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Kharmina Buranna - El Arte de Seguir Vivos CD (album) cover


Kharmina Buranna


Eclectic Prog

3.73 | 23 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For those like me who have been in touch with the art-rock scene that has been developing in Peru for the last 5 years, this debut album by Kharmina Buranna is a long overdue release. Now that "El Arte de Seguir Vivos" is a physical real item, we can stay assured that some of the best of the future of Peruvian prog rests in these crafty hands and creative minds. With three of the five tracks outlasting the 10 minute mark, you can tell that this band is going tightly headlong for the idea of complex music. The opener 'Bosque de Piedras' starts with flying colors through the synth layers and arpeggios, very Wakeman-esque indeed. Once the whole ensemble settles in, the lyricism prevails through the enhanced dynamism. Regarding influences and coincidences, it's fair to say that the song's overall mood states a fluid mixture of Yes, PFM and "Songs from the Wood"-era Jethro Tull. Some dissonant passages shared by the organ, lead guitar and rhythm section make the track shift momentarily to a full frontal heavy prog realm with a modern twist (Landberk, Areknamés) and a clever use of Gentle Giant-style keyboard ornaments. There is also a meditative stance all through the track's melodic development that at times brings out a family air to the compatriot legend Frágil. The opener has really been beautiful and effective, but I personally would have preferred that track 2, 'Del Parque', had been chosen as the opening song instead. Its initial rough drive, giving a heavily psychedelic twist to the band's symphonic leanings, is perhaps too muscular to stand somewhere in between in a whole tracklist. Anyway, this piece's robust trend owes a bit to VdGG, and it may sound occasionally coincidental with some of the bigger names of Italian heavy prog (Ossana, Museo Rosenbach). Also, some gentlegiantish adornments are inserted for good effect. The presence of tuned percussion enhances the keyboard bases, and special mentions have to go for the harmonica and lead guitar solos - incredible! The title track is the most obviously rooted with the band's blues-rock pre-history: it is, indeed, a solid blues rocker arranged and performed in such a stylish fashion that brings the majesty of good old Led Zeppelin and the colorfulness of "Stand Up"-"Benefit"-era JT, rather than, say, John Mayall's rough approach. Being the least complex track in the album, it would be misleading to label it as just simplistic, since the muscular delivery and powerful successive leads on harmonica, guitar and organ show a genuine musical devotion to the matter that is cooking at the moment. The last two tracks bring back the full progressive momentum: 'Sueños de Opio' starts with a varied, 4 minute long prelude that reflects the typical KB dynamics, eventually landing on the sung main motif. The latter is predominantly relaxing and, in some passages, even providing eerie introspective moments: the presence of brief orchestral arrangements helps to elaborate this sort of mood. The album's last 13 minutes are occupied by 'Labra un Lugar (de Sonidos)'. It pretty much summarizes the most vintage prog moments comprised in the previous tracks, introducing the novelty of some Emersonian details in the organ chord progressions - still, Yes, PFM, Gentle Giant and the standard of heavy prog remain essential and stable. The pastoral interlude (featuring recorder) and the coda's soft bombast provide an effective conclusion to both the track and the album. Kharmina Buranna's debut album is yet another excellent item of great contemporary prog rock made in South America.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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