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Témpano - Selective Memory CD (album) cover

SELECTIVE MEMORY

Témpano

 

Crossover Prog

4.15 | 51 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ProgressiveAttic
5 stars

Tempano is, together with Vytas Brenner and early Aditus, one of the biggest exponents of Venezuelan classic prog, highly acclaimed in the country's prog circles during the early 80s because of their debut album. After the departure of Pedro Castillo (guitarist/vocalist) to join Aditus (to turn it into a pop group from their previous prog jazz-rock style) the band became a pop group with massive airplay, but the original members kept recording progressive albums with projects such as iX (Giuglio Cesare Della Noce) and Odrareg (Gerardo Ubieda). During the 90s the original Tempano decided to rejoin and return to their progressive rock roots (initially as a short reunion to open a Yes concert), but this time with a more experimental sound than before.

This album is the historic document of Tempano's return since nothing here is new at all, except for the opening piece, these are unreleased tracks from recording sessions, mostly for the Odyssey and 7 Samurai albums. Something important to note is that they kept their original vintage gears, specially the keyboards but their sound experienced an update that took it to the 21st century. So we have a very modern album with the original late 70s/early 80s instrumentation.

Victoria Pirrica starts the album in a very experimental way with an Avant style and a very impressive use of the keyboards(Giuglio Cesare Della Noce) and percussions (Gerardo Ubieda). Here we get some jazzy experimentations with spacey atmospheres and a symphonic sense of the instrumentation hinting some Crimson and Gentle Giant influences, while being 100% original. 5

Falling Senses continues in the same vein of Victoria Pirrica leaving more space for guitar soloing until the middle of the song to get mellower and even more spacey to feature the first vocal appearance courtesy of Pedro Castillo (whose voice is reminiscent to Neal Morse's) and more impressive electric guitar demonstrations. 5

Argos is an acoustic guitar track in the vein of Greg Lake's ballads with the appearance of some Moog sounds such as in Lucky Man or Still You Turn Me On. The difference between this one and Lake's ballads is that it isn't intended as a radio hit and therefore is far more complex 4.5

The album continues with Despair, Shout, a weird and hypnotic track with a space rock feeling and outstanding guitar (both acoustic and electric by Castillo) and bass (Miguel Angel Echevarreneta) performances, featuring some lyric-less vocalizations courtesy of Pedro Castillo. 4.75

A Farewell to the Seasons is a symphonic piece with an impressive violin work by Pedro Castillo (I didn't know he was a violinist too!), very tasteful keyboards and a more than competent rhythm section. Added to that, the vocals are great (and could easily be part of a Neal Morse recording). 5

Irus develops a similar symphonic style than the previous track but less grand and mellower with a specially outstanding piano and drum work, while it returns to the spacey atmospheres. 4.75

The Blind Crow is a bit more accessible than the last tracks mainly dominated by Della Noce's vintage keyboards and Castillo's beautiful voice with the addition of some guitar licks. 4.5

Path is more aggressive than The Blind Crow but is still dominated by the keyboards and returns to the space rock style with a 70s King Crimson feel and complexity. The rhythmic support here is as strong as ever. 4.75

Embestida is a keyboard driven symphonic track ala Genesis with great percussions provided by Ubieda. 4.5

Cristalizado is a powerful space rock piece. Starting with some hypnotic sounds to develop into a heavier section and later return to a more quiet classical guitar duet, concluding with some electric guitar soloing. 4.75

Then the album finishes with Aguas Redondas, returning to the good old symphonic prog that they used to play during the late 70s and early 80s, with great vocals provided by Castillo (one of the most acclaimed rock singers in Venezuela) and predominant guitars (both electric and acoustic) also by Castillo. This is the only track in the album with lyrics in Spanish, which are really amazing. 4.75

This album shows how different is today's Tempano from its first incarnation in 1979 but keeping their roots and characteristic sound. They presserved their initial influences (Yes, Genesis, Camel, etc.) and original sound, taking them to the 21st century in a more experimental fashion close to King Crimson, Happy the Man, Gentle Giant and Magma.

This is a great and flawless album, barely a masterpiece from one of the best Venezuelan prog bands around and a good introduction to Tempano... and the best of all is that it is FREE!

4.75/5

ProgressiveAttic | 5/5 |

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