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Espiritu - Crisalida CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 81 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The release of Crisálida, the debut album by Espíritu, signed the birth certificate of Argentinean symphonic prog, which means that this album reflected the emergence of a musical tree whose seed had been partially planted in many art-rock and rock-fusion albums that had been recorded since two years earlier in this country's ever efervescent rock scene. With obvious references to Yes and Genesis, plus coincidences with Italian hard prog bands (Ossana, Biglietto), Espíritu displayed a colorful musical proposal based on a clever management of contrasts between the softer and heavier passages. The tasteful use of synth solos/layers, organ harmonics and piano flourishes by Fedel makes him a relevant element in the organization of the band's sonic nucleus. The rhythm section is confident and precise, while Favrot's guitar deliveries state a dynamic mixture of Howe and Spinetta. No doubt about the way in which lead singer Berge and backing singer Favrot's high tenor timbers create very Yessian sets of vocal melodies and harmonies, a factor that the band noticeable counted upon in order to develop a genuine symphonic rock essence to their music from a clear focus. This album is a concept work revolving around the idea of conquering peace of mind in order to achieve happiness and motivate others to do so. The optimistic vibe that underlies this concept helps most of the tracks to preserve and work on relaxing moods and positive ambiences. The fact that the 8 tracks are ordained in two links of 4 tracks each makes sense with the conceptual intention. The opener 'La Casa de la Mente' kicks off with two minutes of cosmic synth textures, and then the lead guitar arrives in order to let the whole ensemble display the main motif; the sung parts are set on predominantly acoustic guitar- based portions. This balance between the rocking instrumental sections and the bucolic sung passages will be reiterated in tracks 2 and 4: 'Prolijas Virtudes del Olvido' carries on with the mood of track 2, while 'Sabios de Vida' states a more epic vibe around it. The latter is probably due to the fact that the preceding track, 'Sueños Blncos, Ideas Negras', happens to be a real tense song, with an evident prevalence of aggressive sonorities in the enhanced guitar riffs and phrases. Therefore, track 4 has to retake the colorful spirit of the first two tracks while receiving the greyish inertia of the preceding one. The album's second half is in charge of completing the concept of optimistic spirituality, and so it kicks off with the powerful instrumental 'Eterna Evidencia' - the muscular synth solos on this one make one of the album's finest moments, no doubt about it for me. This tracks' neurotic intensity, contrary to that displayed on track 3, is a symbol of energy, not angst. 'Tiempo de Ideas' and 'Hay un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo' focus on the band's lyrical aspect, with the former centered around festive moods, and the latter making an unhidden reelaboration of Yes's 'And You and I' (with an extra touch of melancoly). The album's last 8 minutes are occupied by 'Hay Un Mundo Luminoso', an exquisite two- part song: the first section goes for a moderately rockier amalgamation of the two previous tracks' ambiences; the last section is a nice litany that works as an anthem of the peaceful man's mind. The organ and synth ornaments that fill the air kindly reinforce this mystic drive. A very coherent ending for a nice album - Espíritu deserves its big name in the history of South America's symphonic prog.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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