and their Italian and Brazilian counterparts of the same period - in fact, the album is clearly imbibed in the 70s but we may feel an aura of the 21st Century grazing all around.

The starting point here, the instrumental and atmospheric 'O portal' is plenty of keyboard sounds (TARKUS have two keyboardists!) and the climate they create is able to keep the hearer's attention until guitars blast strongly. Looking for a real progressive track, then come and listen to this: eight breathless and amazing minutes. 'Mundo novo', nervous, frenzy, powerful in its beginning, brings Bessa cool vocals as a nice counterpoint to the apparent madness. The catchy 'Vida nova' has fair lyrics (in Portuguese), fairer vocals and even fairer band's playing.

'Pensamento' is only a gentle interlude for the lengthy 'A dança escolhida', that although sporting prog-rock arrangements (synth and piano sections are fascinating) has its voiced parts more oriented to a romantic landscape blended with some fusion excerpts - not bad but a bit senseless. 'A conquista' turns the climate back to the indisputable progressive realm and the result is above average, limpid and engaging. 'O retorno da lenda' keeps the enchantment of previous track this time provided with astonishing synth and piano tunes played dexterously.

'O hino', a prayer, short and emotional, well-fitted for the singer's flight opens space for the mini-epic 'Dumont', precisely when words like flight and space are essential to understand the life of the great Brazilian praised here, Alberto Santos-Dumont. Lyrics sound like a final will done by the portrayed inventor and work accordingly with the melody that assumes the shape of a jet plane. 'Ensaio dos ventos' closes the album tenderly; a joyous farewell for an intense work.

That said all that lasts is a sincere recommendation to check this album - an excellent addition to any prog music collection, without any doubt.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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