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Unoma - Croma CD (album) cover

CROMA

Unoma

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.16 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unoma is the name of guitarist Fidel Vázquez's musical vision. This is not an exclusively solo effort, strictly speaking, since the collaboration of Pito Costa on keyboards, bass and drum programming proves vital for the building of the repertoire's various melodic schemes and moods. This is the essential resource that allowed the material comprised in "Croma" to achieve its most climatic moments. The album kicks off with the namesake track, a soft piece that goes from slow to mid tempo while the simplistic main motif is solidly preserved: Vázquez gives preference to texture and harmony, which allows the keyboard layers and ornaments to fill an important role in the track's development. 'Black Hole' states a more dominant role for the lead guitar, comprising a strange yet effective mixture of Satriani and Hackett: the hooks of the main melodic line and the emergence of an effective 7/8 interlude compose the right frame for the aforesaid Satriani-Hackett confluence. 'The Bird' is very melancholic, arguably the most reflective composition in the album: it's really beautiful, not too complex but successful in mood and ambience from a genuine prog rock point of view. This piece reminds me a bit of early Eclat or early Edhels: dynamic yet not too intrepid symphonic rock with a very modern vibe and new-age flirtations. 'Magic Tour' is arguably the best structured piece in terms of melodic development and guitar-keyboard interaction. The lead guitar phrases are catchy, while the keyboard input is flawless when it comes to coming to the frontline or staying in the background. This is perhaps what a Rothery solo album would sound like, or an old Marillion demo from the mid-80s before Fish records his written lyrics. I hope the simile was clear. 'In the Name of God' is the longest track in the album, occupying the last near-15 minutes. It is epic in intention and structure, starting with a melodic excursion that may remind us of late-70s Genesis with a touch of Camel. During some of the guitar solos, Vázquez strays to jazz-rock territories, which makes sense with the fusion-oriented percussive arrangements that emerge at some point. The sung section sounds like a mixture of slow R'n'B and "A Curious Feeling"-era Tony Banks. At the 10'30" mark, a bombastic interlude gets in a solidly epic note, but unfortunately ends too soon; on the other hand, an emotional guitar solo and a pompous synth lead follow in order to partially retake the incomplete bombast. The idea goes on to the end, marking a family air with Hackett-era Genesis plus a touch of ELP. While not excellent, "Croma" is a beautiful, emotionally intense album that will surely please all symphonic prog and neo-prog devotees - this is what Unoma was all about for the debut album.

Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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