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Kant Freud Kafka - OnÝrico CD (album) cover


Kant Freud Kafka


Crossover Prog

3.89 | 96 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Barcelona's JAVI HERRERA has done it again. As if 2014's labour of love, No tengas miedo wasn't spectacle and production perfection enough, Javi has pulled together another masterpiece, this time based on dreams. The presence of voices--Javi's own voice and that of female vocalist, Alia Herrera (Javi's daughter)--make this quite a different listening experience from No tengas miedo. The vocal performances and stylings remind me quite a bit of those from Olga Polgaskaja's FIVE-STOREY ENSEMBLE's 2013 (and, thus far, only) release, Not This City. Beautiful and almost operatic. Also, the electric guitar performances are amazing. Very dynamic and technically superlative.

1. "Insomnio de una noche de verano" (9:27) an instrumental in which classical/acoustic instruments and composition styles are trying to be blended (sometimes feeling a bit forced) with electronic, sometimes bombastic, instruments and sounds. Still, there are moments and passages of absolutely stunning beauty and emotion--much of it quite memorable. (9/10)

2. "Dulces sue˝os" (5:18) is an absolutely beautiful and completely classical arrangement and production featuring piano, cello, cor anglais and the dual voices of Alia and Javi. (9.5/10)

3. "╔s quan dormo que hi veig clar" (10:54) is very patchy, moving from more classically-oriented sections of gorgeous music to dynamic electronic passages often quite awkwardly and incongruously. The musicianship is of the highest caliber, the composition and arrangement is not quite as polished. Male and female vocalists accompanied by church organ open in a beautiful one minute introduction before wormy little synth noodles sneak in and a piano-based rock sequence establishes itself. This part of the song, sung in Spanish, is not quite as engaging. Neither the sung verses or choruses, but the instrumental soli in between are quite something. The wailing electric guitar with oboe is a bit much. The ensuing GENESIS-like synth solo section is very nice. This then moves via piano arpeggi into another gorgeous vocal section (a reprise of the opening?) which then builds into a combined classical-electric instrumental crescendo. Great melodies and key and chord-changes. I wish it would end here, but it goes on into a kind of cinematic/theatric celebratory finale. (9/10)

4. "Vida y muerte" (8:28) another jazz-classical opening with solo piano and double bass setting the scene quite beautifully. In the second minute the electric bass, synths, and drums find their way into the mix. So far so good (it's still fairly subdued). Oboe. Nice. A little drumming flash. Baroque-sounding Christmas instruments. Were half way through. Tuned percussion and Javi singing in his gorgeous operatic voice. Strings join in. Wow! What a treat! At 6:15 a electric guitar crash signals the rock section--all the while Javi and two tracks dedicated to Alia's voice weave their "vida" into the piano and electric band music. It's really working! Organ, drums, and piano vying for ascendency before the song finishes with a electronic rock flourish. (9.5/10)

5. "A Nightmare on Major St. (7:33) opens with programmed drum sequence that is soon joined by real drums, piano and strings and electric guitar and bass. An odd combo. (A little like Phil Collins' 1983 GENESIS foundation to "Mama.") Javi's singing narration is okay--maybe a little more theatric than necessary. Even the presence of Alia's voice and cor anglais do little to engage me. The instrumental section in sixth minute with its guitar solo just proves to me that it's really the electric guitar that grates me; it just feels too much--the sound used and volume are more than should be necessary, in my opinion. (8/10) 6. "Awakenings (9:03) opens with the programmed drum sequence from the previous song bleeding in before Javi's "Wake up" and piano gradually supplant it. Definitely been there, done that (as a father, that is) though I was more prone to use Isaac Hayes' "Theme from Shaft" to wake my daughters up. At 1:45 mandolins and bouzouki and crotals introduce a new section, which eventually turns into a neat instrumental passage based upon an old ALAN PARSONS PROJECT melodic riff (from the end of Tales of Mystery and Imagination's finale, "To One in Paradise" in which many of the album's most memorable themes are recapitulated). Before you know it we're at the seven minute mark and another too loud electric guitar solo takes us away from the beauty that had been so well established. Javi's daughter Andrea's tap dancing gives us the rhythmic percussion sounds to accompany the Spanish guitar section in the eighth and ninth minutes. Then a synth solo amps things up leading to a rather bombastic end (despite Andrea's cute "ba-bop" tap at the very end). (9/10)

Though the electronic and more rock-oriented performances are very good, it is the classical-jazz passages and sounds that attract more of my attention and listening pleasure.

A masterpiece of progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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