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INDEX

Index

 

Symphonic Prog

3.53 | 13 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With their 1999's eponymous album, Index debuted as a Brazilian recording act in Brazil: their style is essentially symphonic, delivered with a stylish feel that relates it to Quaterna Réquiem (where Index leader Jones Junior took part in as the guitarist in the Velha Gravura line-up). In fact, this album's first track bears that band's name as a title, which makes me think that this was originally piece intended for the band lead by keyboardist Elisa Wiermann. Another curiousity is that the album's closing track is titled after teh current band, which also makes me think that the idea is to point at the present as a reality. Anyway, Index's sound is a very polished symphonic trend, with a dominant melodic drive and a tight sense of ensemble. Main influences seem to be classic Yes and Camel, plus references to compatriot bands Bacamarte and Quantum. All six compositions comprised in teh album's repertoire combine dynamics and control: these two factors are crucial for the elaboration of appealing epic tones and solemn ambiences. 'Quaterna Réquiem' starts with a slow piano motif, very much in the romantic vein. This prelude goes on with a second section led by Junior's classical guitar, which goes to Baroque places. Once the whole band settles in at last, the listener finds that the progressive splendour had been anticipated by the piano and classical guitar's alternate sections. 'Caverna' bears a similar spirit, although it is noticeable that the constrats between the more serene and more pompous passages has been an important focus in the arrangements' department. 'Serenata' begins with a classical guitar serenade, soon followed by a duet of piano and electric guitar, which eventually finds teh whole instrumentation softly going for an increasingly extroverted undertone (moderately, of course). 'Ciclos das Mares' digs deeper in this classicist trend: the keyboard orchestrations remind me of Bach. The acoustic guitar introduces some folkish elements that fuse sarabande and Creole music; when the electric guitar takes its turn, it states a few Gilmouresue lead phrases, very lovely indeed. If the three previous pieces had focused on a controlled complexity, 'Ciclos das Mares' brings a manifestation of pure serene beauty. 'O Setimo Selo' is the longes tand most enthusiastic piece in the album: most of its timespan is occupied by an agile, catchy jam. 'Index' is the extroverted closure that reiterates the opening track's colorful mood. Special mentions go to teh bardens-like Mini-Moog flourishes and the Howe-meets-Gilmour guitar lines. Truth is that the lack of violin is the only element that keeps these last two tracks from being confused for pieces from Quaterna Réquiem's debut album. Anyway, Index reveals itself as an important instrumental symphonic prog band from square one. All lovers of symph prog that wnat to take notice of what's going on in South America regarding this geographical area shouldn't overlook this band or this album.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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