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Hexatonica - Formas CD (album) cover

FORMAS

Hexatonica

 

Progressive Metal

4.00 | 11 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hexatónica is an amazing instrumental ensemble from Argentina whose offering states a mixture of standard prog metal (Moore-era Dream Theater, Symphony X) and prog-jazz metal (LTE, Planet-X), heavily ornamented with the pompous aspect of traditional prog rock (Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd). The band's debut album (recorded by a former line-up that is quite different from the one currently working) is a perfect showcase for the band's ability to create a powerful presence of melodies and riffs on the dual guitars on a complex rhythmic structure that is dealt with in a very agile manner. Keyboards are there on a highlighted spot despite the storms of sonic energy emerging from the dual guitars: the keyboard layers and orchestrations are noticeable enough to make their mark on each track's deliveries and developments, in this way assuring a place eventually filled by a synth solo. 'Pintor Dadah' occupies the album's first 10 minutes, stating a moderately complex architecture. The slow section that appears at minute 6 proves that the band can also feel comfortable in softer passages; the Gothic-oriented synth deliveries and the slightly bucolic acoustic guitar add variation in an efficient way. 'Loco 1' reiterates the band's gusto for variety and ballsy energy. The inclusion of an Andean interlude among the rocking sections is clever and funny; the reflective mood provided by the piano and the guitar in the closing passage is another unexpected, yet effective trick. 'Kilophrén' is a bit less metallic and more symphonic in nature, despite the fact that the dual guitars make themselves quite present - the melancholic moods designed in the main passages and the whole track's sober structure may remind us of Lemur Voice (this is just a reference). The sound of a crying baby and a hysterical shout add some bizarreness to the track. 'Tregua' strikes me as very closely related to post "Twilight" Symphony X, especially regarding the Pinnella mannerisms that are abundantly used by keyboardist Obeaga. 'Periodo' completes the trend initiated by 'Tregua', which in turn means a return to the powerful ostentation of the first two pieces. Since is is a very long piece in itself, the musicians manage to handle a very deep epic framework for the track's development through its diverse motifs. Here are included the best synth solos in the album, as well as a triggering coda that reveals the magnificent side of the band in full splendor; the eerie interlude that brings some momentary serenity is also worthy of a special mention. 'Sos de Gualeguay' is mostly a piano sonata with a jazzy undertone, while 'Doble Factura con Picardía' and 'Yeseano' continue to reinforce the major concerns of Hexatónica in terms of frenzy and melody: the former is a straightforward exercise on complex yet catchy prog-metal, while the latter brings a clever mixture of Yes (as implied on the title), LTE and Gerard. On the other hand, the slow coda brings a candor that sounds more related to the mesmeric melancholy of Genesis and Camel than to Yes or ELP (yet, there's still much Howe influence in the guitar leads). The last two tracks show the band's humorous side unabashedly: 'Cartones' is a dynamic medley of cartoon jingles, while 'Arutrebo' is a funny chorale on a Gregorian note. "Formas" is a labor of enthusiasm, talent and energy - Hexatónica is a band that prog metal lovers all over the world should pay real attention to, and hopefully, there will be more albums by them in the future.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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