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Granada - Valle Del Pas CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 48 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More than a proper prog band, Granada was a prog act led by keyboardist/flautist Carlos Carcamo's iron hand. For their third and final effort 'Valle del Pas', Carcamo got rid of his previous partners and recruited four new ones: Carlos Basso (guitars), Julio Blasco (bass), Antonio Rodriguez (drums & percussion), and Joaquin Blanco (bagpipes and other Northern Spanish woodwind instruments). Blanco's presence is mostly due to Carcamo's interest on exploring the Northern Spanish folklore, in order to add its peculiar Celtic spice into Granada's prog style: this is particularly noticeable in tracks 4 and 7, which are expressions of successful progressive rock translation of folk joie de vivre. But that is not to say that 'Valle del Pas' is your regular acoustic folk album. This is a prog rock album, that can actually rock notably very often. Basso's solos and riffs find plenty of room to come to the fore; Carcamo's synth solos and textures are also featured, but definitely the guitar is the main instrument here. This is pretty clearly stated on the first three numbers: a special mention goes to 'Breve Silueta de Color Carmín', whose captivating beauty makes it one of the album's highlights. It features an exquisite flute piano by Carlos Cárcamo, which in fact enhances the track's evocative mood. No way that the Focus boys wouldn't have been proud of writing a track like this... but this Granada's own making. All in all, the most notable highlights are the most ambitious tracks, namely 'Valle del Pas' and 'Calle Betis'. The former keeps a perfect balance between the pompous tendency of symph prog and the pastoral feel of Celtic folk. The latter is a musical travel Southbound to the exuberant landscapes of Andalusia (this track reminds me very much of Mezquita, actually); on this one, the evocative string ensemble touches enhance the overall epic tone to good effect. There are also some elements that remind me of Aragonian jota, which adds extra colors to the track's melodic development. All throughout the album, the rhythm section lays a solid jazz-rock oriented foundation, adjusting it at times to comply with the ocasional folkish demands. An excellent work that must be considered a great achievement in the history of Spanish prog.

(I dedicate this review to my good friend Augusto Cabada)

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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