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Crucis - Los Delirios Del Mariscal CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 164 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars For my money Crucis, along with Ave Rock and MIA, represent the gold standard as far as progressive music coming out of Argentina. Each of the three bands was loaded with talented musicians and songwriters, yet each produced only a handful of albums before sadly fading away as the musically prolific seventies wound to an end. Too bad in each case, as I think all of these guys could have produced many more albums of quality progressive music has they been able to survive the eighties.

I would say Crucis is distinguished from the other two bands mentioned here (as well as from most of their Argentinean brethren) thanks to the level of complexity present in their music and the attention to detail applied to every note. It surprised me how rich the songs on this album end up sounding considering there are only four guys playing here, and half of them make up the bass/drum rhythm section. So what does that leave? Well, guitar and keyboards of course, and both are leveraged to the hilt. Keyboardist Anibal Kerpel both alternates and layers Moog, Hammond and a newly-added Fender Rhodes throughout, which combined with Pino Marrone’s guitar accompaniment ends up at times sounding vaguely like mid-seventies Santana music, but without the heavy emphasis on Afro-Caribbean rhythm and percussion. At other times there’s more of a symphonic sound ala Salem Hill or MIA. Throughout the album the arrangements the music takes on a mild fusion edge, but especially on the title track and toward the end of “Pollo Frito”.

The band’s one weakness is there vocals as they have no dedicated or accomplished singer at their disposal. That was a mild annoyance on the debut album but is largely eliminated as a problem here since three of the four tracks are instrumentals, and what singing there is on “No me Separen de Mi” is deemphasized and wisely brief.

The heavy-hitter here is the more than twelve-minute “Abismo Terrenal”, a lengthy yet high-energy that is basically an extended yet carefully arranged ‘jam’ session that really only has one tempo shift to drum/bass around the ten minute mark before returning to the main guitar riff and a regrettably cheesy blues rock-like finish. I would have liked to have heard something more representative of the band’s considerable compositional talent reflected in the weak ending, but this is a great example of the potential of these four musicians.

There are a few things that work against this being worth considering as any kind of masterpiece. First, although there is limited singing on the album, what is there is somewhat flat and unexceptional. The lack of continuity in the music’s complexity on “Abismo Terrenal” and the title track is a very minor issue but bears noting. And finally the very short length of the album (thirty-four minutes) is a disappointment. I’m not sure if they couldn’t afford more studio time or simply didn’t have enough ideas to fill am entire record, but the four tracks here just don’t feel like a whole album. They had the same problem on their first album.

I love Crucis’ music and would certainly recommend you buy this one if you ever stumble across it, but I think the nineties compilation CD ‘Kronologia’ (which features both of their studio albums in their entirety) is a much better bargain than the two separate studio releases. In any case a rating system fails us again as this is a very clear 3.5 star recording; but considering the cumulative weight of the aforementioned detractors for the album I’m going to round down and say this is a very strong three star release.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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