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Decibel - Fortuna Virilis CD (album) cover

FORTUNA VIRILIS

Decibel

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.67 | 10 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Decibel is a fundamental point of reference for the preservation and refurbishment of the rock in opposition genre in Latin American lands. Originally released 20 years after the excellent, challenging debut effort "El Poeta del Ruido" (and soon afterwards rereleased with bonus tracks), "Fortuna Virilis" happens to be the ultimate statement of decibel's musical vision. This album, unlike its distant predecessor, does not give preferential room to sound processing and tape effects, but extends patently crafted instrumental travels among the expected digital resources. There is less emphasis on the influence from "In Praise"-era HC, Dedalus and engineering-driven Faust; the dominant intention is one of conquering a peculiar voice within the RIO mentality. 'El Club de los Incomparables' establishes an enthusiastic free-jazz oriented chaos that alternates laconic and extroverted passages. 'La Charamusca' focuses on ethnic cadences in a sort of sonic limbo built on the marriage of bass clarinet and sundry processed layers; the ethnic thing goes on in the next track, albeit this time it bears a fusionesque vibe, very agile despite the overall grayness. The band's gusto for musique concrete is perfectly conveyed on 'Man Ray Mantra', which shows recording artifacts articulating the sounds of strings, synths and percussion so vividly that it would make Art Zoyd or 5uu's jealous. Ahead, 'Zeliscar y Zetulba' develops a very similar scheme, in a much creepier vein; since it is segued into 'La Espuma de los Días', the latter's monotonous framework serves as a natural culmination for 'Zeliscar y Zetulba'. Previous to these two aforesaid tracks, 'Maldoror' states relaxing atmospheres that in many ways retake the overall spirit of track 3, with an overwhelming enhancement of the sense of mystery. With its 10 ˝ minute span, 'Del Asesinato Considerado Como?' is a solid deconstructive exercise where the challenges of free-jazz, the somberness of minimalism, the twisted reformulation of fusion and the vision of surrealism converge in a disturbing, dreamy piece. Getting started with the sounds of rivulet flows, 'Carametexi' sounds almost like a continuation from the previous track: the main body is a massively percussive delivery, occasionally seasoned with synth washes and effects. 'El Brillo', with its eerie mood, efficiently closes down the album's official repertoire. Regarding the bonus tracks, there is also much to enjoy for the avid RIO fan. 'Contranatura' is a heavily distorted gutural speech. On the other hand' Espejismo' sounds like a ceremonious mirage that fluctuates between the creepy and the evocative, with a friendly use of fusion elements within a disturbing framework. After these two bonuses from 1992, come other two from 1996. 'Alejándose de un Lugar' begins on a very jazzy tone with added touches of 77-81 Univers Zero; it doesn't take long before the band indulges in random musical travels that break frontiers in an urgent fashion. Finally, 'Lluvia Dorada' pretty much follows in the preceding track's vein, albeit with a pronounced emphasis on the avant-garde jazz element. All in all, "Fortuna Virilis" is a hell of an avant-prog masterpiece. It is incredible how well a band from the peripheral areas of RIO could understand so vividly the genre's ideals of going beyond all known frontiers and take it magnificently to a particular stance. This is what Decibel is all about, and this album is a powerful proof for that.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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